Unbelievable way one student found to beat Ryanair fees

Adam Armstrong was told he’d have to pay a hefty fee to change details on his ticket - so he found another solution

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Adam West

Adam Armstrong, a 19-year-old student from Manchester, has come up with a brilliant way to beat a shocking Ryanairfee. His girlfriend's stepfather had made a mistake when booking the couple a flight to Ibiza, and when he heard that the airline wanted £220 to correct it, he devised an alternative solution.

Adam is a fan of Batman, so as a joke he used the name Adam West on his Facebook page - the name of the actor who played Batman on TV. His girlfriend's stepfather checked his surname on Facebook, so booked the ticket in the name of West. It's the kind of mix-up that must afflict those with dual identities all the time.

Solution

Adam called Ryanair, and as a result of the call he understood that it would cost him £220 to change the surname (Ryanair has since told The Telegraph that the fee is actually £110).

The Sun reported that instead of changing the ticket, he came up with a different solution: he changed his name. The change was made using Deed Poll - which is free - and then he paid £103 to have a passport issued in his new name. The couple will fly to Ibiza next month.

Has Ryanair changed?

Ryanair has gained a reputation for rip-off fees. It was something that Chief Executive Michael O'Leary pledged to change 18 months ago, promising a new era of customer service and fairness - under a programme called Always Getting Better.

The firm has since changed its website booking process, reducing the number of extras customers have to opt out of. It cut its check-in fee from £70 per person per flight to £45, and its missed departure fee from £110 to £100. It has also cut the cost of checking in some sporting equipment.

It told the papers that the fee Adam faced was actually designed to be high enough to stop companies buying up cheap tickets and selling them on for a profit. It added that you have a 24-hour grace period in which to make small changes if you make a mistake during the booking process.

However, before we start celebrating a new era of fairness. It's worth bearing in mind that the charges remain punishing. If, for example, a family of four forgets to check in online and has to do so at the airport - for the outwards and return flights - it will still cost them £360. You could argue that it's much better than the previous level of fees, which would have set them back £560. But you're still talking about charging people several hundred pounds to print out a few pieces of paper.

Maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise to hear that earlier this year a survey for advertising firm, Isobel, named Ryanair as the fourth most loathed brand in the UK. It was only beaten by UKIP, the Conservative party, and Marmite.

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