Easy mistake to make when booking a flight that could cause you a lot of hassle
When booking a flight, most people carefully check the dates they’re booking, the amount, bank details, the airports they’re going to/from etc.
But do you ever double check whether you’ve spelled your own name correctly?
It sounds so obvious, but a simple typo could wreak havoc on your travel plans if you don’t catch it.
That’s because if your passport and documents don’t match the name on your boarding pass, staff may deny you boarding. In fact in some countries require that the names match.
Luckily, most airlines will correct minor spelling mistakes free of charge, but this is usually for mistakes of up to three characters – after that you may be subject to admin fees.
It seems that airlines, with a few exceptions, tend to require you to ring up customer services rather than offering the service online, so although it might feel inconvenient it’s important to get the situation resolved as promptly as possible.
Some airlines do charge for the service though.
For example, Ryanair charges up to £160 each for name changes done at the airport, £115 when online. The budget carrier does offer a 24 hour grace period straight after booking where you can change the name for free, but after that the fees apply.
If you get married and change your name, you might want to hold off changing the name on your passport, as you’ll also have to change the details on existing bookings.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve taken a look at some of the biggest airlines’ policies, including who to call if you need to fix a mistake.
British Airways: BA doesn’t charge you to correct a typo or if your name doesn’t match the one on your passport – you’ll just need to call 0344 493 0787 and they can sort it with you over the phone. (Provided you booked directly with them). You will need to send through copies of documents to help the team. However, if the taxes, fees, carrier imposed charges or fuel surcharges on the ticket have changed since the booking was made there may be a small fee.
easyJet: Titles and spelling mistakes are free to edit in the ‘Manage your booking’ section but just remember to re-print your boarding pass. You can change up to three letters yourself online. To change more you’ll need to contact the Customer Service team.
Thomas Cook: If you need to fix a spelling mistake, call the Thomas Cook Airlines contact centre on 0800 916 0652. Charges may apply.
Norwegian: If you’ve made a small spelling mistake with your name, Norwegian will correct this free of charge (up to 3 characters per name).
Flybe: Spelling mistakes can be rectified free of charge with the Customer Call Centre.
Ryanair: Offers a 24 hour grace period where you can change the name on a ticket for free. After that it’s £115 each way, when corrected online. You need to do this up to 24 hours before you fly, otherwise you’ll have to do it at the airport and it will cost £160.
All fees correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.
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