MileagePlus Profiles to Use Secure Flight Name Information

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UA Insider, Jan 20, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. UA Insider
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    UA Insider Official Representative

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    Hi Everyone, I wanted to let you know that this weekend we’ll be streamlining the way we ask for your name and ID information when booking with us. Up until now, we have allowed you to provide one name for your reservation (for most of you, this is the name on your MileagePlus account) and a different name to be transmitted to the TSA for Secure Flight verification. These two names didn’t always need to match – for example, you could be Bob Smith to match your MileagePlus account name, but Robert T Smith for Secure Flight to match your government issued ID.

    Starting this weekend, on Jan. 20th, we will begin asking for only one name – this will be the name which exactly matches the name on the government-issued photo ID with which you’ll be traveling. If you’re a MileagePlus member and you have a different name on your MileagePlus account than you have stored for your ID, we’ve taken some steps to help make this change more seamless for you. Specifically:
    1. If there is a minor variance between your MileagePlus profile (Bob Smith) and your stored ID (Robert T Smith), we’ll automatically update the name on your MileagePlus account to match the name on the ID that we have stored for you. We’re changing it to the name on your ID because the name we print on your boarding pass must match the government-issued photo ID you use when you fly.
      _
      • Worth noting: If you still want to make a name change in your MileagePlus account after we do the update, that’s fine – just remember, the change will need to match a valid ID. Note that the current MileagePlus name change process will apply here – minor changes (e.g. adding/removing a middle name) can be done in My Account on united.com, but more significant changes (e.g. changing a last name) are handled through the MileagePlus Service Center and may require proof of ID._
        _
    2. If we can’t determine a solid match between your names (e.g. James Timothy Smith on your account and Robert Smith on your ID), you’ll be asked to choose which name is correct. The next time you log in to united.com, you’ll be prompted make this selection. If none are right, you’ll have the opportunity to enter the name which appears on a government-issued photo ID and we’ll update the name on your MileagePlus account accordingly. Note that making a significant name change in this way is a one-time option – any future changes will need to go through the traditional process.
    You can read more about these changes in your next MileagePlus statement. In the meantime, here are few things to keep in mind:
    • This update won’t affect already-ticketed reservations. You’ll still be able to travel even if the ticketed name and the name don’t match exactly but are considered acceptable matches (e.g. Mike vs. Michael or JT versus John Thomas).
      _
    • Your United Club and 2013 Premier credentials will remain valid, even in the case of significant name changes.
      _
    • If you’re a member of a Trusted Traveler program (such as Global Entry), make sure your name information there also matches the name on your ID.Matching these are important because they must be the same in case you have also opted-in to the TSA Pre-Check program and you want to be considered for expedited security screening. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to see (much less modify) your Trusted Traveler profile, so it will be up to you to do this.
    Thanks for your cooperation and understanding, as we improve make our booking process a little simpler, and more secure. Please post your questions here and I’ll do my best to help.

    Aaron Goldberg
    Sr. Manager – Customer Experience Planning
    United Airlines

    *January 20 Update* - We've added answers to some of your questions in reply #16, below.
     
  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    What could possibly go wrong?
     
  3. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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    The issue I have, along with everyone else in New Jersey, my MP name matches my drivers license with middle initial which is fine for domestic flights but for international flights my passport has my middle name spelled out. How is that going to be addressed? Many TSA screeners demand a passport for INTL boarding passes.
     
  4. CDKing
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    CDKing Gold Member

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    I guess, I will find out if I start getting denied for pre-check. #2 in UA Insiders post seemed to work. Gave me 3 options (with all data written out).Current info, Secure flight profile info, or None of the above, please fill in the blanks.

    I'm a little concerned about "This update won’t affect already-ticketed reservations." When i check my existing reservations it shows my old name, How am i to know what will be submitted for the secure flight data?
     
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  5. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Exactly! Aaron please confirm this. For my reservations it shows firstmiddleinitmr lastnamejr -- and I selected passport for secure ID and PreCheck which is different (which is now how my MP name is listed by updating middle init to full middlename). Is this going to cause problems, if so will UA let us change our ticketed names free of charge on our reservations to match our IDs properly?



    On a side, I was able to go into and change my MP name from middle initial on the account to middle name, but this in no way auto updates my reservations that have middle initial in it.

    We need to be assured that for those reservations already booked, we will continue to get our status correctly and upgrades, miles accrual, placed correctly on upgrade standby lists, TSA PreCheck, etc.


    Somewhat unrelated, but when I book with our corporate travel agents, is that used for secure flight or does MP "ID" info used for secure flight.
    On a side, my corp agency (Carson wagonlit) doesn't push over my suffix Jr unless I force Jr into the last name field -- will there be any issues with accrual, benefits or star alliance status because of this? I can recall in the past that for star carriers you actually push jr over to the other carriers to determine status. Is this still happening? The way I got around this was forcing JR in the last name, then opening the flight prefs on the itinerary on UA and changing the security ID to remove Jr from the secure id last name, but now we will no longer be able to do that.
     
