Problem with IBERIA and American Airlines

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Oct 24, 2016
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#1
My fiance and I are both currently students in college and we are planning on getting married this December over the Christmas holidays. My parents and younger siblings live in Swaziland, Africa, though, and so we, along with his parents, best friend, and cousin (all who have already bought plane tickets) are flying over there to have the ceremony. My fiance and I purchased our tickets through IBERIA airlines about a month ago and are planning on flying out of New Orleans, Louisiana on December 18th. However, when purchasing the tickets, I made a mistake. During the purchasing process it asked for the names of the passengers. It did not ask for our passport numbers or our names as they appear on our passports (as it has been my experience for them to ask when I have flown in the past), but just for our names and so I gave my name, but did not give my middle name (which is how it is written in my passport), and I also wrote the name by which my fiance goes by, which is not his full name or how it appears on his passport. The airline never asked for any further identification information and we purchased the tickets. I called IBERIA last week to see if this mistake with the name would cause problems for us when checking in to our flight and, if so, if we could have it fixed beforehand. The agent I spoke with said that it would be no problem to do so just as long as I submitted a scanned copy of his passport to them in an email along with stating the issue and that we wished for the information on the tickets to be changed. The next day, though, I received a call from the airline telling me that they actually would not be able to fix this information as they are piggybacking off of American Airlines in New Orleans and so they could not change the information for me but rather my options were to cancel my fiance's ticket (which we purchased for less than $1400) and buy a new one priced at $2900 now, or I could call American Airlines and speak with them but that they could not guarantee they would do anything for me. I called American Airlines and explained to them the situation and the agent said that he would be more than happy to fix the name, but then he came back on the line and said that because we had purchased our tickets through IBERIA, not American Airlines, they did not have the authority to make such a change but that he would contact IBERIA and he believed that he would be able to get them to change it. However, when we three-way called an IBERIAN agent, they were resolute that they could not make the change nor that they would give us any kind of documentation we could present to the American Airlines check-in desk saying that while there was a mistake on our tickets, we still had permission to board, etc. etc.

If worse comes to worse, my fiance and I will just have to cancel our tickets (which will not be fully funded), and try to purchase again but at a significantly higher price than when we bought our original tickets. This really is not an ideal solution, though, as we are putting ourselves through school and basically liquidated all of our funds to pay for our first tickets, which we are still paying off along with our honeymoon. We understand if there's nothing that can be done for us, and we take full responsibility for the mistake that was made when we purchased the tickets. We are not blaming either airline for this, we just want to find a way that this issue can be resolved without us having to spend an excessive amount of more money than we already have, or flying out on a later date as we are on a very tight schedule with the wedding due to our Christmas break being the length it is and the amount of time it requires to travel back and forth from Africa.

Please let me know if there is anything at all that you think we can do, or anyone you can refer us to!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our story!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,061
7,948
113
San Francisco
#2
Oh, Betsie, I am so sorry to read your story. The kind of error you made used to be easily fixable, but no longer. An airline COULD change the name, but they don't do that any more. They COULD cancel the wrong tix and re-issue new tix for no extra charge, but they don't do that any more. It's all a huge race to increase revenue at the passengers' expense.

We are always advising people to purchase directly with an airline if they're experienced travellers, or use a real travel agent. As you have learned, booking on the internet seems easy and convenient, but you are totally on your own. A TA would have asked you for the passport names first thing.

I hope that some of my colleagues can offer you some hope and help here.
 
Likes: AAGK
#3
This may be a long-shot, but if you live close enough to MSY (New Orleans airport) you both could take a ride there and speak with a customer service agent. Your problem will probably rise at least to the supervisor level but if you smile a lot and find a couple of sympathetic people, maybe they can do something for you. I've always found that face-to-face works best. Just try to pick a time when the counter people are not very busy. Good luck.
 
Likes: AAGK

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,506
15,836
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
You needed to fix this within 24 hours. Otherwise- your options are just what Iberia gave you, I am sorry to say.

Any airline that asks your name always must Ben in the format of the I.d. You knew this as you say you hsbebdine it before so I am not sure why you would not have done this. Not putting your middle name in was a non issue, but to not put your fiancé's legal name in is unfixable. And whoever in Iberia told you this was ok doesn't know their job unless they were only referring to your middle name being missed.

I like George's idea of going to the airport but I don't think the outcome will be different yet it's worth a try.

The only suggestion I have is to use our company contacts at American and beg them to change your fiancee's ticket. You are going to get the runaround saying you have to do it through Iberia but you need to tell them Iberia said they can't.

Write to AA's customer service and give them a week to reply. If they say they can't, write to the first executive shown. Give him a week to reply, if the answer is still no, move to the next and repeat weekly until you get to the top. But you really might not have time to do this as ticket prices will only contract new to go up as thevdate gets closer.

In the future, please use a travel agent when booking travel. This wouldn't have happened if you used a TA.
 
Likes: AAGK

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,061
7,948
113
San Francisco
#5
This may be a long-shot, but if you live close enough to MSY (New Orleans airport) you both could take a ride there and speak with a customer service agent. Your problem will probably rise at least to the supervisor level but if you smile a lot and find a couple of sympathetic people, maybe they can do something for you. I've always found that face-to-face works best. Just try to pick a time when the counter people are not very busy. Good luck.
LOVE this idea, George. Fixing Betsie's problem conventionally will be difficult and time-consuming. Fixing it with charm and luck would be wonderful. I once convinced a station manager to fly me from London to SFO at no extra charge ... our flight to New York was delayed on mechanicals. No way could that have been done in writing or on the phone, it took a face-to-face conversation. Buy a box of good chocolates, figure out the flight schedules and make a trip to MSY when they're not too busy! How could it hurt?
 
