Ryanair name ‘glitch’ costs Hornton couple

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

Friday, 8th February 2019, 10:57 am
Updated Monday, 11th February 2019, 9:03 am
Roger Corke and his wife Lynn on their costly festive trip to Latvia for a Christmas market in December

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

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.

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

“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.”