Alitalia - Not allowing name change despite extenuating circumstances

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Feb 9, 2019
1
0
1
26
#1
In November 2018, I booked an Alitalia flight from NYC to Rome for April 2019 through FareBoom. Because I was supposed to get married in December, I booked this flight under my soon-to-be married name. But then my fiance left me unexpectedly and without any explanation a few days before our wedding. After spending a significant amount of time on the phone with both Alitalia and FareBoom, FareBoom instructed me to send a copy of my passport to their customer service email and suggested that submitting a copy of my marriage license that shows both my intended married name and the name on my passport might help with Alitalia's approval process for the name change. My ex conveniently "lost" the marriage license, so I had to go back to the Marriage Bureau to get a copy, which was a deeply upsetting experience. I submitted the requested materials.

After a couple of weeks of waiting, I received this message from FareBoom

We have received airline’s response in regards to your name change request.
Unfortunately the airline is not allowing a name change on the existing ticket. However they are offering a refund of your existing ticket with the incorrect name and then you can purchase a new ticket with the name as it appears in your passport.
Please reply to this email and let us know how you would like to proceed.

I interpreted this to mean that I would receive a full refund for the flight and asked about next steps, but then I received this message from FareBoom:

In order to process a refund there are two options you may choose from:
1. Processing a refund with the cancellation penalties of $400.00. Your reservation is subject to a $300.00 airline penalty and a $100 agency processing/service fee per each airline ticket. The agency processing fee must be collected in advance in order to start the refund procedure. The residual amount will be your refund.
2. We assist with a full refund on the original ticket but the airline will require a new ticket to be issued with the same flights under the correct name, at the current price. Meaning you would have to pay for a new ticket and we will be able to submit the original ticket for a full refund.

The price for the exact same flights is now $702 higher than what I paid in November. So my options are to pay $300 to cancel a $505 flight (FareBoom has since agreed to waive their agency processing/service fee but said that's all they can do) or pay what amounts to a $702 penalty because, entirely outside of my control, my name isn't what I had planned on it being.

I'd appreciate any help and suggestions that someone may be able to provide. This increase in price may mean I have to cancel the trip entirely, which is a very heartbreaking prospect given the circumstances.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,218
14,807
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Unfortunately this is how the airlines work. You should have booked the tickets in your maiden name and traveled with your passport in your maiden name. It wasn’t necessary to change your passport until after your trip.


FareBoom is telling you the only options. There is no other choice. No airlines can do a name change like that- you have to buy a new ticket.

In the future- book your ticket in the name of you current passport - not what it could be six months from when you book.
 
Likes: AMA
Sep 19, 2015
3,841
5,052
113
48
#3
I am sorry for the broken relationship.

Neil is correct, there are limited options.

Although this situation is outstide of your control, it is also not the fault of the airline. Add in a online travel agency with not so great reviews --

Are you sure that Fareboom can really do this properly?

Have you looked to see if there is a cheaper option of just buying a ticket directly with an airline from NYC to FCO? There may be a fare that costs less than 720 and honestly I do not have faith in the OTAs
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,703
7,521
113
San Francisco
#4
I'm so very sorry to read your story, getting this Alitalia tix straightened out must be very painful on top of everything else. I too have little faith in online booking services, but they are your only resource right now. I hope you'll just figure out the least expensive way to get to Rome and make a different kind of trip ... an adventure of independence. I think even a few days in Rome will make great memories, Rome really makes NYC seem like a village! With the right mind-set, I think you'll have a wonderful time there.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,218
14,807
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
I am sorry for the broken relationship.

Neil is correct, there are limited options.

Although this situation is outstide of your control, it is also not the fault of the airline. Add in a online travel agency with not so great reviews --

Are you sure that Fareboom can really do this properly?

Have you looked to see if there is a cheaper option of just buying a ticket directly with an airline from NYC to FCO? There may be a fare that costs less than 720 and honestly I do not have faith in the OTAs
It’s actually not the fault or the airline OR the OTA. The ticket never should have been booked this way- it should have been booked in the name that was on the passport at the time the trip was booked. The passport could have been changed after the trip was taken.

Sorry this happened and wish you would have talked to a travel agent before you booked - a travel agent would have advised you not to book it this way. FareBoom is stuck under Alitalia’s rules.