a passport and boarding pass

My name is Gilbert R Ott III and I know airline ticket spelling mistakes like few others do. You may already see the potential for boarding pass spelling issue here. I’ve been issued boarding passes reading GilbertR Ottiii, Gilbert Rott and just about every silly permutation you can think of – so when I say I feel your boarding pass spelling mistake stress, it’s the truth. And by the way, in each case, I boarded without issue. Before you go too crazy worrying – here’s everything you need to know about boarding pass spelling mistakes – and fixing them.

a black board with white text and yellow dotsComplete Name Change

The clock is ticking! If your flaky friend just bailed after booking, most airlines allow name changes – or alternately, free cancellation within 24 hours of booking. So yes, you can change your friend John to your friend Jane, or Hussein within 24 hours of booking. You’ll need to call the airline to change the name or cancel the booking and make a fresh one, with no penalty. Either way works – so just call and ask which is easier. But remember, 24 hours or bust. If you’re worried about having left your middle name off a ticket – don’t sweat it, no one cares.

a blue passport on a tableSmall Spelling Mistakes

Sometimes the best deals are just so exciting, you make errors in the booking process. Assuming you managed just a simple error, fear not. Single digit, or simple changes can almost always be done up to two days before actual travel without any fee at all. Simply call the airline and politely ask to correct a minor spelling mistake. Virtually all airlines stipulate that single character spelling corrections can be done free of charge. Be sure to note the passenger is the same, there was just a simple error. Things can be more complicated if you booked with a different airline than the one you’re traveling with – so get started as soon as possible if that’s the case.

a glass of champagne on a tableMarriage, Divorce, Last Name Changes

Congratulations, apologies – or whatever is in order. Last names change all the time for a plethora of reasons and when a name changes legally, airlines are generally happy to help get everything in order. But – don’t complicate things if you don’t need to. Always travel on a ticket that matches your passport name, so if you plan to change your name but haven’t changed your passport yet – stick to whatever name is on your current passport. To change the name on an airline ticket that’s already issued, be prepared to fax in documentation of the legal change – and try to do so as far in advance as possible.

a beach with a city and mountains in the backgroundUncorrected Mistakes

Almost all easily explainable ticket mistakes are nothing to worry about – even when traveling internationally. Hilton Jr changing to Hiltonjr is an obvious system error. If you’re paranoid about an issue such as this one, don’t over worry. You may go through additional immigration scrutiny, but in almost all cases – you’ll travel without issue. There are no guarantees, but in my career of misspelled tickets, I’ve never been refused entry or boarding, no matter how off my name appears.

Have you ever had airline ticket spelling issues?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Air France transposed my name – last name became first name, no spelling error. TSA refused me entry. Airline then stamped ticket to say documents in order and a representative walked me through TSA. It worked but was told that I was lucky, since it’s dependant on TSA agent.

  2. I had an issue with agent misspelling my name on Korean flight out of Rome. All fine until last check at the plane door. Became a whole scrum of security people and Korean airlines reps. Luckily the airline thought it was their mistake (and not a third party agency that screwed up),and argue me passed the guards on to the plane. Now I push to book my own flights and should it happen again with a client agency I’ll consider the ticket void.

  3. Will I be refused boarding if my ticket have a mistake with double letter instead of one. My ticket has 2 letter Es instead of 1. I purchased my ticket from an agency and not from the airline and the agency wouldn’t change the spelling without a fee that cost almost the price of the ticket.

    1. Hi, could you please let me know how you got on with this. We’re in the same position and the renew ticket is 3 times the amount of the original. He has an extra S in his name.

    2. Booked a holiday with last minute .com realised they have a letter wrong in my surname and also a letter wrong in another passenger they sead they won’t change it without paying a fee the flights are with Ryanair would it be better to ring them and change it

  4. Will i be denied boarding access because i made a speeling mistake on my ticket, i hv already paid for the ticket and i have received the invoice, i Toomas instead of Tomas, im scared now

  5. My wife is Taiwanese, and American Airlines refuses to allow a hyphen in her name, despite that being in her passport, and every time screws up her name in one way or another. I’m not sure how they screw it up, but this time they have her title (Ms) placed as her middle name!

