Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

From Frequent Flyer Re US travel

This is from Frequent Flier, a newsletter for travellers that I get in the e-mail. I did not know this – and it could save hours of time and energy if you get caught up in it. Your name on your ticket must exactly match your travel ID:

New Travel I.D. Policy

“With the upcoming changes to name requirements starting May 15th, I’m surprised you didn’t include anything about it in the newsletter sent out on the 13th. As I’m sure you are aware, beginning May 13th, all air travelers must have a photo I.D. that exactly matches the name on their airline ticket. For example, if the name on your I.D. reads ‘Robert Edward Smith,’ the name on your ticket ‘cannot’ read ‘Robert Smith.’

“However, if the name on your driver’s license reads ‘Robert E. Smith,’ you will not be required to obtain a new license that shows your complete middle name. You would need to ensure your flight reservation is made using the exact name that appears on the driver’s license: ‘Robert E. Smith.’ I just thought this would be valuable information for everyone that reads your newsletter.” [Mathew E.]

[ replies – While the new TSA policy is certainly noteworthy, it’s a bit off-topic for this publication. But since you’ve raised the subject, the least we can do is provide a link to the official TSA announcement, and include a particularly relevant excerpt: “In the near future, small differences between the passenger’s ID and the passenger’s reservation information, such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, will not be an issue for passengers. Over time, passengers should strive to obtain consistency between the name on their government issued ID and the travel information they use for booking flights.”]

May 21, 2009 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Travel


  1. Once I was traveling from Minneapolis-Kuwait and the ticket was booked by a travel agency in Kuwait. They totally butchered the spelling of my name. But the lady was nice enough and told me that it was no problem she will let me on this time but next time i should make sure they get it right.

    Comment by Chirp | May 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. Yikes. Sounds to me like chances are next time it could be a problem. Aargh.

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 22, 2009 | Reply

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