Tip: Make SURE airline agents spell names correctly!

I recently had a booking request for a client with Delta Skymiles. We found flight space that was acceptable and we called Delta to start booking the awards. We got the flights booked and ticketed without too much hassle.

We ended up booking 2 tickets for separate trips on the same call. The Delta agent misspelled one of the passenger’s names on one of the tickets and I didn’t catch it until after the tickets were issued and the call was over. I immediately called back and then things started to get hairy. My blood pressure was through the roof!

Since we booked her ticket on all Delta partner flights I was informed that a name change would require cancelling the ticket completely and booking again. This is a nightmare situation where the award space we found may not come back! I was quite upset at the time since this all stemmed from a mistake by Delta–and me not checking it first. I kept pushing and finally got a supervisor on the phone.

I pleaded my case and laid out the facts. He eventually opened up space on Delta flights, on a much more convenient routing, in nicer planes! This was a big win for my client as they got the flights they really wanted using at the low level miles price. I was very lucky to have a nice supervisor to do this for me. We could have just as easily been stuck starting over with the booking if it weren’t for him. ALWAYS be as calm and nice as possible in this situation. Anger makes them less helpful!

I am feeling very lucky that this worked out even better for my client in the end. The moral of the story here is to make SURE the names are spelled right before they issue the tickets. You could be in a situation like mine and not be as fortunate with getting better flights than you had hoped. I have now instituted the practice of having the agents spell the names they see on screen back to me from now on. It sounds mundane but can be a big stress saver later. I learned this the hard way!

This also applies to when you are booking tickets online using miles. Double and triple check your name spellings before finalizing the tickets. It needs to match the passport or ID exactly or you could have big problems at the airport–especially in a foreign country. Check twice, book once!

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