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Which airlines charge the most for booking mistakes?


December 19, 2019

Booking flights for June instead of July, misspelling your new partner’s surname, choosing flights in the am instead of after work… when you’re DIY-ing a holiday, it’s easy to let little mistakes slip through the cracks.

But beware, some airlines don’t look too kindly upon error – no matter how tiny it seems. We looked at nine popular airlines to find out how much it’ll cost you if you fall foul of their rules.


How much does it cost to change a name on a flight ticket?



Changing the name on a flight ticket can be a costly exercise but while low-cost carriers have received a bad rap of late, it’s not all bad news.

Most airlines will forgive genuine typos and amend your booking free of charge. And if you’ve recently changed your name (due to marriage or divorce, for example), they will generally change your ticket to match whatever is on your passport – you will just need to prove you are the same person flying and are not attempting to transfer your flight to another person.

However, those who are looking to pass a flight on to another person will have to pay for it. Ryanair will charge £115 each way to change the name online at the time of booking. This jumps to £160 each way if you call up to do so. For other airlines, the cost can be anywhere between £25 to the full price of your ticket. Remember, for flights with low-cost airlines, it may be cheaper to book a whole new ticket than to mess around with fees and customer service – so check before you pay anything.

Bigger carriers, such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, do not offer the chance to change names and travellers will need to cancel their booking and start the process again. For more, check out the table below.

Note: This is indicative for economy tickets only and as always, remember to read your airline’s T&Cs before you book.

Airline

Name change fee – online

Name change fee – call centre/airport

Title change/typo fees

Ryanair

£115 each way if made at the time of booking

£160 each way if made after the 48-hour grace period

Free within 48-hour grace period - one letter spelling errors do not need to be changed.

easyJet

More than 60 days before travel: £25
60 days or less before travel: £50

More than 60 days before travel: £30 (call centre)
60 days or less before travel: £55 (call centre)

Free

Jet2

£35 each way for one name change per booking. For additional name changes, it’s £35 plus the difference in fare if the original price has since increased

£35

Free

Wizz Air

€45 (£38) for each leg of your flight

€45 (£40) for each leg of your flight plus a call centre transaction fee (€15/£13)

One free change for up to 3 characters, or a title change.

Norwegian Air

All flights on LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium tickets excluding international long haul: £55 each way

International long-haul on LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium tickets: £90 each way

Flex and Premium Flex: Free

All flights on LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium tickets excluding international long haul: £75 each way

International long-haul on LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium tickets: £110 each way

Note: these prices are inclusive of a £20 service charge

Free for up to 3 characters per name

Flybe

N/A – you must contact the airline directly

£50 each way, plus any difference between the original fare paid and the cost of flight at the time of the change

Free

Aer Lingus

N/A – you must contact the airline directly.

£80

Free

British Airways

N/A – tickets are non-transferrable so you must cancel your ticket and rebook under the new name at the current ticket price. You have a 24-hour cooling off period during which you can cancel your booking and get a full refund.

N/A – tickets are non-transferrable so you must cancel your ticket and rebook under the new name at the current ticket price. You have a 24-hour cooling off period during which you can cancel your booking and get a full refund.

Free, unless the taxes, fees and carrier charges on your ticket have changed since you made the booking. You will need to make up the difference.

Virgin Atlantic

N/A – tickets are non-transferrable so you must cancel your ticket and rebook under the new name at the current ticket price. 

N/A – tickets are non-transferrable so you must cancel your ticket and rebook under the new name at the current ticket price. 

Free


How much does it cost to change the date of or cancel your flight?



Holiday plans can change. If this happens, airlines generally offer a few options to make the sting of missing out a little easier: you may be able to change the date of travel or cancel the trip all together.

The easiest way to avoid getting stung by excessive fees is to purchase flex tickets straight off the bat. However, if you’ve gone down the budget fare route, expect to pay a fee starting at around £25 to change your flight. Airlines will generally also add any fare increases to the charge. They will not refund you if ticket prices have dropped.

Similarly, flex fares are easier to cancel for a refund than budget tickets, which are often non-refundable. Some airlines such as British Airways and easyJet offer a 24-hour cooling off period where you can receive a full refund – although easyJet charges a cancelation fee of £33 online and £38 via the call centre to do this.

