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Global Entry addendum: new Trusted Traveler technical hoops to jump through

In an earlier thread (or two) we discussed our mostly positive experiences with Global Entry
and the details on applying for the program and using it -
now I'm just noticing that there is a whole new layer of techno-bureaucracy associated
with the new login.gov website system that incorporates the Trusted Traveler TTP system --
apparently if you have a GOES login you can't use it anymore,
and now have to start up a new login to get into the Trusted Traveler programs web pages,
and the new system includes two-factor authentication plus a print-and-save key
that you need in order to get into your GOES account.

So, I went ahead and got all that set up, only to find that the issue I wanted to fix can't be handled online.
Like many people with given names that have multiple variations, like Roberto, Robert, Bob, Bobby, Rob, Robbie, and so on,
I have documents with non-exact-matching given names, and this leads to trouble with my pre-check eligibility when my name on my ticket doesn't exactly match my name on my passport.
So far as I can tell, even a mismatch like Rob/Robert can't be handled except in person at an agency desk.
At some level this is understandable -- Maybe Rob isn't short for Robert, maybe it's short for Robinson, and you Robert Smith are trying to impersonate Robinson Smith, and only coincidentally look the same as him and have his credit cards and dog-eared library card in your wallet. Can't take that chance, can we?
I've tried to argue my case with airport people at every counter that I can get in line for, with no luck.

Posted by
4450 posts

avirose, My global entry card shows the name on my passport. After I got global entry, I changed my frequent flyer profiles to match exactly the name on my passport which meant adding my full middle name to my airline account. To do that, I had to request the change via the airline's customer service. Since I have done that, I've had no problems.

Posted by
20718 posts

Don't understand what the problem is. It is very easy to get your name on your ticket to match your passport. Just give them the name that matches. What am I missing?

Posted by
1296 posts

Frank, moving forward that should be the case, since as mentioned above I have updated my profiles, but in this instance the ticket, booked in March, says Rob and the passport says Robert, and the travel agency and the airline (United) insist that changing the Rob to Robert is not a name correction but 'an exchange' that would involve paying a change fee ($200) and the price difference for current rates (crazy high) and giving up the seat assignment -- even though both the travel agency and the airline agree that I have updated my profiles to match my passport and GOES, but the ticket is for Rob not Robert, so if I want the benefits that Robert has paid for (pre-check, seating, early boarding) then I have to 'exchange' Rob's ticket and pay the charges.
It is, indeed, crazy.

Maybe this is another reason for me to write to Ralph Nader...

Posted by
11138 posts

Frank, I am sort of with you on this one. I can't imagine not using proper names for something like this; at least not since 09/11/2001. If the name in the passport does not exactly match the name of the reservation they should not even issue you a boarding pass.

Posted by
2567 posts

Avirose, I notice that you mention a travel agent. A travel agent should have booked your ticket using the name on your passport. I know that when I use a travel agent (which is not often) they ask for my name exactly as it is on my passport. I fly United most of the time and even with Premier 1K status, I have never been able to get them to fix anything that was a problem so I would give up there but not yet with the TA if you have a colorable argument that it is their fault. If you used an online TA and did not enter the name in your passport, I think you are "stuck" for this particular flight. My brother-in-law's name is Robert and he once made the mistake of booking a ticket using the name Rob. It took 5 minutes to resolve it at the airport because in real life as opposed to online a person can look at the traveler and make a judgment call about the ID/name disconnect.

Posted by
2034 posts

I also can't believe that the travel agent would book a ticket for "Rob" instead of Robert. S/he should offer to pay the fee for the exchange, unless you insisted that the ticket be booked as "Rob". Prior to our last trip, I accidentally entered my husband's passport number as mine when I was trying to check us in online. That didn't work - but it was easily fixed at the airport.

Posted by
3436 posts

Regardless of what people actually call me, all of my official documents my entire life have always been in one name -- the name that appeared on my birth certificate. Problem solved.

Posted by
5379 posts

@Mark, for half of the people posting here, it ain't so simple. When I meet people from my past I have to figure out whether they knew them from college or before (under the name on my birth certificate), from my working life (under my first married name, which has been on my Social Security card since I was 22), from my daughter's school organizations (with her father's last name added, which I kept after the divorce so we would have the same last name when we travelled together, and that's the name on my driver's license and my passport.) With marriage #3, I just said no to adding another name, no matter what "societal expectations" are.

Posted by
2991 posts

5 minutes is all it takes to reregister on the new trusted traveler site.

