In what sounds far too much like an absurdist farce, one student found that it was cheaper for him to legally change his name than get his name changed on a ticket with Irish airline Ryanair.
Adam Armstrong, a 19-year-old from Manchester, was planning a vacation to Ibiza with his girlfriend. Her step-father booked the plane tickets with Ryanair and, forgetting Armstrong’s last name, he checked the lad’s Facebook page before filling in the information.
Not realizing that his Facebook page was listed as “Adam West” in tribute to the actor who played Batman in the 1960s live action TV series, he booked the ticket under the name “Adam West” rather than “Adam Armstrong.”
When Armstrong went to get the name on his ticket changed, he was told that it would cost him a cool $336 (€299) – twice the cost of his ticket – to correct the error. The charge is intended to keep people from selling tickets at a profit.
Not wanting to give the airline another cent, he went with the only logical (not to mention cheaper) option: legally changing his name and getting a new passport.
He changed his name to Adam West via deed poll (no cost) and got a new passport ($157).
West/Armstrong shared his story on the Anton Savage Show this week.
“Yeah, I’m not giving Ryanair another penny,” he said.
Once the story started spreading, the airline released a statement that read "Customers are asked to ensure that the details they enter at the time of booking are correct before completing their booking and we offer a 24 hour ‘grace period’ to correct minor booking errors.
"A name change fee is charged in order to discourage and prevent unauthorised online travel agents from ‘screenscraping’ Ryanair’s cheapest fares and reselling them on to unwitting consumers at hugely inflated costs.”
Adam and his girlfriend will fly to Ibiza next week.
He plans to change his name back in seven years, when his new passport expires.