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to want to choose if I use my maiden or married name?

(30 Posts)
Bettyboobird Sun 12-Oct-08 19:02:53

I got married to my dh in November and have used my married name rather half-heartedly since then. The main reason for this is because dd1 has my maiden name as her surname, and so I didn't want to sever all ties with my maiden name completely- that probably sounds rather odd to most people, but hey ho!

I changed my bank account details etc but not my passport. Reason being, according the passport office you don't HAVE to change to your married name, it is only recommended. Now as I still have a couple of years on my passport and a name change is pricey, I decided to leave it in my maiden name for now until I was due for a renewal. I have travelled abroad with it since marrying without problems too.

As part of my PGCE uni course, I have to spend a month in Italy and flights are funded by the TDA and booked by the university. When I filled out the form for flight details, I highlighted the fact that my passport is in my maiden name. The course leader said this wasn't a problem, the lady booking the flights seemed to have an issue with it, but I didn't hear from her again.

This morning, I picked up an email from the lady booking the flight, stating that she has spoken to the legal team and they say I have to travel in my married name, so that is the name in which she has already booked my tickets.

AIBU to be rather irritated about this? Firstly, I have a foreign trip booked next month in my maiden name, so I can't change my passport until then. Secondly, it is going to cost money I didn't want to spend. Thirdly, the trip is in February and two other ladies on my course are marrying before then (one got married 3 weeks ago) and they have been permitted to fly in their maiden names. Fourthly, as it is not a legal requirement (according to the passport office), why should somebody else make this decision for me?!

Cappuccino Sun 12-Oct-08 19:07:15

I think you have to decide one way or the other

your uni wouldn't know your married name if you hadn't used it there

hecAteTheirBrains Sun 12-Oct-08 19:08:58

They shouldn't. Challenge it. Tell them they have to change it or you can't go and prove to them (by printing the rules out from the official site or something) that they are wrong and it isn't a legal requirement. Maybe photocopy your passport for them as well.

Is your course in your married name? Do they have to have the names match up for their paperwork? If you filled in the forms in your married name, you might have caused them some admin probs!

Also point out the others who will be travelling under their maiden names.

woodenchair Sun 12-Oct-08 19:11:53

I don't know about the legal side of things, but I can understand where you're coming from re your daughter. I'm not married to ds father, although we're in a relationship, but I insisted that ds had my surname. It was very important to me.

Are you in a position to dd surname?

severmefingers Sun 12-Oct-08 19:15:18

I kept my own name for most things, but i have been known to use my married name and have sometimes even double barrelled it.Confuses the hell out of people.

Bettyboobird Sun 12-Oct-08 19:19:11

I should have said in OP- I am registered on the course in my married name, and I explained this to the course leader and she said this wasn't a problem.

The other girls are registered on the course in their maiden names, but will be married when they fly.

I think they are using 'legal reasons' as an excuse to make admin easier. But in my mind, how hard can it be to book ONE flight in a different name to that which is printed on the register?

I guess I'm BU in a way, because I may have changed my name when renewing my passport anyway-but that would have been MY choice to make.

I wouldn't change dd's surname as she is not my dh's bio dd and my dad was really proud that she has his surname-he died in March, so I wouldn't change it out of respect for him. Also it is the name which she is registered at school, doctors etc with.

LuLuMacGloo Sun 12-Oct-08 19:30:03

Given that you explained the situation to the flight booking woman you are def not BU. She is.

I've been married 12 years -and use both maiden and married names in fairly willy-nilly manner - (self employed so maiden name is business name blah, blah). So I feel your pain. I always mean to photocopy my marriage certificate for instances like this - was nearly arrested once after signing 'wrong' signature on switch transaction in tesco. Have also had a similar situation where a company I was working for automatically booked a flight for me in maiden (work) name even though my passport is in married name. In that instance I think I contacted the airline and had to take marriage cert with me to prove id. Could you check whether you might be able to do the same?

biscuitsmustbedunkedintea Sun 12-Oct-08 19:46:16

I travelled for 3 years on my passport in my maiden name, and tickets in married name. Just took marriage cert. Only country to get huffy was Malta.

Think it's totally up to you what surname you choose. I thought long and hard about it when I got married as my maiden name will die out when/if my sister gets married.

zipzap Sun 12-Oct-08 23:44:55

YANBU - other people shouldn't be able to dictate which name you use when or force you to change from one to another when you have found an equilibrium that suits you for the assorted different people and situations in your life. I assume that your DH and DD are happy with the situation as they are the most important and most likely to be affected people by this! Must admit, I would be furious if somebody did this to me.

I would definitely email the lady back, copying in your couse tutor and the legal team too if you have their contact details. State again that you do not have a passport in your married name so you are not able to travel in your married name and that this is perfectly legal according to the Passport Office. And that you were told that it was not a problem by your course leader.

Ask them to show you explicitly which law(s) you will be breaking by travelling on the passport in your maiden name. If they can't show you those then the legal team needs to state specifically WHY you need to travel in your married name - if she only said she has spoken to the legal team but not given you the details of why they think it is a problem then it could be a bluff because it is something that she made a mistake on/didn't notice your note/she personally has an issue with/whatever. I would at least want to know why so I could double check - but of course if they are letting your coursemates go then it sounds like you have encountered a jobsworth rather than something that they can hold you to.

Do you have legal insurance of any sort that you could ring up and check with so you can counter back to them that you too have checked with your legal team and that they say there is no problem?

Tell them again that you told them which name to book your ticket in, that this is their problem and ask what they are going to do to rebook the ticket in your correct travelling name as you are not currently able to change your passport name (no point in giving them a reason why!). Make sure that you say that they need to cover the cost of any of the changes that need to be made as a result of their mistake. Point out again in this email that two of your course mates will be travelling using their maiden names despite being married and you want to know why you are being discriminated against. (It also undermines the legal team's assertion that you have to travel in your married name, so this is in your favour, definitely worth pointing out).

