A couple decided to book a flight for their honeymoon with Virgin Australia before getting married. It may’ve been better for the bride to wait to switch her last name until after their big trip.
Brendan and Julie Widdowson booked their flight with Virgin Australia last year and got married this past February. They’d be visiting Croatia, Montenegro and Albania.
When they called Virgin Australia to get Julie’s last name on the ticket changed, they were shocked to find out that it would cost them $8,500 AUD, about $6,400 US! The airline said they’d need to book a new flight. The couple figured they’d have to pay a minimal fee not some ridiculous sum.
Virgin Australia customer service told the couple they needed to cancel their reservation and book a new one, plus- there was no guarantee of availability! The tickets were difficult to change due to it being a codeshare with Singapore Air.
T+L shared a statement from the airline which explained the issue. “Due to security reasons, the International Air Transport Authority does not permit any airline to change names on issued international tickets. IATA only allows three letters to be changed in the instance of a spelling name; therefore in order to change a name, an airline must cancel and rebook a ticket.”
After the couple complained on Virgin Australia’s Facebook page, they were able to be rebooked on a flight with Etihad. The rebooking still cost over $600 for tax differences.
You’d think that airlines would be able to change the name on a ticket due to a life event like marriage. However, the couple could’ve waited until after the honeymoon trip to go ahead with the name change. Either way, it looks like the problem worked itself out in the end, although still at a price.
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