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Tears after OTA error destroys dream visit to Oz

April 20, 2017 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

An Irish single mother who spent years saving for a family holiday to Australia was reduced to tears at Dublin airport on learning that an online travel agent had apparently made an error in the booking and her young daughter could not fly.

Meadhbh Ní Eidhin booked a flight from Dublin to Melbourne with her daughter Aimee (12) and mother Maire (75) through online travel agent Opodo, the Irish Independent reported.

When Meadhbh (pronounced Mave or May-va) arrived at the check-in desk at Dublin Airport on Friday, however, she was told that there was a problem. Part of Aimee’s full name was missing on the ticket. A middle name, ‘Irwin’ wasn’t included on the boarding pass. That meant Aimee’s boarding pass did not match her passport and visa.http://indusatryclub.com.au/

Meadhbh is certain she entered Aimee’s full name when she made the booking with Opodo.

Meadhbh had tried to check-in online but was instructed to check-in at the airport instead. According to the Irish Independent, Etihad told her on day of departure that Aimee could not board the flight. The airline couldn’t change the name to fix the error as it didn’t do the booking. The carrier was Etihad, the flight was sold by Virgin Airlines and the OTA was Opodo, the report said.

Meadhbh said she had been saving carefully for years to visit Australia and see her brother and his baby, finally shelling out close to EUR 4000 (AUD 5700) on the booking.

“I was hyperventilating at the counter, everything started spinning, I couldn’t breathe. My daughter was crying, as was my poor elderly mother,” she said.

Her mother ended up having to fly alone, leaving Meadhbh and Aimee behind.

Meadhbh described it as “the worst day of my life”, saying she sat upstairs in the airport in shock for what seemed like an eternity “and then spent hours on the phone between the airlines”.

Her brother in Melbourne borrowed money off friends and relatives so Meadhbh and Aimee could fly on Sunday instead, but Meadhbh now has to worry about paying her brother back.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    “She is certain she entered the right name”. Where is her copy to show this? Much as I hate OTA’s, computers just don’t lose parts of names. Sorry but women are by far the worst people where names are concerned. Almost every agents pet hate. They constantly give agents old names, unused maiden names, nicknames, everything but whats shown on their passports and then usually contact the agent the day of travel with questions like “It doesn’t really matter that my ticket says Mo Smith, but Mo is really Maureen and Smith is my married name but my passport still shows my maiden name of Hawthenstone-Greene?” Yes, we always tell them we need exactly whats shown on the passport, but this gets ignored and there’s tears or anger when we tell then how difficult and costly it is to name change once tickets are issued. Sorry ladies, but I cannot recall the last time a male client got caught up with this, Don’t be shy. You happily give over your date of birth so why so hard to give your full passport name?

  2. Peter Needham says:

    Thanks AgentGerko. Now that should stir up a bit of controversy!!

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