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JEL1958

Airlines and names

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My DH and I are US citizens with passports. We will fly directly to Fairbanks, AK for an 11 day cruisetour in May.  Our final port is Vancouver, B.C.   We will, hopefully, fly back to DFW from there. We’ve booked flights twice and had to cancel. Once through Princess and once through Priceline.  Here’s the problem-my DH is aJr.  It’s on his birth certificate and passport. Both times we have booked the “Jr” has been left off, even though he put it in the reservation. This will be our first international flight. The airlines have told him everything must match exactly, yet they keep leaving th “Jr” off.  Thankfully we’ve caught it early and not been charged a fee.   Has anyone else experienced this issue?   At present, we are thinking about taking Amtrak from Vancouver to Seattle and flying out of there. We would love feedback as we would rather spend our extra 2 days doing fun things in Vancouver, and not loose half a day riding a train.  We plan to do more international travel in the future, so we would love to get this resolved now.  Thanks for your help. 

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15 hours ago, JEL1958 said:

 

 

Many people experience the same with Jr. though it's a non-issue for myself and my family so I don't have personal experience with it. Middle names are sort of the same and I CAN tell you is that often my middle (maiden) name shows up on the reservation as an extension of my first name, as though it's one long name.  We fly internationally at least once a year, often more, and it's never been a problem.  I can't tell you the Jr. will never be an issue but the most important thing is for the first and last name to appear exactly as they are in the passport.  i.e. For last name, make sure both are correct and current, and one is not a maiden name.  For first name, many people go by their middle name but should book tickets with their given first name so it matches.

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In the past, DH (Jr!) has sometimes had trouble checking in because of the Jr but it did not cause him to be turned away.  He just had to check in at the airport airline desk instead of printing a boarding pass or using the non-attended check-ins at the airport.  This happened both in the US and outside but never really caused a problem.

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The typical airline reservation and passenger management system has its roots on a 1970s mainframe and has been patched and updated rather than thoroughly rebuilt between then and now.  Add in trying to get different airline systems within an airline alliance to talk to each other for code share tickets and different naming conventions in different cultures (an airline like Iberia may have two surname fields but no middle name fields) and the occasional odd result from travel agency software for tickets bought through that route and reputable airlines have a pretty high tolerance for letting a gate agent sort out the mangling of names the reservations software can cause. 

 

(The stories involving problems with mangled but basically correct names tend to come from ultra low cost carriers in financial difficulty whose managers have told employees to find any way possible to avoid paying EU compensation or create a US involuntary denied boarding scenario. Those airlines such as Wow typically no longer exist)

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In my experience, airline booking engines usually make creative identities with things like middle names, etc.

IOW,  If I want to book John Doe Smith, the booking engine actually generates

JohnDoe Smith.

Your experience may vary, but if you expect to have trouble anway, why not try something like John Doe Smithjr  ?

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My husband is a 'third', and his passport shows III after his last name while his driver's license has 3rd.  When we book a plane ticket, the system takes his suffix and runs it right into his last name like this.  Assume our last name is Smith...

 

Smithiii

 

Not even close to what our last name is.

 

First time it happened I called American Airlines in a panic.  They had a space for the suffix when we booked the tickets, but the system ran it right into the last name in lower case.  They said not to worry - TSA is used to seeing it and knows why its there.  Sure enough, never an issue...even traveling internationally (US to Canada).

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Thanks everyone.  We are just going to book it like. “John SmithJr” and hope for the best.  
 

Our son is “John Smith III”. He’s never traveled internationally, but now he will know how to handle it if he ever does. 

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On 2/26/2020 at 10:37 PM, JEL1958 said:

Thanks everyone.  We are just going to book it like. “John SmithJr” and hope for the best.  
 

Our son is “John Smith III”. He’s never traveled internationally, but now he will know how to handle it if he ever does. 

 

My experience with the Canadian airlines is if it is some minor miss-match such as this the airlines staff at the airport will simply edit the name on the reservation to match what they need it to be and your then good to go.  Your not going to be turned away or stranded due to something like this.  

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On 2/25/2020 at 6:54 AM, waterbug123 said:

 

Many people experience the same with Jr. though it's a non-issue for myself and my family so I don't have personal experience with it. Middle names are sort of the same and I CAN tell you is that often my middle (maiden) name shows up on the reservation as an extension of my first name, as though it's one long name.  We fly internationally at least once a year, often more, and it's never been a problem.  I can't tell you the Jr. will never be an issue but the most important thing is for the first and last name to appear exactly as they are in the passport.  i.e. For last name, make sure both are correct and current, and one is not a maiden name.  For first name, many people go by their middle name but should book tickets with their given first name so it matches.


There is no problem with your maiden name being on your passport or tickets if you hyphenate it (or otherwise add it) with the married name OR adopt it as a middle name, as long as what is on the passport patches what is on the tickets.

 

And to the person above who mentioned the first and middle run together, also not a problem.  They aren't concerned about spaces.  So "Mary Theresa O'Connor-Riley" can be on the ticket as "MaryTheresa O'ConnorRiley" and they aren't going to care.  Some airlines can't handle hyphens, and they know it.

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