Why are your first and middle name joined together on your boarding pass?

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If you remember entering your first and middle name separately while booking your ticket, but the boarding pass seems to have joined your first and middle name together, what do you do? Most importantly, why is it joined together?

The thing is, most airline reservation systems will likely join your first and middle name together on the boarding pass (if you have a middle name). The reason behind this is that most PNR name records use antiquated systems. 

For most airlines, the names are limited to 10 characters for the first as well as the middle name. Thus, if it is any longer than that, the boarding pass will not only join your first and middle name but also may cut out a few characters from your middle name.

For example, if you entered your name as Richard Timothy Knight while booking your ticket, it may show up on the boarding pass as Knight/RichardTimot. The last few letters may be dropped because of the limit on the number of characters as shown in the example.

In conclusion, your first and middle name are joined together on your boarding pass most probably because the system is not designed to handle long names, and are thus often ‘very’ abbreviated.

Will it stop you from boarding?

No, having your middle and first name joined together on your boarding pass will not stop you from boarding. Why? Because it is the airline’s reservation system that joins your first and middle name in the boarding pass (unless you did it mistakenly in which case you can demand a change).

Most importantly, every airline is required to collect Secure Flight Data as nesecciciated by TSA or Transportation Security Administration. The data includes the passenger’s full name as it is on a valid government ID proof, as well as the date of birth, gender, and TSA Redress Number (in case they have been allocated one). Your ID during boarding in the true sense is validated against this Secure Flight Data. If the passenger information you entered in the airline profile or within the ticket information (your full name in this context), you do not need to worry if your name is merged on the boarding pass. 

The most crucial thing to do if your first and middle name is merged together on the boarding pass is to check if the Secure Flight Data provided to the airline is correct. This should avoid any potential problems at the airport.

Ensuring Your Passenger Information is Correct

Add the necessary secure passenger information to your reservation regardless of whether or not you included your middle name in your ticket purchase. The “Manage Your Trip,” “My Reservations,” “My Trips,” or a section with a similar title, contains this part.

Make any necessary changes to your reservation by using the record locator or ticket number to locate your reservation. Make sure that all of your personal information is correct if you are a regular flyer with the airline.

Your safe flight information is maintained and corrected each and every time you log into your American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer profile. Forgetting your middle name when you book your flight with American is no problem because your profile with the airline already contains all of the correct, safe passenger information.

On the airline’s website, you can make changes to your reservation and add or remove passengers.


There are additional benefits to double-checking your reservation’s protected passenger information. TSA PreCheck may be denied if your airline frequent flyer profile and reservation do not include your accurate first/middle/last name and correct birthdate, according to the CBT website.

TSA PreCheck is only available to those with a consistent first/middle/last name on their airline frequent flyer profile, which means that if you apply as John David Doe and have David as your middle name, your profile should not be JD Doe.

Even if you included your middle name in your reservation, the airline may choose not to print it on your boarding pass. On your boarding pass, you might even see a name that combines your first and middle names.

In addition to your boarding card, a TSA agent is also reviewing your Secure Flight passenger data when they inspect your boarding pass. Unless your boarding permit and government-issued ID are identical (i.e. your middle name is missing), there should be no issue with you flying, as long as your passenger information is correct.

What is the procedure for a name change?

Is it possible to change a passenger’s name on a plane ticket? In the event that a friend is suddenly unable to fly with you, or you spot the dreaded spelling error in your plane ticket, what do you do?

Even though every airline has processes in place to assist passengers in such situations, factors such as how close to the flight you’ll be able to make changes—and how much it’ll cost—depending on each airline’s individual policy.

Below we have provided you with a detailed guide on how you can apply for a name change on your flight ticket.\

Check the conditions concerning name changes

Before you take any action to change your name, verify the terms and conditions of your travel ticket regarding name changes. These are either included in your boarding pass or can be obtained on the airline’s or booking site’s website.

Certain conditions apply to all airfares and aircraft tickets. A name change may be permitted or not, depending on the circumstances, and this might vary from airline to airline and even from rate to rate. Even a name change on an economy-class flight ticket may not be authorised or may require a cost. If you have a business class ticket, you may be able to get a name change (against a surcharge).

Some airlines only allow name changes up to a specified amount of time before departure, such as up to 24 hours prior to departure.

Check the surcharge concerning name changes

Whether or not a name change is permitted, as well as any associated fees or administrative costs, are all detailed in the ticket terms.

It is sometimes possible to alter your name for free if you can do it in compliance with the airline’s terms, but this is not always the case. Additionally, these change fees can vary by airline and class of flight.

