How To Change A Name And Date On A Flight Booking – FAQ Fridays

Video Transcription

Welcome to another edition of Travelstart’s FAQ Friday with me, Nick Paul.

Today we are going to talk about a really common question that we get asked here at Travelstart: How to change a name and date on a flight booking. This is such a common thing that we deal with that we actually have an entire department dedicated to it. We are going to look two different types of changes, namely: name changes and date changes.

Name Changes

We mostly get asked this when people have misspelled their names or want to sell their ticket on to somebody else. Name changes not not permitted, except on Mango flights. Some airlines may allow up to a one letter change on a ticket , but we have to ask the airline directly if that is possible. Most of the time the airlines say no. The only way to solve this problem is to put the ticket in for a refund, get whatever is refundable back, and purchase a new ticket. This can be expensive so it is really important to check your names as per your ID or passport before entering your details onto our website when making a booking. The same would apply if you are booking with an airline website or another travel agent, it is vital to put your names in correctly.

Domestic flight hack: if your surname is spelled correctly and your initial is correct, but your first name is spelled incorrectly, travel with your drivers license. This reason for this is because your drivers license does not show your full name. For international tickets this will not work as you are required to travel with your passport.

Why can’t you change your name on a ticket?

You might be wondering why it is that you can’t change your name on the ticket. There are 2 main reasons:


If you book a flight with a name which would not flag a security black list, and closer to the date of departure change it back to your name, you can sometimes fly under the radar of the various security services around the world.

Ticket Fare Dilution

Airlines do not like their fares to be diluted. What I mean by this is that if you were to book a cheap ticket long in advance and then the day before change the name on the ticket and sell it to somebody else you could make a profit, the airlines would therefore lose out on being able to sell the ticket for the full price that they would have on that day.

Date and Time Changes

The other kind of changes you can make are date and time changes. This is if you want to change the date or time of the flight you have booked to another flight at a later date/time. Most often tickets are changeable but some of the cheaper tickets do not allow for changes.

At Travelstart we search for the cheapest flight deals possible, resulting in some of the ticket dates & times not being changeable. That is why we offer the “Flexible Ticket” option to our clients. It costs R120 for domestic flights (per flight) and R795 for international flights. This allows you to make one free date change. If there is a difference in fare from the old flights you booked to the new flights you will have to pay that in, but the change fee is covered by Travelstart.

So that is it from me this week for FAQ Friday. If you have any travel related questions please ask them in the comments below, who knows, next week we might make them into a video.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel by clicking here.


Our Readers Comments

  1. Dear Nick

    thanks for such an informative section on Travelstart.

    I would like to know most travel agents don’t tell customers about IT fares?



  2. say you taken a 3-4 week holiday, you get sick or dont like your stay, can you leave the country before the return date

    • Hello Shereen, you will be able to change the date – you can either contact your travel agent or the airline, depending on who you booked with. Also, make sure you buy travel insurance for incidences like this in case of getting sick and needing medical attention in another country, for more information contact our agents on 0861 878 278/+2721-468-4300, Almene

  3. I want to know this, if I book a ticket from your office with my ID book or passport, and your staff made a mistake, I found this only the day of travel, what will be your reaction?

    • Hello Daniel, good question! Itineraries and emails are sent to you to check details of the ticket, but there is always a possibility a mistake can be made. If the itinerary as well as the email is correct and the ticket is incorrect we will definately assist with this. We usually advise clients to double check everything before it is booked. If you have any further enquiries about this, please contact our agents on 0861 878 278/+2721-468-4300, Almene

  4. I have already booked my international tickets but was never offered the flexiticket option. I need to change 2 dates. How do i go about doing that.I am prepared to pay the R795 required. And whatever the cost for the second change

    • Hello Gary, thank you for contacting us! The previous design had the flexi ticket as an optional extra, which you would have seen when booking your ticket. Unfortunately you are unable to add it at this stage, but we can assist with a quote for the date change. Please contact one of our agents on 0861 878 278/+2721-468-4300 for assistance with this, Almene

  5. When special deals are advertised with specific flight dates, Can changes be made eg flying out on the specific date and returning maybe a week or 2 later?? Please advise if this is possible eg If I fly on apecial deal to say Phuket, then make my way to say NZ and return via Phuket.