  6. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    If I add a middle name to my United.com profile, will all materials be sent through the mail have my middle name, as well? Can I define a separate mailing address (with different name) for postal correspondence?
     
  7. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Is your middle name really embarrassing?
     
  8. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    Do outstations (such as BOM) enter passport d.o.b data as Date/Month/Year?

    I think that has generated a mismatch in my account. (which I have "fixed" now)
     
  9. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I'm not sure when you change your middle name from initial this is working properly -- at least from a ticketing perspective"

    I changed my Middle Init to middle name earlier today. Now logged into the system and booked a new ticket (same day return ticket) for July.

    The name on the email summary (i.e. NOT the ticket receipt) shows my full name "Mr. FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME LASTNAME, JR." but my E-Ticket receipt "booked name" shows as: "LASTNAMEJR, FIRSTNAMEMIDDLEINITIALMR".

    Is this correct, or is this a system mess-up? OR is this like before, the actual ticketed name on the physical ticket print out not exactly match the ID since the ID is embedded into the BP barcode? From reading this thread I'd think it's a not right, because Aaron says the name you use on the ticket MUST match the ID.

    Am I wrong to be expecting to see my middle name print fully on the email receipt or is this just going to be ignored?

    I sure hope I have no issues with this reservation.

    The only good thing, is that with LASTNAMEJR, FIRSTNAMEMIDDLEINITIALMR it still shows my status correctly and CPU eligibility looks correct.

    I hope these changes for UA are not a work in progress. :(
     
  10. PanAm
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    PanAm Silver Member

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    * If I'm reading #2 above correctly, one will NOT be able to change the "stored ID" on a per-booking basis? e.g., an international flight one will likely be traveling on a passport with full middle name; on a domestic flight most will be traveling on a DL or similar with middle initial. If the permanent change must be one or the other, what then? IDs will not match.

    * What will United's system do if a booking is made with a differing name format that we cannot control? e.g., our DTS gov't system (at least at my location) forces my middle initial to merge into my first name and leaves the middle initial field blank. This has never been a problem in the past with my secure flight data nor mileage accrual, etc. Will that change?

    Sorry, but I'm struggling to see how this makes anything simpler or more secure for most folks!
     
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  11. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    One thing I noticed this year and maybe others have had as well. On the MP credentials this year. they only put firstname and lastname, no middle initial / middle name or suffix. I wonder if this was one of the reasons they did that.
     
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  12. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I've been playing around a bit on the website.

    - It seems you can easily change your middle initial to middlename, which I did. I'm not sure if I can change it back on a whim or not, or if that would cause any problems. But it "seems" like that may be possible.

    - I have like you, sometimes needed to use my DL instead of passport for domestic travel (some but not all), and It was easy to change this in the individual reservation, which is no longer possible. Reason for me, my passport is often out getting visas applied for other countries and I need to travel domestically, I guess I will only hope something like this doesn't happen. Also, when my DL comes up for renewal, I'll change it so it gets my middlename on it instead of initial. At least here in NH, that's easy to do because you have a fill out a form from scratch each time you renew your license.

    - A ticket I just booked AFTER I made the changes shows up ticketed the old way LASTNAMEJR, FIRSTNAMEMIDDLEINITIALMR, instead of full middle name -- so I'm not convinced they have this all working yet. (And I hope I have no issues with my new ticket or other existing 13 reservations).
     
  13. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    Right now I only have my middle initial in my booking. So far I've done pretty well with PreCheck. Should I change my initial to my full middle name? Just trying to understand exactly what needs to match and what is not necessary.
     
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  14. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I'm not convinced anything will change with regards to this in the reservations themselves, as I mentioned in my post above, I changed my MP account to put my middle name in fully. Then I went later with that change in place booked a ticket and the new ticket shows only my middle initial not the full name -- I think the full middle name is stored in the PNR and not physically on the ticket receipt?. I'd like united to confirm this though.
     
  15. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    For those whom I assume are making a major name change (I hope this only means first or last name change) I noted this on UA's website, bolding mine:


    I've only changed middle initial to middle name on the account, it looks like the rest of my existing reservations are fine elite wise, will know for sure next weekend but would like some assurance from UA Insider on this.
     
  16. UA Insider
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    UA Insider Official Representative

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    Hi Everyone, thanks for your questions. Below is a summary of questions and topics that have come up since my original post, and their answers…

    How will my name change impact existing reservations? How about Pre-check?
    Where there are minor changes to names (i.e. John vs. Jonathan) and where middle names and/or initials are added or amended, we do not expect there to be any impact to account recognition for accrual and benefits purposes. Similarly, we do not anticipate this will impact your Pre-check eligibility.