  6. hey
    my friend bought me a ticket form miami to rio de janeiro but she mispelled my name
    my correct last name is – AMEIJEIRA
    and she wrote – ALMEJEIRA
    do u think its a huge deal?
    im going to travel tomorrow what if im bot able to change it

  7. Gilbert – Have you ever left off the “III” in your name? Just booked our first international flights to Rome thru Travelocity and neglected to add the “III” to my husband’s name (there wasn’t a box for it). We’ve never needed it for domestic flights. Travelocity is willing to rebook the flight at the current price (more than 2X). Will there be a problem if we leave as is? Will we get stuck buying last minute tickets or worse not allowed to fly some leg?

    1. Hi Patricia, Not to worry. I usually leave my III off as it’s a huge pain for many things. From the “Hello, Mr. Otiiiii’s” to the strange joining many airlines do. Don’t think about it for another second. If the name is the same, you’re all set.

      1. Hi. Got the ticket with air Lingus from Madrid to Dublin. In boarding pass Is surname: popova but in passport is popov. Will they let me in?

        Best regards

      2. Hey Gilbert! Thanks for the article. I booked a ticket for my friend and accidentally listen him as III rather then the correct IV. Will we run into any issue with this at TSA? Thanks in advance!

  8. Hi I have booked tickets from South Africa to Amsterdam. We fly with Emirates. Tickets do not have my or my husbands middle names. Will this be a problem?

  9. Ironically, my dad’s name is O.T. Gilbert. (similar to OP’s) Found this post while trying to resolve an “autofill” issue that placed “PhD” in my wife’s middle name.

  10. Hi Gilbert – I am concerned about an international flight I am taking – booked as one ticket, but some portions are operated by United and others by ANA. My passport reads Katherine but my ticket is booked under Kate – the airlines refuse to change the name (United is concerned that a change on their end would cause issues for ANA, and ANA suggested only remedy was cancelling and rebooking, which is not $ possible – both airlines feel it’s the other’s responsibility). The flight is roundtrip DC to Bangkok, with a layover in Tokyo.

    1. Kate,
      I have a similar problem. Did they let you change the name and board the flight without changing the reservation?
      Reply please

  11. Hi Gilbert
    Book flight almost seven month ago and now when I check in, I notice my name is spell wrong. It a international flight from LAX to Barcelona. Different airline but operate by American Airline.
    It spell Stepehn rather than Stephen but the middle name and last name is the ok. I am really worry right now.

    1. I have booked international ticket but i forgot to put mu middle name which on my passport and my frist and last name is correct as appears on passport. Will that be issue ?Should i cancel the flight ?

  12. Hi Gilbert,
    I’ve recently booked a flight where I’ve put one of my first names, but unfortunately not the ‘First’ first name if that makes sense.
    An example of what I mean.
    On my passport, it has two sections for names: 1) Given name(s)
    2) Surname

    My passport has
    Given name(s) as: Aaron Daniel
    Surname as: Smith

    Same on my driving license as well.

    On my ticket my surname is the same but for the first name I’ve accidently missed out the Aaron, and just put Daniel as my first name (as that’s what everyone calls me/what I generally go by)

    Ticket has;
    First name: Daniel
    Surname: Smith

    A bit worried about this.

  13. Hi Gilbert,

    I am due to travel on an Air India flight. My name is spelt Chandini instead of Chandni. Basically an extra ‘i’. Will it be fine? I am past the deadline of getting it corrected without paying a fee.


  14. MY full first name is ‘Thorsten’, but Google auto-fill entered ‘Thor’ – this is on Spirit, we’re two days away from travelling and their website says:
    “Misspelling – If you need a minor correction to a misspelled name (e.g., Feline vs. Filene), you may be eligible for a free name change. Please contact one of our reservations centers at least 7 days prior to initial departure.” (Source: see link)
    I am ‘afraid’ if I call them, they will make me pay for the change – and therefore have half a mind to just show up at the airport and ask to correct (with my family in tow, I would hope they will accommodate without a big fuss).
    Any thoughts?

