Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Alitalia | MilleMiglia
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 12, 08, 1:33 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: UA 2P
Posts: 65
Forced to buy new ticket because first name was mispelled

Hello,

My friend bought tickets on expedia for his parents MXP-LAX in July. When they got to the airport, Alitalia told them that the mother's first name did not match her passport and US immigration would send her back and fine Altalia so they needed to buy her a new ticket for 1200 or so Euros otherwise she couldn't travel.

So they bought the new ticket. I guess they should have called Expedia, I'm sure they were at the airport in plenty of time. Do they have any recourse now, three weeks later.

The name issue was something like "Deborah" vs. "Debbie"
Guizo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 12, 08, 1:38 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 132
i was once issued a ticket spelled John instead of Jon. Although I was never able to travel on the flight anayway, I was told by several CS reps that mispellings of the first name are common, and pose no problems with customs agents. They consider them typeographical errors, and are routine. Can any one else confirm this? Sounds crazy to have to by a new ticket over something that simple!

-pj
poppajon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 12, 08, 3:48 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: HEL
Programs: Turkish M&S Gold, IHG Platinum, Hilton Gold, Silja Clubone Silver
Posts: 3,673
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppajon View Post
i was once issued a ticket spelled John instead of Jon. Although I was never able to travel on the flight anayway, I was told by several CS reps that mispellings of the first name are common, and pose no problems with customs agents. They consider them typeographical errors, and are routine. Can any one else confirm this? Sounds crazy to have to by a new ticket over something that simple!

-pj
This varies from airline to airline (and I am sure sure from immigration body to immigration body). Some airlines require you to reissue the whole ticket even for something as simple as John -> Jon. Others allow a set amount of characters to be misspelled. Usually though, it can be fixed, as long as it is a clear error and not a whole new name.
Actually changing the name in the reservation and/or ticket can be a whole lot more difficult for the travel agent though. This especially if more than one airline is involved as they have completely different rules and procedures how they want it done.
Gnopps is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 12, 08, 3:57 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: West Coast USA
Programs: AS, BA, VX, AA
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guizo View Post
Hello,

My friend bought tickets on expedia for his parents MXP-LAX in July. When they got to the airport, Alitalia told them that the mother's first name did not match her passport and US immigration would send her back and fine Altalia so they needed to buy her a new ticket for 1200 or so Euros otherwise she couldn't travel.

So they bought the new ticket. I guess they should have called Expedia, I'm sure they were at the airport in plenty of time. Do they have any recourse now, three weeks later.

The name issue was something like "Deborah" vs. "Debbie"
For international travel the name on the ticket MUST match EXACTLY the name on the passport. This is according to Customs. It used to be a little more lenient (ie: the Deborah vs Debbie) but recently Customs has been cracking down and fining airlines exhorbitant amounts for ANYTHING that doesnt match. And 'human error' doesnt get factored in.

Because the ticket was issued by Expedia had it been caught in time Expedia could have reissued it electronically. It depends on what ticket stock the actual ticket was on.. if its was Alitalias then they could have reissued it with a name change without hassle. Might be they would charge for the name change, however making the passenger purchase a whole new ticket doesnt sound quite right. My thought is there are other details here that havent been stated which could clear up the confusion.

As far as recourse NOW - I would suggest calling or writing Expedia. They can be really difficult (REALLY difficult!!) and you would just have to really persevere. State emphatically that you (your friends) were NOT advised (make them show you where it was documented/advised) that the name MUST match exactly and that due THEIR negligence you (your friends) were subjected to additional charges. Also if the price of the day of travel ticket was at the walk up price (ie Higher than the original ticket) then the difference in fare should also be refunded.

Hope that helps
kaceyellis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 08, 6:35 am   #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Paris and London
Programs: Mucci Grandee (Upgraded), BA Gold, AZ MilleMiglia
Posts: 2,835
I suspect the US Customs are stricter on this than other countries'.

