Will I be able to fly if my middle name is missing from my ticket? (2023)

What we'll be covering

Point Hacks reader Adi posted this on the section of our website:

I just made a booking for an upcoming flight and forgot to include my middle name on the reservation, even though it is on my passport. Will I be OK to fly or do I have to change my reservation?

The official word

  • Technically, if your middle name appears on your government-issued ID, then it should be included on your flight itinerary (note: some people do not have a middle name/s at all).
  • You are more likely to get in trouble when travelling internationally than domestically if the names do not match.
  • Most airlines—if not all—will charge you a change fee if you have to alter the name on a booking.

The reality

  • Some airlines require a middle name, some need just a middle initial and some do not prompt you for a middle name at all.
  • However, if they do require a middle name and you do not provide it, even though it is on your ID, you will probably be fine.

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My recent experience

I had a flight with Cathay Pacific from New York JFK to Vancouver, flying First Class with them for the very first time (which I booked for 40,000 Asia Miles + US$59 in taxes—a great redemption by the way!).

Will I be able to fly if my middle name is missing from my ticket? (2)

The cheapest way to use Qantas Points to fly Cathay Pacific First Class is between Hong Kong and Taipei for only 26,000 points!

A week before departure, I went into my reservation and realised that I had left my middle name off my Asia Miles account and, therefore, this ticket. I did some research, with most forums and blogs saying it would not be a problem but wanted to be sure, so I reached out to Asia Miles’ (very responsive) Twitter team, who replied:

May we stress that it is essential to make the flight reservation using the exact name shown in the travel document as well as your membership profile. Due to name mismatch between the e-Ticket and the passport, passengers may not be accepted on board the flights.

I would be up for a US$100 or 10,000 Asia Miles change fee, which I really did not want to pay, so I took the risk of not changing my name on the reservation—and I boarded the flight just fine.

Will I be able to fly if my middle name is missing from my ticket? (3)

However, had I been denied boarding and missed out on this flight retailing for over US$5,000, I probably would not have been writing this post in this way!

Special cases

There was an isolated case of a passenger departing Canada for Iceland on low-cost carrier WOW Air whose middle name was not included on her ticket and was denied boarding.

When flying United Airlines, if the names on your passport and ticket do not match exactly, then you will not be able to check in online or at a kiosk; rather, you will need to be assisted by an employee.

I am not sure why but if you are travelling on a Cathay Pacific flight issued through American Airlines, then it is important that you include your middle name, according to reports I have read online.

If you really do not want to take the risk, then it is best for you to pay the fee to change your name on the booking.

Summing up

Question: Will I be OK to fly with my middle name missing from my ticket, or do I have to change my reservation?

Answer: Generally, it is best to make sure that your names match to reduce any stress but if you have already booked your ticket, you will most likely not have an issue travelling with your middle name missing from your ticket. There are very few instances when a passenger with a middle name on their ID but not on their ticket is denied boarding.

Have you had any issues not including your middle name on flight bookings?

Do you have a travel-related question?

  1. Search the Point Hacks website using the Looking For Something? box (located to the right-hand side of any post) to see if we have already answered your question in a post.
  2. You can post your question in the section of our website and someone from the Point Hacks community, whether another reader or one of our team members, will hopefully be able to help you out.

Will I be able to fly if my middle name is missing from my ticket? was last modified: January 16th, 2020 by Matt Moffitt



(Video) Missing middle name causes passenger to miss trip

  1. Batmab says:

    September 15, 2018 at 1:46 am

    Usually include it when traveling but SQ didnt ask for it when booking. So I called and they told me only the first and last need to match.

    Seems like it depends on the airline


  2. Stephen says:

    September 9, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I’ve recently booked an international Virgin Australia flight (actually flying with Singapore Airlines, but I understand it is Virgin’s carriage policy that will apply) and didn’t include a middle name as it was not marked as a “required field” on the booking page.
    However I have just checked the VA conditions of carriage which state that “If you have been issued with an Electronic Ticket, you will not be entitled to be carried on a flight unless you provide positive valid, satisfactory identification and a valid Electronic Ticket has been duly issued in the same name.” I’m not sure whether ‘same name’ would be interpreted strictly so as to require the middle name to be present on the ticket?
    Has anyone had specific experience / interaction with Virgin on this issue before? I’m happy to pay a fee if required but my main concern is that Virgin does not actually seem to permit name changes, irrespective of flight class.


