You should always check the name on your passport before booking plane tickets, a couple from Brisbane, Australia, whose vacation budget took a hit after a simple first name mistake, found out the hard way.
“I begged them on the phone: 'Please, you can't do this, all the holiday money will be gone in an instant,'” Australian Kate complained along with her partner Phil in an interview on the Australian news program A Current Affair on Thursday .
Last July, the couple, wanting to treat themselves to a well-deserved month's vacation in Europe, managed to find return tickets to Melbourne through Virgin Airlines at a cost of 2,400 Australian dollars each, or the equivalent of about 2,145 Canadian dollars, and Qatar Airways to London.
The man took advantage of the opportunity and booked the tickets for himself and his wife, not realizing that Kate's passport identified her as “Katherine” instead.
“It's an administrative error, I think I married Kate in church and not Katherine,” her husband told Australian media.
But after realizing the error, he would have tried to correct it on the website before learning that he had to cancel Kate's ticket – only with a partial refund – and buy a new ticket… this time for the sum of 4700 sold in Australian dollars.
“Their reasoning was that they didn't have time to change the name of the ticket, but they had time to sell us a new ticket,” Phil whispered on the Australian show. They simply took advantage of the whole situation, especially the peak travel season and the lack of time.”
But according to Quentin Long from travel publisher Australian Traveler, it is crucial for security, but also for interstate communications and visas, that the name on the passport matches that on the ticket.
“You have to understand the details, there are no shortcuts. When you're looking for the cheapest airfares, you have very little room for maneuver – if you make a mistake, you have to pay,” he warned, according to A Current Affair.