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Fee For Not Filling In Complete First Name  
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10211 times:

Hi all,

First, I'm sure I will get shot down for using a low-cost airline at all - Wizzair from EIN to BEG. I think I was quite prepared to accept the possible consequences of that; but the thing that hit me strikes me as unreasonable.

What happened is that I failed to fill in my complete first name when checking in online for my flight. This may sound quite stupid, as it's commonly known that airlines are fussy about correct passenger names.

In my defence, other LCCs I know don't require to check in some time after your booking, and I wasn't really aware that I was submitting the passenger details only at this point and not when I booked the flight.

More importantly, the Whizzair website is horrible. It took me at least a quarter of an hour, for example, to work ot how to close the popup screen for entering a date - by clicking on the popup screen background. If you try to close the screen in another way, completly wrong dates are entered in the check-in form. I actually tried three different browsers before working it out. Eventually I got everything correct but apparently submitted only an inital instead of my full first name; there may or may not have been a warning against this.

When checking in at the airport, I was charged EUR 60 to get P changed into Petrus, almost doubling the cost of the flight. So this airline supposedly cannot accept that passenger P Smith, passport number 123456, is the same person as passenger Petrus Smith, passport number 123456.

My question is, is there actually any ground, based on the requirements from the authorities, for this? In other words, if I were to cause any sort of troube, could the airline ever be blamed for letting in P Smith with his matching ID number? Or is this practice nothing but a desperate attempt to get additional revenue out of flights that are basically just too cheap, as every normal person would think?

Peter


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineshufflemoomin From Denmark, joined Jun 2010, 480 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9937 times:

I'd say that's totally unreasonable. My girlfriend is Danish and has an 'ø' character in her name. You've no idea how many airlines don't have reservation systems set up to handle it. Sometimes it's not accepted and she has to write with an 'o' or an 'oe' and sometimes there's just a space. The name is 'Jørgensen' and on a few airline tickets, it's shown up as 'j rgensen'. So on many occasions she's flown with a ticket name not matching her passport. Never once has this been an issue or even been mentioned and we've certainly never been charged for it.

User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3025 posts, RR: 36
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 9778 times:
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Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 1):

I'd say that's totally unreasonable. My girlfriend is Danish and has an 'ø' character in her name. You've no idea how many airlines don't have reservation systems set up to handle it. Sometimes it's not accepted and she has to write with an 'o' or an 'oe' and sometimes there's just a space. The name is 'Jørgensen' and on a few airline tickets, it's shown up as 'j rgensen'. So on many occasions she's flown with a ticket name not matching her passport. Never once has this been an issue or even been mentioned and we've certainly never been charged for it.

That's a common computer system issue. Special characters are not easily handled by different systems so they will often get "closest match" replaced. And no it shouldn't cause an issue most of the time I wouldn't think, even our wonderful Canadian CATSA rulebook lists exceptions for this situations (i would imagine most other countries would do the same?).



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21642 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 9648 times:

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 1):
My girlfriend is Danish and has an 'ø' character in her name. You've no idea how many airlines don't have reservation systems set up to handle it. Sometimes it's not accepted and she has to write with an 'o' or an 'oe' and sometimes there's just a space.

But that's a different issue from just not filling in your complete name. It's not unreasonable to be suspicious when someone only provides a first initial when booking a ticket.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 9482 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
It's not unreasonable to be suspicious when someone only provides a first initial when booking a ticket.

And why is that? I'm not saying you are wrong, but I don't see it.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21642 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9284 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 4):
And why is that? I'm not saying you are wrong, but I don't see it.

Because it's very easy to type in the complete name, yet the person didn't do it. Thus, what other information are they trying to withhold? If the names have to be checked against a watch list, providing only an initial would appear that the passenger is trying to circumvent that process.

And since there are hundreds of names that start with P, how does the airline know that the person who shows up is really the one who is supposed to be showing up?

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3822 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9252 times:

With all due respect, Peter, I'm with the airline on this one. You entered a name that is not your name during check-in, and you expect the airline to change it later for free? By that logic, you could book cheap fares, sell them on ebay at a later time and change the name to the buyer's name. This is not how the airline industry works, this is how train and bus tickets work in most of the cases.

