Adam Armstrong, 19, faced extortionate administration fees totalling £220 after his girlfriend’s stepfather wrongly reserved a seat to Ibiza for him under the surname of West. But the quick-thinking Leeds City College digital marketing student slashed the additional cost by changing his name to West for free and then driving to Liverpool to rush through a new passport for £103.
The newly-named West, from Manchester, and his girlfriend India Lomas, 17, are flying to Ibiza this week with friends and family for a week-long stay. Ryanair would have charged him £110 for each leg of the journey to change the name on the ticket.
“Her stepdad 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 explained, quoted in The Guardian. “Ryanair were not helpful at all. We showed them we were not trying to change the person, just the name, but they wouldn’t back down.
“Ryanair pride themselves on being a customer-centric business; it just seems like a joke when they wouldn’t change the name. I just thought it was completely ridiculous. All they needed to do was hit the backspace key on a keyboard and they wanted to charge me £220?”
Most airlines typically charge between £25-£40 to change the passenger name on a ticket, but Ryanair charges £110, or £160 at the airport. The budget Irish carrier is renowned for tempting passengers with cheap fares but demanding hefty fees for other services such as printing boarding passes at the airport or checking in additional bags.
Ryanair said in a statement: “Customers are asked to ensure that the details they enter at the time of the booking are correct before competing 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 fare and reselling them on to unwitting consumers at hugely inflated costs.”