United Airlines joined my first name and middle name on boarding pass. How to correct this?

  • I am traveling within the US, but my boarding pass shows my first name and middle name joined as such: Firstmiddle instead of First Middle. How do I correct this, or is this something that shouldn't be a problem with identification? I am already on hold with the airline to bring this to their attention, but I am not sure if there's a better way to correct this.

    It's not a problem. I used to fly all the time with tickets with my name in the form `SMITH,JMR` instead of `SMITH, JOHN`; I have no reference to support this though, and the rules have changed a bit, hence the comment rather than an answer.

    To give a better example, if your name was John Walter Smith, it would be Johnwalter if your boarding pass was showing up like mine is right now. Is that still okay?

    Another factor I forgot to mention: I never give my middle name when booking tickets, even though my passport shows it.

    Unfortunately, it _is_ sometimes an issue, as specifically United does often not allow online check-in for international travel, as the name in the passport doesn’t match the (incorrectly joined) name on the ticket. I have been complaining for years with them. It is no issue at the airport though, just disables online check-in (and seat selection, meal preferences, etc.)

    For some reason my government-issued photo id (driver's license) only lists my middle initial, not my full middle name. I've flown pretty regularly for business for years, and it's never even been mentioned.

    There won't be a problem getting on the plane, as others have said. The main concern is that your frequent-flyer number is correct!

    I called United about this the first time I noticed it. They told me it was normal. Pretty dumb, if you ask me -- they must have hundreds of people calling to ask about it every day.

    Once, they put my two last names together and truncated in a ticket. It was not a problem traveling but, still to this day, I receive publicity mail that is addressed to my name with the two last names together and truncated (specially from, but not limited to, a bank that rhymes with “grace”).

    This exact problem is here, where there isn't a problem.

    The hyphen in my last name is **always** missing, it's also just one very long name. Never had a problem.

  • Zach Lipton

    Zach Lipton Correct answer

    3 years ago

    There's nothing to correct. This is very common with airline reservation systems, and everyone handling your boarding pass should know what it means.

    To give a better example, if your name was John Walter Smith, it would be Johnwalter if your boarding pass was showing up like mine is right now. Is that still okay?

    @question2018 Yes, exactly. My United boarding passes are usually of exactly that form (actually, they usually add "Mr" on the end so it's more like "Smith JohnWaltermr", sometimes even truncated) and nobody blinks twice at it. It does have your last name on there somewhere, right?

    Yes, it has the last name too. It says Traveler Name: Firstmiddle Last

    That likely is a technical standard going back many years. They combine it into two fields and the separator in some transfer is a space - so first and middle name must be without space. Most of those system standards are OLD.

    It's also a case study in silly validation assumptions when dealing with real-world identifying information. Think of all those "ZIP Code" forms online that require you to live in just one of almost 200 countries available.

    This is indeed correct. I've never had a problem. One way to look at it is, they just don't have "hyphen" or even "space" in that character set for that field - so it comes out that way. After all, folks with rock-umlauts etc. in their name, also suffer simplification of the presentation of the name.

    It is also worth noting they often do this with hyphenated surnames too: SMITH-JONES goes to SMITHJONES. Many website won't accept hyphens and this has never been an issue when travelling extensively around the world.

    Keep in mind that although Americans usually have a first, middle, and last name, that's not how it works everywhere (and plenty of Americans have more than three names). Japanese people only have a first and last name. Hispanic people frequently have one given and two last names. If the airline has two name 'slots' and combines FirstMiddle, LastLast, etc, they can accommodate all kinds of names without having to have a bunch of different name fields. It's easier for everyone.

    @JustinLardinois: Exactly the page I had in mind! Thanks for digging it out again - I would never have been able to find it.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM