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I recently got my first credit card. Now I want to buy a flight ticket. As far as I know airline may want to check my credit card at the airport. Here is my problem. My passport name: Seyedmajid Azimi Gehraz

First word is the first name and remaining is the last name. Since it is a long name, last two characters of last name are missing on credit card. Here is what has been written on the card: Seyedmajid Azimi Gehr

Does this cause problem for me if airline wants to check my card? Or may be renting a car?

  • 3
    It might be a good idea to shorten (voluntarily) or drop the middle name on the credit card, so the last name fits fully. Depends on the culture - western culture, the last name is most important for identification; but others may be different. – Aganju Jan 5 '17 at 12:17
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    @Aganju The question clearly states that the last two parts are the last name, there is no middle name involved. – Alexander Kosubek Jan 5 '17 at 13:46
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    @Aganju So instead of having a technical limitation that can be explained, you want to actually provide a false name? That seems.. dangerous to say the least. – Voo Jan 5 '17 at 15:29
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    If the checks are done by a website, a last name mismatch is going to fail (and you cannot explain to a website); whereas (at least in the US) it is very common to have a deviating first name (James->Jim, Robert->Dick, etc.). But that might be different in other areas of the world. – Aganju Jan 5 '17 at 15:40
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    @Aganju Actually I'm an Iranian student in Germany. I would be glad to shorten my name but then I would need to inform officials to reissue my passport, residence permit, work permit, insurance card and student ID which is a painful and lengthy process. So currently I would need some way to survive. :D – Majid Azimi Jan 5 '17 at 19:00
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You are not the first person to have a name that is too long for the available space on a credit card. As long as the characters on the card line up with the name on the passport, you will be good to go.

The airlines that do check usually are checking the number not the name. The agent will enter the number or part of the number (Thai Airways computers ask the agent to enter the third set of 4 digits only) and the system will verify if the card is correct.

Car rental places often just swipe the card without paying too much attention to the details (they get your personal details from your license).

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    I concur with the name lenghts. While I am reasonably sure such a person does not actually exist, Chernelházadamonyai Szilveszter would be a perfectly legit Hungarian name (Chernelházadamonya is a village and the -i means the family is from said place). – chx Jan 5 '17 at 9:54
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    It's also common in many countries for the credit card company to choose what form of your name to put on the card. Across 5 bank cards I have 4 variations:Mr F Surname, Mr Firstname Surname, Mr Surname, Mr F M Surname. – Chris H Jan 5 '17 at 10:18
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    @ChrisH it says Mr on your credit card? – simbabque Jan 5 '17 at 11:49
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    @simbabque yes (3 credit and 2 debit cards in fact). I think I've had cards without the title as well. Maybe I should let them know about the PhD just to get even more variations. This is in the UK in case it matters. Some of the card companies here like to change the name format when they issue a new card as well. – Chris H Jan 5 '17 at 11:56
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    @chris we are going off topic here, but "Herr Doktor" is a different case. You'd say that to a physician and now the Doktor is the job, not the title. Someone with a PhD in biology in Germany is called Dr. rer. nat. Firstname Lastname and often the Herr/Frau goes away, Ike in letters – simbabque Jan 5 '17 at 12:14
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My name is so long that even the initial of my first name plus my last name doesn't fit on a credit card. It never gives problems when buying tickets.

But there is another interesting case for people with long names. This relates to the TSA checkpoints in the US, and electronic boarding passes.

When I buy a ticket, they say "the name on the ticket must match your government-issued ID".

Now my government-issued ID has my very long name on it (actually it covers two lines). This cannot work, so the name on the ticket is shortened to

Flor Verylongname Andmore

But even that is too long for the TSA electronic machine, which spits back (from the bar code) that my name is

F VerylongnameAndmo

Then the jobsworth says "I can't tell if this is you because there is only one letter of your first name". And I say "well... get your boss". And then the boss comes, and I get pulled over to the side, and they um and ah, and then I dig up a paper copy of the itinerary from my bag that has my full name, and they go "ah, that's OK".

It has happened to me that the piece of paper was actually for a different flight (date) to the same destination.

So they check "because they have to", not because they really care. And eventually I make it onto the plane.

Flying over 100,000 miles per year you'd have thought it worth my while to change my name.

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    I think they have to check because they care about the massive fine they would have to pay in case they boarded someone who wasn't authorized to enter into the destination country – Amani Kilumanga Jan 6 '17 at 4:24
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    @AmaniKilumanga this happens on internal flights... – Floris Jan 6 '17 at 4:36
  • I see. I noticed now that your answer is exclusive to the US. – Amani Kilumanga Jan 6 '17 at 9:59
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In terms of paying with a card where the name isn't an exact match... I worked with someone who for nearly a year (in the US) was accidentally carrying his spouse's card... they had different genders (Mr/Mrs), different personal names and he was signing his signature when the card had her name and signature... and no-one noticed. And I regularly pay for purchases for my wife using her card in the UK and Europe and no-one has ever questioned it.

Given my various cards have 'Mr initial initial surname' or 'Mr firstname initial surname' or 'firstname surname'... you could ask your credit card company to issue you a card that has your initial and all of your family name only. But I really wouldn't worry, experience would show it's likely no-one will even notice that two letters of your surname got truncated.

  • I wouldn't rely on it, but I am sure that you are correct. It will almost always work - until that one time that you really need it to :-) – Mawg Jan 5 '17 at 14:04
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    @Mawg no matter what option the OP takes overly strict automatic validation is going to require escalating to a human with access to an override button. – Dan Neely Jan 5 '17 at 15:50
  • And if the human is a "jobsworth", then you could be SOL – Mawg Jan 5 '17 at 16:51
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    I would note that some of this will be subject to whether or not the people deem you "suspicious" for any reason (including being a different ethnicity, how you are dressed, etc). When I was a teenager with long hair, I tended to get carded on credit cards especially by older female cashiers - once even had a problem because my card was not signed. As now clearly adult, short-haired, obviously white male with no funny accent living in the US, suddenly I get the feeling like I could hand in monopoly money and it would be overlooked. Not everyone experiences such casual deference. – BrianH Jan 5 '17 at 20:58
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    @BrianDHall - Absolutely. My wife was humiliated in a department store in Paris (La Samaritaine) when we lived there quite awhile ago (mid 80s) - she presented her Amex Gold card for something or other and the cashier got store security to hold her until they called Amex and confirmed that yes, it was her card. We were both fairly young and she looked even younger - though, of course, completely respectable in Parisian terms, other than her age. Ah, the memories. An American salary in Paris when it was 10₣ to the dollar ... – davidbak Jan 6 '17 at 1:36
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As far as I know airline may want to check my credit card at the airport.

The airline employees don't even glance at the card to verify the name. Instead, they swipe the card in a terminal and verify that the card is indeed the one used for booking the ticket. Some cards don't even have a name printed on them, so confirming the name match would be useless.

Therefore you shouldn't worry.

  • Then therre's the JavaScript written by coders barely thinking that won't even let you submit the form unless you match their stereotypes. I always have to invent a number for my non-existent phone; I almost always get told that my e-mail address is not valid. And recently I was asked "please enter a valid name." – WGroleau Jan 11 '17 at 9:04
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I very much doubt that this would ever cause an issue because fields are compared with a maximum length.

However, if you are worried, you might like to get your card issued with just your first initial rather than full first name, which will then fit. My card uses first and middle initials and I have never had an issue with it being accepted in Europe, USA, Taiwan or New Zealand.

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