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Not to pay a travel agent £100 to correct the spelling of my name

(60 Posts)
viktoria Wed 06-Dec-17 10:00:48

On Sunday I booked flights online for a family holiday to South Africa.
When I received the email confirmation I realised that I made a typo, let's say one surname is Glanville but I typed Glanvuille.

I tried to call the travel agent but as it was a Sunday, nobody was in. I sent an email and on Monday morning I called. I was told as - in the meantime the e-ticket had been issued - and to correct it I would have to pay £130 fee, which after various mails and phone calls was reduced to £105.

I also contacted Simon Calder (travel expert from the Guardian) who replied and wrote: "Probably no-one will notice the issue, and if they do they probably won't care or will fix it in an instant. So don't pay anything."

So, AIBU to follow his advice (even though he uses the word "probably" twice), or do I pay and buy myself the peace of mind?
Has anybody else been in this position and what happened?

For information: Flights are with Emirates and South African (I contacted Emirates who said they couldn't change it on my e ticket as I hadn't booked directly and said they could put a note on my reservation but couldn't guarantee there wouldn't be problems, but if I had booked directly with them, they would amend it free of charge if noticed within 72 hours)

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 06-Dec-17 10:19:33

I'd worry so much until I was actually on the plane I think I'd do it. But lots of people could say they wouldn't bother.

If it was the agent's ballsup I'd expect them to sort it, but as it was your error I can see why they're charging you. Does the 72 hour grace period not apply to the agent as it would to an individual?

I wouldn't be reassured by probablies but it's your call.

SylviaTietjens Wed 06-Dec-17 10:23:10

I stupidly did this a few years ago. It was an easyJet flight and quite a big difference in spelling too - it was for my sisters tickets and I’d put Ellie instead of Eleanor. It wasn’t noticed and all was fine. If I’d noticed before I’d got to the airport I think I’d change it though - I’d be too worried about not being allowed on the flight.

MyDcAreMarvel Wed 06-Dec-17 10:29:38

I would pay it, imagine if you were turned away at the airport.

MissDuke Wed 06-Dec-17 10:31:49

I had this once and easy jet changed it for free - I think they said they would change up to three letters for free. I would probs just pay it to be honest, for peace of mind but then I am a real worrier.

Glumglowworm Wed 06-Dec-17 10:32:33

I would pay for peace of mind but I’m quite an anxious person and a rule follower I’m general

scurryfunge Wed 06-Dec-17 10:32:49

Assuming the holiday is costing you ££££ anyway, I'd pay for peace of mind.

MidnightTrain1 Wed 06-Dec-17 10:39:18

Same as PP, we had a group holiday and one member was booked as a nickname e.g lizzy not Elizabeth and it was fine.

BrieAndChilli Wed 06-Dec-17 10:42:54

Thing is security is much much stricter than it was even a few years ago so what may have been glossed over then probably wouldn’t now.

Zoomaa Wed 06-Dec-17 10:50:31

Tricky one. I've travelled with DD down as a DS and myself down as a Mrs not a Miss. It has never been a problem.

If it's an obvious, small typo I'd leave it. Not worth 100 quid.

SylviaTietjens Wed 06-Dec-17 10:55:37

Although if you’ve already called up and they’ve put a note by your booking then they definitely will notice. I think you need to suck it up I’m afraid.

rizlett Wed 06-Dec-17 10:57:47

I'd challenge the cost as you can change an easyjet error [if it is just one letter] totally free.

Why should they charge you more?

JacquelineChan Wed 06-Dec-17 10:59:11

I run a travel business , if it was me I would pay the admin fee to get it changed . It's all very well Simon Calder telling you not to pay it , but it won't be him being denied boarding would it - and that is a very real possibility if you end up having a jobsworth at check in. Also in these times , there could be a security alert around the time of your flight - which would make the airline staff extra strict.

The travel agency are only protecting themselves , after all , if you encountered any issues at the airport - you would naturally go to them as your first port of call to sort it out .

Human error happens , luckily you realised in good time

BattleaxeGalactica Wed 06-Dec-17 10:59:25

I've just had a similar issue. I booked with initials instead of full name. The travel agent was quoting £40 per ticket per flight to change it as it was more than three letters but we phoned Easyjet customer service who were brilliant and changed it for free as per their own stated policy on the website.

Check direct with the flight provider.

Iprefercoffeetotea Wed 06-Dec-17 11:00:02

I thought you could rectify an error made on line within 24 hours - or does it not apply to travel bookings?

See if there is anything on Which? about it - it sounds like they are taking the proverbial. If you booked on Sunday and contacted them on Monday, that was within 24 hours.

JacquelineChan Wed 06-Dec-17 11:00:23

Also - scheduled airlines IE Emirates work on a totally different basis to low cost and chartered airlines like Easyjet , so that is not comparing like with like .
Sorry to sound like a killjoy but I have been in this business for over 20 years and I have seen it all

BattleaxeGalactica Wed 06-Dec-17 11:01:34

oh, arse. Just seen you have.

In that case I would probably suck it up for peace of mind and (as I will from now on) double and triple check everything in the future.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 06-Dec-17 11:01:52

I wouldn’t be able to sleep worrying. I’d pay. It’s such a lot though.

JaneEyre70 Wed 06-Dec-17 11:03:37

I'd change it. Not worth the risk. It's better to pay the £100 than for more flights........

LemonysSnicket Wed 06-Dec-17 11:04:14

You dont see a person on check-in now though ... you just use the machines?
Id be worried about coming back and my passport not matching the ticket and them thinking i wasn't liable to enter the UK.
Id pay.

araiwa Wed 06-Dec-17 11:04:55

Would it be cheaper to cancel, refund and rebook?

RhiannonOHara Wed 06-Dec-17 11:05:22

I'd go back to the airline and query why the 72-hour 'free of charge' grace period applies to direct bookings but not agent bookings. I'd also ask the travel agent to confirm that they are having to charge you because of this, and that they never get grace periods for these kinds of issues.

I think someone is trying it on. Could be the airline but I suspect it's the agent.

jennawade Wed 06-Dec-17 11:05:46

I'd pay.

travel agent spelled dd's surname wrong, I didn't notice and we were nearly denied boarding coming home....

RavingRoo Wed 06-Dec-17 11:09:47

It will definitely be noticed when ZA passport officials check your boarding pass to your passport. I have seen colleagues get marched back to the UK on the next available flight for similar.

maddiemookins16mum Wed 06-Dec-17 11:20:02

I work in travel and take most of what Simon Calder says with a very big pinch of salt.

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