Make sure your client’s name is spelled correctly
“But it’s just one letter off…”
We hear this frequently when it comes to name corrections. In the last 15 years, it has become vital that the name on the reservation is an EXACT match to the name on the passport. If it is not, your client may experience a significant delay at the airport, be forced to pay hefty fees for the change, or be denied boarding altogether. It is possible that your client is allowed to fly with a misspelled name. This is more likely to occur on a flight within the United States, but this can build a false sense of security. The best course of action is to ensure correct spelling when booking the flight.
Although a misspelled name can often be corrected, there are situations where it simply cannot be fixed.
The cost of a name correction
And don’t forget the costs involved. If we are required to make a new booking, it must be repriced and the new fare could be much higher. If the name correction is caught within the 24-hour void/reissue period, there is no change/cancel penalty and the likelihood of getting the same fare increases–possibly avoiding fees altogether! However, after the first 24 hours, prices may look much different.
The difficulty of a name correction on a multi-airline itinerary
This is frequently the case with foreign flag airlines, codeshare flights, or where multiple airlines are involved. Airline reservation systems don’t communicate well with each other. We can correct a name in one system, but it may not update the system of another airline. The mismatch in name spellings can cause the itinerary to be canceled.
Whew! Wouldn’t it be better to avoid this problem altogether?…
There are several steps an agent can take to avoid the expense and hassle of a name correction:
- Ask the client how it is spelled on their passport! That is the spelling that matters. – If you can see the passport yourself, even better!
- Enter the names on Centrav’s website beginning with the first name! It looks like this:
- Review the names on the booking confirmation email to make sure they are spelled correctly. (You might as well check the flight times/dates, too!)
- Use the Traveler Receipt tool to send a copy of the itinerary to your client. In the free flow text box, ask them to verify the name spellings, dates, and flight times. Emphasize that they must make corrections now or they will incur a penalty to make corrections once ticketed, protecting them from costly fees.
Avoid the headache! One letter misspelled may seem minor, but the effort, cost, and process time involved to correct ‘just one letter’ are the same as it is for any other name correction.
That is a hassle we would all like to avoid.