Ask Andy: Airline ID confusion - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andy Wise

Ask Andy: Airline ID confusion

There's been some confusion over a change coming in how the airlines will check your I-D.

It's called Secure Flight (

Starting May 15, the Transportation Security Administration will request the airlines to ask for passengers' full names, including middle names, for identification. Starting August 15, they'll add gender and birth date to the requirement.

The agency says that information is necessary to perform more accurate terror 'watch list' matches.

The new regulation prompted "Terrie" of Horn Lake, MS, to e-mail:

"I believe they said the name on your ID had to match reservations exactly after this date. My reservations do not list my middle name as my drivers license does."

Let me put you at ease, Terrie.  Sources I trust at both TSA and at travel agencies tell me your reservation will be fine since it was booked before May 15.  

TSA's web resource about Secure Flight says:

"Small differences between the passenger's ID and the passenger's reservation information, such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, should not cause a problem for the passenger. Over time, passengers should strive to obtain consistency between the name on their ID and their travel information."

However, after May 15, my trusty travel sources -- Vicki Rush of A&I Travel ( and Cheryl Keating of AAA Auto Club South ( -- say your name on your flight reservation must match your confirming identification.

So from now on, always book your flights in the name that is on your DRIVER'S LICENSE and METHOD OF PAYMENT (CREDIT CARD).  If those names do not match, you may eventually have to change how you list your name on one or both to avoid any hassles at the airport.

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