Thursday, November 19, 2009

Changing Your Name on Frequent Flyer Accounts

There’s been more than a few gallons of ink spilled lately about the TSA’s new requirement that your name on your ticket must exactly match the name on your identification. Many airline websites now allow you to book with a full middle name (rather than just a middle initial, for example). But very few that we’ve found allow you to change your name in your frequent flyer account profile.

Of the U.S. airlines we’ve attempted name changes with, only Alaska and American allowed us to change from a middle initial to a full middle name online. United has an FAQ stating that you can email them to make “minor” name changes or corrections. All the other U.S. airline sites we have accounts with do not seem to offer any sort of online name-change option – this includes Delta, US Air, Frontier, JetBlue, Virgin America, and Continental.

We tried to change names on two of our international-carrier frequent flyer accounts – bmi and IcelandAir – and then simply gave up. With both airlines, we couldn’t even change our email address. We’ll deal with those airlines – and other international airlines we have accounts with – when or if it becomes really necessary.

As long as the name on your ticket matches your identification (make sure you double check that when booking/purchasing), things will probably be fine. Changing the name on your frequent flyer account really shouldn’t be too big of a deal – but still, the airlines have known about this upcoming change for many months now.