Wrong Name on Airplane Ticket

I started to gather all our reservations, tickets and itinerary for our upcoming transatlantic cruise. While I was gathering everything I discovered our flight from Madrid to Palma de Mallorca had a variant of my wife’s name on the ticket that doesn’t match her passport.

My wife still travels with her maiden name passport so I always book our travel plans under her maiden name. However with the recent British Ariways Credit Card promotion we open the credit card in her married name, and as a result her British Airways Frequent Flyer card was automatically established in her married name. I booked the ticket using her British Airways FF Account and didn’t think twice about accepting the default name that showed up – which was her married name. Oops.

My wife called British Airways, and they confirmed they could fix the name on the ticket, she would just need to fax in a copy of her passport and potentially her marriage certificate. We faxed it in right away and then called back after a week to verify it was fixed.

Unfortunately the update from British Airways was they were unable to change the name on the ticket. The ticket was a resale on an Iberia flight. Apparently Iberia does not allow name changes on its tickets and as a result British Airways could not change the name on the ticket.

What made it worse was that the flight was now full so the only thing British Airways could offer was a flight at a later date that was past our cruise departure date so that didn’t work. The tickets were non-refundable so they appeared to be a lost cause to us.

We could risk it and try to show up at the Madrid airport with my wife’s passport, marriage certificate to see if they would let us board, but it seems like a big gamble for us given a delay might mean we’d miss our transatlantic cruise.

After some searching I was able to luckily book us a new set of direct flights on Iberia.com for $156.68. An unfortunate mishap on my part by not doubling checking my wife’s name, but we were stung by the lack of account/ticket management at British Airways/Iberia. On the plus side the new tickets work out slightly better for us so that we can now take an afternoon to go to the Port of Soller.

With that we are looking forward to the next 3 weeks of exploration, relaxation, and fun!

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Comments (4)


Have fun on your transatlantic trip 2million! You deserve it. Sorry to hear about the ticket mishap with the name. We had a similar problem in Singapore but they let us out by showing a state ID which matched the flight ticket. The passport did not match though. We got lucky. Let us know how the trip goes when you get back!

Are you bringing your child as well? Will be interested to hear how things go. I want to do a Mediterranean cruise with a

Strictly speaking there was still hope for you - if you would go in person to one of their offices - cancel and buy the same tickets into different name.

Steve - Interesting. I was somewhat tempted to gamble and try that (since my wife's NC drivers license matched), but the downside impact of not getting on a flight that day was huge (missing our cruise) so we didn't risk it.

Matt - My wife's parents are taking care of our 2 yr old so it will be a kid-free vacation.

FI - in retrospect we probably should have tried harder to get them fixed. British Airways/Iberia didn't have an office anywhere near us so we gave up pretty quickly.

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