An Auckland man who made a booking for a colleague through Air New Zealand’s website is warning of the danger of getting the name wrong on reservations
The man, a seasoned flyer who has done a lot of his own travel arrangements, said he was asked to make a booking for a colleague for a trip to New York.
It was a booking in premium economy at a time when Air New Zealand had a sale fare of $4877 on offer.
When the man contacted Air New Zealand he was told the name couldn’t be changed because the Los Angeles-New York leg was on United Airlines. This despite the airlines having a deep commercial agreement and both being members of Star Alliance.
” I was informed even if I have made a typo spelling Micheal instead of Michael, it would not be able to be changed. I asked whether it was possible to cancel the United flights and rebook them under the correct spelling and keep the Air NZ flights,” said the man, who did not want to be identified.
The only option was to cancel the ticket and Air New Zealand said they would waive the $300 fee to do so. However, the premium economy sale was over and the same flights cost $1000 more.
”It seems ridiculous with airline partnerships and seemingly seamless travel that a genuine mistake can’t be quickly rectified, by changing names.
But Air New Zealand says names on international bookings must align with the name on the passport, for security and legal reasons, especially on tickets that involve travel on another carrier.
A spokeswoman said that on a booking that only involves travel on Air New Zealand operated services, minor spelling mistakes are changed free of charge.