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Iberia Name Error on ticket -- help!

Hi all,
My ticket with Iberia airlines (Spain to Italy) has printed my middle name instead of my surname. It should be SURNAME, FIRST and instead is MIDDLE, FIRST.

I tried calling their help number (in Madrid, with my broken Spanish 😬) and was told it's impossible to modify it and that my only option is to buy another ticket (for over 200€). But I've read on travel forums of previous years that there was a US line to call that changed names for a small fee.

Has anyone else had a similar problem recently? Did they let you on the plane?

Any suggestions for getting it corrected welcome!

Posted by
11513 posts


Below is what I copied from the booking page for Iberia

Passenger data must match documentation presented at the time of the flight.
* Compulsory field
Second surname

Its just a guess on my part, but perhaps you put your first , middle , last( surname) in the boxes in the order they line up . This would explain how your middle name ended up appearing as your surname on your ticket (Note the 2nd surname is not compulsory)
I suspect the "second surname" box is there to accommodate the not uncommon practice of having hyphenated surnames in Spain.

Hopefully you can find a sympathetic agent on the US line that can make the correction for a "change fee" rather than having to buy a new ticket. I would be amazed if you could use your ticket as is without a correction to match your passport..

Posted by
4637 posts

In reality ticket names and passport names do not have to match exactly. There's a leeway of a couple wrong/switched characters, and middle names can be pretty screwed up and it still works out.

I'd try to get it corrected for free now and if no then wing it at the airport. The worst that should happen is they charge a fee to switch the names. You were incorrectly informed over the phone, a very common occurrence.

Posted by
1259 posts

I agree with Tom's advice. I have read a lot of posts on tripadvisor and this has happened before. It is difficult if not impossible to change. The usual advice is to cancel and rebook, at a cost, if you don't want to take the risk. A fix by the airline is the rare exception not the rule. Many just take a chance with mispelled, wrong or missing name and report success. But you never know what will happen with you...

Iberia is Spanish and the Spanish use two surnames paternal and maternal. Somethimes they use the one surname. And if a person is famous, they just use the first name, lol. Maybe they will accept your middle name as one of your surnames.

Posted by
11513 posts

"wing it at the airport"---

Scenario 1-- security etc., do not notice or do not care of the mismatch between whats on your ticket and passport and you get on the plane

Scenario 2- - you are denied access/boarding and have to buy another ticket , at full price and get on the plane

Scenario 3-. Once your incorrect ticket is cancelled, whoever is 1st on the wait list gets your seat. You have to buy a full fare ticket for a different flight, which may or may not be the same day.

I think the best course of action is to have it resolved before you get to the airport.

Here is where the Clint Eastwood line comes in-- "do you feel lucky?... well do you?"

Posted by
4637 posts

Joe: there should be, as I stated previously, a change fee for the name correction that does not involve buying a new ticket. That is probably the worst case scenario, and the Iberia phone person was wrong.

Posted by
2393 posts

Kate - would love to hear how this turned out

Posted by
6 posts

Ok! An update in case anyone runs into this problem soon, since I saw lots of different responses and numbers from different years.

I ended up facebook messaging Iberia, since they do that in English. After many back-and-forths, they finally recommended me the international number: +34 913894357.

I called, spoke with a tired but helpful woman, who changed it for 50euro. Steep, but less expensive than buying a new ticket!

They looked at ticket-passports both when checking in/checking luggage and again as we boarded each plane. The glances were quick -- not sure it would have been noticed had we not changed it, though they were in a rush since both our flights were entirely full and delayed.

Posted by
11513 posts


Good to hear it worked out with only relatively minor pain($).

I suspect they are very good at looking quickly at documents, as that is what they do all day long

PS had rain today here in Seattle--hope you enjoying yourself

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Kate,
That phone number was extremely helpful to me. I was told I would have to purchase a new ticket for 2300 USD until I tried calling.