United Airlines Name Change Policy

United Airlines Name Change Policy

When we’re preparing for our trip, we often face various obstacles, one such being the United Airlines name change policy that deals with the frequent inconsistencies between the name on the airline ticket and the passenger’s valid ID.

United Airlines, as per TSA rules, requires the names on your boarding pass and your government-issued ID to match perfectly. To help you navigate such a situation, we’ve put together an all-encompassing guide demystifying the United Airlines name change policy. 

If you spelled your name wrong when buying your ticket, or if you’ve legally changed your name because of marriage or other reasons, this guide will show you the right way to make sure your United Airlines ticket shows your true identity.

The Ins and Outs of United Airlines Name Change Policy

Before we go into detail about the steps for changing your name with United Airlines, it’s essential first to understand the basic rule that’s very important:

  • The Necessity of a Perfect Match: Your boarding pass name and the name on your government ID have to match perfectly, exactly as the TSA strictly requires.

The Permissible Name Changes According to United Airlines

United Airlines lets you change your name in two main ways: fixing small mistakes or making big changes if your legal name changes.

Making Minor Corrections to the Name

This includes times when you need to make a small change to the name, like:

  • Fixing a typo in your first or last name.
  • Changing a title like Mr. or Ms.
  • Switching the order of your first and last names.
  • Updating the name from a nickname to your full name.
  • Adding or leaving out your middle name.

A big change, like changing your name legally, happens in situations such as:

  • Changing your name when you get married or divorced.
  • Following a court order to change your name.
  • Any other reasons where you have to legally change your name.

United Airlines Name Change on Ticket

United Airlines lets you change the name on your ticket for flights within the country and international ones. Here are the key points:

  • United allows updates for fixing spelling mistakes in your first or last name, changing your name because of marriage or divorce, or making small changes such as adding or removing your middle name.
  • For changing your name legally, you need the right legal papers and have to go to a United Airlines office to make the change.
  • For simple name fixes, as long as you have a valid ID that supports the change, you can do it over the phone or at a United office.

United Airlines Skymiles Name Change

The way you change or fix the name on your United Airlines ticket is different if you’re part of the MileagePlus program or not.

Procedures for Non-MileagePlus Members

  • Small Name Fixes: You can usually do these by calling United Airlines or going to one of their ticket offices.
  • Name Changes for Legal Reasons: You need to go to a United Airlines ticket office with the required papers to do these changes.

Processes for MileagePlus Members

  • Minor Name Corrections: You can do this easily online through your MileagePlus account without needing any extra papers.
  • Significant Name Changes: You must submit these changes online as well, but legal papers showing proof of your name change are needed.

Filling the Essential Criteria for Name Changes

No matter why you’re changing your name, there are specific things you need:

Documentation Required

  • For Minor Corrections: You might be asked to show a currently valid, official form of identification.
  • For Legal Changes: You need to present sufficient legal proof, such as marriage certificates, divorce decrees, or court orders.

Making Changes for MileagePlus Members

  1. Modifications Online: Minor changes can be made directly from your account without requiring any documents.
  2. Major Changes: These require uploading the appropriate document proofs through the MileagePlus account profile.

If you Cannot Present the Required Documentation

In situations where you’re unable to obtain the necessary legal proofs, you can mail a notarized Name Affidavit instead, to:

MileagePlus Service Center PO Box 1394 Houston, TX 77251-1394

The Policy for Name Change on United Airlines in Case of Major Events

Major events such as marriage and divorce require specific documentation and steps:

United Airlines Name Change Marriage

  • Supporting Documents required: A marriage license.
  • Steps: The change needs to be made either at a United Airlines ticketing office or through the online profile for MileagePlus members.

United Airlines’ Policy for Last Name Change

  • Importance: This is considered as an important legal change.
  • Criteria: The final requirement is proper proof carrying the new last name.

The Process to Change a name on a United Airlines Ticket

To get your name corrected or modified, the procedure is straightforward:

  • Minor Corrections or Changes:
  • Contact United Airlines Customer Service over the phone.
  • Use the online interface of your MileagePlus account.
  • Legal Modifications or Changes:
  • Upload the needed documents through your MileagePlus account or visit a United Airlines ticketing office.

Understanding the United Airlines Name Change Fee

While the simple corrections might be made free of charge, the legal name changes could incur a fee that often includes the difference in fare as well.

  • No-Fee Window: United Airlines allows a grace period of 24 hours post-booking during which you can make name corrections for free.
  • Post-Grace Period: A United Airlines name change fee might apply depending on the type of fare and the nature of the change required.

Please note, all tickets are non-transferable unless stated otherwise at the time of issue.

United Airlines Ticket Value Transfer and Name Change Upon Cancellation

If you cancel your flight, United might let you use the ticket value for a new ticket under your new name, but rules and fees apply.

Additional Key Points to Remember

The No-Stress Journey to Name Corrections

Making sure your ticket name matches your ID shouldn’t be a cause of additional stress while planning a trip. Here’s what else you might find useful to remember:

  • Take It Easy: The process is designed to be straightforward. Whether you’re dealing with a small typo or a large legal name change, United Airlines has procedures in place.
  • Help Is Just a Call Away: If you’re unsure about any step of the process, United Airlines’ customer service is there to guide you through it. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone.
  • Plan Ahead: Although United provides a 24-hour window after booking for free name corrections, it’s wise to tackle any name issues as soon as you become aware of them to avoid any close-to-departure stress.
  • Keeping Everything in Sync: Ensure your MileagePlus account, if you have one, is also updated to reflect your current name and matches your legal documents. This helps streamline your booking experience and ensures all your flight miles are correctly attributed to you.

