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Jet2.com - £110.50 for name change


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I have 10 passengers booked on a return flight to Amsterdam the weekend after next, that we booked a while back, for a stag weekend.

 

We needed to change one of the names. When I phoned Jet2, they said I had to pay £15 amendment fee per flight (total £30) plus the difference in fares since I booked (though they will give no refund if fares go down - this is an important point).

 

I used to work in travel and did so for 5 years. I have never known such an obscene charge. The only thing involved in changing a name is to type the new one into the reservation system.

 

I would not have complained about being charged £30 (even though that is steep as far as name change charges go), but to pay the difference in fare when I have made no changes to the flight? GRRRR...

 

I paid because I had to, but immediately wrote them a letter objecting. At the time, as it was in the contract, I couldn't see a way out.

 

However... having read the OFT's website in relation to unfair terms in consumer contracts, which covers many areas, it appears I may be covered.

 

I believe this is precisely the same argument as for the banks, i.e. they can only charge what it's cost them. However, they do have a much stronger argument here that it is a service. Nonetheless, I am very confident I could argue the case under s15 Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

 

As this is not often resorted to in the banks' cases and most arguments revolve around penalty charges, here is section 15:

 

15 Implied term about consideration

 

(1) Where, under a contract for the supply of a service, the consideration for the service is not determined by the contract, left to be determined in a manner agreed by the contract or determined by the course of dealing between the parties, there is an implied term that the party contracting with the supplier will pay a reasonable charge.

 

(2) What is a reasonable charge is a question of fact.

 

 

My questions are:

  1. Does anyone think I do, or do not, have a case here?
  2. Should I:

    1. Argue only s15 SOGSA
    2. Argue s15 SOGSA then s8 UTCCR in the alternative
    3. Argue s8 UTCCR then s15 SOGSA in ther alternative (if it matters which way round)
    4. I've just sent them a complaint letter as it stands and will see what their response is to that. Failing that, I will commence action with a LBA then proceedings after that (possibly 21 days after LBA).

       

      There is also the argument that because the term does not allow for a refund if fares go down, it is unfair in itself (OFT have mentioned this for all such charges). So UTCCR may be the way to go. :confused:

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Anyone got any thoughts on this?

 

Should also have mentioned that original flights cost £69.67 per person including all taxes etc. So the name change charged of £110.50 was 159% of the flight's original cost!

 

How can that be fair? :evil:

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Might be worth a try in the smallclaims court. Not read through the Jet2 t&cs but I imagine that relying on the UTCCR in the first would be the way to go. Perhaps a more lawyerly-like person can help there.

Lloyds TSB, Total Charges £900, Claim Filed for £1379 - Settled

 

Sainsbury's Bank Credit Card, Total Charges £90 - Settled.

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  • 2 months later...

I know this is going back a bit now, but just a couple of thoughts:

 

I totally agree that it's ridiculous to charge such an extortionate amount to change a name, especially 1 name in a party of 10, where I'm assuming this new person is still with your group, however I can also see exactly why the airlines do this....

 

EG: At the moment, I can buy an almost endless amount of tickets on Ryanair flights for around GBP7-8. These are on offpeak flights, well into next year and most people who will eventually travel on these flights won't even consider booking until much nearer the time. I have tested to see how many seats are on some of these flights at these prices and in some cases it's well over 30 seats. I'm sure Ryanair never expect to sell 30-40 seats for an Inverness-Liverpool flight midweek next March just yet, so just imagine how many thousands of these flights will be left unsold. These seats will eventually be sold at a much higher price. Of course, a similar situation applies with Jet2, although they're not as cheap.

 

Now, imagine I go online now and book up loads of those GBP7 seats; then a couple of weeks before the flight, when Ryanair are charging GBP50 a seat, I go and sell them on Ebay at GBP20 a time. Everyone is a winner, expect the airline. By forcing any name changes to be charged at the new fare, rather than just a fixed fee, this stops people block booking and selling seats on when the fares are much higher.

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just had the same problem. Off to prague in November and booked 8 flights with Thomson fly.com. Booked one of my mates on and found out that the first name in his passport is not the same as he has used since i have known him (he uses his middle name), approx 5 years. They want £25 per flight at the difference between the flight prices from when i booked them to now. Total of £70. Its absolutely ridiculous. I have spoken to them twice and they will not even consider a change. Does anyone know why they need to charge such high costs to change a name on their database especially as we haven’t received any tickets????

