Traveler learns hard way to use full name when booking international flights


Is it Joe, or is it Joseph? Is it Rich, or is it Richard? Is it Kate, or is it Katherine?

One woman found out the expensive way that it’s always better to use your full name on all documents when traveling.

The fiasco happened last summer and was her boyfriend Phil’s fault, as he booked a ticket aboard Virgin Atlantic for a journey to Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia and then on to London and Qatar.

The boyfriend booked the ticket through a third-party website called Student Universe, but that wasn’t the problem.

Instead, the problem was that he booked the ticket under her nickname, Kate, instead of the more formal Katherine, which was the name on her passport.

Suddenly, the deep discount they found through Student Universe disappeared when Virgin Atlantic would not accept her ticket when the two names didn’t match on the booking and the passport.

In total, it cost them more than $3,000 to rebook the ticket to match her passport.

Phil jokingly called it ‘an administrative error’ on his part.

The pair contacted Student Universe at the airport, and Kate’s more formal name was able to be changed. It was an expensive name change back to Katherine to match her passport.

“They didn’t have time, that was their reasoning, to issue a name change on the ticket — but they had time to sell us a new ticket,” Phil said.

The hard lesson to be learned is that in this day and age of more scrutiny and security, it is important to book any ticket to match the name on a person’s passport.

The happy ending is that Phil and Kate were able to complete their trip despite the additional expense they weren’t expecting.


© 2024 Northstar Travel Media, LLC

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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