Ryanair name ‘glitch’ costs Hornton couple

Roger Corke and his wife Lynn on their costly festive trip to Latvia for a Christmas market in December
Roger Corke and his wife Lynn on their costly festive trip to Latvia for a Christmas market in December

A Hornton man is £115 out of pocket after becoming a victim of a ‘glitch’ on a Ryanair flight booking site.

Roger Corke went on BBC’s You and Yours programme last week to explain.

Martin Lewis. Photo: Getty Images NNL-190502-093906001

Martin Lewis. Photo: Getty Images NNL-190502-093906001

Mr Corke said he went online to book tickets for himself and his wife Lynn to go to Riga in Latvia to a Christmas market.

“After a momentary glitch on the screen I was put through to the payment page and I paid for the tickets,” he said.

“I thought there was no problem until I went to check in online and then I realised both tickets were made out in my name, only one was addressed ‘Ms’.

“But I definitely remember typing my wife’s name in because she always travels in her maiden name.”

Ryanair charged him £115 to put the second seat in his wife’s name.

“I can understand how Ryanair would want to charge me if I wanted to sell the ticket to my mate but this clearly wasn’t the case – it was an administrative error,” he said.

“It seems unfair to penalise passengers for something that was a simple error.”

Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert has sent 160 similar cases reported to him to the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Mr Lewis told the programme: “Ryanair charges extraordinary name-change fees. £115 seems an awfully large amount of money to change the name – not the person who is going to fly.

“We sent a large dossier to the CAA. I also wrote an open letter to Michael O’Leary (CEO) at Ryanair. I’ve just received a response which in a nutshell is saying ‘the numbers aren’t significant, there’s no glitch on our computer’.”

Mr Lewis said it was impossible to say whether it was a computer glitch, auto-filling was happening or people were making mistakes.

“Mr O’Leary says he wants his airline to be the ‘nice’ airline. I struggle to see how a ‘nice’ airline, even if this was the booker’s fault, would be charging them £115 to change a typo,” he said. He is waiting for the CAA’s judgement.

Ryanair says it does not want its tickets, which are cheap if bought well in advance, to be sold on at a premium.

Mr Lewis said he appreciated the deterrent factor but it was clearly a case of human error and he felt Ryanair could sort these out on a discretionary basis.

He said: “If you’re booking with Ryanair, check, check and check again that you’ve got the right name.”