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Published on Thursday, January 3, 2019

Ryanair urged to 'have a heart' over name change complaints

Ryanair has been urged to 'have a heart' and show some leniency after a spate of complaints from customers who say they are being unfairly charged over name changes.

Martin Lewis' website, MoneySavingExpert, says it has been inundated with complaints from passengers who insist it was the airline's system that inadvertently changed their names on bookings.

It says at least 44 customers have contacted the website insisting they correctly inputted names but claiming that Ryanair's booking system automatically changed their companions' surnames to be the same as the lead passenger's or account holder's surname.

Those who didn't spot the problem within Ryanair's 24-hour grace period are now facing a £115 charge.

Researchers at the website failed to replicate the issue, but believe it's too much of a coincidence that so many people have been affected. deputy editor Guy Anker said: "We don't know for a fact whether there is a genuine glitch and can only go by the flurry of complaints we've seen.

"But given the consistent pattern so many different people report, we think there's a decent chance they're all correct, even though we couldn't replicate the problem. We know from experience that the odd complaint here or there doesn't always constitute a major problem, but when you see at least 44, it normally means something has gone wrong.

"So we would urge Ryanair - even if it truly believes it's done nothing wrong - to reconsider issuing the £115 name change charge. After all, sometimes companies make unintended errors or complex technical systems mean it is difficult to spot errors.

"If nothing else, while it's never been that customer-friendly, we'd expect it to have a heart here given this seems to have affected so many people in the same way - and £115 is a lot of money to expect someone to pay to be able to fly when they insist they got the name right all along."

A Ryanair spokesman said: "We were unable to replicate this apparent issue, but we can confirm there is no 'glitch' with our booking system.

"We offer a 24-hour grace period from the time of original booking to correct any minor errors (i.e. spelling of names, incorrect routings/dates). Fees will be applied to changes made outside of the 24-hour grace period.

"The name change fee is a preventative measure 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."

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  • Nice little earner

    Airlines never used to charge for name changes but I appreciate why it was introduced, to eliminate dummy names on group seats but when some airlines charge obscene amounts for just letter changes, it becomes a scam. They often say it costs a lot and takes a lot of time to change names, total rubbish, it suits airlines to try and hoodwink passengers to thinking that must be the case. I would just love to see Ryanair justify £115 for a simple change on their systems that takes mili-seconds.

    By Keith Standen, Thursday, January 3, 2019

  • Slight problem there.......

    ...putting "Ryanair" and "have a heart" in the same sentence. O'Realy must be getting desperate!

    By Peter M42, Thursday, January 3, 2019

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