Who makes the rules?

I just had an interesting discussion with a journalist working on a story about the mis-spelling on a name on an airline ticket.  It is sometimes difficult to explain to someone not in the travel industry how convoluted airline ticketing rules can be.

A small spelling or typo in the first name on this ticket is causing a major headache for the passenger, the travel agent and I would imagine airline reps who have been called repeatedly by all parties.  The other confusing issue is that every airline has a different way of dealing with these situations.  Within the industry some airlines are known to be extremely difficult to work with – I am not naming any names but you airline people know who you are.

You would think that if you purchase a ticket under the name Fred Smith and by mistaken when you or your travel agent are typing in the name you put Frod Smith then anyone can see that this is clearly a spelling error – just one letter – in the first name.  Something that can be easily cleared up.  Well – not so easy depending on who you speak to.

Remember too that airline help desks are like call centres – probably tons of people working there – so you might get a different scenario depending on who happens to pick up your call.

Nevertheless – it is useful to do a double check EVERY SINGLE TIME – and never rely on anyone’s goodwill here.

Remember, the cheaper the ticket the more difficult it will be to change and discount airlines rely on not having to spend more man hours on reprinting and re-issuing tickets.  It seems easy enough – but trust me it is not.

really hard

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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