Author Topic: Flying under a non-legal name  (Read 1278 times)

bacchi

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Flying under a non-legal name
« on: March 15, 2018, 01:54:48 PM »
I've always flown under a "nickname." In the states, that would be "Suzie" instead of "Suzanne" or "Bob" for "Robert."

That hasn't been a problem before but I've been told by TSA that they're starting to get more strict. The conversation often goes, "It's obvious that Suzie is short for Suzanne but you should use your legal name for tickets in the future."

Now that I'm flying international this summer, I'm worried that I'll get stuck in a foreign country and have to purchase a full-price, last-minute, ticket. There are some non-English speaking countries involved, too, which may not recognize the Suzie=Suzanne connection.

I can get Global Entry, which I think would solve the US flights to-and-fro, even with a non-legal name on the ticket. It's the long-haul Germany-India flight that concerns me.

I called about a ticket change and the result was...a ticket reissue, no seats left on one connecting flight, and my SO flies business while I fly economy. Not a tragedy but it sucks.

Has anyone had experience with leaving nicknames on the ticket and what was the result?

Lady SA

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Re: Flying under a non-legal name
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2018, 02:23:22 PM »
I'm confused. What is preventing you from booking the ticket under your legal name? Did you already book your Europe tickets? It sounds like you were warned about this by TSA before, so why didn't you take their advice?

I have the same problem, I go by my nickname 99% of the time, but I've always booked flight tickets with my full name so it matches my identification. I just never wanted to deal with any hassle.

I would suggest just booking any future tickets with your full name. For your Europe trip, maybe bring along some sort of delivered piece of mail addressed to you (that shows your nickname plus the address that is the same as listed your id!) to help prove you, your nickname, and your full name are all the same person.
^That trick was good enough to get a marriage license when my DH had changed state residency but still had his old state's driver's license. A piece of mail addressed to him at our current address was enough to prove his residency, so I imagine something similar could work for you.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 02:26:31 PM by Lady SA »

GuitarStv

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Re: Flying under a non-legal name
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2018, 02:30:15 PM »
If you go by a name different than your given name for 99% of your transactions and dealing, why not just change your legal name to match the one that you use all the time?

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Flying under a non-legal name
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2018, 02:46:38 PM »
Iíve seen people not get through security for this. I have no idea why youíre chancing this. Just start using your legal name.

bacchi

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Re: Flying under a non-legal name
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2018, 02:55:01 PM »
Yeah, I booked these tickets last year and started getting TSA verbal warnings this year. No one's mentioned it to me before because it's obvious. It's not like my real name is "Jack" and my nickname is "Red."

The addressed mail is a good idea. I'll also have credit cards with my nickname on them. I did have the airlines put a notation in their records so that's something.

@GuitarStv Changing your name is a serious PITA. Bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, liens, titles -- it's an endless list.

bacchi

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Re: Flying under a non-legal name
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2018, 03:02:04 PM »
Iíve seen people not get through security for this. I have no idea why youíre chancing this. Just start using your legal name.

It's a risk, for sure. Is it worth $2000+ now to alter tickets and/or fly different flights vs having to pay the change fee (or buy a full price ticket) at the counter?

I've never been denied entry in the states. Or, in fact, internationally, but I haven't flown internationally since late 2016. No one mentioned it then even though the ticket had my nickname on it.

GizmoTX

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Re: Flying under a non-legal name
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 03:41:27 PM »
Global Entry isn't going to help you -- it insists on your legal name. I started getting rejected for TSA-Pre because Global Entry picked my maiden middle name instead of my maiden last name as my legal middle name, even though my application paperwork specified what I use as my full legal name on my passport, drivers license, etc. Of course my airline ticket no longer matched, & this was my middle name. It took me a while to figure it out, then call Global Entry to get it fixed.

Always fly with your full legal name. If you don't like it, legally change your name. OTOH, airlines shouldn't be stupid about fixing your name on your ticket -- you're not transferring it to someone else.


2Birds1Stone

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Re: Flying under a non-legal name
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 03:55:25 PM »
I've been in many situations where using the English spelling of my name would have screwed me completely.

Why wouldn't you just use your legal name on legal documents/international travel/employment paperwork/ taxes etc.

Going by different names can end up biting you in the ass down the line.

bacchi

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Re: Flying under a non-legal name
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 04:03:57 PM »
Global Entry isn't going to help you -- it insists on your legal name. I started getting rejected for TSA-Pre because Global Entry picked my maiden middle name instead of my maiden last name as my legal middle name, even though my application paperwork specified what I use as my full legal name on my passport, drivers license, etc. Of course my airline ticket no longer matched, & this was my middle name. It took me a while to figure it out, then call Global Entry to get it fixed.

Ack, I assumed GE would help because, if they're letting me through (domestically) with a nickname, I'm even more trustworthy after they've vetted me.

Quote
OTOH, airlines shouldn't be stupid about fixing your name on your ticket -- you're not transferring it to someone else.

Foreign airline change: $30 and 15 minutes
American airline change: Rebook the flight and then charge extra for the same seat (in one case, stupidly, the flight is full and I'd have to take a different plane even though I'd be giving up a seat.)

HUAC may work here.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 04:10:35 PM by bacchi »