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Name Change problem, need United Airlines Customer Service

I just received my Global Entry card. I was told by the immigration Officer that it is very important that my name on my ticket/boarding pass match my name on my passport and Global Entry card exactly. I have atrip planned for two weeks from now. In checking my name on the ticket and checking my name on Mileage Plus, I see United has not spelled my name correctly. My last name is Irish, "Mc...." with a space after the "c" and then a capital letter for the beginning rest of my name. United Has no space and does not have the second capital letter.

I called their 800 number last night and eventually spoke to a fellow with a heavy accent. After explaining the situation, he assured me that since the spelling is the same, the lack of correct spacing and no second capital letter would be "fine". I told him what Immigration said and he made a note in my file. I fear that will solve nothing.

Does anyone have a phone number where I can actually speak to someone in Customer Service in the US to get this straightened out??

Posted by
4481 posts

United Airlines has used the Philippines for some time for customer service, I don't think there's another option other than fly Delta.

I think you are going overboard on the matching exactly thing.

Posted by
2591 posts

I can’t help you with a different phone number, the only one I have is the published 800-864-8331. I have always gotten thru quickly to a live person who has been helpful.

The problem may be a limitation of United’s system. I use my first, middle and last name on the ticket to match my passport and Global Entry. However, United’s ticketing system runs my first and middle name together, so it shows as one very long first name. The first time it happened, I called and was told the system can only do first and last name, in other words, one space. This was not a problem flying to or from Europe.

PS: you might want to change the title of your post. There have been lots of spam posts with similar titles. People will skip over without opening your post. Maybe use something like “name problem on ticket.”

Posted by
3923 posts

I can confirm the same odd ticketing that horsewoofie described above. My United boarding passes run my middle and last name together with only one capital letter. I used the Global Entry lanes in May and August this summer with no problems after trips to Europe. All of the information is stored within your United Fly Ready or whatever they call it and it all works seamlessly when you return to the US. Be sure to enter your Global Entry Trusted Traveler number in the United flight information and you are good to go.

Posted by
364 posts

My first and middle initial also run together. I am not worried about this. When I was interviewed for Global Entry, the agent specifically mentioned the space after the "c" and said without the space on a boarding pass, I would be denied Global Entry. I was interviewed six weeks ago.

Yesterday, my wife was interviewed for Global Entry by another Immigration Officer at ORD. He told her the same thing about the space.

Apparently I have to get that fixed or I wasted $100 and will waste a lot of time.

Posted by
364 posts

Mileage Plus was able to correct my name. I was then transferred to ticketing where they now added my full middle name connected to my first name, but they claim their computer will not allow them to put a space in my last name, or make a capital letter after the c.

Posted by
882 posts

Mileage Plus was able to correct my name. I was then transferred to ticketing where they now added my full middle name connected to my first name, but they claim their computer will not allow them to put a space in my last name, or make a capital letter after the c.

Go into your Mileage Plus account under profile and update your name to the way you wish to spell it. As for the first and middle names being connected that is no issue. That has been going on with United and other airlines for years, Both my wife and I are on our third round of Global Entry. While you are in your profile make sure that your Global Entry information and number are in there. That will tie to your mileage plus number to it. Remember you get access to TSA Pre-check with Global Entry.

Posted by
23115 posts

You are really over thinking this. As long as you have the correct letters in the correct sequence, you are good to go. Spacing and capitalization is not important. I happen to be the 3rd in the family with a birth cert and passport that reads xxxxx III. I seldom use the third but it is on the passport, never on the air ticket nor GE. and almost never use the middle name that is on the passport, no on the GE and never on the air ticket. Sometimes will use the middle name initial. This mismatch has never been a problem or questioned.

Posted by
15805 posts

As I understand the situation, the name on the Global Entry card (and on your passport) is spelled, say, Mc Cool but in your Mileage Plus’s account and on the ticket it is spelled Mccool. You were able to change your Mileage Plus account to read McCool but they will not add the space. And your concern is that you will be denied Global Entry because the name on your boarding pass (which will be the same as the name on the ticket) and the name on your Global Entry Card (/and your passport) do not match exactly. Is that it?