  15. hi good day i booked flight on july 1, but then after 2 days i look back our ticket i make mistake its christian not cristian,we can still fly?our flight is on july 30,can the one were we booked they can fix it?ty

  16. Hey gilbert flight centre have spelt my na m e wrong the put sue instead of susan they picked up thier mistake but air canada wont let them do anything till 72hrs before i fly to canada what can i do

  17. Hi, Gilbert.
    I put my name in as Darren A Weaver and it is coming up as Darrena Weaver or Darrena A Weaver in some places. I’m flying with United and Lufthansa. Will this be a problem?

    1. Will it be problem if the agency booked my last name double as Kyle Kyle. Complete name is Bonnie Kyle, so now it show in ticket as Bonnie Kyle Kyle.

  18. Hi Gilbert,

    There was accidentally a random middle name added to my booking (I’m assuming due to auto fill maybe, I’m not sure though) and I booked through flighthub. They’re refusing to fix the issue and the only thing they’re willing to do is cancel everything and rebook which would cost me an extra 1600$.

    Do you think the random middle name that’s not on any passport would cause an issue?

    1. Patrick – This exact same situation is happening to me and it’s maddening! They won’t cancel mine and allow me to rebook. I’d lose the cost of the ticket. Have you gotten anywhere?

  19. Hi Gilbert,

    My name reads as Given Name: Christina Marie, Surname: Scaramella on my passport, on my ticket however it shows as Given Name: Christina, Surname: Marie Scaramella, will this be an issue?

  20. hi gilbert,

    good day ,
    recently i booked on ticket to fly jeddah from India my name is khadeer by mistake agent put khader will it be a issue , waiting for the reply

  21. On a BA flight operated by AA from JFK to LHR and then Barcelona . Name is John (firstname) Peter Jones (Last name)

    On ticket it is John Peter (First Name) and Jones (last name) . Would it be ok?

  22. I need to add Jr. to my son’s booking because he has same name as me and it won’t book two same names, but his passport doesn’t have a Jr. Will we get hassled by TSA, customs, or passport control in Europe? Should I call airline and ask them to delete the Jr.

  23. Gilbert, I booked an international flight with Philippines Airlines. My name on the passport is: Nguyen Hong Linh.

    Nguyen is my surname
    Hong is middle name
    Linh is my first name

    But the airplane ticket issued to my email, it shows like this: Linh Hong Nguyen.
    The airline support service required me to pay 80$ for the name correction as they check my name on the system appeared like this: Nguyen/Linh Hong. Basically, middle Name and first Name are changed in sequence.

    What do you think? Should it be ok if I save my 80$ and go to the airport with my name reverse like that?
    Thank you so much!

  24. Hello, my ticket on Singapore airlines spelled my middle name Toscana and it is really spelled Toscano. First and last names are correct. Singapore airlines will not correct the error, unless I pay the current ticket price which is almost $2K more. What would you suggest?

  25. Hi Gilbert, my husband & I are leaving this Monday to fly to Israel & Rome with stops in Turkey. We are flying Turkish airlines. We do not have our middle names on the tickets but they are on our passports. Turkish airlines is processing our request to add middle names and told us we could be denied or have to cancel & re book at I’m sure a great expense.
    Do you think we would have problems traveling without middle names on our tickets? First & surnames are correct.
    Thank you

  26. Hi Gilbert,
    Thanks so much for all this information and for answering all these questions! Today I booked a ticket for my whole family ($10,000 +) to fly Australia-Colombia via Doha. When I was putting my 4 yr old daughters details (Kate) in i was being particularly diligent as I knew they needed to exactly match passport. Anyway, once I received the tickets it comes up as Kata, so obviously an autocorrect error. The company fly365 whom we booked with seem quite ruthless. They’re saying because we are flying with two different airlines they will have to cancel the ticket and unfortunately this ticket is non-refundable. This makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. What are your thoughts in just showing up to the airport with our young family and risking it, or contacting Qatar and Avianca directly?
    Thanks so much, Maya

  27. Hi! My flight is a week from now and I am really worried about my plane ticket. I spelled it wrong my name should be Noreen but instead its Noreeen. Do you think ill be okay? Assuming if the travel agency wont be able to fix it on time. ( and i also paid for the correction but still no results)

