Air Canada name change problem for my six year old/CheapOair

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Jan 18, 2018
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#1
So I must have had an auto populating problem (or so I am imagining) when I booked three tickets (myself, my husband, and our 6 year old daughter) to go to Switzerland in March. We were completely unaware of the problem until today when we looked at our credit card statement and saw that our daughter's ticket was incorrect as it had my last name for her instead of my husband's. I of course tried to have her name changed on her ticket as her passport has her correct last name (my husband's) by calling CheapOair's regular number, speaking to an agent, then a supervisor, then their customer service number as provided by your site, and speaking to two different people there. I am currently supposedly awaiting a call back from the higher level supervisor that I requested to speak with. This should be a simple change of name for a 6 year old to her father's name from her mothers, but of course they are asking that I rebook the ticket at the current price ($170 higher) and then they HOPE they can get the original ticket refunded from Air Canada. I therefore attempted calling Air Canada using the number you provided but they explained that they can do nothing since the trip there is on Swiss Air and the return is Air Canada despite the fact that Air Canada is the ticketing airline. As you have mentioned on your site, I believe this is just a ploy to get more money from people; frustrating! So, I appeal to you to see if you can help as it seems there is a simple solution to a simple problem. Can't CheapOair just change her name to the correct one on the ticket? And I'd be okay with a reasonable fee for what is likely my fault and will take them all of 5 mins to correct...maybe $25?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,700
11,294
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
You had 24 hours after booking to correct this at no charge. Did you read the confirmation you received that should have showed the name incorrectly?

Unfortunately - they cannot just do a name change, they have to reissue the ticket. It's not a ploy, it was made worse by booking through a third party and everything CheapoAir is telling you is true.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
Zoe's s mommy, Neil understands the industry and requirements, this is not just a simple delete and replace the name. And the online booking agent is a problem. Honestly if there is not a quick yes I would consider paying the fee. There was a 24 hour grace period; no one checked the confirmation, it was only noticed on the credit card statement? How did that happen?
 
Jan 18, 2018
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#4
Well, I suppose what I need to say in response is something like "because clearly I'm a few cards short of a full deck"? LOL. I get that I was supposed to check the confirmation, and all I can say is that I was sick at the time and running on fumes. So, I guess my brain was on auto pilot and it didn't register, AT ALL. You know, because I do know my child's name- I did give it to her:) I suppose my problem lies in the very severe penalty they want to impose for a pretty small oversight. To be responsible for a new ticket, and possible the old one too as they can't guarantee a refund (so $720 or so) to change my child's name to her correct one seems a bit nutty. I mean, it's not like they are conducting a background check on her....does anyone agree?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,700
11,294
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
I wish I had a magic wand and we could fix it for you but unfortunately the airlines don’t think this way anymore. They have to give you 24 hours to cancel and rebook (as long as the flight is more than 7 days away) at no charge.

You are further complicated by booking through a third party AND code share flights. That leaves a hole because the airline that booked the connection has no control over airline 2 fixing it.

We have company contacts on top of our page. Since it’s booked through CheapO you must deal through them- the airlines won’t deal with you. We have executuve contacts on top of our pages - find Cheapo Air and appeal the the Executives for assistance, starting at the lowest one and giving each a week to reply before moving up.
 
Jan 18, 2018
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#6
So yesterday CheapOair told me I'd receive a call back from a higher level supervisor within 4 hrs. This never happened. So, this am I called again, was transferred and waited on hold about 40 mins, then got disconnected (on their end, though they then called me back), spoke to a regular supervisor again....was convinced that nothing could be done, bought another ticket for my daughter for the same flights, paid about $170 more than I had originally, and am now HOPING that they are able to refund the cost of the original ticket. This whole thing seems absurd to me. How do we allow airlines to charge us this much money for what should be a simple name change? This is an advocacy group....my recommendation is that we attempt to address this problem as it seems like a very high price to pay for a mistake. I feel pretty outraged that I might be on the hook for over $700 for my last name on my child's ticket instead of my husband's. After all, we both made her! Further, how they can buy one ticket again for her is a mystery as she would be an unaccompanied minor, so how is that allowable, but not a simple name change? It truly is just an excuse to collect another fee and we should be collectively outraged.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#7
That would be nice but, as customers we also have a responsibility and that is to carefully read the details of a booking before finalizing it and also reading terms and conditions.

It is not a hidden fact that such charges will be made for such errors and they do provide a 24 hour window.

Also important is to frequently check online your accounts so such mistakes can be caught sooner than later by waiting for a statement. I receive immediate alerts every time a charge is made to any of my cards. If you had had that, you would have seen this within the 24 hour window.
 
Jan 18, 2018
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#8
Lee, though I appreciate you advising me of my responsibility, having an alert sent to my phone every time we made a charge to our credit cards would involve way too many alerts. We do have that set up for our teenagers, but it wouldn't work for us.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#9
While I agree that instant alerts for credit card transactions are a good idea (my husband and I get them for any foreign transaction and any domestic charge over $10) I don't think that would have helped in this case. For a plane ticket all that shows up in the text/email alerts is the name of the airline and not the ticketed passenger name. The only way to realize the mistake would have been looking at the email confirmation immediately.

I'm sorry this happened to you and I agree a simple name change shouldn't be so costly. Perhaps you could cancel and get some sort of credit to use within a year of original purchase.
 
Dec 7, 2017
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#10
Yeah. Screwed up twice. Wrong name entered and not caught, and cheapoair.

You’ll pay twice. Once to the airline and once to Cheapo. Plus. I’m sure they’ll find a fare difference you’ll have to pay.

Sorry. They’ve heard all the excuses and really don’t care. They’re cheapo.

