My sister's name on her passport is 25 characters not including spaces: 5 letters for her given name, 7 letters for her middle name, and 13 letters, including a hyphen, for her last name. (It's NOT a hyphenated name in the usual sense of one half coming from one spouse and the other half from the other spouse: some benighted ancestor of her husband's chose to spell his last name with a hyphen, and his hapless descendants have been fighting with bad form/database designs ever since. This is important because people's default reaction of using one half or the other when the whole thing won't fit results in a name that might belong to somebody on the planet, but it sure doesn't belong to my sister or any of her relatives.)
She was just trying to book a flight, and the website had the usual warning about "your name on the booking must match the name on your passport". It also had, in smaller letters, a statement that "names cannot contain special characters", and in the list of disallowed characters was, guess what: a hyphen. Rock, meet hard place.
After the usual round of cursing (this is not the first time That Dratted Hyphen has caused trouble), my sister went ahead and entered her name without the hyphen. Hit submit, form comes back all red with the error message: maximum total name length is 20 characters. What the hucking fell?
Other than wishing the designers of that website a slow, tortured death in the lowest depths of hell, what can my sister do in such a case? If she leaves off her middle name and omits the hyphen, her name will definitely not match the one on her passport, but that's basically what the website is forcing her to do. Will the airport staff (in China, just to complicate matters) know that "First LongLastname" is roughly the same name as "First Middle Long-Lastname"?