If you try to board a flight without including your middle name on your ticket, you might not be allowed to fly.
A Canadian woman has learned that the hard way, after she was denied boarding because the name on her ticket didn’t match her passport.
Qantas has since warned passengers to check booking details before a flight, to avoid problems at the airport.
A Qantas spokesman told Travel at 60: “Passengers should always make sure that their passport details are the same as their booking details to ensure there’s no problems at the airport.”
“Once we got to the front, the lady said to her supervisor, ‘It’s another one,’” Collins said. “She handed me my passport and said I was missing the middle name on the ticket so I was denied boarding the flight.”
Collins was reportedly told 11 others were denied boarding on the flight the previous day for the same reason.
The airline’s policy states that tickets can’t be changed less than four hours before a flight, so she ended up paying for a new flight the next day, at a price more than what she initially paid.
Collins said Wow airlines also charged her $23 for changing her name on the return ticket.
“I just advise everyone to make sure you put your middle name [on your ticket] whether the airlines require it or not because you don’t want to run into a situation like I did,” she said.
Sue Henderson from Flight Centre told Travel at 60: “My general advice to anyone travelling internationally is to book using their full name, as per their passport and include their middle name(s).”
Henderson said there are a few different reasons to why airlines require full names in bookings. It may be due to immigration and boarder security, a particular government, an added check for people with similar names or to ensure that names match visas.
“It is better to be safe than sorry but it is imperative that the name in the booking exactly matches what is in the passport,” she added.
But it appears not every airline follows the same rules.
Aviation Manager Andrew McLeish suggests leaving the middle name out entirely, or if you really must include it, to pop the middle name into the surname field so it appears in the right order.
“When buying your ticket, don’t give your middle name(s). The name fields on the ticket are first / last. Including your middle name increases the chance of error and incurring a change fee,” McLeish revealed on popular forum site, Quora.
So next time you buy a ticket, you might want to check with the travel agent and airline before boarding to avoid problems at the airport.