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Middle name listed twice on ticket

Hello - I recently purchased a ticket to fly from Philadelphia to Madrid. Upon receipt of my email confirmation from Exploretrip (never heard of the company, but they had the best price via Momondo) the next morning when I checked my email, I noticed that my middle name was listed twice, like so:

My example name: John Paul Smith;
How it appears on my ticket: John Paul Paul Smith

Thinking back, I am hoping it was not user error. The website was extremely slow to load, so I used my phone to purchase the ticket. It was still slow and I remember typing and nothing appearing. Moments after purchasing the ticket I received a email recognizing my purchase (the confirmation arrived about 7 hours later). Had my full name been listed on the initial email I would naturally have called immediately before the ticket was processed.

As soon as I received the confirmation email I replied to their customer service email as I was leaving for work and would not have the chance to call for a few hours. I received no response and still haven't. I did call that day at lunch and was told it would be $200 to change the name, although they could "eat" part of the cost and charge me $150.

I've come across forums online that say this shouldn't be a problem, but I'm terrified I won't be permitted to board (for my honeymoon!). At the same time, I find it frustrating that the airlines charge ridiculously high fees for a few clicks of the mouse. My flight to Madrid is direct (Iberia operated by AA) and my flight from Mad-LHR is Iberia operated by British. From LHR-PHL it's Iberia operated by AA. This makes 3 times I could be at the mercy of an agent. I called Iberia and they offered nothing other than "sorry, that'll be $200."

Suggestions welcome!

Posted by
23411 posts

You will be fine. Middle names are not that critical as many people do not have middle names. I would be a lot more concerned if it was Charles, Charles. But as it is, the double name will not make any difference. I often do not list my middle name on a ticket even though I have a middle name and a suffix after my last name on the passport. I have had tickets where the first name and middle name were combined or sometimes abbreviated. JohPaul or Johnpau. Never been questioned.

Posted by
4595 posts

Middle names are not consequential, nor is any obvious name issue on a ticket like Charles spelled Carles or similar.

Posted by
2528 posts

As an apparent outlier in this matter, I did have a problem with my middle name ever so slightly misspelled on a ticket while in a foreign airport. I may have been denied boarding the plane per staff. They fixed it as there was plenty of time and they completely agreed as to the error. Given that sole experience, I would contact your airline again and attempt to correct an obvious error in advance of flying. An option may be to e-mail customer service with your question and if all is well, print a copy to show gate agents. Would that work?

Posted by
11364 posts

Here is recent experience of someone with similar issue with Iberia Air. She was charged 50 euro to make a name correction

Given the recent events is London, not sure I would expect them to be in an "oh well, close enough" kind of mood


Posted by Kate R. D. OP
Seattle, WA, USA
05/30/17 07:21 AM
4 posts
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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.

EDIT--here is link to the entire exchange--https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/transportation/iberia-name-error-on-ticket-help

Posted by
380 posts

I'm not sure whether it was here or on another forum, but I'm fairly certain I saw a similar case where the ticket agency messed up a person's middle name (I think the poster's problem had to do with "Jr." in that case) and the agency wanted a certain amount to fix it... could this be another scam?

Maybe we should be in the habit of only giving our first and last names to minimize confusion.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks, all! I will try calling that Iberia number listed. I'd rather be safe than sorry and 50€ is easier to rationalize than $200! Hopefully I get a sympathetic ear who sees the absurdity of such an exorbitant fee.

Posted by
262 posts

I fly frequently between Swiss and Philadelphia. For some reason, no matter how many times I've tried, my middle name appears wrong on my reservation with a certain airline. If there is an attendant, I just explain and they verify manually. If there is a kiosk to check your baggage and it asks you to scan your passport, it won't match and the machine flags an attendant. The attendant comes over and manually verifies and overrides system. I sometimes get a lecture, but I've never had a problem boarding.