  28. Hi I have booked a holiday and the agent has spelt my name incorrectly Thersea in of Theresa will I still be able to use these e-tickets sent by my travel agency
    I have bee in touch with the agency and they have told me that they have contacted turkish airlines about the mistake and it should be fine as it is be in the notes
    But turkish airlines say I must have this changed
    What can I do as my airline says they cannot do this as it means can my booking
    I noticed the mistake straight away when I got my confirmation of my flight and reported it to them of their mistake only 10 minutes after I made my booking
    No seams to won’t to help amen this small problem
    Can you suggest anything? I am dew to fly on the 5th October, one week today

    1. Hi Theresa, did you took your flight without any changes? Please reply because I have the same problem now.

  29. Hi Gilbert, I booked an international flight tru Justflu.com on Quantas
    I noticed the error in my last name – just one letter – 3 days later.
    Called Quantas : they said call agent (Justfly).
    Justfly took a copy of my passport page and nothing is really happening ; after a week they say
    Quantas doesnt respond them.
    What to do?
    Just one letter : “Krawowiak ” instead “Krakowiak”.

  30. Hi Gilbert , please help me out ..
    I booked 3 international tickets through flight hub on phone From Calgary to Hyderabad india . After I got my confirmation email with booked notice that my son name is missing just first letter in his name .His full name is Shreethu Sama , but my ticket says Hreethu Sama , just first letter S is missing in his name . And immediately I informed them and said within 24-48 hrs will get back to me with correction as we provided passport and everything . It’s been already 20 days and called them again saying never heard from u . They simply said I need to cancel and rebook fees apply and difference in ticket .
    So m totally confused now . I called aircanada they said they are not responsible as it was booked through flight hub . I check with Oman airways they said I need to chase agent as it’s out of there hands too .
    Please suggest me ,
    As it’s electronic ticket and his middle name and last name is good but just letter missing in first name .
    What can I do please help …
    thank you

    1. Hey Sama, one letter is usually fine and I would expect you could fly OK, but always good to try and chase whoever is responsible and try to get it done. Def don’t pay more!

  31. Hi! I booked Turkish airline and by mistake put my middle name as surname as well. First: Cintia Middle: Ochoa Surname: Gonzalez but in my booking I mistakenly put First: cintia Surname: Ochoa Gonzalez. Should I be ok?

  32. Hi Gilbert Ott,
    I did online booking today.. when I received my confirmation flight my last name Is IIKEDA but my passport is IKEDA ..
    Can I fly without any changing my last name on my ticket? My flight is on December 25..
    Thank you Gilbert… I hope you can help me.. I am worried about it..

  33. Hi Gilbert,

    You probably know already why I was researching this and stumbled across your site.

    I have booked 6 flights through lastminute.com (Swiss and 1 leg, Airchina) and spelt my name with 1 incorrect letter. After speaking with lastminute they are trying to charge me £2305 when the original flight tickets was £1352.50. I have been battling with them for over 6 weeks and don’t seem to be getting anywhere with them. There is no sense whatsoever, however they don’t return phone calls and have refused to provide me with a complaints procedure.

    Please please please can you assist me?

    Thank you

  34. Hi , I have booked a flight Sydney to London and return through skyscanner (gotogate) they have spelt my last name as mies instead of miles

    Will this be ok. I have called airline but they said up to agent to fix as not done direct

    1. Hi Josh, any update on your situation? Am currently having the same problem on a domestic flight from Sydney to Perth on Virgin Australia booked through Gotogate on Skyscanner. Accidentally typed ‘Mean’ instead of ‘Mena’ when entering my friend’s details.

      I was beyond frustrated when both companies were absolutely useless in helping to resolve this issue (whereas another Tiger Airways ticket I’d bought on the same booking was resolved by Tiger within 5 mins!).

      Am now still waiting over 48 hours after I made my endless phone calls for an answer that doesn’t involve being charged a $155 fee just to switch two letters around.

  35. hi, I have booked a flight from India to Canada as my first name is KARTIKAY and last name is SALARIA I have mistakenly wrote SALARIA in both middle and last name. will this be ok. PLZZZZ REPLYYY!!