I recently made a booking over the phone with AZ, including two LHR-FCO-SUF returns, which ended up with typos in the family name (mine and my mother's - different from each other - each missing a different letter) due to the agent not reading them back properly to me and me being in a hurry...

No problem at any of the airports. I called AZ when I found out what had happened and got them to make a note in the booking. They couldn't change the reservation (cheap Y tickets) but assured me it would be fine. I suspect this was because
- there was only one letter wrong (I have heard that up to three typos are permitted in many cases)
- because the misspelled names and the correct names were phonetically the same, it was clearly a mistake
- I wasn't travelling to the US.

To the OP, I guess that Deborah/Debbie is too different to be a typo, and non-English speakers might not even be used to the concept of "for short"-type names.
BAAZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 08, 6:49 am   #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Nashua, NH USA
Programs: Seashore Trolley Museum "flight attendant"
Posts: 1,904
The time to deal with it is with the agent (Expedia here) before you went.

Also, booking over the phone usually gives problems. In addition I prefer to book with a local (brick and mortar) agency or directly with the airline.

After you got back home, refusal of the airline to make a full refund reflecting the price of the old ticket and less a nominal service fee, given your spent new ticket and unspent old ticket, constitutes arrogance and greed.

>>> They can be very difficult
I continue to heartily discourage the use of on line travel agencies.

Travel tips: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/travel.htm

I hate this "B as in boy" crap. I refused to sign up for On Star on my car because the only way was to push the blue button on the rear view mirror and talk to somebody using that "B as in boy" crap.
__________________
Suitcase, too big to fly, stuffed full with clothes awaiting mending.

Last edited by AllanJ; Aug 13, 08 at 6:55 am..
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 08, 6:53 am   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Programs: FlyingBlue Platinum, LH Senator, VA Velocity Platinum, Marriott Silver, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,010
This was really bad customer service on Alitalia's part. These types of changes can be made by the airport staff and she shouldn't have been required to buy a new ticket. I would definitely have Expedia follow up on this to refund the old ticket, and heck, go ahead and ask for the difference between the two tickets as well! (if there was any..)
__________________
Some times you are the bug, and sometimes you are the windshield! SPLAAAAAAAAAT!!!
dg4255 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 08, 8:24 am   #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: CDG, FRA
Posts: 1,600
Quote:
Originally Posted by dg4255 View Post
This was really bad customer service on Alitalia's part. These types of changes can be made by the airport staff ....
I'm not sure at all that airport staff is allowed to change the surname in the PNR .....
ahrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 08, 9:18 am   #9
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Paris
Programs: Flyingblue Platinum, M&M Silver, Aclub Platinum
Posts: 151
I had once the same problem but only a letter was missed on my name.
I called the the company issuing the ticket (Opodo) and they wanted to charge me 25 Euros so I hang up and called Alitalia.
They had to issue a new ticket (get a new eticket number) but they did it for free.
The flight was an intra european one.
PROACTIVE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 13, 08, 9:46 am   #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rome FCO; London LON; Malta MLA
Programs: KM P, DL S | SPG G, Le Club S | Hertz PC, Avis P
Posts: 1,362
I think that AZ was right and consistent. Authorities, airlines and good TAs usually warn people against misspelling.
For instance, when you book on AZ, “Please enter your first name and last name exactly as they appear on the passport/identification document required for your travel. Tickets are valid for the named passenger only and are not transferable”.

What happened was very disappointing, of course, but in that situation Expedia - the TA which had issued the ticket - should have amended the ticket, not AZ.

Furthermore, “Debbee” vs “Debbie” is a reasonable misspelling that can lead authorities to be more lenient, at least on domestic trips or less tricky journeys. Yet, “Deborah" vs. "Debbie" can be considered by authorities and airlines as a totally different name too, like “Francesca” vs. “Franca” in Italy. No wonder if US customs would have sent that flyer back.
Alice11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 14, 08, 11:23 am   #11
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Zealand
Programs: NZ , QF , MK
Posts: 1,262
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaceyellis View Post
For international travel the name on the ticket MUST match EXACTLY the name on the passport. This is according to Customs. It used to be a little more lenient (ie: the Deborah vs Debbie) but recently Customs has been cracking down and fining airlines exhorbitant amounts for ANYTHING that doesnt match. And 'human error' doesnt get factored in.

