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I recently booked tickets to travel by plane from the UK to Greece. The website I booked through (airfasttickets.co.uk) lists my name correctly, as "Mr Georgios [My surname]", exactly the same as in my passport.

When I log in to the airline's (Aegean Air) website using the booking number the above website gave me, my name is somehow listed as "Georgiosmr [My surname]" (the title "Mr" seems to have been appended to my first name).

Since I'm going to be travelling from the United Kingdom and my name is obviously non-english, I'm afraid they may have doubts about the "mr" at the end being a mistake instead of part of it and deny me entry.

I've sent two e-mails to Aegean but it's been more than a week since the last one and 2-3 weeks since the first and they haven't replied. Calling them would be too expensive since they're based in a different country than my phone provider and I'd rather avoid it.

Is there anything else I can do? Is it likely that they'll think "mr" is part of the name of the ticket's owner?

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Note that international calling is not too expensive through voip. –  gerrit Jun 24 at 14:35
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I have had my middle name appended to my firstname on my ticket so that it appears SURNAME/FIRSTNAMEMIDDLENAME.. even seen it as FirstNameMiddleName Surname on tickets. Wouldn't worry about it –  staticx Jun 24 at 20:46
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The airline finally replied and confirmed what everyone has been saying. Once again, thanks for the help! –  George T Jun 26 at 11:41
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4 Answers 4

up vote 24 down vote accepted

A number of airlines will append your title (MR, MRS, etc) to your first name when they issue your boarding passes, so it appears as SURNAME/FIRSTNAMEMR. It can appear this way on the gate agent's terminal as well.

I have not had any personal experience with Aegean Airline's system, so can not say with 100% certainty, but likely you are OK.

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Appending MR etc seems to be a trend (ie becoming more commonplace) for air tickets/boarding passes and, particularly when names are relatively long, this might be without a space. Examples:

TSE30947 first example

Since very likely Aegean's custom, their staff should cope with interpreting this. The key point may be that the website you refer to does indeed recognise you correctly. Without a space it seems understandable that your forename is being interpreted as everything before the virgula suspensiva.

Attribution for the images above (in order):
http://www.a2zlifestyle.com/travel/the-best-day-to-book-airline-tickets/
http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=1204921&TPN=50
http://www.flickriver.com/photos/retokurmann/4124561291/

and for the one below that shows the use of MR long before 2001:
http://hostagencyreviews.com/airline-fare-types/

TSE30947 second example

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Not sure whether it's a trend - in my personal experience, it feels more like ten or more years ago, all tickets had that nameMR form in one word, whereas it's getting less commonplace now, and even if it's added, an increasing number of check-in systems manages to excel at the apparently highly complex task of printing the name and the MR with a whitespace in between. I agree that staff should and will cope with this, though. –  O. R. Mapper Jun 24 at 15:32
    
@O.R.Mapper I think I only noticed the MR addition after 9/11 and very vaguely recall being told it was a security matter. I'm guessing it may help with searching Interpol's database of missing documents, so perhaps only relevant to USA, UK and UAE. The space I think is just what the booking clerk chooses, or has room for. –  pnuts Jun 24 at 17:23
    
I am absolutely certain that the MR addition has been around in the 1990s, though I cannot say anything about the countries you listed and rather draw my experiences from travels in Asia and Latin America. –  O. R. Mapper Jun 24 at 17:36
    
@O.R.Mapper Yes, MR was in use long before 2001 - just that that happened to be around the time I first noticed, perhaps when changing Travel Agent. –  pnuts Jun 24 at 18:37
    
... possibly in connection with the use of full first name rather than initial. –  pnuts Jun 24 at 19:23
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Don't worry, it's a common way of writing it and all personnel at the airport knows how this works.

I've worked in travel for over 10 years, so the rest of this post is based on that experience. In the "old times" airline reservation systems used to be white-on-blue screens full of cryptic codes and conventions. (And in fact, even though in many travel agencies better graphical interfaces are common, you can still see the "old-fashioned" displays even now - at the check-in desk of your airport they often still use these systems).

Some of these conventions, established many years ago to - presumably - reduce the amount of network traffic and the amount of text that operators have to key in, carry over in today's travel. The obvious ones are the use of flight numbers (almost all flights are codeshares which have about 4 different flight numbers for the same physical aircraft - if I had to redesign the system I would change that) and the use of three-letter codes to denote airports (e.g. AMS, LON, CDG, LAX). The naming convention is also one of these conventions. In these text-based systems, names are still entered in the form SURNAME/ABCMR or SURNAME/FIRSTNAMEMR (Nowadays, for "security reasons", airlines usually require the full first name). One advantage is that the surname of passengers in the same booking only needs to be entered once, e.g. SURNAME/ALBERTMR/JENNAMRS/JOHNCHD (Again, security is now quoted as the reason that women need to provide their maiden name - one of the major causes of people being denied check-in is that they automatically provide their married name which is not necessarily the one in their passport).

I know that some systems (like Amadeus) also support an optional space: SURNAME/FIRSTNAME MR. Often in passenger-facing documents, such as travel schedules and boarding passes, this is automatically converted to Mr. Firstname Surname, just as the cryptic CDGLAX is also printed as "Paris Charles-de-Gaulle - Los Angeles Intl.". However, as I explained above, the space is optional (GEORGIOSMR or GEORGIOS MR are both allowed). Apparently the website that they gave you, which (in simple terms) is just a front-end that reads the information from the same text-based system, is not smart enough to recognize the title without the space. Had your reservation agent added the space, it would probably have converted it correctly. However, and to answer your question:

Is it likely that they'll think "mr" is part of the name of the ticket's owner?

-- no, to an agent or customs officer at the airport who are used to reading the "cryptic" form, it will not be a problem.

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Your text makes it sound like certain identifiers - the flight numbers and the IATA airport codes - are just there for legacy reasons and serve no useful purpose any more today. I tend to differ on that; while network bandwidth in the computer systems may not be an issue any more, short codes are still very useful as they uniquely identify flights/airports and can be very quickly read, written (by hand) and memorized by humans, as opposed to possibly ambiguous designations like the name of a city (which, in some cases, needs the name of the country and/or more info to be unambiguous). –  O. R. Mapper Jun 25 at 21:58
    
Yeah, even though my reservation system comes with a nice graphical front end now, I still prefer the text mode because I find the information easier to read and the cryptic text entries to be faster and more powerful than clicking around in text fields. So even though they were introduced for legacy reasons, there must be reasons that we still keep them - if everyone hated them, we would have gotten rid of them years ago! –  CompuChip Jun 26 at 10:43
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I would make sure you have supporting evidence of making the booking, eg have your credit / debit card that you made the booking with.

When you Check-In, ask the Check-In staff to make sure that your name is printed correctly on the Boarding Pass. If you have problems with Security onto the plane they will usually just ask you to return to the Check-In desk and have your Boarding Pass name altered.

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