Other problems caused by married life

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on October 11, 2007. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, car rental, cruise, disaster, Erica Silverstein, hotel, insurance, vacation package.

Elizabeth B. learned the hard way that in these days of tight security, you should only use one name when traveling.

"Well, we saved and planned and finally set off for Italy on June 24. We arrived at the airport two-and-a-half hours before our scheduled flight. When the check-in agent scanned my ticket and then my passport, she looked at me and said, 'These do not match.' I looked at the ticket and said, 'Oh, yes, that's my married name. I use my maiden name—that's what is on my passport.' She said, 'You cannot fly, they have to match.'


"In the past, I always made my own reservations and never used a travel agent, so it never occurred to me to tell the travel agent that my name was different on my passport. I was horrified when I realized that I had made this mistake, but couldn't imagine that it would be a big deal to change it. Wrong!

"The clerk sent us to her supervisor. The supervisor said, 'You can't fly!' I asked if I could be re-ticketed. She said that I would need a copy of our marriage certificate. We told her that we lived two-and-a-half hours away and that we would never make the flight. She didn't care. She wanted our marriage certificate, which was in the safety deposit box at our bank—closed on Sundays.

"I tried to locate my travel agent (on a Sunday), and by calling my niece, who called my nephew, who called the daughter of the travel agent, who called the travel agent, we finally got connected. Back and forth, it was finally agreed the ticket could be re-ticketed and we had 20 minutes to make our flight. They did upgrade us to business class, which was wonderful."

What to do

Elizabeth was very lucky. She got a happy ending (business class, no less) to what could have been an even more horrible story.

Elizabeth learned a very important lesson that all readers should note. The name on your ticket should always match the name on your photo I.D.—either your driver's license or passport. This problem most often affects honeymooners who optimistically book their tickets under the wife's new name, even though she hasn't changed her I.D. Regardless of the situation, make sure you book your tickets under the name used on the I.D. you plan to show at the airport. Otherwise, you might be denied boarding, and your vacation plans will be ruined.

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