- A 53-year-old man named Nicholas says he wasn’t allowed to board a flight because his wife put the name ‘Nick’ on the booking.
- He booked the British Airways flight through a travel agent.
- BA says the flight was operated by Qatar Airways, so the airline wasn’t able to make the change.
A British man named Nicholas wasn’t able to board a flight because his boarding pass called him “Nick.”
53-year-old Nick Meads told Bristol Live that he and his wife, 49-year-old Charlotte, had bought tickets for a March 27 British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Denpasar in Bali, Indonesia, where they planned to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
The couple, who have three children, paid £550 each for the tickets, booking through TravelUp agency – but Charlotte put her husbands nickname, “Nick,” on the booking rather than his official name, Nicholas.
British Airways confirmed to Business Insider that the travel agent also booked Meads onto a flight operated by Qatar Airways, not BA.
Nick said he noticed the nickname error when the boarding passes arrived, and contacted TravelUp to make sure it wouldn’t be a problem.
He said he was asked to send photographs of his passport as proof of identity to have his name changed by BA – but that the airline refused.
“I re-sent all the details and BA said it was nothing like the name,” he said, adding that the airline said Nick and Nicholas were “completely different.”
“It just seems illogical to me,” he added. “I didn’t know the policies.”
He said he even asked the airline if he could buy another seat on the flight – at his own cost – but BA told him there were no tickets left unless he wanted to fork out for first class.
Instead, he said he was forced to pay £1,075 for another flight with Philippine Airlines – meaning Charlotte had to travel alone on her first ever long-haul flight.
Nick’s 36-hour outbound journey involved a nine-hour layover in Manila, and his return was 12 hours later than Charlotte’s.
He claims the situation was made even worse when Charlotte found out that her husband’s original seat – and others – were left empty on both the outbound and return flights.
The couple said they managed to enjoy their 12-day holiday – but that their spending money ran out quickly.
“What incenses me most of all is I couldn’t get back what I had already,” Nick said. “I would have paid £400 to have my name changed. That just incensed me.”
The BA flight was operated by Qatar Airways
When Business Insider spoke to British Airways, the airline indicated that while the flights were indeed booked with BA, they were actually operated by Qatar Airways – so they were unable to make a change to Meads’ booking.
They added that the travel agent had been issued with a full refund as soon as they were made aware of the issue.
“We were disappointed to hear that Mr Meads was unable to take his Qatar Airways flight to Bali, after his travel agent made a mistake with his booking,” the airline said.
“We processed a full refund for his agent when we were made aware of the problem.
“We always do what we can to help customers and can correct spelling mistakes for flights on British Airways flights. We are not permitted to make the sort of change Mr Meads required for flights operated by other airlines.”