“It sounds like criminal activity to me”

Getting a ticket name change can be an uphill climb. / Photo by ykanazawa1999 - Flickr
And now, a little story about names, online travel agencies, airlines and the TSA.

Are you still with me?

Good. Because this could affect your next trip if you’re not careful.
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Can this trip be saved? I paid for the ticket — where’s my credit?

One of the things travelers love about an airline like Southwest is that it goes against the grain. When other airlines charge baggage fees, it doesn’t. When they impose change fees, it doesn’t. When they have assigned seats, Southwest refuses.

So passengers can be forgiven for getting a little upset when Southwest starts acting like … well, other airlines.
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Ridiculous or not? Your airline ticket isn’t transferrable

Why can’t you change the name on your airline ticket?

Chayaron Hantalom wants to know. He’s a first-year law student at the University of Wisconsin, and last month, he booked tickets to fly from Madison to Los Angeles for himself and his girlfriend.

“Unfortunately, on the ticket back from Las Vegas to Madison, I put my girlfriend’s last name as my last name,” he says. Neither Orbitz, through which he bought the tickets, nor Delta Air Lines, the carrier they’re flying on, will fix the error.

Why not?
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Uh-oh! Ava’s airline ticket says “Eva” — is a notation enough?

Not again.

Pearl Castellino’s daughter, Ava, has a ticket with the name “Eva” — a ticket her travel agent admits he misspelled. “I told him to double-check the names,” she remembers. Apparently, he didn’t.

We’ve seen this before. What makes this situation more complex is Secure Flight, the new government program that requires your ticket match the name on your ID.
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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.
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