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I know exactly why. When you booked the flights you got them at a bargain price right?

 

Meaning that you could theoretically book loads of cheap flights in advance and then flog them on ebay. They prevent this by making the price of the change exeptionally high so as to stop the black market. This is fine if the change is proportional to how much it costs to do the admin.

 

Take for example sea france ferry - it will cost me £7.50 to change one of the names on my booking of a party of 8 people.

 

But it clearly isn't in this case here - you are being taken for a ride.

 

Take them to the small claims court for the "admin fee" and say that it is a punitive charge that is disproportionate to the service. Don't even entertain asking them nicely because they will simply not do it.

 

Go to moneyclaim online and enter the following in the particulars of claim:

 

 

The Claimant purchased X flights from

A to B 2.The Defendant

debited total amount of £xxx for the

flights 3 Claimant changed 1 name

and the defendant charged a fee of

£xx to do this. Additionally defendant

charged £25 for each other passenger in the

booking. Total of £xx

4. Claimant contends; a) These charge

exceed the Defendants losses caused by

Changing one name on the boooking;

(b) The Term permitting the

Defendant to levy such charges is

unenforceable under the Unfair Terms in

Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, Unfair

Contract Terms Act 1977 and at Common Law. 5.

Claimant claims: (a)Return of the amounts

debited of £67.50 for taxes portion of

transaction and refund; (b)Alternatively, if

the charge is a fee for a service, then they

must be reasonable under S.15 of the Supply

of Goods and Services Act 1982.© Costa

allowed by the court

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  • 2 weeks later...

I mentioned some time ago that I was starting proceedings against Jet2.com for charging a fee for changing a single name on a £70 flight booking of £110.50.

 

My particulars of claim submitted via MCOL are as follows:

I had a contract with the defendant dated 15

March 2006, reference ZBYDTF for return

flights to Amsterdam from Newcastle in August

2006. On 11/08/06 I needed to change the

name of the passenger. I was charged a fee

for this of £110.50 comprising £30 amendment

fee, £2.50 debit card surcharge and £78

change in fare.

I contend this charge, which is stated (but

not quantified) in the contract, is a

disproportionate contract penalty contrary to

the Unfair Terms In Consumer Contracts

Regulartions 1999 and Common Law.

Alternatively, the charge is for a service,

and that charge is unreasonable within the

meaning of s15 of the Supply of Goods and

Services Act 1982. As such, the term is

unenforceable.

I believe the defendant was put to no cost as

a result of my request to change the name and

claim the full charge plus court costs.

Jet2.com have entered a defence and I now have the allocation questionnaire to return to my local court, where it has been allocated, by 21 November. Most of it is standard stuff admitting the contract and setting out its relevant terms; these are the parts that actually dispute my claim:

Claimant's allegation of unfair contract

 

7. The claimant alleges that, in requiring the claimant to pay £110.50 to amend his booking to change the name of one of the passengers in his travelling party, in accordance with the Conditions and the Fare Rules, Jet2.com breached section 8 and schedule 2(e) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation [sic] 1999 and/or section 15 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

 

8. Jet2.com denies that it breached section 8 and/or schedule 2 of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulation [sic] 1999. In particular:

8.1 Jet2.com avers that the Conditions are drafted in good faith and do not cause any significant imbalance in the parties rights, to the detriment of the consumer or at all.

8.2 Jet2.com denies that the claimant failed to fulfil his obligation under the contract and was forced to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation as a result.

 

9. Jet2.com denies that it breached section 15 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 by charging the claimant for amending his booking or at all. In particular:

9.1 It is a well known concept that budget air fares increase at the date of departure nears. [sic] The claimant's original booking was made on 15 March 2006 for a departure date on 26 August 2006, more than five months after the reservation date. The claimant requested a change in the booking on 11 August 2006, two weeks prior to the departure date.

9.2 Jet2.com avers that it was reasonable for the claimant to pay the difference in fare class between the date of original booking and date of change. Jet2.com further avers that the difference in amount of the two fare classes was both reasonable and proportionate, and in line with industry standards, one of the principle purposes of which is to prevent the trading of second hand airline tickets.

