JetBleu - Ticket Transfer/Name Change

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Dec 16, 2015
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Early this year I purchased a domestic flight ticket for my mother to travel to visit my brother. My father got sick, we had to cancel her trip and so a percentage of the money went into a "JetBlue Travelers Bank" (JetBlue took a good chunk for themselves out of that money).

I wanted to use that money ($234) to get a domestic flight ticket to visit my parents this January 2016. I was told that I could only use that money to book a ticket for my mom within a year from the cancellation date; however my father’s health won’t allow my mother to travel in the foreseeable future.

Last week I was able to link that traveler’s bank account with my Jet Blue account however I had to book the ticket over the phone. My mom and I share names to some degree (first and last, but different middle names), so after I read the JetBlue name change policies I figured it wouldn’t be a stretch for them to add one more last name (I have two last names). I’m not a person of means, those $234 were half the ticket so I went for it. Oh boy was I wrong.

When I got the confirmation they booked it under a merge between my mom’s name and mine. I called and asked them to fix it, however they only agreed to fix the last names and they told me in order to take out the middle name I would have to pay $150 plus the difference, basically they wanted me to book a new ticket.

Also, by changing the last name to its proper spelling they told me I wouldn’t be able to link it with my JetBlue account and I wouldn’t get points for it because in my JetBlue account the last name has a hyphen but apparently when booking over the phone the agent cannot put the hyphen. Points are not a big priority for me, so I was ok with that.

Also, I purchased traveler’s insurance on the ticket in case I had to cancel the trip since I have three jobs and so far they have all agree to give me vacation days during that week but you never know, things change.

I went back and forth with them regarding the middle name issue. They were nice about it however they still wanted their money no matter what. I started to research the matter and found several blogs and news articles addressing this issue.

One of the blogs suggested calling TSA so I called TSA and explained the situation (I have a ticket with my first name, my last names but wrong middle name). I am fully aware they cannot change it or force the airline to, but I just wanted to check if I had other options. I was told that since my ID middle name will not match my ticket's middle name one of two things will happen:

1. I won't be allowed in.

2. I would have to go through a longer security screening and fill out some forms.

I now regret buying the ticket. I’m ok with a longer security screening process and filling out forms, but I don’t count it as an option right now since there’s no certainty it will happen. After much thinking about it, I reasoned that I am kind of ok paying the $150 for the name change but I am not ok paying for what to me seems a whole new ticket. I already spent $500 on it and they want to charge me over $300 more.

I purchased everything with my credit card and like I said, I got the traveler's insurance for it, however I am now worried even if I cancel it I won’t get a refund.

I’m mostly writing this out of frustration with airlines policies in regards to transfers and name changes. Everything I have read so far indicates it has nothing to do with security reasons, but it is just another way for airlines to make more money.

My plan right now is to show up and try my luck with TSA or maybe a more sympathetic JetBlue costumer services representative at the airport.

What do you guys think?
 
Jan 3, 2015
471
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First off, for TSA, their policies are what they are. It is government mandated and it isn't changing. TSA will check your boarding pass against the government ID you hand them. If they don't match, they can stop you from getting through security. End of story there on that part.

As for your ticket with JetBlue, airlines today don't allow name changes for free. I won't go into the details of why they don't, but they just don't. It sounds like you are trying to find a way to transfer a ticket from your mom to you and that's a big no-no. While you can definitely try to appeal this up the chain with JetBlue, you are violating their policies. I understand you bought the ticket for your mom and you feel it is your right to then transfer it to yourself, but that just isn't the way airline tickets work. Once a ticket is purchased for a traveler, it is linked to that traveler.
 
T

travellerdan

Guest
The best thing is to never have double or hypenated last names and to not have a middle name. The latter may create other problems sometimes so I am not sure about that.

OK, so that was tongue in cheek. If it were me and not flying at that time on that ticket is actually an option, I would show up and try. If you want to be sure to fly, I would give up on this ticket for now and buy a new one. It may eventually be possible for someone to use that credit or it may just be lost money.
 
