Interesting story on USA Today talks about the laughable reasons why the airline industry does not allow us to change names on a ticket and transfer tickets. But plain and simple, it’s time for the airline industry to let passengers change the name on a ticket.
The FAKE reasons they claim they don’t allow it:
1. Security: They claim there is some sort of security risk by allowing a ticket to change names. So, let me understand. If I buy a ticket, and show up the day of the flight and show my ID or Passport I am good to go. But if I want to transfer a ticket, and that person shows up with an ID or Passport, they are not good to go? Where exactly is the security risk? Both people, original owner or the person getting the transfer, are forced to comply with the same security protocols. So what exactly is the security risk they claim? How does “ensuring that the ticketed passenger is the same person going through the TSA checkpoint and getting screened” change if a ticket transfer is made? The new persons name would be on the ticket – just like the original persons name was. Problem solved. And how do we know this is a 100% bogu reason? The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses a system called Secure Flight to screen airline passengers, but it’s capable of handling checks instantly, according to the agency. In other words, if airlines relaxed their rules on name changes, the TSA would have no trouble accommodating them.
2. To give better service: Really? Yes, you read it right. To be more specific, Victoria Day, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, stated, “An airline needs to know who the customer is so it can ‘provide quality service'”. WTF? Victoria Day you should be ashamed for stating something so blatantly stupid and misleading. How much of a joke is that statement. So, somehow, knowing the name of the person now makes a difference on the day of the flight? Even if the persons name is on the ticket? And exactly what “quality service” is being provided before the flight to the person whose name is on the ticket as opposed to the person who shows up to fly? I have flown more times than I can remember over 20+ years of flying national and international and I cannot think of one time, before my flight, where I was provided “quality service”. Any service, quality or not, really comes the day of the flight and would be irrespective of who actually shows up to fly. How does transferring a ticket to someone change that?
The REAL reason:
1. Money, Money, Money: Allowing this to happen means missed revenue for them. Period. It means they cannot make as much of a fee for the transfer, but more so, it means they cannot sell the person who gets the ticket a higher priced ticket. In their greedy model, it is better to stick it to the person who cannot use the ticket (and maybe have a person not fly and loose out on that already sold ticket and add someone onto the flight last minute to double the revenue per seat) AND sell a ticket to the person who could use it then to help out both and allow a transfer of the ticket for a reasonable fee. “If name changes were allowed, then passengers could resell their tickets anytime, subverting an airline’s ability to raise ticket prices as the flight becomes full” and that would mean an airline decline in revenue.
Domestic airlines collected a record $2.5 billion in ticket change fees in 2012, you think they want to give any little piece of that up? Hell no.
Photo: Nam Y. Huh, APLike what you just read? Subscribe!