One of my employees recently made a small mistake when making a reservation on Delta for a flight for her husband. I’ll let her tell you about the experience:
I should know better; I’ve only been making plane reservations for the family for 20 years now, but last week, I made a mistake.
Okay, a minor one, but these days, one does get a little paranoid, you know? I know fees to change a ticket can cost as much as $150, and I also know a total name change on a ticket is a no-no.
My mistake: I included my spouse’s middle initial on his ticket as part of the “full passenger name”; days later, I idly asked husband, “You use your middle initial on your driver’s license, right?” Wrong. Uh-oh. Then I checked his passport – no good, as it had his full middle name spelled out.
I called Delta on a Sunday evening and got a pleasant but vague young man who said he “doubted” I’d run into trouble. But “doubted” isn’t the same as “absolutely not” – and as I said, I’m naturally paranoid.
Keep reading – eventually she calls the TSA…
So I called Delta again, Monday morning, thinking I’d get a “regular” – a Delta agent who’s been around the block a time or two, and indeed, I got a much more confident response: although this second agent couldn’t change the ticket itself, she did change Delta’s internal information that passengers fill out when making reservations, to reflect “no middle initial” for my spouse. Cool.
Then, just to be on the safe side, I called the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the number listed on the website, 866-289-9673; I expected to be put on hold forever and was surprised and delighted when a courteous woman picked up on the very first ring.
By the way, I’m not completely dumb: I knew the TSA blog had this to say about my dilemma:
“The use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all…should not cause a problem for the passenger. Over time, passengers should strive to obtain consistency between the name on their ID and the travel information they use for booking flights.”
But there it was again, the phrase “should not cause a problem” – if only it said, won’t cause a problem. So, I worried. And what did the agent on the phone tell me? Same thing. Should not cause a problem – although she added my husband might be asked to go through a secondary screening, though she did not think that likely (but if she’s wrong, I can only imagine how thrilled my spouse will be).
Okay, I’ve done what I can. His flight is in mid-April. Will let you know if any problems arise.