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Forums Other Flight changes and cancellations help Booking.com refusing to correct their error re: maiden name

  • AndyCa 4 posts

    Having a bit of a nightmare with Booking.com and Saudia

    Booked honeymoon (stupidly) through Booking.com using their form which asks for Last names:Enter exactly what’s written on the passenger’s passport or identity card? (i.e. not at time of flights)

    So I did, accurately.
    Wife has subsequently changed name, including on passport as that was coming up within 5 months of honeymoon.

    Realised tickets are in wrong name. Tried Saudia who (are extremely difficult to contact and) refuse to do anything about it because we used a third party.

    Contacted Booking.com who just repeatedly state that the airline’s policy is that they can’t make any corrections. They completely ignore any crystal clear questions put to them like, are you going to rebook it then?

    Flights are in April, already 50% more expensive than when booked. Booking.com are outside UK so it’s going to be a hard and expensive job recovering damages from them.

    If either of them just asked for a normal admin fee we would pay it and move on. Instead they’re both acting like little children and all parties will be worse off as a result (we are certainly not using these two companies again)

    Internet search on trying to travel with new passport and marriage certificate does not look hopeful.

    Any advice welcome.

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,385 posts

    I’m not sure what you’re expecting here.

    Saudia presumably doesn’t do name changes, in common with virtually all legacy airlines. Booking.com can’t do it either if Saudia won’t allow it.

    I’ve no idea what you think you can ‘recover’ from Booking.com because I don’t see what they’ve done wrong, unless you believe that every airline should write ‘Name (at time of travel)’ instead of ‘Name’ on their booking forms. Even if you tried to sue them, they would presumably claim the ‘common sense’ defence that you should have realised they meant the name on the ticket and would point to the fact that hundreds of thousands of people book honeymoon flights via them each year with no issues.

    (You can sue them, of course. They have a London office and will be licenced in the UK to sell flights.)

    As your own ticket is presumably OK you should probably bite the bullet before costs go up even more, buy your wife a fresh ticket and see if you can recover taxes and charges from the original.

    Peter K 611 posts

    A bit of sympathy here, but no real solutions I’m afraid.
    I remember when I married thinking what a hassle it was to travel, change bank accounts etc etc for Mrs K. It’s like it’s a rare occurrence and not like 1000’s do it every year!

    I’d see if Saudia will accept the marriage certificate as proof it’s the same person as on the booking. Sometimes that will work.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,353 posts

    This is good advice (because many airlines will permit this) and the OP should take it and perhaps be less combative than they have in their post when doing so.

    I’d see if Saudia will accept the marriage certificate as proof it’s the same person as on the booking. Sometimes that will work.

    BA and VS for example also won’t change names on bookings (does that make them little children as well?) even for a fee but they will permit a person to travel with a ticket in their maiden name but a passport in their married name along with marriage certificate (they will also accept the reverse in case of divorce !)

    Lula 212 posts

    Agree with Rob here. You had options including booking in the new married name or renewing the passport in your wife’s “maiden” (god I hate that term) name. Why you chose to do it this way and then blame quite reasonable policies is a mystery.

    Some sympathy for having to deal with booking.com customer service though. They are pretty terrible in my experience.

    Alex G 471 posts

    Surely the solution is clear.

    Your wife has time to change her name again and get a new passport before the flights in April.

    Ash 620 posts

    Can Advanced Passenger Details eg passport number, be updated to match the new passport @alexG suggests?

    AndyCa 4 posts

    Thanks for the replies, I cut some of the awful customer service that justifies my tone but point taken. Personally I do think that if you ask a very specific question for a completely inflexible contract then it should be the correct question. Regardless I also expect companies to make reasonable admin tasks possible for a reasonable fee.

    We will look at the passport options again and try and talk to Saudia about marriage certificate again although it will probably require annual leave and going to their London office. They have no published email address or contact form and when we got through to somebody on the phone they could not understand anything.

