Something must be rotten in the state of Ryanair when it turns out to be cheaper to change your name and buy a new passport than get the airline to correct a mistake on a ticket. But that is precisely what happened to Adam West – nee Armstrong. He was facing a charge of £220 to be able to use a ticket, bought by his girlfriend’s stepfather, which accidentally carried the wrong name.
“Her step-dad got my name from Facebook but I had put it as Adam West as a joke, because he was the actor who played Batman on TV,” he told The Eagle. To make sure the trip to Ibiza could still go ahead the 19-year-old student decided to change his name to West by deed poll (for free) and buy a fast-track passport under his new name for £103, saving him more than £100.
— The Sun (@TheSunNewspaper) June 5, 2015
Ryanair would have charged double the price of his ticket because his girlfriend India Lomas was on the same booking, meaning the administration fee would be doubled. The charge is supposed to stop people from re-selling Ryanair tickets for a profit.
The situation is ironic given Ryanair’s recent customer friendly approach…
In April Ryanair announced it would slash average ticket price by as much as 15 per cent over the next two years, but admitted that new aircraft would see even more passengers squeezed on board. Michael O’Leary, the airline’s chief executive, said the average fare could be as low as £26 by next year. Ryanair expects to grow its passenger numbers and cut costs by using new Boeing aircraft that will have more seats and reduce fuel consumption by an average of 18 per cent.
Ryanair has made the following statement: “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. Under our “Always Getting Better” improvement programme, we have reduced our baggage, sports equipment, airport check-in and missed departure fees, as we continue to improve the Ryanair travel experience for the 100m customers we’ll carry this year.”
As for his new name? West told us that he intends on changing it back to Adam Armstrong once his latest passport expires.
Changing your name? £103. Sticking it to Ryanair? Priceless.
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