  36. Booked ticket for my mom directly with Delta. First and last names on ticket are correct, but 3 letters are missing from the end of her MIDDLE name. (Gerald versus Geraldine) Help! Will she be able to board?

  37. Hi,
    so nice of you to answer back.
    I fly with my familly from Athens to Los Angeles via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines. I misspelled the surname on my ticket and my mother’s ticket while it is correct on my childrens’ tickets. Instead of SterGIopoulos I wrote Steropoulos.
    Off course TA now ask to re issue new tickets with current price.
    What would you think? Would we be allowed to board during check-in and enter USA?.


  38. Hi Gilbert

    I booked a flight on edreams (3rd party website)

    I think I misspelled my surname…apparently it happens 😛

    My surname is Cassim, misspelled it ‘Cassun’ :/

    Flying an internal flight in Argentina on Aerolineas Argentinas.

    What do you think??

  39. Hi Gilbert, I booked a flight to the Philippines 4 months before the departure through an agency. They were multiple airlines. I found a misspelled name on my itinerary a month prior to my departure. I immediately called the agency. After a week of following up ( night and day) with different agents, I got nowhere. I decided to contact the international airline. They told me to send them a copy of my passport with a letter certifying that I agree to take the risk of my domestic ticket being cancelled by the domestic (but different) airline. I agreed. I haven’t heard from them yet. What shall I do? Thank you.

  40. Hi, I would appreciate if anyone with similar experience answers. My dad`s name is Mohammadhassan, but it is spelled as Mohamadhassan. so 1m is missing. flying with Emirates from Tehran to Adelaide. the agent has said that the airline will make a note and if we dont want to pay the name change fee then it cannot be changed officially. i dont know if this missing m is going to creat a problem for him or not.

  41. Misspelled my bf name switched to letters
    On ticket : micheal
    On passport : Michael

    You think this is going to be a problem ??

  42. Hi Gilbert i’m in the UK and booked a ticket for part of my group to Vietnam through travel up however I inadvertently added an S to my cousin name so on the ticket it reads Alexsandra instead Alexandra I have always known her as Sandra DUH.
    Its a BA flight operated by Qatar neither of whom can change the ticket and Travel up say i need to cancel the ticket and re book the original ticket was £1300 and i cant afford to lose that and pay for a new ticket.
    Do you think it will be an issue at check in?
    Regards Bill

  43. I just flew for the first time in my life. I used Spirit. What a nightmare. I have a squeeky clean record, but they rejected me. They said it was because my middle initial was not on my ticket. My middle initial was indeed on the confirmation email sent to me by Spirit. For some reason Spirit left it off my boarding pass when I printed it. They gave me a wicked hard time, but then finally expedited me. For the return trip I made sure my middle initial was on my boarding pass. They still gave me a hard time, still rejected me. This time they wouldn’t tell me why. I won’t fly again, but if I am forced to I certainly will never fly Spirit again.

  44. Hi ya
    I booked tickets with etravel and my name is spelt Tina instead of Christina anf my friends surname is spelt fpx instead of fox… Flying aerlingus and virgin Shannon to miami for a cruise.. What do you think the cost if any will be… Thank you Tina

  45. I booked my flight trough Turkish airline through flight centre to Paris. In my French passport on top is written Matuchniak usage Pilch but on the bottom of the passport is Matuchniak sabine christine with my passport number that what they use on the ticket. Will it be a problem

  46. Hi my I’m flying with vueling and my surname is misspelled it’s
    Lldeyet-lahrech should be
    Do you think that’s ok or will I need to change ? And pay a fee

  47. Dear Gilbert
    Ref my name on my flights tickets to Barcelona in August 2020
    I have always been called by my second name Sorrell and not my first name Gemma as on my passport, the flight tickets have been raised as Sorrell. I have only just managed to contact lastminute.com to ask if this will be a problem and have been told that I need to pay a further 130.00 Euros to change it almost as much as another flight!!!!

  48. Hi Gilbert I made a mistake on my email well my husbands email and i havent got my ticket i have been trying over a week now to get intouch with the travel agent that i booked our tickets 2 tickets i have paid with visa what can i do

  49. I just booked a Flight with Cheapo Air on Frontier, Denver to Las Vegas. I made a typo on the last name- typed Myrcik, but it should be Myrick. Do I need to buckle and pay the $25 Cheapo wants to make this small correction, or will I be allowed to board?

