10 most often asked questions about travel documents

10 most often asked questions about travel documents

There are a bunch of things to know about travel documents when preparing for your journey


Do I need a visa for my destination? How should I write my name when booking my ticket? We collected the ten most often asked questions about travel documents.

How should I write my names when booking a flight ticket?

When travelling with Finnair, we ask you to provide us with your last name and at least one of your given names written in your passport. To ensure smooth travels, it is even better if you enter all your given names in the reservation, but it is not a must. It is important to ensure that you spell your last name and given names in the same way on your flight ticket as they are in your passport and any frequent flyer cards you may have, so for example nicknames can’t be used.

Please make sure that you write your last name and given names in the right fields when making the booking. Names in the wrong order are not accepted on flights crossing the Schengen external borders.

When travelling to/from/via China, Chinese names need to be written as in the machine-readable zone of the passport in the bottom of the passport page and all names have to be included in the booking.

It is good to note that other airlines can have different name rules.

My name contains special letters ä, ö, å or ü and a hyphen. What should I do with them?

When booking your ticket, you can write your name as it is written in your passport. We at Finnair accept the following spelling formats in the booking as well:

  • Ä can be spelt as A or AE
  • Ö can be spelt as O or OE
  • Å can be spelt as A or AA
  • Ü can be spelt as U or UE

It is good to know that our reservation system replaces all ä, ö, å and ü letters with a, o, a and u and removes hyphens from the names, so you don’t need to worry if your name looks a bit different on your ticket.

What if there is a mistake in my name spelling?

A small error in the spelling of the name is acceptable. For example, if your name is JOHNSSON and it is spelt as JOHNSON with one letter missing, it is ok. However, if the name is written as JOHANSSEN, the name needs to be changed on the ticket, as it is a totally different name than in your passport.

Our customer service will make the name spelling change for you for a fee.

My gender is wrong in the reservation. Is it a problem?

The wrong gender in the booking can be a problem, so we recommend that you contact us to fix the detail in your reservation.

What travel documents do I need when travelling? Can I travel with my driver’s license only?

The travel documents you need depend on your nationality, destination and transit countries. You’ll find detailed information about the required travel documents on our website or at https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/. You’ll need a passport on most routes. You may also need a visa to your destination country – and some countries even require certain health certificates.

Citizens of Finland and other Nordic countries can travel with their driver’s license within Finland and other Nordic countries.

How long should my passport be valid after my trip?

It varies between countries how long the passport should be valid after your trip. Some countries require that your passport is valid for three to six months after your trip has ended, and in some countries, it is enough if your passport is valid for the duration of your stay. It is a good idea to check country-specific instructions from their embassies’ websites or at https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/

When booking a ticket with Finnair, do I need to give my passport details?

At Finnair, we don’t ask for your passport details when you book your ticket. However, if you are travelling to, from, via or even over the USA, the US authorities require certain advance passenger information before you start your journey. This means we need to collect your passport details and the full address of your first night’s accommodation in the US in advance. You can provide us with these details via Manage booking on our website after you have made your booking.

If your booking includes flights with other airlines as well, they may require the passport details when booking the flight.

Does my child need their own passport or other ID?

The passport or ID requirements for children vary depending on the route and sometimes also on the airline policy. In general, children are required to hold their own passport or ID-card. Nordic citizens aged below 16 do not need a passport or ID when travelling together with their parents on a Finnair flight within the Nordic countries. Also, Nordic citizens below 12, who are travelling unaccompanied within the Nordic countries don’t need a passport or ID, but the person sending the child off and meeting him or her on arrival must have a passport or photo-ID issued by the authorities to prove his or her identity.

What about a letter of consent?

In some countries, travel consent from parents or guardians is required for children travelling without their parents or with only one parent. The consent may be required either when leaving or entering the country. The best source of information about consent letters is the local authorities. You can also find information at https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/

I am travelling via the USA to another destination country. Which US address should I provide to the authorities?

When you have an onward flight from the USA to a third country within 8 hours, you can write in the street address field “in transit to” and the name of the country you are heading to. The city and state are the ones you are arriving to in the USA. If you don’t know the actual zip code, use 99999.

If you are joining a cruise after your flight has arrived, please provide the name of the cruise ship, the city and the state where it is departing from and the ZIP code 99999.