Adelyn Hernandez booked tickets for her sister-in-law and her nephew on Aeroméxico’s website. Her sister-in-law was concerned because her legal name on her passport shows a middle name. The problem? Hernandez says there was no field to add a middle name, and now Aeroméxico wants an additional $300 to correct the tickets. Can we help?
Question: I recently purchased two tickets on Aeroméxico for my sister-in-law and her son to come visit. They were concerned because the name on the reservation does not contain their middle name as in their passport. I explained to them that when I made the reservation, there is no place for the middle name. I called Aeroméxico and explained that, but they offered me two choices: I can cancel the ticket and pay a penalty and ticket re-issue fee or pay US$150 per ticket to have the middle name added.
I contacted Aeroméxico twice regarding this problem. Both times, I was told that it all depends on the agent checking them in on the date of departure whether they would be allowed to board the plane. I think it is preposterous that Aeroméxico is demanding $150 per passenger to add a middle name — their website was not equipped to add a middle name! All I am asking is a simple resolution to add their middle name or note that it is OK for them to board as is. — Adelyn Hernandez, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
Answer: What a mess! You are correct, if there is no field on the Aeroméxico website to enter a middle name then the airline should add it free of charge.
Your sister-in-law has a valid concern. We have received many cases recently in which would-be travelers have been turned away at the airport because of incorrect names or insufficient documents.
But there was a mystery with your particular situation.
When I went to the Aeroméxico website, I found that there was indeed a field to enter the middle name of the traveler.
You provided me with a screenshot of the website that you used to book your tickets. I noted that the address field on your screenshot was different from the address field on my screen.
So I went to the HTML address from your screenshot and I discovered that this website was missing the field for the middle name.
But was it an actual Aeroméxico site? Or was it an online travel agency giving an appearance of Aeroméxico?
It turns out that you had booked your tickets through the classic version of Aeroméxico’s website. The version that you accessed does not allow for a middle name.
I contacted the airline on your behalf and they repeated that they do have a field for the middle name of the traveler on their site. They sent me a screenshot of their updated website which does have a middle name field. Again, they suggested that you pay $150 per ticket to add the middle names.
This was not a fair resolution, so we went to another contact at Aeroméxico and received the same response.
We weren’t ready to give up just yet. So, we tried one more Aeroméxico contact. I sent a copy of the screenshot from the website that you used, which clearly showed an absence of a middle name field.
And in your case, the third time was the charm.
This executive finally saw it our way and agreed to change your tickets with no fee.
This case highlights that even consumer advocates get a “no” sometimes and persistence is important when you know the facts are on your side. We are happy that Aeroméxico corrected your tickets for you, and we hope that you have a wonderful visit with your family.