How to Change an Error in Your Name on an Airline Ticket

Denisfilm/iStock via Getty Images
Denisfilm/iStock via Getty Images

Even if you’re not a frequent flier, you’re probably familiar with the TSA’s rule that the name on your boarding pass must match the name on your government-issued ID. The agency is strict about this for a very good reason: According to Condé Nast Traveler, the names must match so that airline officials can screen you against the government’s watchlist make sure you’re allowed to fly.

But mistakes happen. Maybe your fast fingers accidentally omitted a letter from your name, or maybe your sister booked your ticket under “Katie” when your passport says “Kathleen.” However it happened, there are processes to correct the error—and you definitely should correct it (unless you’re looking for an excuse to miss your flight).

As soon as you notice an error, call the airline customer service number. If you catch it within 24 hours of booking your flight, you'll likely get a free pass—a representative will correct the mistake for no charge. (The 24-hour rule also applies to refunding or changing a flight altogether.) If it’s after the 24-hour window, you may have to pay a penalty for a name change, depending on the airline.

Alaska Airlines charges $125, for example, while JetBlue and Southwest will correct at least one error for free. Since you’ll be dealing with a real-life customer service representative, you could try to negotiate the lowest possible fee if you have a particularly compelling reason for the mistake, but don’t count on mercy: The non-refundable and non-transferable disclaimers when you purchase tickets are usually pretty clear.

If you’ve legally changed your name between booking a flight and actually flying, that doesn’t qualify as an error, and you don’t have to update the name on your ticket. However, you do have to bring governmental documentation of your name change—a marriage certificate, court order, or other official form—to prove to authorities that your name has been legally changed and you just haven’t replaced your old ID yet. Condé Nast Traveler also advises that you bring a print-out of the Department of Transportation’s Fly Rights page in case the airport official with whom you’re dealing doesn’t happen to know the policy.

If your plans have changed rather than your name, and you’d like to transfer your ticket to someone else, check your specific airline’s policy … but don’t get your hopes up. Many airlines, including Delta, United, Southwest, and JetBlue, outright forbid it; Frontier Airlines charges $75. It’s not really for security reasons—it’s to prevent third-party vendors from nabbing multiple cheap tickets and then making a profit by reselling them to you based on demand. The airline, then, is free to fluctuate the prices on a day-to-day basis. Here’s a handy tool to help you find the cheapest flights at any given time.

Overall, our best advice is to walk away from your device right after purchasing plane tickets, come back a few minutes later, and double-check the confirmation information for errors with fresh eyes.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

Spending a Lot On Books? This Browser Extension Tells You if They’re Available at Your Local Library

artisteer/iStock via Getty Images
artisteer/iStock via Getty Images

If your battle-worn bookcase is groaning under the weight of all the books you've bought online, let us introduce you to a delightful browser extension that you didn’t know you needed.

As CNET reports, Library Extension is a free way to automatically see if the book you’re about to purchase can be checked out from a library (or libraries) near you. After you install it here—for either Chrome or Firefox—click on the tiny stack of books that appears next to your search bar, and choose your state and public libraries from the dropdown menu. Then, search for a book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible, or Google Books, and a box along the right side of your window will tell you how many copies are available. It also works on Goodreads, so you don’t even have to be committed to buying your next great read for it to come in handy.

If you’re not picky about book formats, you can add digital catalogs from platforms like OverDrive, Hoopla, and Cloud Library in your extension preferences, and your results will list e-book and audiobook copies among the physical ones. Once you’ve found something you’d like to check out, just click “borrow” and the extension will deliver you straight to its corresponding page on the library’s website.

For veteran library patrons, navigating various catalogs to find the perfect novel might seem simple—or even a little like hunting for treasure—but it can overwhelm a novice borrower and make them stick to one-click purchasing on familiar e-commerce sites. Library Extension takes the confusion out of the process, and gives you the opportunity to save some money, too.

Though the extension will only show you books, they’re not the only things you could be borrowing—here are 11 unexpected items you might be able to check out from your local library.

[h/t CNET]

The 20 Best States to Retire in 2020

Robert Clay Reed/iStock via Getty Images
Robert Clay Reed/iStock via Getty Images

Spending your workdays dreaming of retirement? It’s the ultimate goal of any longtime office-dweller, but figuring out when you’re ready to finally take the plunge is one of many questions aspiring retirees need to ask themselves before quitting the 9-to-5 grind for good. Determining where to retire is equally important, as you’ll need to think not just about affordability, but quality of life and health care as well.

Personal finance website WalletHub crunched the numbers on all 50 states to come up with an official ranking on the best (and worst) states to retire. Their experts looked at 47 different factors and enlisted the help of a panel of experts.

Ultimately, it turns out that the idea of retiring to Florida is still very much alive. The Sunshine State took the top spot in the poll, largely because of its affordability (it came in second in that category overall, with only Alabama besting it). But spending your golden years on a beach somewhere doesn’t seem to be for everyone; while Colorado and New Hampshire certainly have their warm-weather seasons, they also accumulate plenty of snow each year—which didn’t seem to matter as they clinched the second and third positions on the list, respectively. Here are the 20 best states to retire:

  1. Florida
  2. Colorado
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Utah
  5. Wyoming
  6. Delaware
  7. Virginia
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Idaho
  10. Iowa
  11. South Dakota
  12. Montana
  13. Pennsylvania
  14. Massachusetts
  15. Ohio
  16. Minnesota
  17. Texas
  18. South Carolina
  19. North Dakota
  20. Missouri

The news was far less happy for Kentucky, which claimed the last spot on the list (followed closely by New Mexico, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and West Virginia).

You can view an interactive version of the map below, and visit WalletHub to see more detailed information on each state’s ranking.

Source: WalletHub

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