Maybe this will help. Global Entry only applies when you return to the US from abroad—-it helps speed you through immigration. It also gets you PreCheck with TSA upon your departure from the US (not within Europe).

I don’t see any issue with using the Global Entry system when you go through immigration upon return to the US—-no one ever looks at your boarding pass. For that matter, they do not look at your Global Entry card either. Global Entry is attached to your passport, and when you place your passport on the reader screen at the immigration gates the machine will recognize it. Here in Seattle, the machine then takes your photo and tells you to proceed to the Global entry line. We did show our passports to the CBP agent there, but he asked no questions and we did not have to do a customs declaration. It was all very quick.

It may be slightly different at other airports (this was brand new in Seattle, and other airports may still be in the process of updating their systems) but in any case your boarding pass is irrelevant. The agent mis-spoke when he told you that you would be “denied Global Entry” if the passport name and the name on the boarding pass did not match exactly, and that the missing space after Mc is the problem. As others have noted, the space between names is often eliminated from the printed boarding pass ( my first and middle names are always run together.

On the other hand, the name discrepancy might possibly keep you from getting TSA Pre on your boarding pass, because that will conform to the name on your ticket, which I believe you said is Mccool. And in theory at least you could have trouble with boarding the plane because of the misspelling, but you did not mention that as a concern (and I believe you said the United rep said not to worry).

You have corrected the spelling somewhat in your Mileage Plus account, to McCool, but there is still no space. But it is the name on the ticket (the one you used when you made the reservation) that will be on the boarding pass, not the corrected name on your Mileage Plus account. To my understanding, it is the actual spelling on the boarding pass, including capitalization, that must match the passport. Spaces are irrelevant—-the airlines run names together (usually first and middle) on the boarding pass as a matter of course. I don’t know if it is to save space or to prevent alteration of the boarding pass, but that is what they do.

For your peace of mind, you might call United back and see if they will re-issue the ticket to conform to the spelling that is now on your Mileage Plus account, with the second capital letter following the Mc (so McCool in my hypothesis). As long as the ticket is for a United Airlines plane, not a partner, they should be able to do that ( maybe for a fee).

Posted by
1205 posts

I have flown roundtrip many times between the US and Europe on United, with Global Entry upon returning to the US. As others have noted, you will not need to show your boarding pass when you reenter the US, so the way that United spells your name should not be an issue then. Also: United has run my first name and middle name together on my boarding pass for years, ie: Susanellen Smith, although my passport and Global Entry registration is my legal name, ie: Susan Ellen Smith. You do want to go into your United account online, in which you input your personal information, and make sure that they have your correct Global Entry number. When you do so (if you have not already) you will almost always have "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass when you check in, so you can use the TSA PRE lines through US security when you are leaving the US. I have NEVER had TSA security have an issue with the different renderings of my name on my boarding pass vs. my name on my passport or driver's license. If you have NOT put your Global Entry number (or TSA PRE number) into the United website, you will not have TSA PRE on your boarding pass and will not be able to use the TSA PRE security lanes.

Posted by
3857 posts

Lola, I just came back through Dallas yesterday and it is even more automated - you don’t even scan your passport any longer nor get any paper printed! Just stand in front of the machine for your photo and then walk to the immigration agent who has the photo on a tablet and checks you off and sends you on through. Took maybe 120 seconds.

Posted by
5422 posts

United Has no space and does not have the second capital letter.

I really doubt this will be a problem. They will compare the letters, not the white space or capitals.

I have my middle name spelled out on all my accounts (global entry, passport, and united). United merges my first and middle name on the printed tickets without capitalization. (For example Jane Ann Doe becomes Janeann Doe). This has never caused a problem with using the Global Entry kiosk. I just used the kiosk at Dulles a couple weeks ago with no issue.