  6. Explain to me carefully once again – If I book tickets with SAA to leave Johannesburg on Friday 19th September to Cape Town, and return Sunday 28 September (assuming I can get a booking) and request the additional R480 Flexi-Ticket option (2 adult passengers) will this allow me to change both departure and return dates once (subject to availability of alternative flights)? The problem is the second passenger is still trying to get a visa application approved, and I may have to amend the hotel booking in Cape Town and flights from and to Johannesburg, if the visitor from oversees cannot make it before 19th September. I cannot afford to lose on the deal – the air tickets cost almost as much as the hotel accommodation! SAA has become damn expensive!!! What happened?

  7. Thanks for sharing this great post. It can be required some time to change date and time of some flight due to some reason. And yours tips are just mind blowing. And your post can be much helpful who can used to travel a lot. And I have booed my tickets last month from and at the time of flight, I need to delay my flight but I am not aware of that and due that lost my tickets.

  8. I have purchased a flexible ticket on a domestic flight to be with my brother who is seriously ill. depending on changes in his condition i may need to stay on longer than originally planned. I understand I can only make one change. I also suspect that the later I leave making the change the smaller the chance of getting an equivalent flight. Do you have any advice to offer taking into account the uncertainty of changes in his condition, and financial constraints I have?

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Sorry to hear that your brother is not well.

      With regards to changes to a ticket, this really depends on the availability the airline can offer. If one is flexible with their date change it does stand in ones favor, as we could assist trying to find the cheapest available rates.

  9. hi, I have booked a ticket to London for this Sunday but may need to change the date of departure. How can I change this date?

    best regards

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I have done a search using your e-mail address and found your booking for departing on the 10 May to London Heathrow. I’ve tired to contact you however it went straight to voice mail.

      Please can you e-mail with your new dates of travel, and they will get back to you with a quote. Or best to contact us on 021 468 4300 and speak to a consultant who will be able to quote you over the phone. Our lines are open till 5pm today and again from 9am – 1pm tomorrow.

  10. Good Day
    I booked a ticket for my boss and one promoter, but now the promoter has to be replaced due to dismissal. How can I change the 2nd ticket to for the new promoter???

    • Hi Dedre,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This depends on what airline the passenger is traveling on. Low cost carriers such as Mango permit name changes at an additional cost.

      Majority of airlines like SAA and BA etc do not permit name changes and the ticket not being used will need to be cancelled and submitted for a refund. They will need to look at the rules of the ticket and see if a refund is possible.

      If the ticket was booking through Travelstart you can e-mail our refunds team at: and copy in

      If the ticket was not booked through us you will need to contact the airline direct.

  11. Hi, I need to be in london from the 2nd of August but am not yet sure exactly how long I have to stay. If I buy a flexible ticket, is it possible to change the return date once I am already in London? (I ask because the description on your website says “All changes must be done PRIOR to original departure date on the ticket”, which sounds like I would need to know before I depart for London) Thanks

    • Hi Theresa,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Yes that is correct all dates need to be changed prior to original departure date. So if you are wanting to change your return date which is currently 10 July 2015 for example, you will need to contact us before the 10 July 2015 to do the necessary changes.

      Hope the above makes sense, if not, please contact us and we will answer any further queries you might have.

  12. I have two names present on my ID but when booking my ticket online I only gave the name that I commonly use and my surname will I have a problem when checking in?

    • Hi Deborah,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The name and surname on the booking needs to match what is on the ID document being presented at check-in.

