Do I Need to Put My Middle Name on My Airline Ticket?

Full Disclosure: We may be compensated when you click on links to credit card products from our advertising partners, such as American Express, Chase & Barclays. Opinions on this site are ours alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. Thanks!

Middle names are rarely used on a day-to-day basis, so it’s no surprise that many people don’t think to include them when booking flights. However, airlines often mention that the name used for booking must match exactly on your boarding passes and government-issued IDs.

Your passport (or driver’s license) likely includes your middle name, which might leave you wondering what will happen if you forget (or have already forgotten) to include your middle name when booking a ticket.

Navigating airport security — and the airport itself — is already intimidating enough for many people, so you don’t want something as simple as a middle name slowing you down. This leaves us with the question: do you really need to include your middle name when booking flights?

Let’s skip the suspense and get right to it.

You (probably) don’t need to worry if your passport or ID includes your middle name but your booking/ticket does not.

In our research, we’ve found plenty of instances where passengers did not include their middle names when booking, and they were still able to board their flights without any issue at all.

Depending on the airline, your middle name might not print on the boarding pass even if you did include it when booking. Some airlines just include the first initial of your middle name on the boarding pass if you do include your middle name when booking. Others will even merge your first and middle name into one on your boarding pass.

It’s easy to see why gate agents are less concerned about the middle name matching exactly. While this is certainly a relief for many travelers, we still suggest including your middle name on a booking if it is present on your passport or government-issued ID.

Why? Since airlines have the final say as to whether you can board a flight, including your middle name is a simple step that can prevent any confusion with a gate agent. If you’re traveling abroad, having your name match exactly can remove any stress about missing a flight.

Bottom Line: In the end, the warnings airlines provide when booking might scare you into thinking you won’t be flying if the name on your boarding pass doesn’t match your passport or ID exactly. But we haven’t seen many instances of middle names causing a problem for travelers.

Our advice? While we always try to remember to include our middle names when booking, we certainly won’t be worrying too much about it!

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

Advertisement

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

64 comments

  1. Secure flight data needs to match including middle names. Your ticket does not require a middle name.

    Except that Cathay Pacific has started requiring middle names at least for AAdvantage-issued award tickets, but that’s not a government requirement. Not all American agents realize this, so they then need their CX liaison to work with Cathay to get tickets reissued (although I haven’t heard of anyone having a problem at the airport failing to meet this requirement).

    Similarly minor misspellings of a name are generally not an issue for an airline. Occasionally an overzealous TSA agent will have an issue, so it’s advisable to get the airport early when there’s a minor misspelling to go through a different checkpoint or go through with a different document checker if turned away (but this is rare).

    • Thank you Gary! Great insights there 🙂

    • Hi, how about wrong sequence of my name in my flight ticket? My boss booked me a domestic flight in philippine airlines but when i receive my e-ticket i found out that my name sequence was incorrect, my middle name was placed as my first name and my first name was in my middle name; surname was the only right one..is it acceptable? Please response. Thanks

      • Stephen Au · November 26, 2018 · Reply

        Cristy,

        They most likely will not allow you to fly if that is the case. Sorry to hear that.

        We suggest you contact the airline in order to find out what steps to take next.

  2. WOW Airlines recently prevented a woman from boarding a flight from Toronto because her boarding pass didn’t have her middle name. She had to buy a full fare ticket for the next day and pay a $23 name change fee.

  3. Great Information! One of my friend flying from London to Sydney airlines prevented him because his boarding pass didn’t have his Middle name. Finally, he paid extra charge for name change. Great Article, it contains very useful information!

    • Michael McHugh · May 15, 2018 · Reply

      Thanks Ashley!

    • Camille · March 18, 2019 · Reply

      Hi, I have booked a flight via China Airlines from Hong Kong to Taipei and have missed out my middle name, which my passport have 3 fields (Last, First and Middle Name). so the outcome of the e-ticket is only shown as my Last Name and First Name.

      I have contact the hotline to see what I can do, they advise me to buy a whole new ticket adding my middle name and they will refund the old ticket but of course with extra surcharge of hkd350.

      I’m concerned whether this will be a problem when it comes to the immigration, as every time I travel elsewhere I would input my middle name but this is the first time i missed this part. Also, as my passport is free visa to Taipei which my friends says that it shouldn’t be that strict without the middle name on the flight ticket or e-ticket even if it shows on the passport.