Some airlines charge to cancel, so it may be cheaper to just skip the flight altogether without actually cancelling. If you go down this route, be sure to read your airline’s terms and conditions carefully first: you may be able to skip out on a flight you no longer want to take, but it may result in a no-show fee and any connecting or return flights may be cancelled, too.

As always, we recommend purchasing travel insurance as soon as you book your flight so you’re financially covered in case you need to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances such as a death in the family.

For more, check out the table below.

Note: This is indicative for economy fares only and, as always, remember to read your airline’s T&Cs before you book.

Airline

Date change fee

Cancellation fee

Ryanair

Between £35 and £65 each way online

Between £50 and £95 each way at the airport/via the call centre

Or free of charge if changes are made within the 24-hour grace period (online bookings only) – but you will be charged any price difference if the price is higher.

All flights can be changed up to 2.5 hours before departure but they cannot be cancelled.

easyJet

More than 60 days before travel:
Online– £25 + fare difference per flight
Call centre – £30 + fare difference per flight

60 days or less before travel (off-peak season):
Online – £32 + fare difference per flight
Call centre – £37 + fare difference per flight

60 days or less before travel (peak season):
Online – £47 + fare difference per flight
Call centre – £52 + fare difference per flight

You’ll receive a full refund minus an administrative charge of £33 online or £38 via call centre if you cancel with 24 hours of booking.

Cancellations after 24 hours of booking will not be refunded, other than a refund of any applicable Air Passenger Duty.

Jet2

For online changes: £35 each way, plus the difference in cost if the original price has since increased.

For changes via a call centre: £35, plus the difference in fare if the original price has since increased.

Flights are non-refundable but you will not be charged a cancellation fee.

Wizz Air

More than 30 days before travel: €30 (£25.50)

Between seven and 30 days before travel €35 (£30)

Within seven days of travel €40 (£34)

All fees are in addition to any fare differences and €15 (£13) in call centre transaction fees if you opt to change over the phone

Up to two weeks before your flight: €60 (£51) per flight, per passenger. The refundable amount, minus this fee, will be credited to your Wizz Air account

Within two weeks of your flight:

€80 (£68) per flight, per passenger. No refund is available on the fee for other services.

Norwegian Air

All flights on LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium tickets excluding international long haul: £55 + price difference each way

International long-haul on LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium tickets: £90 + price difference each way

Flex and Premium Flex: Free to rebook

LowFare, LowFare+ and Premium tickets: Fully refundable if cancelled within four hours of booking. No refunds after this period. Depending on your fare type, there may be a cancellation fee – contact the airline for more information.

Flex and Premium Flex: Fully refundable

Flybe

Just Fly fares: £45 online, via the call centre or at the airport

Get More fares: free to change the date, plus any difference in fare since the original booking

All In fares: free to change the date, plus any difference in fare since the original booking.

Just Fly fares: Tickets are non-refundable.

Get More fares: £25 cancellation fee. Can only be cancelled within 24 hours of making your booking.

All In fares: Free to cancel within 24 hours of making your booking.

Aer Lingus

Saver or Plus Fare European flights online: £35, plus any fare difference

Saver or Plus Fare European flights via Guest Services or at the airport: £40, plus any fare difference

Saver or Smart Fare Transatlantic flights: £120, plus any fare difference

Depending on your fare type, you’ll also have to pay the difference in fare since the original booking.

Saver, Smart and Plus Fares are non-refundable but you are entitled to a refund of government taxes – this is subject to a €20 (£13.50) administration fee for each one-way flight.

British Airways

Fees vary by route and fare type, but changes for non-flex fares start from £30. Rule of thumb says that the lower the fare, the more restrictions on changes there will be.

If you need to make a change within 24 hours of booking, it’s easiest to cancel your flight (free of charge) and rebook.

Cancellation fees vary by route and fare type but expect to incur at least a service fee between £15 and £40 (depending on fare type and whether you organise this online, via a call centre or at the airport).

 

Virgin Atlantic

You can cancel you booking free of charge within 24 hours. Changes outside of this period may not be possible. If they are, you will be required to pay any increases in fare price, plus a change fee for non-flex tickets. This varies by route and ticket type.

Non-refundable tickets are only entitled to a refund of government taxes – this is subject to up to a £30 administration fee per booking.

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