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I’m planning to book a direct flight from Melbourne, Australia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and return, with Vietnam Airlines. I have both a Vietnamese and an Australian passport, and I plan to use my Vietnamese passport for immigration in Vietnam and my Australian passport for immigration in Australia.

However, the order of my given names is different on each passport. Whilst the actual given names are the same, on my Vietnamese passport, the middle name is before the first name, as per the Vietnamese naming tradition, but on my Australian passport, the first name is before the middle name, as per the Western naming tradition. The surnames on both passports are identical.

E.g. the name on my Vietnamese passport is Smith John Edward whilst the name on my Australian passport is Smith Edward John, with Smith being my surname, Edward being my first name and John being my middle name.

My question is, which should be my name on the Vietnam Airlines booking, and which of my passports should I present at the check in counter? I’m particularly worried as I’ve heard that Vietnam Airlines is particularly fussy about the order of names having to match your passport, especially if you are Vietnamese. I’ve flown with other airlines and none of them have been concerned with the order of names having to match your passport, but I have heard stories about Vietnam Airlines on forums, especially at Melbourne Airport.

Has anyone been in the same situation as me, if so what did you do?

  • This is an opinion based question especially when you claim I’ve heard that Vietnam Airlines is particularly fussy about the order of names having to match your passport? You have your answer right there. Hearing from one or two more people here won’t change the information you’ve heard about their strictness. – user 56513 Feb 19 '19 at 17:49
  • Yes I know, the problem is the two passports have my given names in different orders, both being correct according to the respective naming traditions. As I’m travelling between Australia and Vietnam, I need to produce my Vietnamese passport at Vietnam Airlines checkin in Melbourne to prove I can enter Vietnam and my Australian passport at Vietnam Airlines checkin in Ho Chi Minh City to prove I can enter Australia. That’s where the issue lies, as I can only have ONE name on my Vietnam Airlines booking, what should I do? – AgentWin Feb 20 '19 at 1:12
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As long as you have a valid passport that shows all your names the order of such name is not an issue for any airline anywhere in the world, it’s really only a challenge when they search for your name to find your ticket so make sure you have the booking number to ease the search. Even if you have multiple passports and dual citizenship its not a problem as long as names on the ticket corresponds to one of your passports that is valid for that travel leg.

I travel monthly to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam from Shanghai China, two countries that are known for being picky with name vs Passport matching etc and I have on several occasions have my names switched on bookings so that my family name comes before first name or first and second name switched order etc. Never had an issue at any stage

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