A student has found that changing his name by deed poll worked out cheaper than paying a hefty airline fee to change an error in his reservation.
As often in such stories, the airline concerned is Ryanair.
The Guardian reported that Ryanair presented Adam Armstrong, 19, with a GBP 220 “administration fee” to make a name change, after his girlfriend’s stepfather mistakenly reserved a seat to Ibiza in Spain for him under the surname of West.
GBP 220 is about AUD 440, now the two currencies have reverted to their customary exchange rate of about two Aussie dollars per pound.
Armstrong, obviously a lateral thinker, came up with a cheap solution. He changed his name to West (deed poll is free in Britain) and got a new passport for GBP 103 (AUD 206).
Armstrong (now West) said Ryanair “were not helpful at all”.
“All they needed to do was hit the backspace key on a keyboard and they want to charge me GBP 220?”
Ryanair offers cheap fares but charges heavily for anything else it can think of.
The Guardian observed that several airlines charge more than GBP 100 to make minor changes to bookings.
Ryanair stated: “Customers are asked to ensure that the details they enter at the time of booking are correct before completing their booking and we offer a 24-hour grace period to correct minor booking errors.
“A name change fee is charged in order to discourage and prevent unauthorised online travel agents from ‘screenscraping’ Ryanair’s cheapest fares and reselling them on to unwitting consumers at hugely inflated costs.”
Written by Peter Needham