Middle names are a bit of a tricky issue when it comes to traveling. I personally have not included my middle name on the majority of airline tickets and never thought anything of it.

Until the time came to fly to Turkey and I was requested by Turkish Airlines to include my middle name on my flight from Newark to Istanbul.

This had me thinking. Was it doing it all wrong? Did I always need to include my middle name?

I did some research and it looks like many others had this same question.

The agent from Turkish Airlines assured me I would not be able to board if my ticket and passport did not match exactly, and this includes the middle name.

I was a bit reluctant to include it since I never had in the past but I agreed. I also became even more nervous when my ticket was printed “FirstMiddle Last”, showing no space in between the first and middle name.

Apparently this is common across airline carriers but again something that was new to me.

I ended up taking my flight to Istanbul with no issue but I couldn’t find a definitive answer to my question.

Generally, you are not necessarily required to put a middle name on your ticket. However, this comes with a bit of a catch.

Airlines are required by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to collect Secure Flight passenger data. This data includes“the passenger’s full name as it appears on the non-expired government-issued photo ID, date of birth, gender, and TSA Redress Number, if available.” Technically, if your secure flight passenger data does not match your boarding pass you may be denied boarding.

This is a big if because in our experience even if you don’t enter your middle name your Secure Flight passenger data can still include it, especially if you are utilizing a program like TSA Precheck.

The bottom line is you most likely will never have an issue if you do not include your middle name on a ticket. If you want to be super safe we suggest including it but either way you should have no worries about your next flight!