      Please note that I have a really long name so even the ticket itself doesn’t show the whole name. For Example Middle Name “Cheung”, ticket shows “Smith Camille-Rose Cheu”.

      In case I don’t really have a choice, do you think it’s possible to change the name or add my middle name and pay for the additional charges in the counter instead of rebooking and repurchasing it online? Or would the airline have me purchase a whole new ticket and not have the ticket I have now be refunded if I don’t do it online/ in advance?

      Thanks in advance for the help!

  4. Becky Lau · May 29, 2018 · Reply

    I’m in this position with Cathay Pacific and I forgot to put in the middle name too. They told me that I will have to buy new tickets instead if I need to add the middle name. What should I do? Can people tell me if I will not be able to board the plane then since I forgot to add the middle name to my booking? This whole middle name is stressing me out. Please help!

    • We see no reason why there would be an issue in your situation Becky. I’ve never needed to add my middle name and I’ve never had a problem. Of course, I can’t guarantee this for you – it’s just my experience and the article pretty much says that too!

    • Frank Kwok · November 8, 2018 · Reply

      I’m in the same boat now, can you tell me if you had any issue getting a boarding pass?

  5. I recently used my company’s booking service to get a flight. I haven’t flown in probably 5 years now. I did not put my middle name on it I have a week before my trip is there still time to add or should I add it. Flying American airlines and I looked on there website and it was not a requirement.

    • Christine Krzyszton · September 11, 2018 · Reply

      You should not have a problem, Tony. I have not provided my middle name for years when booking on American Airlines.

  6. Skye Maclean · September 16, 2018 · Reply

    Hey everyone,

    I’m flying to Morocco via Barcelona (Los Angeles to Barcelona to Tangier) in January and just realized I forgot to add our middle names to our tickets. We are flying Norwegian Air from LA to Barcelona and then Vueling from Barcelona to Tangier. It’s gunna cost 130euro per person to add our middle names to the booking, so I am wondering if it’s really worth it? Any experience with Norwegian or Vueling being very picky about exact names? 130euros each is almost as much as buying one of our tickets all over again….

    Thanks in advance!

    • Stephen Au · September 19, 2018 · Reply

      Hey Skye,

      We don’t necessarily have experience with Norwegian and Vueling with regards to middle names. However, from my own experience flying on Asiana Airlines, it should not matter. The reason why is because different airline agencies have different IT systems and if you, for example, book through a travel agency or Expedia, then they might send the information to the airline differently.

      I think you are fine, but there are no guarantees.

  7. bhim bahadur gurung · September 22, 2018 · Reply

    I’m traveling by jet blue with out middle name is that ok to traver? And it’s international flight.

    • Stephen Au · September 23, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Bhim,

      I would call JetBlue and find out if there’s going to be a problem. You should be fine, but double-check just to be sure.

  8. Hi all and everyone,
    I’ve booked a flight with Malindo airlines from Mumbai to Indonesia via Kuala Lumpur return in October. I didn’t add my middle name on the ticket but my passport does have it.
    What should I do?

    • Christine Krzyszton · September 24, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Vas, thanks for your question. The consensus is that you should not have a problem. With that said, you could always make a call to Malindo Airlines if doing so would give you more peace of mind.

  9. I have booked SFO to BOM ticket for my guest, but i forgot to mention middle name at the time of booking. i just wanted to check if they able to board the flight ?

    • Hey Sumit – you should be absolutely fine. There are very few cases where leaving out your middle name causes a problem.

      • Hello! Please help! Ive bought my ticket with gotogate.com, apparently a very bad choice, the airline is Air Transat and it is a domestic flight in Canada. I’ve called the airline and they say theres not a problem about the middle name but that the agent should do it, the agent being gotogate apparently is the worst and just say you will lose your flight, they’ve been called an scam by everyone in the forums. My question is, once I get to the airport ( I arrive almost 20 hours before my flight) will I be dealing directly with Air Transat? Can they help me with this middle name adding or am I stuck with trying to squeeze help out of gotogate?

        • Hi Monica,

          If Air Transat say that it’s ok, then I personally wouldn’t be concerned. It sounds like asking GoToGate to help you will be futile and I wouldn’t do that based on their feedback.

  10. Often, we need to correctly enter our name in the passport in the order from top to bottom from left to right, avoiding missing names, trouble when carrying out procedures at the airport.

  11. What about United? I called and they said it should match your ID, but is it really necessary?

    • Christine Krzyszton · October 31, 2018 · Reply

      Hi SC! The consensus is that you should not have a problem, especially flying domestically.

