Travel Funnies – Ticket Change or Name Change?

I love to travel and the experiences from all my trips have given me memories of a life time. I savor the many positive memories from destinations around the world and the people I met along the way. And I try to forget the not so positive moments, courtesy of airlines, hotels or other travelers. And then there are those funny moments were I just shake my head and have to laugh – because some things are just so ridiculous that one can only laugh!

Today’s – first – edition of Travel Funnies is on such case of ridiculous: A UK Student, Adam Armstrong, changed his legal name and applied for a new passport to avoid a ticket change fee. His girlfriend’s stepfather booked a ticket with Ryanair with his Facebook name – Adam West. when they noticed the false name and tried to change it to the name in the passport, Ryanair demanded a change fee of GBP220. Despite clarifying to Ryanair that they were not trying to change the passenger on the ticket (which is the original reason for this rule & fee), Ryanair refused to make the change without the fee. So, Adam thought outside the box, had his name legally changed to Adam West and got a new passport for GBP103, less than half the change fee. You can read the whole story here, courtesy of the Guardian.

It is probably the funniest way to avoid an airline fee I have ever heard about. And it puts Ryanair (again) to shame for lacking all common sense in the application of their fees. They were repeatedly in the press for their ridiculous fees, even considering a fee for the onboard toilet! They have since tried to establish a more customer oriented image, but clearly that attempt hasn’t gone very far. While I expect a budget carrier to charge fees for everything, I also expect them to show some common sense when a rule clearly doesn’t apply to the case on hand. Ryanair commented on the story that they do allow a change for free for 24h – which is required under EU regulation anyway. And considering the amount of the change fee, charging more than $300 for a simple record change that requires a call center employee a fee minutes is highway robbery.

So, go have a laugh at Ryanair as well as the creativity of this student – and make sure to consider all the fees you might have to pay when booking that super-cheap ticket. Review the confirmation email you receive immediately and in detail to request changes or a refund within 24 hours of booking to avoid issues like this! Travel safely and have fun!

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