A month or so ago, my girlfriend decided to come see me, so I booked her a ticket online. We decided to go with easyjet as they were quite a bit cheaper, paid the 240 euros and were happy about it.
Cue next month, the day comes, my girlfriend goes to the airport all excited about coming over and easyjet tells her that her name is not the same as the first name listed in her ID card. I had used her pet name instead of her full, legal name (think “jenny” instead of “jennifer”) in the booking, not thinking twice about it (other airlines have accepted my misspelt last name just fine). easyjet would have none of this, and had her pay 260 euros extra, which is more than the original cost of the ticket for a simple name change.
Apart from the obvious, there are more things wrong with this picture:
- Nowhere in the official easyjet terms (or anywhere else I could see) is mentioned anything about the name being the same as on the ID card. They aren’t a government authority, the only reason they need a name for is to verify that the person paying for the flight is the person traveling. Even if they had her full name, how would they know it wasn’t someone with the same name? Because they had her ID card number. That’s right, they had the number of her ID card and they made her pay 260 euros extra to change her name to verify that it is actually her. How does it make sense to let someone change the name on the card to verify that they are themselves?
- The TOS state that name changes can be made up to an hour before the flight for a nominal fee, unless the flight is full. She was there more than one hour before the flight, and the flight was not full (there were empty seats on the plane).
- This tactic is insidious and extortionary. They take advantage of your panic and worry over missing the plane and to coerce you to pay more than what you paid for the ticket. My girlfriend was very disturbed at the thought of missing the flight, as we had been planning this for months in advance and was the only chance she had to take time off work. If this is not extortion, I don’t know what is.
- I called easyjet on the same day, only to be put on hold for many minutes and pay another ten pounds on call charges. Nobody ever picked up. Now, four days later, nobody has responded to the issue I have raised in their tracker.
260 euros to change an entry in a database that has no bearing on anything else? There is no reason why this should be the case, except to extort money out of people trying to see their loved ones. I cannot describe the anger I feel at being blatantly taken advantage of and then ignored for days.
In short, I will try my best to make sure that neither me nor anyone I know flies with easyjet again, unless they want days’ worth of their hard labour to be taken away because of technicalities. easyjet are far beyond being a horrible airline to being a malicious, blackmailing one.