      Did you make a booking with Travelstart, if so please provide us with your Travelstart booking reference number so I can look at your booking and advise on the way forward if the name and surname does not match.

  13. I need to book a flight soon for December but I recently got married and haven’t changed my surname yet. I plan on changing it next month so how should I book my flight?

    • Hi Chantal,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The name and surname on the ticket must match the passport being presented at check-in.

      So it depends which passport you will be travelling on. If you are 100% sure you will receive your new passport with your married surname in it within the required time (before you travel) then you will book your ticket with your name and new surname.

  14. I would like to change my flight booking for the 19th of july to monday the 20th july 2015

  15. I would like to change my flight booking from 19th july 2015 to the 20th july 2015. I would like to know how do I change it

    • Hi Zanthe,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve done a search using your name and surname and located your booking. I see you are traveling with Skywise.

      All changes for Skywise bookings will need to be made directly with the airline.

      Their contact number is: 0861 91 14 35

  16. Hi I would like 2 know if I can book a ticket 4 the 19th july 4 my frnd I am already booked on the flight 4 the 19th of july so I would lije 2 book 4 her on the same day and same flight how mch will it cost me

    • Hi Zanthe,

      thanks for getting in touch.

      If there are seats available you will be able to book a seat for your friend. You welcome to search for availability and prices on and make the booking.

      Should you wish to get assistance in making this reservation, we have a team of Travel Experts that would love to help. You can contact Travelbar by calling 021 468 4300 (Monday – Friday) or by sending an email to and they will get back to you with 2 working days!

  17. I made a mistake on my gender when buying a ticket,I forgot to change it from Mr to Miss.when I called the airline they told me they can only do the remark.that’s all…what does doing a remark mean&what are the disadvantages of the remark?..I really don’t understand.what if I will not be able to leave?

    • Hi Vuyiswa,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      When the airline says they have remarked the booking. This means they have put a note into your booking for the airline check-in staff to see the correct title.

      As they are not able to assist in changing it on the ticket they can only put a note into the booking.

      You will need to contact the airline direct to see if this is sufficient (having a note in your booking) for you to travel as it is up to the airline check-in staffs discretion if they will permit you to check-in with this or not.

  18. would like to change my booking where must I go to do this all I get is questions from customers Thanks

    • Hi Beatrice,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve done a search using your e-mail address and located your booking.

      Please e-mail our a amendments team direct on: with your new dates of travel and they will get back to you with a quote. If you wish to accept their quote you can reply to them direct.

      Alternatively you can contact us on 021 468 4300 and speak to an amendments agent direct who will gladly assist you over the phone.

      Our office hours are from 9am – 5pm

      All changes need to be made minimum 24 hours prior to original date of departure.

  19. I have booked for my son to go and work in Colorado for the ski season. I have booked him on a flight leaving too late and home 3 days too early. What is the cost to change this BA ticket.. ZA02054732. I understand I will also have to pay in, if the flight is a more expensive one… but just need to know the cost of the change
    Thank you

    • Hi Jane,

      I see that you’ve been in touch with Erica in our amendments department and she has emailed you. If there’s anything else you need with regards to changing the booking, please chat to her and her colleagues.

  20. Hi,
    I have booked already, i received the flight details but my email is currently blocked. How can i get the flight details again.

    • Hi Silvanus,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If the booking was made with Travelstart you are welcome to send us your Travelstart booking reference number and passengers name and surname used to make the booking.

      We will call up the booking and resend the confirmation to an alternative e-mail address.

  21. Hi

    My name is Nabeel Petersen, booking reference: 3XCZ4H. I am currently in Argentina and am booked to depart from Argentina on the 03 December 2015. I have paid for a flexible date change and would like to change my ticket to the next available flight schedule.

    Could you urgently contact me via email so that we can arrange this? I can gladly log onto the live chat at a convenient time to manage this as I would like to depart Buenos Aires NOT on the 3 Dec but the very next available date;.

