Changing the name on a plane ticket is a tricky thing.

Changing the name on a plane ticket is a tricky thing.

People often ask me why it’s so difficult and expensive to change the name on a plane ticket. Most people think it has something to do with security. But this is a very small part of it.

Let’s say that you have booked a plane ticket and is not able to travel anyway. You want to sell or give away the plane ticket to a friend instead. So you need to change the name on the plane ticket to your friends name. But when you try this, you will find that this is not easy. And not cheap. If you want to change the name on a plane ticket, you will often find that this is as expensive as the actual ticket. Ot maybe even more expensive. But why is it so?

The airlines want to avoid scalping.

Airlines often have a 24 hour, or 48 hour sale of very cheap tickets. These very cheap tickets are only for sale for a very limited period, but plenty of people try to book them when they are too late. And then they will just have to pay more if they want to fly. But if you could go in and book as many super cheap tickets as you wanted and then resell them, then these sales would be costly for the airlines. And tickets for popular periods like just before and just after Christmas would be bought up. And then scalpers would resell them at higher prices. The airlines have no interest in that, cause they want to sell for these high prices.

The airlines want to sell you more than just a plane ticket.

If you buy from a scalper, then you are not buying the ticket on the airline website. These days additional sales on the airline website is super important to the airlines. Especially the budget airlines. They might sell a ticket for 20$ (plus taxes and fees). But they will pester you as much as you can when you finish your booking, to try and make you book other things. Things such as hotel accommodation and car rental typically pays the airlines 20-30% commission. So if they can get you to book a rental car and a few nights in a hotel, then they have often earned a lot more money on that, than on the actual plane ticket. This is very much how budget airlines earn their money these days. But if you buy a ticket from a scalper who has already said no thanks to booking various things, then they have almost certainly lost the sale to the next client.

I know that many airlines will claim that security plays a part. But that is not true. Any person can buy a ticket 5 minutes before departure, as long as they cough up a lot of money for it. And this is what terrorists do. They are not waiting for a 24 hour sale or buying the tickets second hand. Why would they want to save money on killing themsleves anyway?

Time to fly again.

Time to fly again

So if you come in a situation where you want to change the name on a plane ticket, then look as much as you can on the fine print. Cause this can sometimes save you a lot of money. But I am afraid that changing a name on a plane ticket is unfortunately something that is often very expensive.

And I thought I would try to explain a few of the reasons for that here.

Happy flying

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