CheapOair misspells the name on my ticket! I’m not “Jessicabs”

When CheapOair misspells the name on Jessica Vogol’s airline ticket, she tries to fix it. Is it too late to make a correction — and will she have to buy a new one?

Question

CheapOAir Misspells

I came across your recent article on CheapOair and saw you were able to help get an issue resolved.

I booked a ticket online through CheapOair. They spelled my first name correctly on my confirmation (Dear Jessica, etc.) However, buried at the bottom CheapOair misspelled my first name as “Jessicabs.”

I’m not sure what happened. Both airlines operating the itinerary — British Airways and American — say they should be able to make the change as long as CheapOair reaches out to them. Their customer service team insists there’s nothing they can do. When I asked if I now have a useless $600 ticket, they said they “can’t comment.”

I wanted to see who you were able to contact that helped resolve this issue. This is a business trip, and I’m not sure whether to just risk that it works or pay for a new flight out of pocket. Thank you so much, in advance, for your help. — Jessica Vogol, New York

Answer

What a tough situation to be in. You’ve booked a complicated international itinerary, which involves an online travel agent and two different airlines. As you probably know, the name on your airline ticket must match the name listed on your identification exactly, or else you will not be allowed to board.

While you were fortunate to catch the misspelling of your first name, you did not notice it until three days had passed since purchase.

Related story:   A ticket fiasco in Frankfurt

When you contacted CheapOair by phone, you say that its representatives were “dismissive” and unable to help. So then you called both British Airways and American Airlines. Those agents both told you that the error was correctable but that it would have to be done by CheapOair.

You then called back CheapOair but again could not get anywhere with their customer service representatives. You even claimed that when you asked if the misspelling invalidated your ticket and that you’d have to purchase a new one, they said: “I can’t comment on that.”

CheapOair speaks

Frustrated with the assistance you received via phone, you escalated your case by emailing CheapOair via the customer service information listed on their website.

A representative of the airline responded:

We understand your concern regarding ”Name Correction”. We apologize for the inconvenience that you might have experienced. Further, please be advised that as per our records, our supervisor department tried to reach you but unable to connect. Hence, you are requested to please contact our travel specialist team by calling at 1-800-525-0400 or 212-478-0335 (Calling outside from US) and ask to connect with supervisor department.

So you called back CheapOair, only to be rebuffed once again in your efforts to get the name change expedited. In fact, it got ugly when you threatened the travel agency with legal action.

With nowhere else to turn, you contacted our advocates through our helpline. In turn, Dwayne Coward contacted  CheapOair on your behalf to see if we could correct this “CheapOair misspells the name” case.

Related story:   The Travel Troubleshooter: Help! I've got two airline tickets in the same name

We’ve covered CheapOair misspells in the past. In this case, I thought it might again be the fault of the travel agent. However, thanks to a little digging by our advocacy team, we discovered that this travel-booking wound was self-inflicted.

CheapOair misspells the name — or does it?

CheapOAir Misspells

Our contact at CheapOair shared with us screenshots of your booking (see — retailers take screenshots too!). It appears that you did indeed misspell your own first name when you filled in the traveler information field on the website.

Your name was spelled correctly in the payment field. CheapOair used this field to autofill the email confirmation salutation. So when you saw the confirmation email addressed properly, you assumed that the name on the ticket was accurate.

Let’s look at what you could have done better. The most important thing to do when booking an online itinerary is to check every field you’ve filled in and verify that all the information is correct before you press “Confirm.” Once you click “Confirm Purchase,” it takes great effort to reverse an error. This correction is easiest within 24 hours of purchase when you have a chance to cancel or change an itinerary without charge.

Since you were beyond what CheapOair’s representative referred to as the “void period,” the company was under no obligation to correct your ticket. However, the agency soon contacted you and informed you that they would cancel the misspelled ticket as a one-time courtesy.

Mark Pokedoff

Four-time Emmy-award-winning television sports production specialist and frequent traveler. Longtime freelance writer and travel blog enthusiast. Proud papa of four amazing kids who have been upgraded to first class more than all their friends combined. Read more of Mark's articles here.

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