    I await your urgent response. I can be contacted via Whatsapp or email.


    Nabeel Petersen
    Mobile: +27 72 7776161

    • Hi Nabeel,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I see our amendments team have already sent you a quote via e-mail. If you have any further queries with regards to an amendment you welcome to contact them direct on:

  22. I was not informed of getting unabridged certificate for my kids. Now flights have been booked. What do I do?

  23. Pls assist in sorting out unabridged certificates asap in 5 days i will be leaving on holiday.

  24. If I would like to change the date of our travel and have not chosen the flexible ticket option, what will this entail and cost?
    Sheila Moolman

    • Hi Shelia,

      Thanks for contacting us and taking my call earlier. I will be e-mailing you at the e-mail address we discussed used to make your booking as well as get an agent to contact you to assist with any further queries you might have.

  25. Hi,
    Please I have booked tickets and would like to change the dates, but the agency here “Cairo, egypt” are not replying me, at this time, so is there any possibility to have the changes from ur side.
    The tickets are not flixble. I need to change 5 tickets.
    Appreciating your reply.

    • Hi Aliaa,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you booking was made through Travelstart, please can you let us know what your Travelstart booking reference number and I will get an agent in our Egypt office to contact you.

  26. My flight is from december 9 2015 to may 2016 but i need to go home early like on february because my wife is ill. Is it possible for me to go home? If yes will it cost me more? Thank yu for the reply. Godbless

    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you have made the booking with Travelstart please e-mail our amendments team direct at: with your new dates of travel.
      They will look at the rules of the ticket to see if changes are permitted and then send you a quote for your new dates.

      If the booking was made through the airline direct we will not have access to this booking and you will need to contact them for assistance.

  27. Hi please can you help me:( my boss booked me a flight to durban and didn’t book a flexy ticket! And I can’t fly that day or time:( is there anyway of changing it and what would the costs be etc? many regards Rain x

    • Hi Rain,

      thanks for contacting us.

      I’ve done a search for your booking using your e-mail address and tried to call to assist but it went to voice mail.

      I also see in the comments in your booking my colleague Melissa has assisted with your query.

      If you have any further amendments queries you welcome to call our amendments team on 021 468 4300 or Fly Safair direct to do any changes.

      Kindly note all changes to a booking need to be made minimum 8 hours prior to original time of departure booked.

  28. We have return flights from Perth to OR Tambo on 27 March flight SA 281. Travelstart Ref ZA 02204008 booking ref. 6KL8IM.
    What is the longest time we can delay departure and what will the cost be to change?

    • Hi Albert,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      if you have any questions or want to do a date change / get a quote you welcome to e-mail our amendments team direct with all your information: your booking reference number and your new date of travel and they will reply with a quote.

      You can contact them via e-mail at:

  29. Hi there! We have friends from the USA coming to visit SA in April. They booked their flights with SAA a while ago.
    Problem is, they got married and her last name has changed since the booking was made. The pages of her prior passport has been “punched” so it is deemed invalid.
    Can she change the name on the booking?
    Can they not bring along her old passport and perhaps marriage certificate to the airport and fly that way?
    Or should they just buy a new ticket?

    • Hi Linya,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Airlines especially SAA do not permit name changes or corrections. You will need to contact the airline direct to see if they will permit her to travel with her passport and certified marriage certificate showing both her maiden and married surnames. This will be up to the airlines discretion if they permit this or not.

  30. I booked my flight from London – johannesburg with VA and then from joburg to windhoek on SAA and flying back from Vic falls to joburg BA and to Lon don on VA. However whilst booking I managed to press letter A twice in my name my mistake so passport has one A but e ticket has AA. The other airlines are ok to change as it is only one letter and human error. Please can you tell me how SAA work and will /i be able to board the flight from joburg to windhoek.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      From my experience SAA does not allow any name changes or corrections. They are very strict with this.

