Steps involved in booking a flight to SoCal and renting a car for the holidays:
- Southwest won’t let me book flight with frequent flyer program under new name because it doesn’t match old name.
- Look up Southwest’s frequent flyer name change policy, which requires preparing a written request, plus copies of both old and new photo IDs (and implicitly a copy of the court order), and mailing all that to the home office in Texas.
- Say fuck it, open a new frequent flyer account — worse case I’ll just have to write off the accumulated mileage from my existing frequent flyer account.*
- Look at flight reservations. Choose earlier flights than I’d like, because just in case there’s hassles over photo ID,** I don’t want to be booked on the last flight of the evening.
- Book flight. Omit trusted traveler number (i.e. TSA Pre-Check, because new name won’t match the current number and I don’t know if number will change once I get name updated with TSA).
- Resign self to dealing with holiday security lines — and the dreaded body scanner*** unless I can get updated Pre-Check info added before flight.
- Hope that new driver’s license arrives before trip, so that I have photo ID that matches ticket.**
- Try to book rental car. Hertz won’t let me change name on Hertz Gold account; can’t find info anywhere on how to change it.
- Say fuck it, decide to open a new Gold account.
- Resign to losing perks associated with being a long-term Gold member.
- Start creating new Gold account, realize I need to update AAA info to get AAA discount rate.
- Can’t find any info online about updating AAA info.
- Sign into AAA website, go to My Account — YAY! I can change my name online, no questions asked!
- Change name, request new card from AAA.
- Back to Hertz, enter AAA number into new Hertz Gold account application.
- Create new Gold Account.
- Finally book goddam car.
- Hope that new driver’s license with photo arrives before trip, so that I have photo ID that matches the reservation.**
* Although I may mail them documentation of name change and ask to if they can transfer my existing mileage to new account.
** I’ve been told that if I don’t have the new driver’s license (I probably won’t have the passport in time for the SoCal trip), I should be able to use the old, invalided driver’s license in combination with the new temporary license (just a slip of paper without a photo) and a copy of the court order showing the legal change of name and gender. Should.
*** Fortunately I never had a problem going through body scanners (before I got TSA Pre-Check), but they’ve been a major source of bureaucratic fuckery by TSA agents who were at best insensitive, at worse actively hostile, to trans people. One big reason I got TSA Pre-Check (OK, actually Global Entry, but GE gives PC privileges) is that you get to go through just an old-school metal detector instead.