If your passport or driver’s license includes a full middle name that you don’t normally use, you will have to include that name on your ticket the next time you fly within the United States and by December if you fly overseas. That new requirement seems to be sneaking up on a lot of travelers and apparently on airlines as well.
The requirement from the Transportation Security Administration is supposed to make it easier for travelers, airlines and the TSA to avoid ID hassles at airports. Because the master lists of questionable travelers apparently are in full-name format, the TSA wants to make sure that travel documents conform to its lists. The requirement was supposed to take effect May 15 for domestic travel, but when I spoke to people in the industry before that, some expected it to be pushed back a month or so.
As I understand it, the principle of the new rule is that you must travel under your name as it appears on the ID you use to get on a flight, which generally means either a passport or a driver’s license domestically; a passport or a passport-derived “enhanced” driver’s license internationally.
Under the new rule, when you make a flight reservation, each airline is supposed to get your full name and pass it along to the TSA. An agency spokesman said your ticket and/or boarding pass also should have your full name.
The requirement poses no problem for you if your passport and driver’s license are issued in the form that you normally use in travel. For many, that means first name, middle initial and last name or first and last if you have no middle. As long as your ticket has the name on your ID, the TSA won’t give you any problems.
But if your official documents include your middle name but you don’t use it for travel arrangements, you could be in for some grief.
Even more troubling is the possibility that you will have to change one or more of your charge cards. These days, you often have to show the card you used to purchase your e-ticket to an agent when you check in for a flight, and you could encounter a problem if the names don’t agree.
The TSA has announced it will be lenient in case of small differences,