  12. I recently booked a trip through my travel co at work, and they asked for my middle name however, I have my middle initial on my d.l. It is for a domestic flight and on delta. Will they let me fly?

  13. Amla Patel · November 18, 2018 · Reply

    What about korean airlines? If my passport(us) has my middle name and my ticket does not, will it be an issue?

  14. Mengsteab Zerai · December 15, 2018 · Reply

    Hi,
    I just included my middle name while booking my flight with Air Canada. However, my travel document doesn’t have my middle name on it. Does that affect to my flight for any reason? Was there anyone in my situation?
    Thank you so much.

  15. Hello,

    I booked a ticket from Mexico to Colombia. I have two names and two surnames and only included my first name and first surname. I was told by the airline that I had to cancel the ticket and purchase a new one with the full name. Would it really be a problem if I use only my first name and one of my surnames?

    • Hi Ana – if the airline is telling you there’s an issue, I would always follow their advice. But before you do that, I’d ring them again to double-check as the first operator you spoke with could be incorrect.

  16. Jacqueline · December 28, 2018 · Reply

    Hi, what about Air France? Trying to get in touch with them but I’ve been on hold forever…

    • Hi Jacqueline – you should not have a problem; it’s extremely rare for someone to be denied boarding due to missing out their middle name.

  17. Brandon Rodrigueza · January 1, 2019 · Reply

    Hi

    I booked my son’s plane tickets and i included his middle name (being his mother’s maiden family/surname). But when the flight itinerary was sent to me, it appears that his middle name is part of his given names (printed without spaces between letters). His passport only contains his given names but not his middle name (again, I am referring to his mother’s or my wife’s maiden family name). Will this cause a problem?

    Thanks.

    • Stephen Au · January 3, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Brandon,

      I’m not sure I understand your question. Would you kindly mind clarifying with the actual names? Thank you.

  18. I booked a ticket by redeeming Asiamiles with CX, BA, Iberia and Finnair. My middle name was not included on my ticket. With these airlines, do you think it will be okay? Thanks,

    • Christine Krzyszton · January 5, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Jayson. As we mentioned previously, it is rare to have a problem when your middle name is not included. If you are concerned, however, you should contact the ticket issuer.

  19. My passport has my full name including my middle name, however my booking ticket shows my first and last name but only my initials of my middle name. Is that a problem? Flying with Copa Airlines. Is Copa strict?

  20. I am flying through EVA airlines to South Korea. I did not put my middle name on the flying ticket. However my middle name does show on my passport. I called them to ask and nobody is giving me a straight answer and they are saying it depends on the TSA. Should I be concerned? Its just my middle name….but i dont know how strict they are

    • Hey Blanca, the general consensus is to not be concerned. Obviously we don’t control the outcome but the number of issues that are caused due to NOT having a middle name on the ticket are tiny. For example, in the hundreds of flights I’ve never had an issue.

  21. My daughter purchased our tickets online and just noticed that she has put my First Name (two names spelled out in full), Middle name (just an initial) and last name…but on my passport my Middle name is spelled out in full. Is this going to be an issue for me?

    • Stephen Au · January 15, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Maria,

      If it’s just a middle initial instead of the whole middle name, you should be fine. Of course, this is at the discretion of the airline, but there are many instances where you purchase a flight and the airline doesn’t register your full middle name. In this case, it’s out of your control, and you shouldn’t be on the hook for it. Thanks for reading!

      • randy che · February 2, 2019 · Reply

        I bought a flight ticket online for my wife and 2 sons through JustFly.com. Big mistake.

        My wife’s and oldest son’s (2-years old) names are fine but my youngest’s (9-months old) middle name has only one initial and is missing 3 letters.

        I book the flight online from Boston (BOS) to Phnom Penh (PNH) with 2 connecting flights. Singapore Airlines ticketed the flight, but it’s operated by 3 different airlines.

        Anyone have any insight??

        • Stephen Au · February 5, 2019 · Reply

          Hey Randy,

          At the moment, if the middle initial is there, you should be fine. We are not the airlines, so we cannot confirm for sure. The best thing to do is to reach out to JustFly.com or Singapore Airlines and see if you can get it modified.

          Hope this helps!

  22. Jacqueline · January 18, 2019 · Reply

    Hi. Has anyone flown with China Eastern airlines recently(domestic within China)? I made our bookings for flights and forgot middle names.
    I can’t get hold of them either. I know the general consensus is that it shouldn’t be a problem, but if anyone has an idea it would be appreciated?

