Uh-oh! Joseph’s ticket says “Joe” — will he be allowed to fly?

Here’s a question I get often: The name on my ticket doesn’t match the name on my ID. What now?

As most air travelers know by now, the Transportation Security Administration is in the final stages of implementing Secure Flight, which requires an exact match. How, exactly, that will make us all safer is beyond me. But there you go.

Joe Lukach has his reasons for wanting to know.

My sister-in-law recently booked reservations on Delta Air Lines online. She inadvertently used Joe instead of Joseph on the reservation form.

Delta said once a reservation is confirmed and paid, they can’t change it. They said they have documented a special remark on the reservation form about the name change. Do you think I will have a problem at the airport?

I asked Delta. Here’s what it said:

Carriers are slowly phasing in the Secure Flight program and their final implementation timelines will differ, but all are required to have the program fully operable by November 1.

At Delta we are phasing in the program and in August 2009 began making it optional for passengers to provide the data (name as it appears on govt. issued ID, DOB, gender). The date that this information will be required by Delta is still yet to be determined, but we are working to have the program in place well before the government’s November 1 deadline.

As for this specific case, the passenger should not have any issues at this point. Although as part of the regular ticketing process, we do want people to become familiar with the requirements so spreading that message would be helpful.

Consider it done.

Related story:   What the heck is going on with the TSA in Orlando?

So “Joe” vs. “Joseph” — not a problem. What about this one, from reader Saule Akysheva?

I am an international student in the USA. I bought a ticket from cheapair.com more than a month ago. And I have recently noticed that my last name and first name are flip-flopped.

I checked my profile on cheapair.com, and my name is written correctly there. I don’t know how that happened. I need to depart in 5 days. What can I do?

As someone who has had tickets that said “Elliott Christopher” on many occasions, I’d say he’s home free. After November, maybe not. But in the next five days, I don’t think he’ll have a problem.

I’m still puzzled by one apparent contradiction. If you forget your ID, you can still fly, under TSA rules. So how, then, can they match the name on your ID, if you don’t have an ID?

Just wondering.

(Photo: sanfamedia.com/Flickr Creative Commons)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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