Posted by
990 posts

I'm going to respond to this two ways:
Name: I use Kathy on my driver's license, financial accounts, taxes and have done so for years. However, my birth certificate and previous passports are Kathleen. When I got my new passport and global entry, I matched them to Kathleen. Because of that I always make plane reservations as Kathleen. Like it or not, it's up to you when making the reservations to be sure the travel agent gets your name right and everything matches, including hotel registrations, and you need to check immediately that things are correct.

Travel Agents: I was going to start a new thread, but will piggyback onto this one. Never ever again will I use a travel agent. As most of you know I got royally scammed by one. Thursday when I went to use my airline credit from my cancelled flight for a trip to Hawaii, that travel agent (not the tour agent) screwed up the charges. I had to talk to American Airlines and Monday have to call my credit card company to straighten that out. The level of incompetency and lack of caring is amazing. Lesson learned and will not be repeated.

Posted by
1296 posts

I don't mean to pile on to Mark, but what about birth certificates that were written in Cyrillic or Pinyin or any of the many other orthographic scripts that people on this planet use? What about the people at the desks around me, like Tina, whose birth certificate says, roughly, Thingh-Nga? Or Rudy, whose birth certificate says Rodolfo, but who would like to avoid being harassed in red states?
Even if you told people to go back where they came from, suppose they came from Galicia or Breslau or Petrograd or Madras, none of which have the same spelling now?

Regarding my specific ticketing issue, I tried again with an after-hours agent over the phone and she had a different answer -- the name correction wouldn't be 'an exchange' with more money required, but the United people would have to enter the info on their end -- after putting me on hold a little while and having some back and forth with her United contact, the boarding pass magically reappeared on my phone and in my online account with the ticket name matching the passport, and the pre-check and priority boarding duly notated. Yay. Cost me just a little time on hold, and saves me some time in lines at the terminal.

Posted by
6920 posts

You persistened and were incredibly lucky to find this one agent. Perhaps she hadn't been trained yet by the airline in how to extract the maximum from others' mistakes. The going routine is cancel and reissue at the day's rate even for a one letter difference.
Congrats.

As for birth certificates, all future references depend on the certified translation. I doubt anyone could get even a visitor's visa to the States without a legal translation. All documents would need to match that translation in this post9/11 world.

Posted by
315 posts

My passport reads Linda Lee ..... Airlines do put my middle initial but not my full middle name on my boarding pass. Way in the past my middle name was there on the boarding pass. Some day I believe someone will not let me on or in!

Posted by
1101 posts

I just returned from a domestic trip. I booked ticket myself thru expedia. Most of my credit cards list a middle initial. My drivers license includes my middle name. I. Would never have run first and middle names together but delta did on its boarding pass.... Maybe because we were on the cusp of running out of allotted characters. I think it did engender a smidge more hesitation from tsa, but that's hard to judge. With a reallllly long last name does the first name amost dissapear?
However, coming home I tried to do it all with the boarding pass on my phone, and lost it in Atlanta when their Wi-Fi kicked me out.... I bet the rest of you are savvy enuf to save those.....

Posted by
6920 posts

Not savvy, but I do hit download and then open it, doric8.

Posted by
4509 posts

I'm with those that don't understand the issue. Nicknames, shortened names and changes to last names due to marriage/divorce aren't the issue. When you buy an airline ticket, especially one to a foreign country, why would you enter anything other than your official name as written on your ID/passport? That just doesn't make sense to me other than travel novices that don't yet realize that TSA and airlines actually check your name/ID to be sure they match.

Posted by
3144 posts

I'm with those that don't understand the issue. Nicknames, shortened
names and changes to last names due to marriage/divorce aren't the
issue. When you buy an airline ticket, especially one to a foreign
country, why would you enter anything other than your official name as
written on your ID/passport? That just doesn't make sense to me other
than travel novices that don't yet realize that TSA and airlines
actually check your name/ID to be sure they match.

The crux of the problem is that there are still people who don't book airline tickets themselves and thus they allow and/or pay someone else to do the typing for them and thus verifying the name/spelling on the airline ticket with the passport is not happening by the passenger. You get what you pay for when you don't book tickets yourself.

I'm not only talking about travel agents. I've read threads here in which people allow their friends or a family members to go online to get tickets for them and names end up being misspelled or not matching the passport by using diminutives for example. It boggles the mind that people don't do this themselves. They are asking for trouble.