Ryanair has been called on to refund passengers affected by a name-change penalty in a letter from money saving expert Martin Lewis to Michael O’Leary, the Chief Executive of Ryanair. Lewis has presented the Chief Executives of Ryanair and its regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), with a dossier of over 160 Ryanair passengers hit by the name-change ‘glitch,’ costing many customers £115 each to fix. MoneySavingExpert.com first reported the issue in December 2018 and has since received complaints from angry customers travelling with partners or friends with different surnames. They said they have been penalised after their companions’ surnames were automatically changed even though the correct details were entered at the time of booking.
If they didn’t spot the error within Ryanair’s 24-hour grace period, they were slapped with a £115 charge to change it in order to travel.
According to Lewis, Ryanair “has insisted that there isn’t a problem despite compelling evidence, and has said it won’t refund customers for what appears to be its own mistake.”
In the letter itself, Lewis wrote: “The engagement and response we’ve had from Ryanair has been flaccid; there seems to be a blasé attitude to these customers who feel hard done by.”
He added: “The behaviour of your firm, in refusing to refund customers who have been affected, yet with them having no choice but to pay up if they want to travel, does not seem to be the behaviour of a ‘nice airline’.
“I am sure you will be shocked to hear this is happening- and will want to rectify it – rather than waiting for regulatory engagement.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Ryanair for further comment on the situation.
Ryanair passengers have recently dubbed the budget airline the worst in the UK in a scathing Which? survey.
It marks the sixth consecutive year the firm has been granted the derogatory title by the consumer champion watchdog.
Passenger gripes ranged from seat comfort, food and drink options and boarding process, all of which received the lowest possible ratings.
The totals showed a dismal customer service score of 40 per cent – with many vehemently claiming they will not fly in the bright blue and white planes again.
More than 70 per cent of those grilled were adamant they would not plump for the airline, with fellow budget options easyJet and Jet2 getting the nod.
The low-cost airline has recently – and quietly – increased their hand luggage charges just two months after strict new rules were introduced in November.
Previously, passengers who wanted to bring more luggage had to pay £6 extra to benefit from priority boarding, which they could bring both a small bag and a larger bag for the overhead locker.
Ryanair travellers could also pay to take a suitcase on board that measured no more than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. It couldn’t more than 10kg and would be left at the airport drop desk. Previously this check-in bag cost £8 during booking or £10 after booking.
However, passengers booking now will find, after going through the flight selection process, that priority boarding has increased by £2 to £8.
Meanwhile, the extra 10kg suitcase will now cost £10 during booking.
These new sums can only be seen once flights have been selected. Ryanair’s cabin bag policy page continues to show the prices of ‘From £6’ for priority and ‘From £8’ for the 10kg bag.