Be aware that in addition to the amount for the name change, administrative expenses may also be imposed when you book an airline ticket using a booking website.

In reality, a booking website staffer makes these alterations to a plane ticket, and they are covered by administrative fees. However, some airlines impose additional fees to cover their administrative costs.

Direct booking with an airline may be the best option if you wish to avoid additional fees.

Contact customer service

The next step is to get in touch with the customer care department of the airline or travel agency where you purchased your ticket to find out what options are available and how much it will cost.

All booking websites use a reservation system that is linked to an airline booking system to make their reservations. Airlines’ customer service representatives cannot see, edit, or cancel a booking website reservation in order to protect travellers’ personal information and the website itself.

Most of the time, the customer support professional will also ask you a few security questions to make sure that no one can modify another person’s travel ticket.

In order to answer these questions, it is recommended that the lead name or traveller contact customer support. The staff will help you if you answer the security questions correctly.

Explain clearly what is wrong with the name on your flight ticket

An agent from customer service can only offer advice and assistance if the issue with your flight ticket is described in detail. Describe the differences between the name on your passport and the name on your airline ticket in the machine-readable strip at the bottom of your passport.

Accordingly, an employee can determine what type of name change is required, which fare conditions apply, and whether a solution can be supplied.

If you wish to avoid common blunders when writing your name on a plane ticket, have a look at these suggestions.

Let customer service provide you with a solution

During the customer support interaction, it may be tempting to mention that you have heard that a name change is feasible and that there are specific expenses associated with it.

Even said, allowing a customer support agent to come up with a solution is occasionally preferable. There are times when a coworker will suggest a better, more cost-effective alternative than what you’ve already considered.


Because of the change cost, you may be better off canceling your previous flight ticket and booking a new flight ticket at a lesser rate from the same or another airline (if available).

At this time, make an agreement with the employee that you would explore this and call back later that day. Remember to jot down the employee’s name so that you can easily refer back to this individual.

Please cancel your confirmed booking if you decide to purchase a lower-priced ticket from the same airline. Otherwise, the booking system may identify that you have made two appointments and cancel one of them if it detects this.

Confirm the name change and the correct name

When deciding on a new name, it’s critical that you and the customer support professional spell your old one accurately to avoid any confusion. The aviation alphabet can be used to spell out your full name. 

Employees in the travel and aviation industries are familiar with this term. Before finalising the name change, it’s a good idea to go over the terms, the surcharge, and the correct name with the employee to make sure they understand. 

As a result, you may rest assured that everyone involved understands what is going on and that your plane ticket will be modified accordingly.

Check your new e-ticket

Your new e-ticket and a confirmation email will be sent to you once the name change has been completed. Ensure that your new flight ticket is accurate and, if required, inform the employee that you’ll be checking it while you’re on the phone for confirmations to ensure that they’re not mistaken.

As an alternative, it’s a good idea to write down the employee’s name. In this method, you can personally thank the staff for their assistance. There is no need to worry about calling back if something goes awry.

What should you do if a name change is not allowed?

Some airlines do not allow passengers to change their names. Your flight ticket will not be valid if you use the erroneous first and last name, thus you will need to purchase a new ticket.

The same airline (if available) or another airline can perform this service (for example, if it is cheaper). In order to avoid double reservations or confusion, please cancel your old ticket.

In some cases, you may be eligible for a refund of the taxes (excluding the fuel surcharge and any administrative charges) on your airline ticket, or you may be eligible for a return of the entire ticket price (minus cancellation fee).


Can I travel under an incorrect name?

Without a doubt, no. The Transportation Security Administration (T.S.A.) requires that the name on the boarding pass match the name on the passenger’s government-issued identification card. Using this method, the government can ensure that all passengers have been screened against the watchlist and have been granted permission to fly.
In addition to being able to refuse you admission to a flight, several airlines set a limit on the number of name changes you can make. The customer support representative may be able to mark on the reservation that they’ve been made aware of the problem even if you feel it’s too late.

Will it cost me money to make the change?

No matter how big or small the mistake in your name is, you have twenty-four hours to get it fixed free of charge on any airline. As a result, customers are advised to check their confirmations as soon as possible after making a purchase.
In the event that it has been longer than 24 hours since the original departure time, the individual ticket change policy of the airline will take effect. There is a fee of $125 for modifications on Alaska Airlines and $200 on Delta Airlines, however some airlines, like JetBlue and Southwest, allow one free change.
For the most part, airlines will impose all penalties, fines, and increased costs, no matter how excellent your cause for making a change may be. Non-refundable and non-transferable airline tickets are exactly what they sound like.

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Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.


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