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My wife and I got married recently. She took my last name. We are planning on flying somewhere internationally, but we just recently realized that her passport has her old name on it. Since getting a new passport is a bit of a hassle that we'd like to avoid if possible, I thought that maybe we could buy the tickets in her maiden name and use her passport that matches this name. Could this cause any problems?

We have used her passport to fly domestically before, since someone accidentally bought her ticket in the old name. But I'm worried that it might be more complicated if we're flying internationally.

For more details:

  • We live in the US.

  • Our trip is to Spain.

  • Her driver's license has her current last name

  • Is she planning to drive while in Spain? – phoog Apr 17 at 14:42
  • Ehm, when flying here in Europe a ticket MUST be in the "maiden" name. That is also the name that will appear in the passport. – Paul Palmpje Apr 17 at 15:35
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    @PaulPalmpje: what are you on about? Most European countries recognise changes of name upon marriage in passports. – eggyal Apr 17 at 15:42
  • Well my wife's official name is mine now. But her passport still reads her own name - there are many differences on how this is treated. In any case, the name on the plane ticket MUST be the same as on the passport. – Paul Palmpje Apr 17 at 15:52
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I thought that maybe we could buy the tickets in her maiden name and use her passport that matches this name. Could this cause any problems?

Anything can cause problems, but this is unlikely to. With a passport and a ticket in her maiden name, how would anyone know that it is no longer her legal name? Certainly nobody will care that your names don't match; it is hardly unusual for a married couple to have names that don't match.

(Immigration officials will sometimes even accept a passport in an old name in combination with a document showing the name change, such as a marriage certificate, but these days airlines are far less likely to do that.)

Do bring the marriage certificate just in case. It will be particularly useful if she has to show her driver's license (or any other document with her new name) to anyone.

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