Can You Change The Name On A Plane Flight Airline Ticket? Wrong Name vs New Passenger

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You’d think changing the name on an airline ticket would be a straightforward process.

Unfortunately it’s not.

You should always check the details of your booking immediately since during the first 24 hours it will be easier to make any changes to the name.

That’s because you have a right to cancel a flight within the first 24 hours. So airlines can’t play hardball, if they act like jerks you’ll just cancel the ticket.

After 24 hours they’ve got you by the short and curlies. The reason why you need to change the name is important, you might see the true colors of your airline and how ruthless they can be.

Fixing Misspelled Names

Names on airline tickets should match the name on the passport or other ID used when flying.

Most airlines will fix a spelling mistake but sometimes they charge a fee for it.

Issues can arise if the airline is not convinced that it’s the same person that is flying. If you phone up and ask to correct Joe to Jon they might think you are trying to transfer the ticket to your brother or another family member.

Or they might think that you sold your ticket on eBay to someone with the same surname as you.

Alaska Airlines

Jeff misspelled he wife’s last name. He had to call reservations to get it fixed.

Allegiant Airlines

“If the passenger has recently changed a last name, or if there is a misspelling on the reservation, please contact us to make a correction to the name only. Remember, all passenger names should be entered exactly as they appear on the traveler’s government-issued photo id.”

American Airlines

If can take a long time to get through on the phone to fix a misspelled name.

Claire tweeted @AmericanAir and they seemed to be able to fix it using DMs.

Delta Airlines

Delta say they can fix a spelling mistake in a name if it’s one or two letters off.

Frontier Airlines

It’s painful to read that Frontier appear to charge $75 just to fix a spelling mistake.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian require documents to correct a name due to marriage.

JetBlue Airways

This traveler was having trouble getting JetBlue to fix a one letter mistake in a name.

Southwest Airlines

If you just booked your ticket you could cancel it and rebook. If it’s after 24 hours you need to contact Southwest and they’ll fix any typo.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit say that they can edit typos but they can’t change a name completely.

United Airlines

The quickest way to fix a mispelled name on an airline ticket might be to DM the airline on Twitter.

It beats waiting in a line on the phone.

This passenger seemed to be getting help from United to fix a misspelled name on his plane ticket.

Legal Name Changed

If you bought airline tickets and subsequently changed your legal name then you should contact your airline before you fly.

You will need to provide your airline with a marriage certificate or other documentation to prove your change of name.

Having the wrong name on an airline ticket might prevent you from being able to travel.

Alaska Airlines

The Alaska reservations team can help with updating tickets due to a legal name change.

Allegiant Airlines

“If the passenger has recently changed a last name, or if there is a misspelling on the reservation, please contact us to make a correction to the name only. Remember, all passenger names should be entered exactly as they appear on the traveler’s government-issued photo id.”

American Airlines

AA told Nikki there was no charge to change a name due to marriage.

Delta Airlines

Delta told Samantha that she would be able to use an old ticket with a new married name. But they would need to make a new itinerary for her.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier say there should be no charge to change a name if you are the same person.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian require documents to correct a name due to marriage.

JetBlue Airways

According to JetBlue you can bring your marriage certificate to the airport to explain why the name on your ticket does not match the name on your ID.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest wanted a picture of his wife’s ID so they could update the name on her ticket.

Spirit Airlines

You can’t change a name online but it might be able to be changed if you contact customer support.

United Airlines

United advised this traveler to bring her marriage certificate to the airport so that their agents would be able to update her reservation. If you don’t have time to change it before you fly this would be the most sensible thing to try.

Can You Transfer Airline Tickets To Another Person?

You might wish to change the name on a flight ticket in so that a different person can fly.

Unfortunately airlines rarely allow you to change the name on a reservation to a different person.

This is to stop people snapping up tickets at low prices and then reselling them. Most airline tickets are non-transferable and you can’t change the name so someone else can use it.

Jim tried to switch names on two tickets and Alaska wanted extra money.

Alaska Airlines

And the fee to change a name on an Alaska ticket is $125.

Allegiant Airlines

“Our Terms and Conditions do not allow the transfer of airline tickets to another person.”

American Airlines

American don’t let you transfer a ticket to another person.

Delta Airlines

Delta told this passenger that “our tickets are non-transferable. Therefore, a name change is not allowed”.

Frontier Airlines

This traveler was shocked that Frontier charge $75 to change the name on a ticket. At least they allow you to do it they are one of the few airlines that permit you to transfer your ticket to someone else.

JetBlue Airways

You can’t change the name on a JetBlue ticket. You need to cancel the ticket and book another one for the new passenger.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest will make a name correction but you can’t transfer a ticket from one passenger to another.

Spirit Airlines

You can waste a lot of time waiting in line to hear an answer that you don’t like.

Spirit won’t let you transfer a ticket to another traveler.

United Airlines

United don’t allow tickets to be transferred. If the original passenger doesn’t use the ticket they’ll just keep the money.

The Verdict

A name that is spelled wrong on an airline ticket should be an easy mistake to fix.

It’s simply a matter of contacting the airline.

It can be a little more complicated to get a ticket corrected because of a legal name change. But if you provide the documents then it should be possible.

In the worst case scenario go to the airport early and bring documentary evidence of the legal name change. The agents at the airport should be able to fix the ticket or the TSA should be able to accept your ID alongside the additional documentation.

Name changes so that a different person can use the ticket than the passenger that was indicated at the time of booking are usually not permitted.

It can be shocking to hear that the ticket can’t be used and the airline is keeping your money.

Airlines do this so that there is not a secondary market in reselling tickets. It’s much more profitable for them to be able to control pricing and they wouldn’t want cheap tickets appearing on eBay at the last minute.