It would not have helped to make the res with the airline directly but at least you could speak to a human being who is US based and get the change done while you wait and verify it on their website.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,700
11,294
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
With de-regulation, the airlines can pretty much do whatever they want and nothing stops them.
The only way to try to change things is to write to your Congressmen and women and your State Senators and complain. But- the airline lobby is so strong it doesn’t matter- even the DOT looks the other way.

The DOT killed a bill this year that would have forced the airlines to disclose all fees to consumers before they booked their tickets:

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/withdrawal-Transparency-Ancillary-Service-Fees

And a bill to force airlines to disclose how much they collect in ancillary fees:

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/withdrawal-Ancillary-Airline-Passenger-Revenues

IMO this is why airlines have carte blanche to do whatever the heck want.
 
Likes: Zoe's Mommy
Feb 9, 2016
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#12
idk, I still think this is a scam.... I think these OTA's understand that people don't check confirmations because everything was verbally confirmed.

@Zoe's Mommy did you hand type your daughters name in? Or did you tell the representative what your daughters name was? Did the OTA agent confirm your daughters name?

Good news is that you'll always check your confirmations moving forward.

Do you happen to still have the email confirmation they sent you after booking? Does that have the wrong name?
 
Dec 7, 2017
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#13
@Zoe's Mommy - one thought before you call up cheapo air is to call Air Canada- and before you do that -check the fares on line - see what is best fare for the same flights - so at least you don't have cheapo air playing games with you over how much the fare has 'changed' since you ticketed it -

Did you put passport numbers in already? if you gave cheapoair passport numbers then you have the same person - and same DOB etc - thus - Air Canada might cut you a break directly. . . .
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#14
CheapOair - hear the sound of my teeth gnashing? It's so frustrating to read about travellers using these online booking agencies. But they spend millions on advertising and people literally don't know who they're dealing with.

You are absolutely correct about this huge monetary loss being a scam. We all suffer from these so-called 'rules for our convenience'. The airlines figured out long ago that they could raise tons of money by penalizing their customers. The internet OBAs just march along doing the same thing. The airline lobby is so strong that common sense no longer enters into anything ... the airlines are allowed to charge us whatever they want and there's not a thing we can do.

My colleagues have given you clear advice and guidance, but I am troubled by something. The OBA should have given you credit for the existing tix less a change/cancel fee. That money should have been applied to the new tix issued in Zoe's correct name. Did that not happen?

I am so very sorry that you had to learn all this the hard way ... I just got up from 'the flu thing' and understand totally that all this just wafted by you when you were so sick. Once Zoe's tix is correct, and confirmed correct, you can go back and see what they did with the money you originally paid for her tix. Good luck, and please keep us updated.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,700
11,294
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#15
ZoesMommy, use our company contacts and escalate up the executive chain at CheapoAir.

http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/fareportal/

They may be taking a while to contact you because they have to wait for the airline response but if you committ to contact someone on a certain date, then do it even if it’s just to say “sorry I don’t have an answer yet but I didn’t forget you”.
 
Jan 18, 2018
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#18
So, here is the update (and I apologize for not individually responding...I didn't know anyone else had written anything until just now when I logged back in to write this!):

As I mentioned, last Friday I begrudgingly bought a new ticket for $170 more than the original) and was promised that they would get to work on a refund of the original ticket. There was NO MENTION of any associated fee for this "service". Just one hour ago, I get a call from Cheapoair saying that they need $100 fee to work on my refund. Needless to say my outrage has grown! I have not received any response to the first nice email (Mea Culpa email...) I wrote to the first contact that your website provided within their hierarchy which I wrote on Friday following this whole miserable interaction. So, now I have a new injustice in addition, and I will escalate it up the ladder with a new email, but needless to say, I nearly lost my mind when they called with that fee. In addition, I was with my daughter at ice skating lessons and she had just fallen and hurt herself, so the timing was less than stellar too:( How could they possibly justify a fee for this service a week after the "service" was ordered! It's like a ransom!!
 
Jan 18, 2018
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#19
CheapOair - hear the sound of my teeth gnashing? It's so frustrating to read about travellers using these online booking agencies. But they spend millions on advertising and people literally don't know who they're dealing with.

You are absolutely correct about this huge monetary loss being a scam. We all suffer from these so-called 'rules for our convenience'. The airlines figured out long ago that they could raise tons of money by penalizing their customers. The internet OBAs just march along doing the same thing. The airline lobby is so strong that common sense no longer enters into anything ... the airlines are allowed to charge us whatever they want and there's not a thing we can do.

My colleagues have given you clear advice and guidance, but I am troubled by something. The OBA should have given you credit for the existing tix less a change/cancel fee. That money should have been applied to the new tix issued in Zoe's correct name. Did that not happen?

I am so very sorry that you had to learn all this the hard way ... I just got up from 'the flu thing' and understand totally that all this just wafted by you when you were so sick. Once Zoe's tix is correct, and confirmed correct, you can go back and see what they did with the money you originally paid for her tix. Good luck, and please keep us updated.

Thanks for your answer and sorry you were sick! You are correct that there was no change or cancel fee...they literally offered me no other choice but to purchase a new tix at the prevailing rate and to go ahead with a refund of the original ticket which was very likely to be granted since it was essentially just a name change! Grrrrr. The big irony is that we use these services because we are motivated by price...then meanwhile look what happens:(
 
Jan 18, 2018
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#20
ZoesMommy, use our company contacts and escalate up the executive chain at CheapoAir.

http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/fareportal/

They may be taking a while to contact you because they have to wait for the airline response but if you committ to contact someone on a certain date, then do it even if it’s just to say “sorry I don’t have an answer yet but I didn’t forget you”.
Thanks, yes, I am working on that. About to write to #2 since #1 decided not to acknowledge me!