Passport Problem

We are on the June 14th Danube Westbound cruise and right off the bat we have a problem. The Tauck website has incorrect names on our passport page. When we made the reservation we were already within 60 days of departure so we were locked out of that web page. We called the number provided and they put in the passport information. When we checked later they had not entered the full middle name, only the first initial. I understand from further research the middle name may not be a big issue with customs. The real problem is that my wife’s passport shows her last name as her maiden name and her married name, e.g., “Smith Jones” rather than “Jones”. We booked our air travel with Tauck and they submitted it to Delta as “Jones”.

When we called back, Tauck was totally unhelpful. They informed us our only option was to pay Delta $500 plus any change in fare. We aren’t changing our flights; just want to get the right information in the Delta Secure Flight Passenger Database. Other frequent traveler forums seem to indicate Delta will do this up to 72 hours ahead of departure (note we are 6 weeks away!!) Unfortunately, Tauck said Delta won’t talk to us since Tauck made the reservation. (Probably true). So we are essentially left in limbo. I’m hoping other travelers may have encountered this sort of passport issue and can give us some idea of whether this will block my wife from traveling to and from the US. (State Dept. needs six weeks to expedite a new passport, and you have to surrender the one you have. Too risky.) We have her birth certificate, marriage license, and her first Social Security card—all of which have her maiden name; we have her driver’s license with her married name as it appears on the Tauck website. All of these documents have her date of birth and most have her SS number. Only her passport has the two names. She used both names for several years after we were married but finally quit when she got tired of signing two names all the time.
We traveled to Europe in 1994 without problems, but that was before 9/11 so . . .

Thanks for any help you can give.


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    I'd call Delta. If you've paid for your flights and have the confirmation number Delta can pull up the reservation. We've had Tauck book our last 2 trips then had to deal directly with Delta to upgrade our seats to Economy Comfort since Tauck can't do it. Never had as problem dealing directly with Delta.
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    Thank you for your prompt reply and good suggestion. We only have a Tauck reservation number at this point, but I don't see why Delta could not answer some general questions about mismatched names and how much risk we might be facing. At least that until we get flight information. How soon does Tauck send you the package with your travel documents after you sign up? We just signed up two weeks ago and haven't seen anything yet for the June 14th cruise. Thanks again, and I'm glad to hear you like Tauck enough to go more than once. :)
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    If you are within 60 days of departure I would have thought your balance with Tauck including airfare was paid. Final payment is due on river cruises 90 days before the tour start. In your case I would have assumed immediately.

    Your travel documents, a spiral bound green book, usually arrive about a week after you've made your final payment.

    You should already have received an email from Tauck with a Summary of Purchase with details on your cruise and flight reservation information. It will be a PDF file attached to the email. You may also get a mailed copy.

    Are you dealing directly with Tauck or a travel agent?
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    edited May 2017
    Greg, I am finding your names problem confusing. But also, you should already know all your flight details and the names on the tickets from the summary Tauck should have emailed you when you booked, I would first call Tauck again and speak to a senior agent and if no help, call Delta. If you gave Tauck the correct information about the name on the passport, then they should correct it for you, but maybe you confused them, you have confused me about exactly what part is wrong from how you have written things here. if you had looked at your flight itinerary the minute you received it from Tauck, it is a general rule you have up to 24 hours to change a flight, or I presume, any discrepancies for names on tickets. I don't understand why you don't have the flight information, the flight number and so on, that's very odd. Have you paid the final sum for this reservation or not? Don't wait any longer for ideas from this forum, get right on it with Tauck. Hope you took the insurance. Good luck!
    Claudia, Tauck has often booked Economy comfort or different name equivalent for us.
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    On both our 2015 and this year's trip I had to handle the upgrade myself with Delta. Tauck only gave me the option of Business or Economy. I asked specifically. It hasn't been a big deal. Doing it on Delta's website let's me pick the seats from a diagram that let's me clearly see where the seats are.

    I'm with you that Greg's story is confusing.
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    I see Greg has edited, the Jones and Smith is no longer there, a little easier to understand?
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    I appreciate the help and thoughts of our fellow travelers. To clarify, we made the reservations two weeks ago, already past the 90 day payment due deadline so we had to pay immediately. The itinerary and invoice arrived by email that same day, the day before we paid. The passport page in the Tauck website was locked when I made the reservation, I assume because we were within 60 days of departure, so I didn't input that passport data at that time. The next day (after paying by credit card) I called and gave them the passport information, but it was too late. Tauck had used the passenger names I had input into the system when signing up, which is the married name my wife has used for 16 years. Unfortunately, her passport still has the double name "Maiden Name-Married Name". Ironically, it is the only document with her maiden name still there. I'm not intending to solve the puzzle of how it happened or to cast blame, we just want to make sure she doesn't get stranded somewhere. We have also pinged some of our friends who travel internationally and gotten some good tips. Right now, we have a Monday appointment at the Post Office to submit a passport name change and pay $60 to have it expedited. Since that is the only document out of sync, and that is the name Delta has on the ticket, that seemed like the best way to handle it. If that doesn't pan out we will default to some of the other ideas we got, including carrying all the other documentation and photo IDs she has.
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    Greg, Best of luck in getting this resolved.

    FYI, even if you'd been earlier than 60 days there's no guarantee you could have made corrections to Tauck data base. I've been trying for 4 years to get them to spell my husband's middle name correctly. Thankfully it's never caused a problem.

    Hope you and your wife have a great cruise.

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