Have any married female readers (or anyone else who’s changed their name) had trouble getting through airport security with an airline ticket showing their maiden name, a photo ID showing their married name, and a marriage certificate? (Or the reverse, I suppose.) I ask because, although Becky changed her name with Social Security quite awhile ago, she only got it changed on her photo ID earlier this month, when she got her Tennessee license — and as a result, I’d gotten into the habit of buying plane tickets with her maiden name, so her ticket for our trip to Denver next month will say “Rebecca Zak.” But now, finally, her ID says “Rebecca Loy,” so this presents a problem. I just called Southwest Airlines, and was told they can’t change the name, but that we should be fine if we bring the marriage certificate to the airport. I’m just wondering if anyone has personal experience with doing that, and whether it actually works.
As an aside, why the heck won’t airlines change the name on your ticket in this situation? It can’t plausibly be a security measure, because there is no security protocol implicated by typing your name into a text field when you purchase a ticket online — it’s not as if you have to show ID or something — so changing it after-the-fact wouldn’t somehow breach security. If it were a last-minute change, perhaps that would be different, but this is for a flight that’s more than three weeks away. I understand why they won’t let you change to an entirely different name, because that would open the door to an aftermarket of airline ticket resellers — scalpers, essentially. But how much of a black market could there be if name changes were limited to switching from Firstname X to Firstname Y? It would take an awfully elaborate scalping operation, with extremely well-targeted ads (”Is your name John? We have a ticket for you!”), to turn a profit doing that. So yeah, I don’t get it. What’s the rationale? Is it just blind adherence to policy? Are airline employees just pricks?