Making me crazy

I don’t travel as much as I used to, so I’m not up on all the latest changes. The last time I traveled by air was two years ago, and somebody else made the reservations. I don’t remember the last time I booked a flight.

This evening I was making reservations to go to southern California. I typically just go to Southwest Airlines because their rates are competitive if not always the lowest, and I always get good service. But seeing the cost of the flight I thought I’d shop around. Several carriers showed much lower prices for the trip I wanted. Until I took into account restrictions, extra charges, etc. Their Web sites don’t make it easy for me to feel confident that I’m getting what I think I’m getting, and by the time I added everything up it wasn’t a whole lot cheaper than Southwest.

I entered my Rapid Rewards account (Southwest’s frequent flier program) with my flight information so I’d get points for the flight. Why not, right? But then I couldn’t check out. You see, my Rapid Rewards account has my name as Jim Mischel. But new (new to me, at least) government regulations (“Safe Travel” or some such) insist that the name on the ticket match the name on my driver’s license, which is James Mischel. Uff. Southwest’s helpful Web site suggested that I change the name on my Rapid Rewards account.

But the Rapid Rewards account information page says:

For security purposes, we do not allow name changes online. Instead, please forward your Rapid Rewards card, along with photocopies of legal documentation (ex. driver license, marriage certificate, etc.) and an informal letter indicating your legal name, to Rapid Rewards, P.O. Box 36657, Dallas, TX 75235.

Just shoot me.

The only solution I could come up with was to remove the Rapid Rewards number. So I won’t get my points for the flight. Probably wouldn’t matter, anyway; I don’t fly enough for the points to mean anything.

Ain’t technology wonderful?