All of us love traveling, don’t we? Thanks to budget carriers and all the promotions budget carriers run online these days, it is so easy to snag cheap travel fares without ever visiting a travel agency. But that being said, being Asians with Chinese names, it is often a pickle when we try to fill in our names on airline booking sites.
Growing up, we have been taught well that our boarding pass must match our passport exactly or we might be denied the right to fly. We have always been very careful about that and often try not to rush when our travel blog books our flight tickets online. The issue comes when online flight tickets website do not have a column for you to fill in your middle name! Just what do you do then?
Being Singaporean Chinese and having a Christian name in my given name, I always had problems figuring out what to fill in as my particulars in the name section on the ticket-purchasing page.
So intuitively, you would know LAST NAME/FAMILY NAME generally means your SURNAME. But for me, I had no clue where to input my middle name as my passport states NICOLE CHUA PEI SHAN and theres just only 2 fields for your First and Last name.
So I’ve always bought tickets just indicating LAST NAME: CHUA, FIRST NAME: NICOLE and just choosing to omit my middle name. Sometimes id try my luck and input CHUA PEI SHAN, just in case And it hasn’t been a problem until a recent trip on a particular national carrier.
While I was checking in and waiting for my boarding pass, the friendly staff asked if NICOLE CHUA was my full name as it did not correspond with the passport. He explained that my name is showing incorrectly and hence it will be a problem issuing me my boarding pass and crossing over the immigration gates.
He shared with us that there are strict regulations and that some carriers would insist the passenger to purchase a new ticket on the spot, if the booking did not correspond with the name on the passport. But thankfully for me, he was able to amend my name in his system on the spot and hence, saving my butt from busting a thousand bucks to purchase a ticket there and then.
So he did enlighten us and shared that he knows it is kinda confusing for Singaporean Chinese passengers with a Christian name in front to purchase airline tickets.
To help us all get better at purchasing tickets, here’s what he taught us:
LAST NAME/FAMILY NAME: SURNAME.
For those with a Christian name and a Chinese name, simply put them together in the FIRST NAME (in my case) as such: NICOLE PEI SHAN. This we believe, works the same for those with a Middle Name.
In the words of the ground staff that spoke to us, he mentioned that the sequence of the words regardless it’s Nicole Chua Pei Shan or Nicole Pei Shan Chua, doesnt really matter as long as all the words are there.
So there you go! Share this with your Asian friends and family to prevent them from paying for a whole new ticket if they ever get their name wrong on their boarding pass.
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