Cheapoair ticketed middle name as "None"

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May 20, 2017
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We booked 5 tickets to South Africa through Cheapoair, we initially filled in everyones middle name, and then deleted them to minimize the chance of a spelling error. We reviewed the names before purchase and all middle names were blank. We noticed after the 24 hour window had closed that the ticket for my 72 year old mothers middle name was ticketed as "None", which I initially read on "none provided". All of the other ticketed passengers showed no middle name, only my mothers had "None". I think I simply thought 'None" meant none entered for the middle name.

We contacted South African Air to change it, they said it was probably not a problem, if cheapoair made a notation to the ticket. We wanted to make sure, it would not be a problem, since my mothers middle name is not "None" Cheapoair said we would have to purchase a new ticket to fix the issue, tickets are now $4800 vs the original $2000. I can see having to pay a change fee, but the price of a new ticket seems crazy, over a computer glitch, for a ticket that is still 6 months away.

Can we use the ticket with "None" as the middle name?

How do we fix this without paying a fortune?

What are our options?
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
3,453
4,219
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the United States
Out of an abundance of caution, I would escalate this within Cheap-O-Air. You can do that electronically by using the Company Contacts link at the top of this page. I recommend you start with the Primary Contact.

Wait at least two weeks for a reply before moving on to the executive level contacts. And when reaching to executives, I like to begin with an apology for taking their time "because I know you are busy with other, very important matters. I have reached out to customer service, but they were unsuccessful in fulfilling my request."

For future consideration, if the web page has a space for middle name and your licenses/passports show one, I would fill in the middle names to prevent any issues.
 
Last edited:

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,924
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Out of an abundance of caution, I would escalate this within Cheap-O-Air. You can do that electronically by using the Company Contacts link at the top of this page. I recommend you start with the Primary Contact.

Wait at least two weeks for a reply before moving on to the executive level contacts. And when reaching to executives, I like to begin with an apology for taking their time "because I know you are busy with other, very important matters. I have reached out to customer service, but they were unsuccessful in fulfilling my request."

For future consideration, if the web page has a space for middle name and your licenses/passports show one, I would fill in the middle names to prevent any issues.
Completely agree!

I believe you are saying after you deleted the middle (if it's in the passport you need to provide it) that the computer entered "None" that you did not do that. In other words a Cheapo Computer glitch. If that is correct then be sure and say that clearly. You should know that some Airlines systems ask for the middle name but do not actually print it on the confirmation. Other airline systems don't have the capacity at all, but if they ask by all means ALWAYS include the full name on your passport!
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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When you contact Cheapo, I wouldn't mention that you originally entered, but then took all the middle names out ... just focus on your mom's tix. And next time, book directly, avoid those awful online travel bookers. Good luck, and please let us know what transpires.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,924
4,032
113
When you contact Cheapo, I wouldn't mention that you originally entered, but then took all the middle names out ... just focus on your mom's tix. And next time, book directly, avoid those awful online travel bookers. Good luck, and please let us know what transpires.
Ditto
 
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May 20, 2017
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We tried customer service for both CheapoAir and South African Airways and were told we had to rebook the ticket and pay the difference in price.

Cheapo pointed out that SAA doesn't require or use a middle name, so we double checked with SAA and they said it had to match even if its a middle name. I even asked about, the 3 letter discrepancy since "none" and 3 letters off from her middle name of Lynn, still not luck.

We will keep trying.....
 
Nov 20, 2015
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Cheap-O Air is being horribly unfair to you. By saying that SAA doesn't require/use a middle name, Cheapo is in fact admitting that their website is the cause of your problem.

Had you used the SAA site directly, you would have noted that there is no place to enter a middle name when making the reservation. The process on the SAA site is much the same as I recently experienced on the British Airways site:
after receiving your reservation email, you can then log on to their site to fill in all of the information required by Homeland Security(full name, passport #, etc.)

So, when writing, I might consider including something like:

"I chose to book my trip through your company because I liked the idea that you would be there to assist me if I had any problems with my travel. Had I used the SAA site directly, there would have been no way to enter any middle names, and my problem could not have occurred. My problem occurred only because of an error/glitch on your website. I do acknowledge that I failed to notice this error until well after the 24 hour limit for changes, but I believe that under these confusing circumstances, this is understandable."

I hope you win.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,746
10,538
113
San Francisco
Cheap-O Air is being horribly unfair to you. By saying that SAA doesn't require/use a middle name, Cheapo is in fact admitting that their website is the cause of your problem.

Had you used the SAA site directly, you would have noted that there is no place to enter a middle name when making the reservation. The process on the SAA site is much the same as I recently experienced on the British Airways site:
after receiving your reservation email, you can then log on to their site to fill in all of the information required by Homeland Security(full name, passport #, etc.)

