Since my passport only includes a given name 'John Smith' without a surname, and my flight ticket is booked with 'John' as the first name and 'Smith' as the last name, could this cause any issues for my round trip from Vancouver to Delhi with stops? I am traveling with other family members.

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    Can you please clarify? Your passport says "John Smith" as given name, and surname is left blank, or does not exist? Does that mean your surname is "Smith" and it's a mistake in the passport? ("Smith" is a typical surname, if you meant to say that you do not have a surname, then another example would be less confusing, like "John James".) And the flight ticket says "first name John, surname Smith"?
    – deceze
    Nov 30, 2023 at 4:32

2 Answers 2


In my personal experience, the worst thing that happens when names get mangled between ticket and travel ID is that using automated systems such as check-in kiosks or baggage drop-off does not work and you have to talk to a human being or use a non-automated queue. Everywhere where there's automated kiosks or gates with scanners, there will still always be at least one human being.

If it is obvious to a human being that the two names match, I have never encountered any problem.

I had one flight where my name was mangled to JRGMITTAG as a first name with an empty surname, all in one word with the umlaut stripped. As a result, the automated check-in kiosk rejected me and sent me to the check-in counter. It took the agent at the check-in counter all but 3 seconds to recognize that the mangled name and my real name match and check me in.

Similarly, during boarding, it may take a couple of seconds longer for the boarding agent to verify that your face, ID, and boarding pass match. The worst that happens here is that you hold up the queue for a bit. If you want to be really polite towards your fellow passengers, you can go to the service desk at the gate before boarding starts and explain your situation.

Since it is likely that you will always take the longest time, it makes sense to keep your family together and for you to always go first, to avoid you getting separated.

  • "The worst that happens here is that you hold up the queue for a bit. If you want to be really polite towards your fellow passengers" I mean they'll likely just wait for another minute to go stand in line on the jetbridge instead haha. Dec 2, 2023 at 21:09

My wife uses her middle name and given name and I've had my surname missing before and neither of us have any issues. It is likely that what you are seeing is just the system mangling it because these companies have 40 year old system components that have length restrictions OR the documents themselves have length restrictions. As long as you booked it with the right names, you'll be fine.

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