      If you have made the booking with Travelstart you welcome to contact us and we will gladly contact the airline on your behalf to see if they will put a note into the booking letting them know the correct spelling. However it is still up to the check-in agents discretion if they will allow you to board.

      If the booking was made directly with the airline you will need to contact them direct.

      The reason why some airlines are so strict is, if they allow you to board with the incorrect name (where the name and surname are not as per the passport being presented at check-in) and the passenger gets stopped at immigration it is the airline that will get a fine.

  31. Hello
    My name is Nonhlanhla. I have already made a booking for December 2016 for me and my friend but now I have problem. The person that i have booked for is no longer going. Is it possible to change the ticket to someone else’s name.can i also change all my tickets to flexibe hence they are not flexible.

    • Hi Nonhlanhla,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      It depends on the airline your friend is travelling on.

      If your friend is traveling on a pure Mango flight or Fly Safair name changes are permitted at an additional cost from the airlines side.

      For any other airlines the airline does not permit name changes and they will need to see if they are able to cancel this ticket.

      If the booking was made through Travelstart please e-mail us at: and copy in with all your details: booking reference number, which passenger needs to cancel their booking etc.

      All cancellations need to be made minimum 24 hours prior to departure.

  32. Hello travel start, please can you advise as I purchase flexi ticket for me and my child however I’m planning to change my return date and my child is flying back together with my sister.We have book same all details and the difference is I book together with my child and my sister book for her flight separately.Please advise the procedure as the agency will not allow me to change my flight for the reason of my child flight has been book together

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch and the interesting question.

      You will need to e-mail our amendments team at provide them with your Travelstart booking reference number and new dates of travel for the passenger wanting to change.

      Our agents will reply via e-mail with a quote should there be in difference in fare and airport taxes. You can then reply to their e-mail confirming you wish to proceed. Once payment is received (if there is any that needs to be paid) they will then do the change.

      They will then split the booking. You can advise them of your sisters booking reference number (if her booking was not made with Travelstart) we will need to contact the airline direct asking them to link the two new passengers bookings who are now traveling together.

      You are also welcome to contact them on 021 468 4300.

  33. Hi

    I made a flight booking for my daughter yesterday. Reference number : NQSZQD
    Ticket number : JE-9160029392362

    When I made a booking I used the email address which is no longer in use. I therefore request that you send her e-ticket to the following email address,

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve called up your booking and changed the e-mail address to: the change has been made on our system as well as Mango system.

      I have resent the Mango confirmation.

  34. Hello,
    I made a booking and got a reply from travelstart with the reference number SA01606999. Next day I received a email saying that my booking has been canceled. I still did not receive my refund and I am not able to contact the customer care number. My emails are also not being replied. Kindly help me with this issue. Email :

    • Hi Hamza,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I have followed up on your booking SA01606999 and see your ticket has been issued and e-mailed to:

  35. Hi good evening, is it possible to change my flight date which is June 7,2016 to July 7, 2016? How pls help just for an un expected situation. TIA

    • Hi Phoebe,

      Please confirm if an agent already assisted you with your query for booking: AE01597652

  36. And instead the return is July 5 to August 5? TIA

  37. We need to change our Gatwick to S Africa(2 seats). Our flight nack to SA is on the 17th June and we need to change it to around the 23rd June due to family ill health. We purchased flexi tickets through you. Our name: Mr John and Mrs Avril Gunnell. Ticket nos.: 2352234436172/73. Please reply to email: as my is not allowing me to reply to emails Thank you John&Avril Gunnel

    • Please can you reply to my previous email. We need to change our flights from 17th June Gatwick to SA on around 23 or 24th June. Our tilcket nos. are: Ticket nos.: 2352234436172/73. Names: Mr John & Mrs Avril Gunnell. We need to change our flights URGENTLY. Please reply to: gunnell.

