If you make a mistake typing your name when booking a flight online it could cost as much as £100 to fix it. So, if you leave the auto-fill function on, or accidentally use your nickname, it could prove very costly…
If you’re anything like me, booking an online flight can make you feel as though you suffer from an obsessive compulsive disorder.
Before I click that all-important confirmation button, I tend to read, re-read and then read again all my details to make sure they’re correct. This might seem a little over the top but I don’t want to risk being charged a huge fee to amend my name or to correct a simple mistake.
And with good reason – my partner and I have been stung by these name-change charges in the past, when he booked a flight for me from Glasgow Prestwick to London with Ryanair.
While he was making the booking, he had the ‘auto-fill’ function enabled on his computer which meant the flight was booked in his name instead of mine. He noticed this after receiving the e-ticket and contacted the airline immediately to amend the booking. But, he was told he had to pay a name-change fee. In the end it worked out cheaper to buy a new ticket instead of changing the name.
Charges vary between airlines
If you mistakenly book your flight in your married name instead of your maiden name or in the name of Kate when your full name is Kathleen, for instance, then you’re likely incur a fee. And name change charges can vary significantly between airlines.
Monarch and Ryanair charge a flat fee per booking of £100. Bmibaby, Easyjet, Flybe and Jet2 charge a flat fee per single flight plus any difference in price between the day you booked and the day you make your amendment.
This difference could end up being quite a pricey charge, especially if you bought a really cheap ticket to begin with.
Errors shouldn’t be penalised
Airlines say they charge a name-change fee to prevent anyone from buying up large numbers of the cheapest tickets, changing the names and then selling them on for profit – which makes sense.
But, there is a difference between an overall name change and a simple error or amendment. Bmibaby, Flybe and Thomson do allow a 24-hour grace period for genuine spelling errors. But if you don’t notice your spelling mistake until you print out your e-ticket, this grace period will probably have elapsed.
Easyjet and Jet2 told us they would correct spelling errors at no extra cost while Monarch and Ryanair said they would do so on a case-by-case basis.
Unfortunately, the only way to guarantee dodging a hefty charge is to double check that all your details are entered correctly. So I’ll just have to put up with being a little obsessive when booking flights in future…