What to do if you book a ticket with wrong passenger name? In principle, name once specified during booking can’t be changed. It is your money, your ticket, you should have the liberty to assign it to someone else right? Sounds reasonable, but most of the travel services such as airline, railways etc do not allow name changes, for primary reason that such practice will allow someone to book cheap ticket early and then sell it for profit later to someone else, make money in the process. Thus No airlines give a provision to change names.
However, human beings commit mistake. What to do if we misspell a name? or entered surname wrongly? If you arrive at airport with a name on ticket that doesn’t match your travel document, security staff may not even let you in. Even if they do, airline staff can deny check in. So it is important that we check the name spelling and ensure that it tallies with the travel document we have. I had such experiences a few times and below is what I went through.
Spice jet name correction experience, 2013: I had got the surname name wrong. I was told the following: Spicejet will add a remark against our PNR so that check-in counter staff is informed of the mistake and they won’t create a problem. But if Airport security deny entry there’s nothing airline can do about it.
I said fine. There was no problem from airport security and my guests could travel normally.
|Air Asia plane in Changi Airport, Singapore|
Air Asia Name correction experience: With Air Asia, 2015 I had the same problem. One of the passengers had a 4 word name, three words were given name, one word was in surname section. I entered two words in first name and 2 words in surname while booking the tickets. Didn't realize the mistake while booking cheap tickets and realized it only later.
I called AirAsia India helpline 1800 500 8000 and found that in order to get names corrected, I should fill a form online and should wait for 5 working days.
I did the same, got an email acknowledgment for the same, waited for 10 days, nothing happened. Then called again, reminded them and they promised to escalate it. Within next one day, they corrected the name and sent me modified itinerary.
Thankfully Air Asia doesn't charge extra for this service. Some airlines do. Also airlines are not mandated to honor such requests. if the discrepancy is too much they may as well deny the request.
If denied your only option will be to cancel and buy a new ticket. So be careful. Kiruba shankar had made a same mistake- Kiruba had given wrong name while booking tickets, so cleartrip cancelled his ticket and got a new PNR, which wasn't told to him. As Kiruba appeared at the airport with old ticket, airline turned him down as ticket was cancelled. Kiruba tweeted that Cleartrip took his money but didn't book ticket, tweet went viral and cleartrip compensated him with free upgrades etc. Details of the Kiruba Incident here on cleartrip blog. If only either parties had checked the spelling properly before booking or after booking, lot of confusion could have been saved. That said, if you book a wrong ticket to a third party side, getting corrections done could be even more expensive & time consuming.