Name changes on airline tickets could be costlyOnline booking errors could cost you over £100

15 May 2011

Airport sign directing travellers to the terminal.

If you make a simple error when booking a flight online, it could cost you as much as £100 to fix it, Which? Travel has found.

Most airlines charge a fee to make a name change to a flight booking but even a spelling mistake could lead to a charge. 

Name-change charges vary wildly between airlines and, at first glance, Monarch and Ryanair appear to have the highest at £100 per person. 

But, on closer inspection, if you make a mistake such as using your maiden name instead of your married name, when booking a flight with Bmibaby, Easyjet, Flybe or Jet2, it could cost you even more. 

The price you pay

These airlines charge a flat fee per flight to change a name, but you also have to pay any difference in price between the day you booked and the day you make your amendment.

This difference could be significant – especially if you bought a cheap flight to begin with. 

For instance, where the cost of a single flight has increased by £50, the cost to amend a name on a booking with BmiBaby would be £90, £80 with Easyjet and £77.50 with Jet2. 

Over the phone with Flybe, it would cost £82.50. Added to that would be the cost to change the details on the return ticket.

Airlines say that they charge a name-change fee to prevent anyone from buying up large numbers of the cheapest tickets, changing names and selling them on for profit.

24-hour grace period

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. 

However, many people don’t notice a mistake until they print out their e-ticket, days or even weeks after their booking, when the grace period has elapsed. 

Always double check

Easyjet and Jet2 told Which? Travel 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 for a name change on a flight booking is to ensure that all your details are entered correctly at the time of booking and are correct when you receive your electronic ticket confirmation.

If you've been stung by name change charges tells us your experience and join the discussion on Which? Conversation. 

What the airlines charge

Bmibaby: £40 per single flight plus any difference in fare

British Airways: £30 per ticket

British Midland: Doesn't allow name changes

Easyjet: £30 per single flight plus any difference in fare

Flybe: £27.50 online/ £32.50 over the phone per single flight plus any difference in fare £27.50 per single flight plus any difference in fare

Monarch Airlines: £100 online or £120 over the phone per ticket

Ryanair: £100 per ticket

Thomas Cook: £20 per single flight

Thomson Airways: £25 per single flight                         

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