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Can I Change the Name on a Plane Ticket?

Can I Change the Name on a Plane Ticket?

Nicolle Harwood-Nash
5 minutes read
Last Updated: March 28, 2024

Changing the name on flight tickets depends on various factors, like the airline's policy, the country's regulations and the type of ticket. In many situations, you can't change the name unless you're simply correcting a spelling mistake.

Here at AirAdvisor, our expert team is here to ensure you experience smooth and hassle-free travelling, whether you're changing the name on airline tickets or seeking compensation for disrupted flights. In this article, we answer the question, 'Can you change the name on a plane ticket?', outline how you can change it, detail the potential costs and provide answers to some commonly asked questions.

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How Do I Change the Name on My Plane Ticket?

There's no standardised process for changing the name on your airline ticket, as many airlines have unique policies. There are, however, some common considerations and steps for you to follow:

  • Review Your Ticket: In some rare situations, airlines may offer transferrable tickets, which allow you to change the name on the ticket within a time period.
  • Check the Airline's Policy. Depending on the airline you're flying with, it may have unique policies regarding name changes on tickets.
  • Contact Customer Service. Often the best course of action you can take is to contact the airline's customer service team, as they can provide accurate and up-to-date information specific to the airline's policies.
  • Provide Necessary Documentation. You'll need to provide the airline with supporting documentation, like identification or proof of a relationship, such as a marriage certificate.

Related: Documents You Need to Claim Flight Delay Compensation

What Documents Do I Need to Change It?

The exact documents you require can vary, but below you can find some common documents most airlines request:

  • Ticket and Booking Information: In almost every circumstance, the airline may request your original flight ticket, booking reference number and Passenger Name Record (PNR Code).
  • Identification Documents: The airline will probably request proof of identification, such as your passport, driver's licence, birth certificate or national ID card.
  • Proof of Name Change: If you've legally changed your name since purchasing the ticket, you'll have to provide documents that prove your new name. These documents might include marriage certificates, divorce decrees or legal name change documents.
  • Proof of Error: If the name on an airline ticket is wrong, you can provide the airline with any document that proves your actual name, such as your passport or birth certificate.
  • Correspondence: When changing the name on your ticket, you might speak with the airline's customer service. It's an excellent idea to maintain records of these discussions, as they can help streamline the name-changing process.

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How Much Does It Cost to Make the Change?

A name change fee on your flight ticket can vary substantially between airlines. For example, if you're flying with Air Canada, it usually costs around 60 CAD to change your name. If you're flying with British Airways and need to change up to three letters on your ticket, it usually costs £45. These costs can also increase depending on various factors, like the type of ticket you have or the distance of your flight.

In What Situations Can I Change It for Free?

Many airlines allow you to change the name on your ticket for free within 24 hours of the flight booking. Minor name corrections on your flight ticket may also be free, particularly if the spelling error resulted from the airline.

What’s the Deadline for Changing the Name on a Ticket?

The deadline for changing the name on your ticket varies between airlines. If you want to change the name free of charge, consider changing the name within 24 hours of the booking. If you wait until several hours before the flight's departure time, securing a name change may be impossible. 

It's best to give the airline a period of reasonable notice, such as several days or even weeks. If you don't, and the name on your ticket doesn't match your actual name, you might not be able to board your flight.

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Can I Board a Plane If the Name Doesn’t Match?

If the name on your flight ticket is for an entirely different person, you won't be able to board your flight, let alone pass through security checkpoints. If there's a single letter misspelled on your ticket, such as in your first or middle name, consider approaching the airline staff. If you have enough documentation, you might be able to prove your identity and that there's a clear spelling mistake on your ticket.

In a few circumstances, the airline staff may correct your ticket, but this depends largely on specific airline policies and local regulations. It's always best to triple-check your ticket when booking, as this can negate the hassle of later name corrections.

Also read: How to Replace a Lost Passport Replacement US

FAQs

Here, you can review some common questions, along with answers:

Can I change the name on my plane ticket to someone else?

In most situations, you can't. This is usually to prevent 'ticket scalpers' from buying cheap tickets and selling them later at a higher price.

What are the reasons an airline might deny a name change request?

Some of the common reasons include:

  • The type of ticket you have
  • The type of booking, such as a group booking
  • A name change to a different person
  • Flying to an international destination

How do I contact the airline to change the name on my plane ticket?

You can typically contact an airline by finding its contact information, which is often on its website. In regards to changing or correcting a name, consider contacting the airline's customer service department.

What are the steps involved in changing the name on a plane ticket?

The steps involved can depend on the circumstances of the name change. In most situations, though, you need to contact the airline's customer service department, follow their instructions and provide any necessary documentation, from marriage certificates to booking reference numbers.

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