  50. I leave tomorrow. My name is Josh Thomas Stewart. My ticket reads “JoshThomas Thomas Stewart” similarly my wife reads the same with her middle name connected to her first name.

    Should this be an issue?

  51. I Book a fight at 4am been tire and sleepy I miss spell my husband name Wesles instead of Wesley I I call now CheapOAir to make the correcting few hours after booking but not they want to rebook and increase the price or cancel and charge $50 for each passenger ($150) when I book I saw that I have 24 hours to make any change but I didn’t know that yea, I can make any changes but I will have to pay for 🙁 I don’t want to pay CheapAir anything because their disclaimer is misleading. wonder if a one letter would be a big issue , I definitely can use you advised on what to do Please

  52. I need to correct the spelling of my first name on an airline ticket. How do I go about the change. I am flying Delta. I have called several numbers for Delta and cannot get an answer.

  53. I spelled my wife’s first name as Zenia instead of Zeina on TURKISH airlines from NYC to BEY. They want me to buy a new ticket which costs an additional $700. Should I take my chances with the original ticket?

    1. Hi did this work out Lloyd?! I’m In a similar position with the same airline flying Monday! A single character issue in the spelling of my first name. A response would be appreciated so I know what to expect

  54. I had booked a online ticket from ethiad app for bah to bom. Want to know about the name which i mentioned in ticket is exactly same in pasport but its more then 28 character so there will b any issue in boarding flight. Thanks

  55. I just notice that my Airline ticket has my last name as my first name and my last name, can I change it?

  56. Hi Gilbert – and all contributors – we’re going on our first family holiday. My first name is spelt Benjmain instead of Benjamin / turkish airlines – what do tou think?

    They’ve told me policy is I have to cancel and rebook with the new name. Seems a bit ridiculous to me for the sake of a letter. Would be quite a bit more expensive as well

  57. Hi Gilbert
    Hoping you can advise….like many others here I used lastminute.com (who have been insanely unhelpful). I misread the form fields when I booked, and made the flight bookings from London to Cape Town for my daughter with her middle name as her surname.
    So the ticket reads Jane Mary, whereas her actual name is Jane Mary Smith.
    Airlines won’t change it, nor will lastminute. Flights are in the busy December period. Should I take a chance and just have her turn up for the flight and hope for the best? It’s on Virgin outbound and Turkish inbound.

    Any similar experiences or advice appreciated!

  58. First name spelt Pailine instead of Pauline . Mytrip claim it was my mistake. Singapore Airlines have apparently said that 1 letter mistake is not a problem. I paid Mytrip £100 to get it corrected 2 months ago and they have only just told me this.

  59. Hi Gilbert,

    Hope you are well. I had to type fast as booking online kept expiring due to prices changes and I had 2 tabs open to book different return dates. I made a typing error with wife’s name typing Fazia instead of Faiza. Would this pose a problem? I have sent 10-20 emails to Trip.com who keep pointing to the travel agents who point back at the travel agent and I’m getting nowhere despite sending passport photo as supporting evidence.. Many thanks in advance

  60. My sons name is james and aerlingus put it as jamesmr (put the muster behind his first name) for the American Airlines trip. All of our communication with aerlingus has his correct name so the error is 100 the airlines . Which us luck for tomorrow.

  61. Hi there! Just booked return flights to the United States from NZ but Qantas doesn’t have a middle name box and forgot to add to the first name box. I spoke with them for three hours and said they CANNOT add a middle name, like physically cannot. American Airlines is operating the flight and also cannot but said I could probably get it added day of at the ticket counter. Will I be ok or should I rebook the flights? Will cost more if I rebook – we got a really good deal!

  62. Wow! Amazing how many people are going through this… years of naming issues!
    How about a missing letter in a middle name?Instead of
    Gabriel Hoshea Sinclair
    The “h” was left out make the reservation for
    Gabriel Hosea Sinclair
    It’s on Air India and there are refusing to change it even though it’s only one letter. Is it worth a $300 rebooking fee? Or anyway will no one notice?

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