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

Boarding Pass

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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!


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  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 it acceptable? Please response. Thanks

      • Stephen Au · November 26, 2018 · Reply


        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!

  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, 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

    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


    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?


    • 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!

  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?

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