Friday as I began gathering and reviewing all of my travel paperwork, I noticed that the air ticket purchased for me by Self Help Africa through Expedia on Emirates has my name as "Barbara Jane" rather than "Barbara Joan". Sigh. Other than the fact that both my mother and her sister Joan Barbara, my godmother and reverse namesake, were rolling over in their graves at this mess up, I am worried that I may run into trouble with security. When Marcus was leaving on his trip to Guatemala, he and 3 other kids, all of whose tickets had been purchased by a school administrator, got stopped at the security checkin due to the names on their tickets not matching perfectly those on their passports. I was far enough away watching, but aware that something was not right as they went from the security checkin back to the airline checkin, back to the security checkin, back to the airline checkin. I think it was on the third try that they got through, but I believe only after one of the teacher chaperones paid the airline to adjust the tickets. And then they were late enough that they apparently had to jog to the gate.
So I called Expedia. I spoke to Jamie in Manilla who put me on hold while she spoke to someone at Emirates in Dubai to see what could be done. After 20 minutes on hold, Jamie came back and politely explained that Emirates would adjust the ticket for the $200 change fee and that the person who actually made the reservations would need to be the person requesting the change. Sigh.
So I emailed Martha at Self Help Africa. She plans to tackle the problem on Monday. As she pointed out, even if I get out of NYC, it would be a real pain to get stuck in either Dubai or Addis accused of not being the same person as my passport identifies me to be.