    R 60 posts

    BA will reissue the tickets under changed name. You just need to email them with a copy of the marriage certificate.

    Alex G 471 posts

    BA will reissue the tickets under changed name. You just need to email them with a copy of the marriage certificate.

    I dare say. But this relates to flights with Saudia!

    SamG 1,727 posts

    Saudia won’t touch the ticket until T-24hrs so don’t waste your time going to their office. They likely do have some form of “major name correction ” policy that a competent TA can follow (e.g. BA does) but booking.com likely doesn’t fit into that category unfortunately

    You’ve got 2 options if you can’t get booking.com to fix it 1) get a passport back in the maiden name for the trip or 2) leave it until T-24 and go to the airport and see if they can fix it. Obviously that’s a risk and a lot of unknown

    SamG 1,727 posts

    You can see their GDS instructions online and they state that TAs can’t update names

    There is an email ibesupport at saudiairlines.com someone posted they did get a name changed (while ago now)

    AJA 1,143 posts

    Unfortunately, I think you are stuck. Saudia is very restrictive and does not allow changes of name. I found this at the bottom of page 13, top of page 14 of Saudia’s T&Cs:

    Name Change Restrictions – Saudi Arabian Airlines does not allow Travel Service Providers to correct or change names in a PNR. The correct names as per the passenger’s passport, or form of identity to be presented at check-in time at the airport, and the date of birth for child/infant must be entered at PNR creation time.
    Travel Service Provider must not attempt to correct or change passenger name or add/correct date of birth for child/infant to an existing PNR as this will directly result in the cancellation of all SV itinerary in that PNR. In this case, Travel Service Provider will
    be responsible for the cancellation of the customer’s reservation and all consequent compensations or fines that might be incurred by Saudi Arabian Airlines as a result of this violation by Travel Service Provider.

    https://www.saudia.com/-/media/project/sa/sc/static_files/agencies/policy-and-procedure/saudi-arabian-airlines-gds-crs-booking-and-ticketing-policy-10jul2019.pdf

    I also found these contact details. Not sure where you are, but you have the choice of Manchester or London. You could try going to the airport and speaking to the check-in staff supervisor as to whether they would deny boarding if you showed them your marriage certificate. I definitely wouldn’t leave this to the day of travel, though.

    UNITED KINGDOM – MANCHESTER Office No 1 – Manchester
    Address :
    2021, Terminal 2, Manchester Airport, Manchester, M90 4QX
    Working hours: Tue/Wed/Thur/Sat/ Sun 1230 – 1630
    Reservation Telephone :
    +44 (0) 3712004433
    Airport Services :
    +44 161 489 6679

    LONDON Office No 1 – Atlas House
    Address :
    173 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NA, UK
    Working hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5 pm
    Reservation Telephone :
    Call Centre +44 (0) 3712004433 | +44 (0) 1217900430 from 6am-10pm from the UK only
    Airport Services :
    +44 2088972211

    AndyCa 4 posts

    Thought I would just give an update.
    After my wife took time off and went to the Saudia office they agreed to update her name so long as Booking.com paid them an EMD fee. After many repeated attempts to get Booking.com to do this, offering to pay the fee myself, they just kept sending the same blanket irrelevant response with absolutely no sign my emails had been read by a human being. Eventually Booking.com sent the same email from a no-response email address which apparently is their ‘Concerns’ department. It is very clear that Booking.com ‘Customer Services’, which they outsource to GotoGate, are not willing to lift a finger in service to their customers.
    Due to ticket prices continuing to go up we had to give in and ask Booking.com to cancel so we could rebook that seat directly. The cancellation went through almost immediately as the seat was free on Saudia that evening. That was several days ago and Booking.com are now just sitting on our refund money. When they do get round to refunding us they are going to charge us £100 for the privilege.

    Suffice to say I will never use Booking.com again

    Alex G 471 posts

    Would have been cheaper to apply for a new passport.

    But hopefully, your story will serve as a warning to others and a reminder that your tickets and passport must be in the same name.

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