Oct 28, 2015
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#6
The problem is the airline not you. Go to American Airlines website, pull up the reservations and enter passenger information which also asks for passport number and the name on the passport. It will change the name on the ticket and the reservation and shall percolate to the Iberia reservation too.
I know it is not solution for you - but so far British Airways has the best system to handle this - they also have separate field to enter passport data including the name in the passport - but they do not change the name on the ticket. The check-in agents have access to the full record and they do see the name on the passport and mark the boarding pass accordingly with NAME OK.
Of course, this is a bigger issue and bigger discussion - the police states want to have state issued ID's and everything else marked with the same name as in the ID.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,506
15,836
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
The problem is the airline not you. Go to American Airlines website, pull up the reservations and enter passenger information which also asks for passport number and the name on the passport. It will change the name on the ticket and the reservation and shall percolate to the Iberia reservation too.
I know it is not solution for you - but so far British Airways has the best system to handle this - they also have separate field to enter passport data including the name in the passport - but they do not change the name on the ticket. The check-in agents have access to the full record and they do see the name on the passport and mark the boarding pass accordingly with NAME OK.
Of course, this is a bigger issue and bigger discussion - the police states want to have state issued ID's and everything else marked with the same name as in the ID.
I don't know that will work. It may not allow the name to be added if it isn't in the format on the tickets. It may not allow the info to be added at all.

If there is an error on a birthdate you can't change it online, the airline has to do it. That's why I am not sure you can change the name.

If our writer tries this I hope she'll come back and let us know if it worked.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,061
7,948
113
San Francisco
#8
The problem is the airline not you. Go to American Airlines website, pull up the reservations and enter passenger information which also asks for passport number and the name on the passport. It will change the name on the ticket and the reservation and shall percolate to the Iberia reservation too.
I know it is not solution for you - but so far British Airways has the best system to handle this - they also have separate field to enter passport data including the name in the passport - but they do not change the name on the ticket. The check-in agents have access to the full record and they do see the name on the passport and mark the boarding pass accordingly with NAME OK.
Of course, this is a bigger issue and bigger discussion - the police states want to have state issued ID's and everything else marked with the same name as in the ID.
I'm sorry, but this is the most amazing advice I've ever read. I cannot imagine a situation where the name on your ticket would change because of information you entered later. Am I missing something here?
 
Oct 28, 2015
41
8
8
118
#9
I don't know that will work. It may not allow the name to be added if it isn't in the format on the tickets. It may not allow the info to be added at all.

If there is an error on a birthdate you can't change it online, the airline has to do it. That's why I am not sure you can change the name.

If our writer tries this I hope she'll come back and let us know if it worked.
Entering passport data is different from the name on the ticket.
I HAVE DONE IT just a month ago and more than one time as I had to fit 25 or so letter name from the passport into the airline's record (AA does not take such a long name, but BA does). Within few seconds of the change of passport name on AA site, BA was showing new name on the ticket, and allowed to edit the name in the passport info area independently.
It is disturbing that by now two Advocates did not know about it. I have screen grabs to prove - but I rather see you prove it to yourselves.
Just buy fully refundable international ticket on AA through LHR to say AMS and test what I said and than speak again.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,061
7,948
113
San Francisco
#10
Entering passport data is different from the name on the ticket.
I HAVE DONE IT just a month ago and more than one time as I had to fit 25 or so letter name from the passport into the airline's record (AA does not take such a long name, but BA does). Within few seconds of the change of passport name on AA site, BA was showing new name on the ticket, and allowed to edit the name in the passport info area independently.
It is disturbing that by now two Advocates did not know about it. I have screen grabs to prove - but I rather see you prove it to yourselves.
Just buy fully refundable international ticket on AA through LHR to say AMS and test what I said and than speak again.
Ah, perhaps on British Air ... I don't think I'll be buying an international tix on AA to prove your point.
 
Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,801
113
#11
Entering passport data is different from the name on the ticket.
I HAVE DONE IT just a month ago and more than one time as I had to fit 25 or so letter name from the passport into the airline's record (AA does not take such a long name, but BA does). Within few seconds of the change of passport name on AA site, BA was showing new name on the ticket, and allowed to edit the name in the passport info area independently.
It is disturbing that by now two Advocates did not know about it. I have screen grabs to prove - but I rather see you prove it to yourselves.
Just buy fully refundable international ticket on AA through LHR to say AMS and test what I said and than speak again.
I have to enter my passport info on American. I'll do it this weekend and see what I can determine. Ttys
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,506
15,836
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
Entering passport data is different from the name on the ticket.
I HAVE DONE IT just a month ago and more than one time as I had to fit 25 or so letter name from the passport into the airline's record (AA does not take such a long name, but BA does). Within few seconds of the change of passport name on AA site, BA was showing new name on the ticket, and allowed to edit the name in the passport info area independently.
It is disturbing that by now two Advocates did not know about it. I have screen grabs to prove - but I rather see you prove it to yourselves.
Just buy fully refundable international ticket on AA through LHR to say AMS and test what I said and than speak again.

I hope our letter writer comes back and tells us this worked because we can use this information going forward if another writer comes in with the same issue.

Thanks for the info.