Guy Changes Name To Avoid Ryanair Fee

Filed Under: Media, Other Airlines

Well here’s an oddly creative solution to a stupid mistake. Via The Daily Mail:

A student changed his name by deed poll to go on holiday – because it was cheaper than fixing a Ryanair booking error.

Batman fan Adam Armstrong, 19, would have been forced to pay £220 – double the price of his flight – to correct a mistake by his girlfriend’s stepfather, who booked him a flight under the surname West.

But he avoided the cost by changing his surname by deed poll to West for free and by getting a new passport under the name for £103, The Sun reported.

Mr West and his girlfriend India Lomas, 17, will fly to Ibiza with Ryanair as planned next week.

‘Her stepdad got my name from Facebook but I had put it as Adam West as a joke, because he was the actor who played Batman on TV,’ he told the paper.

Ryanair said there would be a £110 charge for amending the name, but because his girlfriend was on a separate booking, the administration fee would have had to be paid twice.

I’m still not sure I get why he had to pay the fee twice (wouldn’t it have to only be paid once precisely because his girlfriend was on a separate ticket?). And I also wonder whether he can change his name back to what it was easily once the trip is done? Either way, seems like a big headache and a lot of paperwork. But I guess it did get him in The Daily Mail!


  1. Can someone explain what, if any, rationale exists behind the ridiculous change fees for airlines? Aside, of course, from the fact that it’s a money-maker. In the digital age (in which we’ve lived for about 2-1/2 decades now), there is minimal-to-no effort required by humans at the airline that could require the exorbitant fees. I’d love for someone at the airlines…probably Jeff Smisek since he’s so douche-y looking…to answer to regulators as to what this could possibly be attributed to.

  2. Was wondering the exact same thing about having to pay the fee twice if his gf was on a separate ticket. Weird.

  3. maybe he booked outbound and return as separate tickets and it’s just not mentioned in the article? otherwise i agree, it was nothing to do with his gf being on a separate ticket.

  4. I believe the reason behind the fees for a name change on flights is to discourage travel agents from buying up the tickets in advance and selling them on to others later on? Correct me if I’m wrong here.

  5. @Lantean you are right.
    Ben you should try Ryanair just the once to compare with US LCC’s.
    They are fine as long as you have earplugs to block out the scratch card selling they do on-board.
    Flying bus basically!

  6. @Adam. Usually when you book ticket long ahead, you get a discount, but what if you resell the ticket to someone else by changing the name on ticket? In order to avoid such loss, airlines would have to lock the name change.
    However, in some countries, where ID number is recorded at the time of booking (Domestic ticket in China for example) , you can request adding a note to your ticket to change it to the name displayed on your government ID.

  7. Adam — you answered your own question. It is money. There really never has been a nexus between fees and the cost o the airline. Without ancillary fees, airlines would have to charge more for tickets. The trick is keeping revenue the same while also having your price appear competitive, which is especially important in a world where web sites give pricing data from multiple airlines. The fact is that consumers care more about the base price. When they search for a journey, they are motivated more by the difference between a $189 fare and a $209 fare. Ancillary fees are secondary. While baggage fees are now in the minds of consumers to hopefully incorporate into comparison shopping, other fees haven’t made it yet. Maybe some think of reserved seating fees. Very few think of change fees.

  8. One time I was in Vietnam and booked a last minute flight to singapore on Tiger on my phone, and the auto correct changed my surname from keane to krane. All the other details matched but they charged me $50us at check in to change it or be denied boarding. Not sure if it was just the regular vietnamese scamming or tiger policy, but a rip off all the same

  9. Did anyone else notice the fact that his girlfriend is only 17?

    And this guy’s a moron. When you consider the time and hassles involved in changing your name (new passport, driver’s license, etc.) it’d be much easier to pay the change fee.

  10. Quote: But I guess it did get him in The Daily Mail!

    …and he got to stick it to Ryanair. Thats worth more than anything!

  11. Here in the US, taking a 17 year girl to Ibiza would land you in jail. Not sure I’d be talking to the Daily Mail about it!

  12. @Brian L. Remember in the UK the age of consent is only 16, so a 17 year old dating a 19 year old is very common

  13. @Adam

    The answer to your question is very simple; Ticket scalping.

    If not you could earn a lot of money by buying tickets when airlines have sales and then resell on web forums close to the date of travel.

  14. @Robert Smith – he was going with his girlfriend and her family, so there’s nothing that odd about it. Ibiza is a common family holiday destination for we Brits as well as a clubbers’ paradise.

    To answer Ben’s question – it is very easy here in the UK to change one’s name legally, incredibly easy in fact. He would though have to change his new passport back into his original name and that would of course have a financial cost. Maybe he’s planning to be Adam West for the duration of the new passport – 10 years?

  15. @robert smith @brian l

    You might want to google “age of consent”, Not every place in the world has the same laws as the US states you 2 probably live in. Spain is 13 now will be raised to 16 July 1.

  16. Even within the US, the most common state age of consent is 16 (with some states at 17 and a few at 18), but the laws may also be written to only allow someone under a certain age to only consent with other persons in the same general age group – for example, one typical restriction is for people between 16 and 18 to only be able to consent with someone 19 or younger. The laws can also take into account whether or not the people in question had a relationship that started before the older of the two turned 18. The practical idea is to not create a situation where between two people who started a relationship in high school or early in college to be exposed to a statutory rape charge.

    Then there’s consent within marriage combined with legal marriage age with parental consent overriding all this, but that’s another issue entirely.

    Yes, there are moments federalism is annoying to those who like their laws tidy….

    But back to the subject at hand, even if he just doesn’t bother to change – or just doesn’t have – a driver’s license, school registration, etc., isn’t the new Adam West going to have to shell out another 103 pounds to change his passport back? That’d leave him only 14 pounds – and a little spectacularly useless publicity in one of the English speaking world’s less reputable newspapers – to the good. Well, and the satisfaction of sticking it to Ryanair, but still…14 quid? That isn’t even a decent night’s bar tab in Ibiza, or anywhere other than an Asda car park for that matter.

    Of course, he could just stay Adam West…

  17. Reason it was £220 fee – he made 2 separate bookings.

    @CraigTPA – in the UK you can use any name you like so long as it’s not for an illegal purpose. So this guy can continue to have his passport as Adam West for the remainder of his life, while the rest of his official documents can remain in his “real” name. I’m currently in that situation having changed my name when I got married in Quebec 5 years ago – my passport if still in my “maiden” name but everything else is in my new name. I’ll keep it like that til I need to renew my passport, and then can just change it in the passport to married name at no cost other than regular passport renewal fee.

    As you can do all the “officialdom” yourself it’s fantastically easy to do.

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