The Easy Path for Different Name Change Scenarios

When You Spot a Spelling Mistake

  • What to Do: If you made a typo or realize there’s a small error in your name after booking, breathe easy. These changes are normally quick and easy and often, they won’t cost you anything if done within the 24-hour period after booking.
  • How to Do It: A quick phone call or a visit to your online MileagePlus profile might be all it takes to rectify the error.

The Steps for Major Name Changes

  • What’s Different: Changes due to marriage, divorce, or other legal reasons are big and more formal but don’t worry – United Airlines handles these regularly.
  • What You’ll Need: Gather any official documents that confirm your name change like marriage certificates or court orders.
  • How to Proceed: For MileagePlus members, uploading the documents online is an option. Otherwise, a visit to the ticketing office with your paperwork might be necessary.

Does Changing Your Name Affect Your Flight Cost?

  • Typically, No: If you’re just fixing a typo or correcting a minor mistake, there shouldn’t be any additional cost.
  • But, Keep in Mind: For bigger name changes, while there might not be a direct “name change fee,” you could encounter a fare difference if your corrected name results in a rebooking at a higher fare due to changes in ticket prices.

What Happens Next?

After you’ve made the call or submitted your documents, you might wonder what happens on United Airlines’ end. Here’s a simple overview:

  1. For Small Typos: If it’s a minor fix, United Airlines usually updates your ticket information pretty quickly. They adjust the name on your ticket to match your ID without much fuss.
  2. For Big Name Changes: When it comes to significant updates like after getting married, the airline needs to check your documents first. Once they verify everything, they’ll update your ticket. This might take a little longer, so it’s good to be patient.

Keeping Track of Your Ticket

Once you’ve requested a name change or correction, you’ll want to make sure everything is sorted.

  • Check Your Email: United Airlines will send you a confirmation that your ticket name has been corrected. Keep an eye on your inbox.
  • Log Into Your Account: If you’re a MileagePlus member, logging into your account is a good way to check that your ticket matches your updated name.

Bringing the Right Documents to the Airport

Even after your ticket name has been updated, it’s a good idea to bring along any documents related to your name change when you travel.

  • Why It Matters: Sometimes, the update in the airline’s system might not reflect immediately everywhere. Having your documents with you (like a marriage certificate or court order) can help clear things up quickly if there’s a question at check-in or security.

What If You Made a Booking Through a Travel Agent or a Different Website?

  • Reach Out to Them First: If you didn’t book your ticket directly through United Airlines, it’s best to contact whoever you booked your ticket with first. They should be able to help with your name correction or change.
  • United Airlines Can Still Help: If you’re having trouble getting your name corrected through the booking party, you can still reach out to United Airlines for help. Just know that it might be a bit more complicated, so allow some extra time for it to be sorted.

Planning for Future Travels

Now that you’re an expert on what to do if there’s a mismatch between your ticket and your ID, here’s a final tip for future travels:

  • Double-Check Your Info: Take a moment to double-check your name and other important information when booking a flight. It’s the simplest way to avoid the need for changes later.

Some Useful Tips

  • Always double-check your information when making the booking.
  • Keep all your legal documents handy in case you need to make any significant name change.
  • Ensure that you rectify any mistakes as soon as you notice them.
  • Keep your MileagePlus profile updated with your current name.


Our hectic lives mean mistakes happen, including with our travel documents. Or sometimes, life’s big events like a marriage or a legal change of name need to reflect in our travel profiles. This guide on United Airlines name change policy aims to make one aspect of your travel preparations a bit less daunting.

Whether it’s a small typo fix or a major legal name update, remember that solutions are in place for your trouble-free travel. The key is to act swiftly, keep the necessary documents handy, and never hesitate to seek assistance from United Airlines’ customer service for a smooth resolution.

By keeping these steps and tips in mind, you’re setting yourself up for a successful, stress-free start to your journey. Now, with your travel documents in perfect harmony with your legal ID, you can focus on the more exciting parts of your travels. 
Travel Safe!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it going to cost me money to change the name on my ticket?

If you correct the mistake within 24 hours of booking, it’s usually free of charge. For bigger changes like due to marriage or court orders, you might have to pay the difference in ticket price if the change leads to a new ticket costing more.

Can I update my name on the ticket after marriage or divorce?

Yes, United Airlines allows you to change the name according to important life events like getting married or divorced. You will need to show proof like a marriage certificate or a divorce paper.

My ticket was booked by a travel agent. Can United Airlines still help me change the name?

First, you should contact the person or website that booked your ticket. If you can’t get help from them, United Airlines can still help. Keep in mind that it may take more time because it can be a bit complex.

How do I know that my name on the ticket has been changed correctly?

After your ticket name has been updated, United Airlines will send you a message through email. If you’re part of MileagePlus, you can also check by logging into your account online.

How do I change my name on a United Airlines ticket?

To change your name on a ticket, call United Airlines or go to their website. Have documents ready to show why your name changed. There could be a fee.

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