Middle initial on ticket, not on passport

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Jul 31, 2018
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#1
I made a rookie error and my middle initial is on my UAL ticket, but this initial is not on my passport. I booked the tickets on United, and didn’t realize my middle initial is on my Mileage Plus account (This Mileage Plus Account has since been corrected). For illustration, my ticket reads “Jane B Doe” and my passport “Jane Doe”. I know that tickets must match first and last name, what about a middle initial?

I booked all flights on line via United.com. I spoke with United this morning and they amended the return ticket and removed middle initial (free of charge I will add!) ; however, we are flying Swiss Air on our outbound flight (also booked on United.com). When I spoke with Swiss Air, they will not amend without a $50 charge + complete rebooking of the ticket at current cost. They did make a note in the Advanced Passenger Information with my name without the middle initial, but the ticket itself will still have the middle initial.

My concern is of course being denied international boarding due to this discrepancy. I have seen numerous opinions about whether or not a middle initial is a big deal.

I would appreciate any insight/suggestions.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
Call Swiss Air and ask for a supervisor. I am seeing more and more airlines not even requiring correcting middle names on tickets and passengers not having issues flying.

Get a supervisor on the phone and ask them to simply remove the initial. They might charge a fee but you shouldn’t have to buy a new ticket to remove and initial.

If they refuse, get the name of who you spoke to along with the date and time of your call and find our company contacts on top of our page. Write to the first executive in the list for Swissair and write and ask for help naming the employee who refused to correct it.
 
Likes: SKroot
Jul 31, 2018
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#3
Thank you. I went ahead and called Swiss Air again. The agent very politely refused to allow me to speak with a supervisor, told me I had to have my travel agent call for the "Trade Support Line", and they could not do anything further for me on the phone. I verified with Swiss Air representative that in this case the agent was UAL.

I called UAL. Spoke with a very kind agent who looked to see if he could just switch the ticket but the seat is no longer available. He was not aware of the above line, but looked into it, and, of course, this Trade Support Line is very specific to certain carriers, and UAL is not one. However, he escalated it and I was told that upon check in for the trip (late December) just to tell the agent about the extra letter, there are systems in place to handle this, and he put a note in my file as well noting this.

Would you recommend I still contact Swiss Air executive, or just leave it be at this point? The agent from UAL was very reassuring, but I don't want to leave anything to chance either.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
Is there any way to claim this is a typo? Swiss allows for 2 letter to be changed

Name corrections (up to 2 letters) are only permitted if the customer name has been misspelled or to reflect legal documents.
The name change restrictions do not apply for Group PNRs.


https://www.swiss.com/CMSContent/co...ingTicketingPolicies_GDS_CHmarket_20MAY14.pdf

maybe point this out to United and see if they can try since it is booked with them
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,736
15,351
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
Is there any way to claim this is a typo? Swiss allows for 2 letter to be changed

Name corrections (up to 2 letters) are only permitted if the customer name has been misspelled or to reflect legal documents.
The name change restrictions do not apply for Group PNRs.


https://www.swiss.com/CMSContent/co...ingTicketingPolicies_GDS_CHmarket_20MAY14.pdf

maybe point this out to United and see if they can try since it is booked with them
You could appeal to United with this information but I would print that out and just bring it to the airport with me. I don't think you are going to have a problem from my experiences over the last three months.

It will not hurt to write to SwissAir - get it in writing from them that it will be ok.
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,833
7,669
113
San Francisco
#6
Call Swiss Air and ask for a supervisor. I am seeing more and more airlines not even requiring correcting middle names on tickets and passengers not having issues sailing.

Get a supervisor on the phone and ask them to simply remove the initial. They might charge a fee but you shouldn’t have to buy a new ticket to remove and initial.

If they refuse, get the name of who you spoke to along with the date and time of your call and find our company contacts on top of our page. Write to the first executive in the list for Swissair and write and ask for help naming the employee who refused to correct it.
fat finger error
 
Jul 31, 2018
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#7
Thank you all for your advice. I wrote a short email summarizing all and sent to the first contact in Swiss Air which unfortunately is no longer valid. I then sent to second contact who is on vacation for 2 weeks, but I have plenty of time (trip in December) so will patiently wait for his response and update this thread accordingly.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,736
15,351
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Thank you all for your advice. I wrote a short email summarizing all and sent to the first contact in Swiss Air which unfortunately is no longer valid. I then sent to second contact who is on vacation for 2 weeks, but I have plenty of time (trip in December) so will patiently wait for his response and update this thread accordingly.
@John Galbraith could you look into th invalid contact?
 
Jul 31, 2018
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#10
Last contact (third) is CEO. Second contact had automated response with a covering person — should I use that before CEO?
 
Jul 31, 2018
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#12
Thank you, have done as you have recommended and will let you know!
And I did receive an email from UAL stating that middle initial will not be a problem with their flight. I will of course save that.
 
Jul 31, 2018
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#13
Update: I just got off the phone with Swiss Air representative, in response to my email. She stated the ticket can not be changed/corrected/amended but has put note in the computer system both in “check in” and “other”. She reassured me the middle inital will not be an issue. I did ask for an email to that effect but she demurred. Interesting,y, she said the issue is not from Swiss Air but UAL. Given thread above, not sure I believe that, but doesn’t really matter, I think all will be fine.

Thank you all for your help!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#14
I really do not think you will have a problem, just be early to the airport in case of having a less than informed check in person so you can escalate. Carry the print out of the one or two letter correction, and always be patient and polite in case you get someone that is less informed.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,833
7,669
113
San Francisco
#16
I really do not think you will have a problem, just be early to the airport in case of having a less than informed check in person so you can escalate. Carry the print out of the one or two letter correction, and always be patient and polite in case you get someone that is less informed.
"Less informed" ... what a great description of the sort of people we run into while travelling. Instead of being impatient with them, I can now remind myself that they're not idiots, they're "less informed" and deserve my patience. Love it, Christina!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#17
"Less informed" ... what a great description of the sort of people we run into while travelling. Instead of being impatient with them, I can now remind myself that they're not idiots, they're "less informed" and deserve my patience. Love it, Christina!
:) I am trying to work on being more patient, something I need when traveling.....