    What about Middle Name vs. Middle Initial, especially when it’s different from one ID to another?
    We encourage you to always provide your middle name as it appears on the identification you will be presenting for travel, and over time, we recommend that you update your passport and driver license documents to reflect your name consistently. For the time being, differences in middle name between middle initial and full middle name will be accepted.

    Is there any way to avoid mashing my names together in my reservations?
    Sorry, but for now, we’ll continue to fuse the first and middle names together. We will work to correct this in the future, specifically creating a space between first and middle names, as well as with titles (i.e. Mr, Ms, etc) and suffixes (Jr, Sr, III, etc.).

    Why would I see multiple identical options? Does it matter which one I pick?
    Some of you may experience cases where there are two profiles to choose from that are completely identical. Despite our efforts to filter these duplicates out, several of you will experience this. It has to do with one of your profiles having a title (i.e. Mr., Ms, etc.) and the other one not. In these cases, you may pick either one – the result will be the same.

    My ID doesn’t include a title or suffix, should I remove this from my MileagePlus account?
    Titles such as (Mr, Ms, etc.) and suffixes (Jr, Sr, III, etc.) are always recommended, even if they are not on your identification.

    What do I do if I have a hyphenated name?
    For those of you with hyphenated names, you may continue to use a hyphen or space between your names or you can mash them together. Any of these combinations will work, with respect to Secure Flight, Pre-check and Global Entry. Since our reservations do not include spaces or hyphens in names, we will continue to build your reservation with the two names fused together (e.g. JEANLUC) regardless of whether you used a space or hyphen in your profile.

    If I am given two profile options where the date format is different?
    In cases where you are given the option to choose between date formats (i.e. Day/Month/Year vs. Month/Day/Year), select the date format that is consistent with your current MileagePlus profile settings.

    Can I update my Secure Flight information, and/or Known Traveler ID to an existing reservation?
    We will be adding this feature back this spring. In the meantime, you can make adjustments to your ID information and/or add a Known Traveler number by contacting us over the phone.

    Below are some bug reports we are investigating. If any of these are happening to you, and you’d like us to research your example, please send me a PM with the details.
    • Incorrect saved traveler appeared in the set of options presented.
    • Unable to update saved traveler profile in a different account after updating the primary account details.
    That’s it for now. If I’ve missed anything, please let me know.

    Aaron Goldberg
    Sr. Manager – Customer Experience Planning
    United Airlines
     
  17. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Thank you Aaron for your updates! Appreciate it.

    Just a followup, you mention:

    Is there some intention that in the future UA will be printing the middle name on the ticket? The reason I ask, is I changed my profile to print include full middle name, however, a few hours later, I booked a ticket and selected the correct name (with full middlename) but when UA ticketed the reservation, it only shows middle initial, not the middle name. Is this expected/intended?

    Thanks again for your help and assistance!
     
  18. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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    being that many states including NY and NJ are middle name only, is UA going to force the legislatures and the respective DVM of the many states with middle initials only to change their way of doing business? I wish you luck with that massive and extremely expensive initiative.
     
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  19. Black Cloud
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    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    I think you're making more of this than you need to.

    My MP profile has my full middle name (to match my passport) and my NYS ID only has my middle initial. I've never once been questioned about this or had an issue flying in the hundreds of flights I've had with this set-up.
     
  20. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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    BOS TSA lectures people that don't have matching ID/BP. I have the feeling UA has not done the proper research into the situation before change things and telling their customers to change things they can't change.
     
  21. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    Yeah, I don't understand the middle name/initial thing --don't federal documents like passports require a full middle name while state-issued documents like drivers licenses require just a middle initial? Unless you can flip between domestic/international IDs, it's going to be hard to get people to commit to one standard name...unless they don't have a middle name.
     
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  22. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Those of us with no middle name are annoyed by forms that require them.

    Given that my name is unique in the world without one and all.
     
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  23. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Middle name vs. middle initial

    Like some people have pointed out, driver's licenses generally use middle initials whereas full middle names are used in passports. I have generally never encountered any issues with this except last year when applied for an instant visa online for Australia and used my middle initial in the application rather than my full middle name. Upon arrival in Melbourne I was flagged at passport control, and told that I needed to provide additional forms of ID because my middle name in the passport did not match what I had entered in the visa application. It was no big deal but I was told that in the future I should use my middle name in visa applications exactly as it is shown in the passport to avoid being flagged.
     
  24. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    BOS TSA leadership is comprised of the kids that were bullied on the lunch line in high school. Now that they have badges, they think the tables have turned. :rolleyes:
     
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  25. bmg42000
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    bmg42000 Gold Member

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    I think the middle name should be removed from all documents. That will simplify things
     

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