  38. URGENT – BOOKING NUMBER – ZA02503698
    Hi, I am booked to fly back to Durban from Johannesburg tomorrow 27 June 2016 at 13.20, arriving in Durban at 14.25, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I need to change my ticket to return to Durban this coming Thursday 30 June 2015 on a similar “time” flight.
    It says I need to do it today, but I have no idea where to start and the web page says all help is unavailable until 9.00am tomorrow.
    Please advise me what to do.
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I see you have already been assisted by our amendments team.

      On our “contact us” page we do advise our clients they are able to e-mail us:

      Urgent after hour contact

  39. TICKET REF: ZA02294064
    This was a flexi ticket and I have already changed date of departure (at huge extra expense!) I now need to change the date of return. How much extra will this cost through Travelstart (excluding the possible increase in the actual ticket price). Also, could I change my flight directly with the two airlines involved, which may end up being cheaper? Thank you.

    • Hi Christine,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Our flexi ticket covers a passenger for one free change (should the same booking class be available and taxes are the same)
      Travelstart covers the airline penalty fee and any difference in airfare and airport taxes will be for the clients own expense.

      Should you wish to make another change to your booking you will need to pay difference in airfare, airport taxes and penalty fees.

      Please e-mail our amendments team direct at: with your new dates of travel and what you wanting to change, they will revert back with a quote within 24 hours.

      Please do not leave your change to last minute as payment still needs to be processed and ticket re-issued etc.

  40. Thank you. Please could you also reply to my question about whether I can have the dates changed myself with the two airlines involved, or do I have to go through Travelstart? More or less what is the penalty charge?

    • Hi Christine,

      If you have made a booking with Travelstart and would like to do a date change you would need to contact us on 021 468 4300 or e-mail our amendments team at: with your booking reference number and details of what you would like to change your booking to.

      Bookings made directly with the airline you would need to contact them direct so they can assist accordingly.

  41. Thank you but it is still not clear: IF my booking was made through travelstart,do I have the option of changing the date directly with the airlines involved, or do I HAVE to make the change through travelstart?

    • Hi Christine,

      If you made your booking through Travelstart all changes need to be made through us directly unless you are doing a last minute change where your flight is departing within the next hour (example) and you need to make an urgent change.

      Should you wish to make any changes to your Travelstart booking please try do so at least 24 – 48 hours prior to departure or sooner by contacting us on 021 468 4300 Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm / Saturday 9am – 1pm

      We do have an after hours emergency number: 087 135 3115 should you need to contact us for assistance.

      You also welcome to e-mail our amendments team direct at:

  42. Eish I made a typo on my mom-in-law’s ticket with SAA now I have to pay double the price 🙁 I wish there was another way they could assist

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid the airline does not permit name corrections.

      If you have make a booking with Travelstart please contact us on or call on 021 468 4300 and speak to one of our Guest Specialists so they can assist accordingly.

  43. Hi I would like to know. I booked a ticket through saa and didn’t return yet. This was for the 28th of August. Would I be able to change the date and pay a fee. It was a return ticket from jhb to brazil to jhb.if yes how much will I have to pay

    • Hi Ronel,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This depends on the rules of the airline. Usually if one was a no show for the their they could forfit it, however only the airline would be able to advise accordingly. Please contact SAA direct they can look at the rules of the ticket as assist in answering any questions you might have.

  44. I have a question, my husband book a tickets for him and my brother from Houston tx to Amman Jordan, my brother lives in Mexico and he is traveling with a Mexican passport. My husband book under Carlos Maciel Martinez and his passport shows Carlos Martinez Maciel. United airline Said they will make a note in the computer showing “passport name Carlos Martinez Maciel” and should not be a problem. What do you think? We are concern that the day of the flight it may be a problem?

    • Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we are are not able to make this judgement call as it is up to the discretion of the airline check-in agent if they will allow the passenger to check-in and board. Also this up to the immigration official.

      With all airlines the rule is name and surname on the ticket must match what is showing in the passport used to check-in.

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