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My friends in South Africa are purchasing a round trip plane ticket for me in December 2015. I'll be flying from London to Durban and back to London and their travel agent wants to see my Passport. I live in the UK. Is this normal procedure? I am fully aware that the ticket must bear the exact same name as my passport - I am just very cautious about giving this type of information ad lib.

I would appreciate your advice on this matter.

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  • The travel agent needs your name, and probably your passport number, but it's unlikely that they need the whole thing. Aug 10, 2015 at 3:37
  • Good morning, Thank you for you reply. I take great care of who I share my very personal information with. Passports/Driving Licences, Credit Cards are all areas of high fraud. I am just being careful before I part with my information. Dee
    – Dee
    Aug 10, 2015 at 10:54

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You don't need to surrender your passport, you need to just show a copy of the page where it has your name and photo.

This is to make sure your name is spelled correctly on the reservation, and frankly this is common practice across most travel agents. They do not want to risk you not being boarding because of a spelling mistake or reversal of the family name/first name (especially as it is an international flight).

I have had to provide this information many times and it is better to be safe rather than have to scramble later on to change the name - even risking a hefty fine to do so.

Keep in mind that on the flight reservation they have to type your legal name which may sometimes differ from your given name or the name you are using in other documents (preferred name, for example).

Sometimes, your passport still has your maiden name if you are married.

For situations like these, it is best to error on the side of caution.

Regarding security if you wish you can mask your photo, but make sure the following information is visible as it may be required by the agent as part of the advanced passenger information that is required by some airlines:

  1. Passport Number
  2. Issue Date (and place, if applicable)
  3. Expiry Date
  4. Name
  5. Passport type
  6. Issuing agency (if applicable)
  7. Place of Birth (if applicable)
  8. Gender
  9. Father's Name/Husband's Name (if applicable)

You can mask the rest of the information.

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  • Good morning, Thank you for your reply. I trust the friends who are booking the flight, but I do not know the travel agent.
    – Dee
    Aug 10, 2015 at 10:51

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