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Jan 8, 2015
1,160
1,262
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I honestly don't remember using my middle name on any airline tickets I have purchased. My drivers license doesn't even have my full middle name, only an initial, so why would I put my full middle name on an airline ticket?

Your best bet would have been to have emailed the company with a plea to extend the credit and or explain that you couldn't use the funds due to health problems and ask for an extension. (doctors letters are often necessary) In fact had you done this when the ticket needed to be cancelled, the change fees may have been waived.
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,133
29,488
New York
www.promalvacations.com
With Jet Blue if you are flying domestically you don't need to have the middle name on your ticket.

You cannot use a credit for a ticket that you bought in your mothers name. When it's in her name she is the owner of the ticket.

You can cancel the entire ticket within 24 hours but you cannot make a name change. No other airlines permit a name change, you usually have to cancel the ticket and repurchase and pay the difference in fare plus a cancellation fee. That sounds like what they are doing

Unfortunately, you tried to game the system and got caught up in the details. You have no choice but to handle it as Jet Blue is saying. The longer you wait the more for a chance the fares will go up and it will cost even more.
 
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travellerdan

Guest
I have the impression that it is a really good idea to have one's passport, one's drivers license, one's name in your airline profile, your name on any other form of ID, your name in any accounts you have, Social Security in particular, etc. to be your one and only full legal name. That will avoid all kinds of problems at one point or another. Not having hypenated names, suffices such as "Jr." and so on is really helpful. Actually there are cases in the US where not having a middle name is a problem and results in N.M.I. Names in countries other than the US can have other kinds of complications. It can be the case that boarding passes have name print-outs that are odd, but that should not be a problem.
 
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Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,904
New York
I fly Jet blue a ton and have used the travel bank many times. This case is unfortunate bc you tried to game a system that you never needed to even game. Now it is just a mess. For future, your mother, or you logged in with her username and password, would have been able to purchase a ticket for you in your name with her travel bank credit. Instead, you linked it to yours, etc and They may have to charge you for changes at this point. It's important to keep in mind these systems are very well developed and won't be tricked by some middle name swapping. They are more savvy than we think, except when they have glitches which is often but that's another story. Write the contacts as advised and perhaps try a call where you just tell them what you were trying to do. The truth is more persuasive than we think.
 
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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,133
29,488
New York
www.promalvacations.com
AAGK, the ticket had to be issued un the mothers name because she owned the other ticket and travel needed to be booked un the mothers name. Our writer contacted JetBlue who told her that.

It isn't really a travel bank credit, it is a credit for a cancelled ticket which can only be used by the original passenger.
 
Aug 31, 2015
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Don't turn around . . . .
So you are trying to take something form JetBlue you are not really entitled to have - and are angry that they are letting you use itin a way against their internal rules. and that you set it up wrong when you booked it?

Does that pretty much summarize it?
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,163
13,514
San Francisco
I have the impression that it is a really good idea to have one's passport, one's drivers license, one's name in your airline profile, your name on any other form of ID, your name in any accounts you have, Social Security in particular, etc. to be your one and only full legal name. That will avoid all kinds of problems at one point or another. Not having hypenated names, suffices such as "Jr." and so on is really helpful. Actually there are cases in the US where not having a middle name is a problem and results in N.M.I. Names in countries other than the US can have other kinds of complications. It can be the case that boarding passes have name print-outs that are odd, but that should not be a problem.
You are so right, Dan. I've used my maiden name as a middle name forever, my DL shows maiden, but my passport shows my real middle name. Continental/United always issued tix with NMI, but after 9/11 I've had a mess trying to "get rid of" that maiden as middle name. California DMV has all sorts of hoops to jump through to correct my DL. 'Taint worth it', ladies, just use the name your parents give you from the beginning.
 
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Aug 28, 2015
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728
I had my middle name given at birth, and my maiden name used later, both legally removed from my passport. My passport only shows my first and last name. Much Simpler.
 
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mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
1,424
1,820
NAPLES FL or Denver CO
When I married in 1976 I started using my maiden name as middle name. My change of name SS card has it, my passport has it, my DL has it, my concealed carry has it. I put it on my airline tickets. NO problems. That IS my name.