  23. Hi, I put my middle name in my booking but I don’t have it on the passport. The airline said it would be no problem but they said it might be a problem when I called them for the second time. I have a flight soon, did anybody experience the same thing I did?

    • Stephen Au · February 9, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Tata,

      This might be a problem. In order to be safe, you should get your passport changed to show your middle name. If that’s not possible, there’s not much you can do besides book a new flight without your middle name. Make sure to book flights with the exact information as on your passport because that’s the most important document that can verify your identity! Thanks for reading.

  24. Shahira Zaarour · February 9, 2019 · Reply

    Hello..
    My passport has my full name including my middle name but my middle name shown in my passport as initial( A A), however my booking ticket shows my first and last name. Is that a problem? Flying with French Airlines?
    Because I have my first name and the middle initial then my last name .. so that I just included my first and last name .
    Is that a problem? Please helped me 😭

    • James Larounis · February 11, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Shahira. Normally, this isn’t a problem, however you’ll want to call Air France (who I presume is the airline you are flying with?) to verify. I would recommend Tweeting them as this type of question can normally be solved fairly quickly over Twitter rather than waiting on hold over the phone. I hope this helps!

  25. ben deugo · February 14, 2019 · Reply

    Hi, I’m flying with Air France and I have just realized my flight ticket has my middle name but my passport doesn’t have my middle name. Will I have issue boarding my flight?

    • James Larounis · February 20, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Ben! Great question. You shouldn’t have an issue boarding your flight. This is a pretty “normal” occurrence, and one I don’t see many people encountering any problems with.

    • Hi Ben, this is usually more of a problem when your passport includes your middle name but your boarding pass does not. You shouldn’t have any issues here but I would call Air France and chat with customer service just to be sure.

  26. Valerie Lyons · February 27, 2019 · Reply

    My airline ticket that I booked through a discounted travel site has my wrong middle initial. (My ticket is a Basic Economy) I cannot get ahold of the discounted travel site to see if they can fix this issue. The airline says they cannot fix it because it wasn’t booked through them. The airline rep also said they don’t usually care about middle initial but I couldn’t hold her to that. I’m freaking out! Any advice except buying a new, much more expensive, ticket to ensure I get to go on my vacation?

    • James Larounis · February 28, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Valerie. Generally, a wrong middle initial won’t amount to much concern – you more than likely will be okay, especially if the trip is solely within the United States. If your trip is international, there is a bit more cause for concern as your boarding pass and passport may be compared. In this case, they’re right – the only people that can fix it are the discounted travel site you purchased with. Have you tried Tweeting them to see if they respond there? Sometimes these companies have social media customer service agents that may be able to assist, although they may charge a fee for the correction if the mistake was your fault. Hope this helps!

  27. Hi,

    I have domestic flight with American Airlines for two with a connected flight with British Airlines to Barcelona. My question is I did not include my middle name when booking my flight and both passports has the middle names. Will they let us board? Please help

    • Christine Krzyszton · March 11, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Aaron. I have never used my middle name on any AA flights connecting to BA in Europe or beyond and have had no problem. You should be fine.

  28. Thanks Christine, I really thought it would be a problem flying from the US to Barcelona.

    • Christine Krzyszton · March 12, 2019 · Reply

      You are welcome, Aaron. However, I’m just giving you my opinion based on a couple dozen flights over the years where I have never put my middle name on my ticket and flew AA connecting with BA. Nothing is 100%.

  29. RAJENDRA JAIN · March 19, 2019 · Reply

    I have booked a ticket from Delhi to Doha and then onwards to Chicago (ORD) and then Columbus (CMH). The middle name as mentioned in the passport is not on the e-ticket. However while booking the tickets, only the first and last name were requested. Will there be any issues?

    • Stephen Au · March 19, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Rajendra,

      You should be fine. However, be sure to confirm with the airline. Thanks!

  30. Christina · March 26, 2019 · Reply

    Hi. Did you have any problem flying with China Eastern with no middle name?
    Because I have a flight next month and having the same issue.

    • Christine Krzyszton · March 26, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Christina. I have not personally flown with China Eastern but the consensus is that it will not be a problem. However, you can go to the China Eastern website, access your reservation and update the passenger information with your middle name if it is not already in there.

Leave a comment

Email needed if you'd like comment updates. It will NOT be published.

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. For more information on our advertisers, see here.