Because the ticket was issued by Expedia had it been caught in time Expedia could have reissued it electronically. It depends on what ticket stock the actual ticket was on.. if its was Alitalias then they could have reissued it with a name change without hassle. Might be they would charge for the name change, however making the passenger purchase a whole new ticket doesnt sound quite right. My thought is there are other details here that havent been stated which could clear up the confusion.

As far as recourse NOW - I would suggest calling or writing Expedia. They can be really difficult (REALLY difficult!!) and you would just have to really persevere. State emphatically that you (your friends) were NOT advised (make them show you where it was documented/advised) that the name MUST match exactly and that due THEIR negligence you (your friends) were subjected to additional charges. Also if the price of the day of travel ticket was at the walk up price (ie Higher than the original ticket) then the difference in fare should also be refunded.

Hope that helps
sorry - isnt this an online service so surely tickets get issued in the name that the pax entered - if the pax dont know how their own name is spelt how does that constitute negligence on the part of expedia ?
kiwiandrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 14, 08, 6:21 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Programs: Delta Skymiles ,AAdvantage, Air India Flying Returns., US Airways Dividend Miles, United Mileage Plu
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaceyellis View Post
For international travel the name on the ticket MUST match EXACTLY the name on the passport. This is according to Customs. It used to be a little more lenient (ie: the Deborah vs Debbie) but recently Customs has been cracking down and fining airlines exhorbitant amounts for ANYTHING that doesnt match. And 'human error' doesnt get factored in.

Because the ticket was issued by Expedia had it been caught in time Expedia could have reissued it electronically. It depends on what ticket stock the actual ticket was on.. if its was Alitalias then they could have reissued it with a name change without hassle. Might be they would charge for the name change, however making the passenger purchase a whole new ticket doesnt sound quite right. My thought is there are other details here that havent been stated which could clear up the confusion.

As far as recourse NOW - I would suggest calling or writing Expedia. They can be really difficult (REALLY difficult!!) and you would just have to really persevere. State emphatically that you (your friends) were NOT advised (make them show you where it was documented/advised) that the name MUST match exactly and that due THEIR negligence you (your friends) were subjected to additional charges. Also if the price of the day of travel ticket was at the walk up price (ie Higher than the original ticket) then the difference in fare should also be refunded.

Hope that helps
Stitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 14, 08, 6:25 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Programs: Delta Skymiles ,AAdvantage, Air India Flying Returns., US Airways Dividend Miles, United Mileage Plu
Posts: 21
Angry Near bankrupt Airlines are Going to Bankrupt You The Customer!

Even if you discover the error and call back within minutes, you will be charged a $25 fee to correct it even if it is their error. I guess that is better than having to purchase a whole new ticket. The airlines are set up to nickel and dime one to death now.
Stitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 14, 08, 7:51 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NYC VIE
Programs: AF Platinum, LH SEN, VS Gold, CX Diamond, HH Diamond, SPG Gold, Avis PC, Hertz PC
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaceyellis View Post
For international travel the name on the ticket MUST match EXACTLY the name on the passport. This is according to Customs.
While this may be a US customs rule, it is enforced very selectively. I have been traveling on both LH and KL/NW to the US with no problems when ticket, Passport, and Green Card all showed different first names (e.g., John vs Jack).
4GSM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 15, 08, 12:03 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CDG/AMS
Programs: FB Plat, Petroleum Club, M&M FT, Hertz 5*, Mas Gold, Best Western Diamond (+ many low tier cards)
Posts: 1,963
Ive been travelling to various destinations in the US. On various airlines. And never did they even consider to bother about a completely different first name, save the first two letters.

The system at my office books the wrong nbame systematically. Coz my call-name is considerably different from my passports first name. Never ever a hint of problems.
Zembla is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:43 am.




SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.