Is there somebody higher up that you can complain to (travel lady's boss) or a student representative that can give advice or practical help with this?

I'm sure you know all this already, sorry, have been a bit wordy and it is a bit late but reading this just infuriated me (on your behalf!). good luck and let us know how you get on!

plumandolive Mon 13-Oct-08 08:04:29

No- yanbu. No one should make you change the name you use, nd your reasons for keeping your miden name
I had this problem once when opening a building soiety account, ( I use my maiden name for work- it is actually quite important for me to keep it) and in the end they allowed it.
Take it further - follow Zipzap's advice

Bettyboobird Mon 13-Oct-08 11:47:09

Thanks everyone. Zipzap- great advice. I shall speak to my student rep and to my course leader and take it from there.
I've slept on it, and I'm still feeling irritated. I'm a very placid person who doesn't 'do' confrontation, but on this matter I may have to make an exception! grin

Poledra Mon 13-Oct-08 11:57:04

Just wanted to add my support - my passport is in my married name but I work under my maiden name. In 10 years, none of the places I have worked have had any problem with booking my tickets in my married name (except when my admin assistant has a CRAFT moment grin). You fight your corner!

babyignoramus Tue 14-Oct-08 14:43:22

I am in a similar situation - I've changed evrything to my married name except my passport as it runs out next year and I'd rather do it then when it's a free renewal. No problem whatsoever - you simply have to book the tickets in the name thats on your passport - they are being ridiculous. (NB I work in a legal office so asked them for advice!) Personally if it were me I'd make them pay for my passport name change....

Witchka Tue 14-Oct-08 14:56:19

I had this problem. It was always an issue when we went abroad until my passport ran out. In the end I chose to put both names on my passport in a kind of non hyphenated surname.

Before I got my new passport, DH always forgot and booked tickets in the wrong name and every time we'd try and check in and be told we had to queue at customer services and pay £75 to change the name on the tickets. This happened to us 3 times, and they always threatened to charge us but let us off the money when we got to the info desk. They just need the name the ticket is booked in to match the passport.

pookamoo Tue 14-Oct-08 15:12:46

I had a similar thing - didn't change my name on my passport after I married until it came up for renewal. I use my maiden name for work, have kept one bank account in that name and everything else (I think!) is now in my married name.

So when I got my MATB1 from my midwife and took it in to HR at work, I just gave them a copy of my marriage certificate to show it related to the same person.
I would do what zipzap said, and stand your ground.

I did have to speak to the passport office to confirm that I don't use my married name for "all purposes" which is what appears on their form, as I don't use it for work. It wasn't a problem though.

Good luck!

Highlander Tue 14-Oct-08 16:11:03

this is a bugbear of mine. There's no way I'll change my name; I'm married, not 'owned' grin

I do think that if you're going to change your name, do it all at once. I think it's unfair to expect everyone to compolicate their lives/jobs because you can't decide who you are

pookamoo Tue 14-Oct-08 16:13:36

I'm still the same person, just with a different name for work, highlander. Because of the job I do, it is sensible for me to keep my personal life separate.
I'm not a spy, btw wink

Poledra Wed 15-Oct-08 09:25:17

I'm like pookamoo - it's much easier for family life that we all have the same surname. However, having not got married until I was in my thirties, I had built up a professional reputation under my maiden name. I didn't want to lose that, so stuck with my maiden name for work.

bohemianbint Fri 17-Oct-08 14:04:41

I'm the same, pookamoo and Poledra. My website and business stationery are in my maiden name, too much faff and expense to change them.

witchwoman Fri 17-Oct-08 23:44:37

Think i agree with highlander. can't see the point in changing your name when you get mrried so i didn't but if you do chnge it it seems to make sense to use it. having said all that given these circumstances the woman booking the flights shouldn't have unilaterally decided to book you under a different name from the one you specified so I'd definately get stroppy about it.

MadBadandWieldingAnAxe Fri 17-Oct-08 23:56:05

After I married, I travelled for years with a passport still in my maiden name because sending it back to the passport agency to change seemed like too much faff. I always booked tickets in my maiden name.

Stand your ground. Ask the legal department on what bit of law they are relying - I can't think of one. Lots of women use one name at home and one at work. As long as you can prove your identity, what's the big issue?

LittlePushka Fri 17-Oct-08 23:57:14

Although I think it is very different if you have LO's with your maiden name, I personally was quite proud to change my name on marriage,... I am proud to stand next to DH as his wife and wanted to overtly be known as such!! (my professional reputation seems to have survived wink)(No I am not Cherie Blair!)

dittany Sat 18-Oct-08 00:00:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Sat 18-Oct-08 00:05:00

I am always puzzled by threads like this. I have my name. Dp has his. Our children have both with a hyphen. Thia has never been a problem for anyone.

Bettyboobird Sat 18-Oct-08 14:45:49

Thanks to everyone who offered advice on this topic- I stood my ground, and in the process found another lady on the course in the exact situation as me, who hadn't even been told there might be a problem with her passport- and together we took on the Authority...and won!!

The lady admitted that she had NOT booked the tickets yet. So we said we refused to change our passports. She told us what an issue it was etc etc and to come back on Thursday. The response was, that after a 'debate' with the legal team, they discovered, as I had told them all along, you CAN fly in your maiden name.

So they have agreed to book our tickets in the name of our choice.

I'm so glad I took the advice of you lovely ladies, as I wouldn't have argued my case normally, and instead would have silently fumed whilst handing over the hefty sum to update my passport. I see now that sometimes it is worth standing up for your rights!! grin

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