Soren   



All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1720 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9105 times:

The usual airlone supporter ****s (choose insulting word of your choice). Yes if you have to have special attention to correct an error there might be a charge. But 60 Euros? I could see a Euro 5 charge. Gotcha fees totally unrelated to actual costs are why many airlines of reducing flights - passengers are declining to book flights. Or choose airlines that don't mistreat passengers. I have cut my flying about 50%, and have no trouble doing great vacations.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 9025 times:

Soren,

I am trying to look at this from the other side, so I appreciate your comment. It does explain why airlines are fussy about correct passenger data - I had never thought about that, I always assumed it was additional security measures taken by the airlines on behalf of the authorities. But it's simply about commerce. OK, fine.

But I think it's an exaggeration to say I entered a name that is not my name. Since the initial, surname and ID number were all correct, how was I going to be another person? I still can't help thinking that this is a case of money-grubbing and not of any real doubt about my identity.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineshufflemoomin From Denmark, joined Jun 2010, 480 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8884 times:

To be fair to the guy, 60 euros, or any charge is ridiculous. What's the cost of someone taking two seconds to change an entry in a database? If an airline has check-in agents, their salary is already factored into the cost of business. It seems laughable to charge for this.

User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8721 times:

If they believe who I am, why is there a need to change it at all?

To prevent any possible doubt, and therefore delay, at the gate? In that case a small fee would be understandable, though not customer friendly, and 60 euros is clearly ridiculous.

However, I was not even given a new boarding pass, and the missing first name was noted both by an airline representative at the security check and at the gate, and they had to check in the computer to see that the omission had been corrected.

So they failed to smoothen things out.

This does show that all staff are quite attentive to such omissions. Soren suggests that this is out of concern that cheap tickets might be sold to someone else, which would justify a higher fee, to make this unattractive. But again I find it hard to believe my identity is really in doubt here.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8658 times:
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Why didn't you just enter it correctly to begin with? How much time did you save by omitting 5 letters vs time and money spent after the fact?


911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8648 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):

Apologies, I missed your post.

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
If the names have to be checked against a watch list, providing only an initial would appear that the passenger is trying to circumvent that process.

And since there are hundreds of names that start with P, how does the airline know that the person who shows up is really the one who is supposed to be showing up?
[/quote]

Well - my passport with matching ID number, which they check anyway.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8601 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 11):

Apparently because somehow the appalingly bad website distracted me from doing so, as I already tried to explain.
I will complain about their website with Wizzair anyway.

For the purpose of this discussion, let's just say I was absent minded, though - I'm sure that has happened to you, and I just want to know why I need to be screwed for 60 euros over this.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinexjramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2461 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8581 times:

When traveling internationally, when inserting your name, it specifcally states that you must enter your name as it appears on your travel documents.

If your travel documents state that it's Petrus, that is how it will appear on your ticket. If you fail to correctly enter your information, they have every right to charge you for a new ticket. Altho, I would guess that they just charged you a change fee.

You made a mistake. Chalk it up and move on. And from now on you will make sure that you fill out all the information.  



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8576 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 13):
For the purpose of this discussion, let's just say I was absent minded, though - I'm sure that has happened to you, and I just want to know why I need to be screwed for 60 euros over this.

At least you're willing to admit it   I wasn't sure if it's something you always do or just in this instance.



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1323 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8558 times:
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The fee is too high. The requirement for full and complete name is driven more by security requirements than airlines. As for passport #'s. People read names, not passport numbers. An incomplete name is a red flag to security.


rcair1
User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5479 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8550 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 7):
Yes if you have to have special attention to correct an error there might be a charge. But 60 Euros? I could see a Euro 5 charge.

The above is also where I come down on this.

Yes, it's necessary to have the full name on the ticket. Yes, the OP's mistake caused a bit of extra administrative effort. But charging 60 euros to fix the mistake is ridiculous gouging. Whether or not it should be illegal (either opinion could be reasonable), it's crass and rude of the airline.


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7704 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8536 times:
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Not sure about the countries that you were flying between, but don't forget that some countries require passenger information in advance of flights. This is the case for many flights to Spain, for example. Perhaps authorities like the Spanish ones might deem it inadequate to merely be provided with an initial rather than a full name to check. That could be one relevant issue. But look, the bottom line is you know yourself that one is always required to provide full and correct details when making a booking. Your curiosity to learn why it is so essential is perhaps understandable, but ultimately just a moot point.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineRwy04LGA From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8533 times:

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 9):
What's the cost of someone taking two seconds to change an entry in a database?