  3. Rachel Morallos says:

    September 6, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Goodday.!
    isn’t required the middle name.? cause my boyfriend booked my ticket and he missed my middle name. but we called qantas and immigration already and they say it’s not required as long as my visa and my passport name is same. we just want assurance for it. thank you so much and i really appreciate your respond it will help us much.


    • Matt Moffitt says:

      (Video) No Middle Name Could Mean No Airline Ticket

      September 9, 2018 at 10:37 am

      I would follow the guidance of the airline and immigration if that is what they have said!


  4. Steve says:

    July 7, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Interesting subject, I have a RTW flight booked with Qantas (who don’t ask or require a middle name) the Itinerary was issued by Qantas, and has multiple ”one world” carriers Cathy,BA, AA Malyasia. given this was booked under my Qantas account that requires no middle name would I be correct to assume that I should have no issues.
    previously I have flown never using my middle name and no issues.

    found this on the Qantas website:

    Are Middle Names Required?
    Qantas does not require a middle name to be included when making a booking and issuing your customer’s ticket. If other airlines are included in the booking, we recommend you check their policy.

    If your customer’s itinerary includes the USA, it is mandatory for you to add Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) and Secure Flight Passenger Data to their booking before you can issue the ticket. The added name details must match the passport and include any middle names. Middle names are not required for ESTA applications.


  5. jxv200 says:

    July 1, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Last year Mrs. jxv200 was denied boarding at MXP on a Blue Panorama flight to TIA because her middle names were not on the ticket. Luckily we were early enough to queue at the ticket desk and do a name change at a cost of €50. They blamed the Italian government for recently starting to enforce the rules, but I am quite sure there was no “middle name” field on the website when I booked, as I always fill in all fields when prompted. Now the website has a single field for “first and middle names”.


  6. tross888 says:

    (Video) Flight hack Why you should NEVER use your middle name on your boarding pa ss

    June 30, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the article and tips Matt!

    I’ve never had an issue with my middle name not being included on my booking (70-80% of my trips would not have my middle name).

    I recently flew JAL Melbourne to Tokyo return business class and my reservation did not have my middle name – no questions asked, all fine.

    As a general rule I always include my middle name IF the booking website asks for it or asks for ‘full name’. I’ve noticed a number of websites (including if I remember correctly Qantas) only ask for ‘first name’ and ‘last name’ or ‘given name’ and ‘last name’ – no plural ‘names’ so I just write my first name only.


  7. Paul says:

    June 29, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Booked a reward flight with United (have to have a middle name or initial when booking) from Brisbane to New York, using a combination of Thai airways and EVA Air. On my e-ticket my first name had my middle initial on the end with no space. When I checked in for my first flight the agent couldn’t print my boarding pass from Taipei to New York because my name didn’t match my ESTA documentation. After much confusion and stressing I was able to board my flights to Taipei and try to resolve the problem there. In the end it was an easy fix for the EVA Air agent in Taipei. Was not nice stressing about it for the first two flights, definitely recommend not using your middle initial when booking.


  8. Paul says:

    June 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    I have been living and flying around Asia very frequently for the last 7 years. For personal trips I routinely dokt include my middle name, whereas business trips the agent is pedantic about including the middle name. With or without have never been an issue on any airline, including Cathay. My QFF account doesn’t have my middle name and I always get the points when booked either with or without the middle name.


  9. Alex says:

    (Video) Never mess up your name order in flight tickets anymore!

    June 26, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    My wife has a hyphenated first name, but no middle name (Shirley-Anne). Causes all sorts of headaches, as the hyphen is often not an acceptable character in booking systems. We variously book her as Shirley, Shirleyanne, ShirleyAnne, Shirley A. Never had a problem at checkin with any combination (touch wood!).


  10. ricaboo says:

    June 25, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    My wife had a similar problem travelling. She is a dual US/AUS citizen, but her AUS passport is in her married name and her US passport in her maiden name.


  11. Todd says:

    June 25, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Great tip!


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