Ryanair is a budget Irish airline that offers cheap tickets, but that comes at a price because if you don’t conform to the exact specifications then the actual price you pay soon mounts up. Oh you want to check a bag in … Ding-£££, Oh you want to check in at the airport … Ding-£££, etc… and that stream of hidden charges and a few other things tends to tick people off.
This story concerns Adam Armstrong, a student age 19, who was due to fly with Ryanair. He and his girlfriend were given tickets by the stepdad of his girlfriend to fly off to Ibiza, but things did not quite go to plan. The problem was that the stepdad did not know him very well, and so thinking that his real name was “Adam West”, because that is the name on his Facebook account, he purchased the Ryanair ticket in that name. Least you wonder, yes, Adam is a Batman fan, hence the Facebook joke.
Once he became aware of the error, Armstrong attempted to change his name on the ticket, but was informed by Ryanair that it would cost him £220 to do so.
And so, he did what any rational person would do and changed his name by deed poll.
After changing his name to Adam West for free, he paid £103 for a new passport and he was sorted, meaning that changing your actual name is cheaper than amending a Ryanair booking.
Speaking on Today FM’s The Anton Savage Show this morning, West outlined his rationale as thus:
Yeah, I’m not giving Ryanair a penny.
And, as West explained, he’s actually made a profit out of the whole fiasco. Not only did he save money on the name change, but he actually came into some cash as a result.
I also got some money from The Sun newspaper.
As for his new name? West told Savage that he intends on changing it back to Adam Armstrong once his latest passport expires.
Changing your name? £103. Sticking it to Ryanair? Priceless.
The story spreads
Meanwhile Adam West is still Adam West on Facebook, and Ryanair have ended up with a heck of a lot of rather undesirable publicity, because millions will now be making a mental note to not fly with them. But to be honest they truly are getting all they deserve … Seating preference by shoving people out of your way, keeping the VAT on unused tickets, not paying the government, and running the idea of Pay Toilets up the flagpole, so nobody but NOBODY who’s ever flown Ryanair has ever accused them of being customer oriented.
Why would Ryanair have such a high charge for a name change?
There is actually some business logic here. Their model is one in which they sell cheap tickets, then as you get closer to the date of the flight, the price rises, so you only get the cheap deals if you book well in advance.
What could happen, if they did not charge such a high name-change price, is create a huge market for the reselling of tickets. Basically, buy on a popular route well in advance, then resell on eBay closer to the date and earn a tidy profit, so if the cost of changing names on tickets was not high then their business model would by wiped out by such tactics.
However, that still does not justify not having a policy of correcting an honest mistake for a minimal fee.