So, when writing, I might consider including something like:

"I chose to book my trip through your company because I liked the idea that you would be there to assist me if I had any problems with my travel. Had I used the SAA site directly, there would have been no way to enter any middle names, and my problem could not have occurred. My problem occurred only because of an error/glitch on your website. I do acknowledge that I failed to notice this error until well after the 24 hour limit for changes, but I believe that under these confusing circumstances, this is understandable."

I hope you win.
Very good research and advice, CCG. Be sure to end the letter by spelling out EXACTLY what you want Cheapo to do for you. What a bunch of bozos.
 
May 20, 2017
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Thanks to everyone for your help and suggestions. We are still being told we can only rectify the situation by buying a new ticket at $4600, the original ticket was $2000

Which is crazy since earlier tonight, on CheapoAir, I found the exact same flights in and out of South Africa with a Phoenix as the destination instead of Boise and the flights were under $2100 total. I keep getting told the flights to Cape Town are the cause of the increase, but they advertise the same flights to different US cities for nearly the same price I originally paid.

CheapoAir, and South African Airways, know customers like me have no options so they jack up the price, and call it market forces, instead of charging a simple change fee.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
3,453
4,219
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the United States
You can still take your chances of course. The TSA and/or airline may be fine with this ("None" is pretty obvious).

Tip: We strongly encourage booking directly with airlines, cruise lines, and hotels. Online travel agencies (OTAs) add complexity that becomes problematic when issues arise.
.
 
May 20, 2017
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That is the real question would the airline and TSA honor the ticket. TSA seems to have wiggle room.

This is from TSA regs
"We understand that boarding passes may not always display the exact name that you provided when booking travel and will vary based on the airline’s capability and character limits. While you should strive for consistency, small differences between the name on your ID and boarding pass should not affect your travel. "

It seems like a high risk that South African Airways might not let her board
 
May 20, 2017
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Thanks to everyone for there help and suggestions, we got the issue resolved!

We wrote emails to the second level representatives, listed on this site, for both Cheapoair and SAA. From those letters we were contacted by representatives from each company that we were able to work with to rebook the ticket and get a refund on the original purchase. Both representatives were extremely helpful and professional. Once we found the right level to work with things went very smoothly.

Thanks to this site, we found contacts that worked, and got helpful advice on how to make our request. It took a little time and some perseverance, but it all worked out!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,746
10,538
113
San Francisco
Thanks to everyone for there help and suggestions, we got the issue resolved!

We wrote emails to the second level representatives, listed on this site, for both Cheapoair and SAA. From those letters we were contacted by representatives from each company that we were able to work with to rebook the ticket and get a refund on the original purchase. Both representatives were extremely helpful and professional. Once we found the right level to work with things went very smoothly.

Thanks to this site, we found contacts that worked, and got helpful advice on how to make our request. It took a little time and some perseverance, but it all worked out!
Most excellent news! Patience, persistence and perseverance - so glad we could help. And you promise to always book air and hotels direct in the future, right?
 
Jul 5, 2017
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Thanks to everyone for there help and suggestions, we got the issue resolved!

We wrote emails to the second level representatives, listed on this site, for both Cheapoair and SAA. From those letters we were contacted by representatives from each company that we were able to work with to rebook the ticket and get a refund on the original purchase. Both representatives were extremely helpful and professional. Once we found the right level to work with things went very smoothly.

Thanks to this site, we found contacts that worked, and got helpful advice on how to make our request. It took a little time and some perseverance, but it all worked out!
Can you tell me who at CheopOair helped you? I am having the same issue. They used my last name twice (also in the middle name section) on a ticket that now says Joshua Pells Pells which doesn't match my passport. We are flying United Airlines and Air Canada to Europe from the US and they are telling me I have to book an enitre new ticket for this!
 

ADM

Apr 10, 2017
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Go to Company Contacts at the top of this page and look for Cheapoair. He was helped by the second level contact.
 
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Nov 12, 2016
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Glad it worked out. In the future- book directly with the airline. You wouldn't have had this problem if you had booked directly unless you made the error inputting it.
Is it just me, or does everyone else notice that the front line staff no longer take the initiative to help customers with what is an obvious mistake with an easy remedy. Is it laziness, don't care attitude or are they simply not empowered to remedy the problem?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,042
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
Can you tell me who at CheopOair helped you? I am having the same issue. They used my last name twice (also in the middle name section) on a ticket that now says Joshua Pells Pells which doesn't match my passport. We are flying United Airlines and Air Canada to Europe from the US and they are telling me I have to book an enitre new ticket for this!
Did you just book the ticket? You have 24 hours to cancel and rebook it correctly.