There are other issues. Not sure if I should be saying this...would this be a Secureflight issue?



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3283 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8521 times:

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 9):
To be fair to the guy, 60 euros, or any charge is ridiculous.

  

It is absolutely a predatory policy and constitutes customer abuse, in my opinion. And after reading this, on my next European trip, I will make doubly-certain to not fly Wizz Air.... do they still have the AWFUL raspberry purple paint scheme???   



"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8474 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 18):
But look, the bottom line is you know yourself that one is always required to provide full and correct details when making a booking. Your curiosity to learn why it is so essential is perhaps understandable, but ultimately just a moot point.

You are right, and I actually do understand the airlines' position a bit better now, thanks to various contributions here.

This has never happened to me before and I'm convinced it was caused by the confusingness of Wizz Air's website and booking process. Because of this and the draconic amount of the fee I am going to file a complaint with them.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8464 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 16):
The fee is too high. The requirement for full and complete name is driven more by security requirements than airlines. As for passport #'s. People read names, not passport numbers. An incomplete name is a red flag to security.
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 17):
Yes, it's necessary to have the full name on the ticket. Yes, the OP's mistake caused a bit of extra administrative effort. But charging 60 euros to fix the mistake is ridiculous gouging. Whether or not it should be illegal (either opinion could be reasonable), it's crass and rude of the airline.

That seems to sum it up for me, thanks.

Peter 



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineDLD9S From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8459 times:

Quoting Rwy04LGA (Reply 19):
There are other issues. Not sure if I should be saying this...would this be a Secureflight issue?

"Secure Flight" is specific to the USA, and is additional passenger data that is passed over to Homeland Security before a flight. It requires full name and date of birth to be passed over behind the scenes, but the full name does not have to appear on the boarding pass (first and last are fine).



717 727 737 747 757 767 777 DC9 DC10 M80 M90 M11 L10 AB6 333 340 319 320 321 ARJ CRJ EM2 EMJ SF3 146 100 BE1...
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8342 times:

They may have to charge you, but the fee is too high in my opinion. It does not cost them anywhere near that amount for them to change an entry in a database.

This reminds me a lot of the thread about the Ryanair 60 EUR fee for boarding pass printing. I am surprised that posters here agree the fee is too high - compared to the other thread where they don't. I guess the passenger gets more sympathy, unless MOL comes out and calls him/her an idiot!


25 Quokkas : It is clear that many of the fees levied by airlines (and not just airlines) bear no relation to the actual costs involved for providing the service t
26 olddominion727 : You have no way to know if "Mr. K Smith" is Mr. Kevin Smith, NOT Mr. Keith Smith... What if Kevin is on the NO FLY LIST... they wouldn't know that wit
27 Mir : Passports can be forged. -Mir
28 gigneil : Are we talking about when you booked the ticket or when you were filling out your passport details? If you booked with Mr. P Smith, and then entered y
29 Post contains images andrefranca : Firstly it's something very dutch! LOL, I have lots of dutch friends "what's your name?" "Gerard!! in fact it's Gerardus! this same friend struggled i
30 olddominion727 : The company I worked for had an L1011 go down in DAL (a hub city at the time) it was very tragic and sad. They did have to use dental records for som
31 Post contains images gigneil : Yeah no I get what you're saying, and surely have seen enough Law and Order . But where do these dental records actually come from? I'd imagine a whol
32 rktsci : I'm not clear on why the passenger's name had to be typed in and once entered, why the exactly typed name was transfered to the boarding pass. Every t
33 ptrjong : Okay, the full official given name needs to be on the ticket, fair enough. (Or the first given name, I have three and I understand from other sources
34 RIXrat : I think that this is a mainly European thing. I have seen many legal documents signed off as, for instance, P. Smith. It goes back a long ways. I don'
35 FN1001 : My wife's name takes 30 characters including two spaces. When we book we give the full name as printed in the ID, and when we get the boarding pass or
36 IDAWA : In my opinion, they should either: - Have not recognized the ticket with just "P" as your ticket, and forced you either not to fly or to buy another t
37 ptrjong : Well, I can accept now that the full name needs to be there at the gate, in order not to delay things. At check-in I was sent to a separate desk to g
38 mbmbos : I'm sorry, Mir, but that sounds incredibly authoritarian. Someone using their initial instead of full first name arouses suspicion? Everyone is a sus
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