A couple had to pay a hefty fee before they could board their plane for a simple mistake with their name.
According to Australia’s Nine Network, Brisbane pair Phil and Kate were stopped at the airport on their way to the UK. For a total of $3,200, the two had purchased return tickets on the travel website StudentUniverse. Their itinerary was as follows: Brisbane to Melbourne on Virgin Australia and Melbourne to London on Doha Qatar Airways.
Unfortunately, their travel plans were almost ruined before their first flight. When booking the tickets, Phil had put his wife’s name as “Kate” rather than “Katherine,” the official name on her passport. “It was an administrative error – I think I married Kate in church and not Katherine,” Phil told Nine. Although Virgin had said the couple was fine to edit the mistake on its booking website, for a small fee, StudentUniverse was less amenable.
Instead, the site advised Phil to cancel his wife’s ticket and purchase a new one, per Nine. The service would give them a partial refund, but they wouldn’t get their full amount back to repurchase.
Phil explained: “They didn’t have time – that was their reasoning – to issue a name change on the ticket. But they had time to sell us a new ticket.”
The new ticket would cost $3,141. “I begged them on the phone: ‘Please, you can’t do that – that’s all our holiday money gone in a flash’,” Kate told Nine.
Speaking to Business Insider, a representative for StudentUniverse noted: “In this instance, name changes were not permitted, meaning the only option was to cancel and rebook the ticket. As we were only made aware by the customer of their error within three hours of the flight departure, this led to further airline imposed charges which could have been avoided by acting earlier.”
The Independent has contacted StudentUniverse and Virgin for comment.
Phil and Kate’s travel hiccup comes after a 16-year-old ended up in the wrong place after accidentally boarding the wrong flight.
Logan Lose, 16, was set to travel from Florida to Cleveland, Ohio, to spend Christmas with his mom. But it wasn’t until his plane landed in Puerto Rico that he realised he had taken the wrong flight. He was mistakenly allowed to board the Frontier Airlines flight to San Juan because the agent at the gate hadn’t looked closely at his…