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]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]