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]

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Centre of Excellence

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If you’re more of an artistic writer, the calligraphy course will perfect your classical calligraphy scripts to confidently shape the thick and thin strokes of each letter. While it can definitely be a therapeutic hobby, it’s also a great side-hustle. Create your own designs and make some extra cash selling them as wedding placards or wall art.

Take your time perfecting your craft with lifetime access to the 10 courses included in The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle. At the discounted price of $29.99, you’ll have spent more money on the coffee you’re sipping while you write your next novel than the courses themselves.

 

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11 Cooking Hacks From Real Chefs to Elevate Your Pasta Dishes

Ridofranz/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Ridofranz/iStock via Getty Images Plus

It’s one of the easiest and most popular dishes to make at home. Just boil noodles, heat a jar of sauce, and voila! What many don’t realize, however, is that with some attention to detail and just a few extra steps, you can take your spaghetti with marinara sauce from serviceable to restaurant-quality. Here are a few tips from the pros.

1. Make your own sauce.

This may not sound like a “hack,” but it’s way easier to do than most people think. All you need are four ingredients, according to celebrity chef Fabio Viviani: garlic, olive oil, basil, and a large can of whole plum tomatoes—he and others recommend the San Marzano variety of tomatoes, which derive from the volcanic soil around Naples. (If you’re so inclined, use a salad spinner to rid the tomatoes of their seeds before you get cooking.) Heat six smashed garlic cloves with some olive oil, add in the tomatoes, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, adding the basil at the very end.

2. Use a potato masher.

To break down those sauce tomatoes, you could smash them by hand, or use the same wooden spoon you use to stir. (You could also puree them, but most chefs say that’s a no-no.) Or, you could do like Scott Conant of Scarpetta does and use a potato masher, which allows for an even consistency while still keeping the sauce thick and flavorful.

3. Use the right amount of water.

Using too little water can cause noodles to clump while they’re cooking, according to Giuliano Hazan, son of legendary Italian chef Marcella Hazan. He recommends using six quarts of water for each pound of pasta. When in doubt, use more than you think you’ll need—but not so much that the pot overflows while boiling.

4. Don’t add olive oil.

Many believe that adding olive oil to the pasta water will keep the noodles from sticking together. Not true, says renowned chef and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich, who points out that well-cooked pasta should be naturally stick-free. Adding olive oil can also keep the sauce from adhering to the pasta, according to Alton Brown, which keeps ingredients separate that should meld together.

5. Salt liberally—and at the right time.

Just a pinch won’t do it, according to Del Posto chef Mark Ladner. To truly bring out the flavor of the pasta, add one tablespoon of salt per quart of water. As far as timing goes, wait until the water is boiling, but before you’ve put in the pasta. This allows the salt to infuse the water without affecting the boiling time—because, contrary to what you might have heard, adding salt right when you put the pot on the burner actually increases the time it takes for water to start boiling.

6. Turn off the heat and cover the pot.

Rather than boiling the water until the pasta is ready, do what famed chef and cookbook author Mary Ann Esposito recommends: Let the water return to a boil, then shut off the heat, cover the pot and wait for seven minutes. “Works beautifully for cuts like spaghetti, ziti, rigatoni and other short cuts of pasta,” Esposito writes. “Saves energy too.”

7. Cook the sauce in a skillet.

Forget using a small pot, or even a saucepan, to heat your sauce. As Bastianich tells it, a skillet is the way to go, mainly because it cooks evenly, allowing the sauce to thicken quickly. With its flared sides and lighter weight, a skillet also lets you toss the pasta and the sauce together.

8. Add a pinch of sugar to your sauce.

A touch of sweetness can help balance out the flavor of your sauce. Brooklyn chef Jen DePalma says she always adds a pinch of sugar to her sauce, which tones down the acidity and keeps it from tasting too bitter.

9. Cook the pasta with the sauce.

This might be the most crucial hack of all. As numerous chefs point out, pasta and sauce should be cooked together so that the sauce coats the noodles. Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello recommends taking the pasta out of the water four minutes before the cook time listed on the package, transferring it to the sauce skillet and cooking the two until the pasta is al dente. You should only bring your sauce to a boil after adding the pasta, then simmer the two until finished.

10. Use the pasta water.

Don’t pour out that water after you’ve transferred the pasta. As Jason Pfeiffer, chef-de-cuisine at Maialino tells Epicurious, a splash of starchy pasta water on the noodles and sauce will help bind the two together. (You can also use it to make a cocktail, if you’re so inclined.)

11. Don’t forget to add the finishing touches.

Chef Ken Arnone recommends adding fresh sliced basil to your sauce five minutes before it’s done cooking. If you’re going more indulgent, do as Scott Conant does and add a tablespoon of butter. After plating, you could go the traditional route with Parmesan cheese. Or, you could follow chef Elena Karp’s recommendation and add shaved pecorino cheese along with a hint of parsley.