Utter rubbish, I think. Especially the last paragraph, 9.2.

 

Important points are:

- If the fare has increased at the time of the name change, the difference must be paid; if the fare has decreased then there is no refund given. [imbalance in parties' rights.]

- The effort involved in changing a name at any time up to the date of departure (i.e. before the flight manifest is printed), is simply typing the new name into the reservation system.

- No material change was made to the booking (i.e. same flights etc.), simply the name was changed.

- The fact that they do this to prevent reselling of airline tickets is not relevant to the case.

 

I think I've got a good chance. I can't see them travelling up from Bournemouth either to defend a claim currently standing at £140.50!!!

 

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice before I proceed?

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  • 1 month later...

Yes...

 

Got a date allocated in February. Received a letter from Jet2.com offering me my court costs back if I drop the claim, to "save both parties any further costs". Well, the court is 2 mins from my house in North Tyneside and they're based in Bournemouth, so I don't know who it'll cost more!!! :rolleyes:

 

They also wittered on about me challenging their pricing policy. I wrote a letter back explaining I'm not challenging their pricing policy, I'm challenging the contract (and specific terms of it). I said I'd only accept a full offer to drop proceedings and should they be will to settle on this basis then please send me the documentation.

 

Otherwise, "I look forward to settling this in court". :D

 

I'll post further updates. Hopefully I'll get a full offer soon. :)

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I think you have a very poor case and I think the only reason that Jet2 might pay out is to avoid the inconvenience of travelling to your court to defend the claim.

 

First thing...don't be so confident about costs...if they do attend and win then they can apply for their travelling costs. These can be expensive. If the attend and win and can convince the District Judge that you have acted unreasonably then they can also apply for their legal costs as well. Are you being unreasonable in issuing a claim with (imo) so little merit that you are relying on the fact that the business will consider it un-economic to travel to defend it or to instruct a local solicitor? I think you are.

 

Turning to the actual claim...you (presumably) entered into this contract freely and without any pressure. You (probably) did so on the tinternet where the terms and conditions are fully published and then received an e-mail confirmation which contained a further link back to the full terms and conditions.

 

Did you complain about this supposedly unfair term at that stage? I guess not.

 

So...your complaint seems to fall into two categories. That you shouldn't be charged an extra amount because the price had gone up because you wouldn't have received a refund if the price had gone down and also that the admin fee is excessive.

 

Ignoring the fact that you specifically agreed to these terms when you made the booking and the fact that they're very well-known and completely standard throughout the 'no-frills' airline industry, I'll still try and persuade you that you're wrong.

 

Firstly...if prices have gone up then it's completely reasonable to expect the customer to pay these costs. Otherwise, customers would speculatively book flights and then amend them willy-nilly. This is what fully flexible (and massively expensive) business tickets are for. I don't see why Jet2 (as a business) would have to offer a refund if the prices had been reduced, regardless of the imbalance of the parties.

 

Secondly...£30.00 appears perfectly reasonable to amend a ticket. I'm sure there are staff and/or system costs involved. Plus...there should be some 'punitive' element to the charge to stop people flogging their tickets on ebay or something.

 

These claims annoy me. For years, the airline industry were ridiculously inflexible and would never allow people to amend their tickets, no matter what. Airlines such as Jet2 come along and operate a very open and transparent pricing policy yet people still complain. I honestly don't get it.

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The above poster does ahave a point (to a point, though IMO aggressivley put!)

 

When you book flight online/ over the phone etc... you are entering into an agrrement with them. Normally you have to check a box to say you agree and will ahere to their terms and conditions. Clearly you dont!

 

I maybe stating the obvious here, but the increase in the fare is because the class has increased, may not make sense to some people. I will try and expl it as best I can.

 

Ecomomy fares are broken down into different fares, as are First class and Business class. The cheapest fares do not allow any flexibilty whatsoever, you've booked that, you take that, and thats that sort of thing!! The next fare up will have some flexibility, you can change the flight/ name or whatever, for a fee. The most expensive fare in any class is the one that will allow you full flexibilty with very little or no charges. But you may still be in ecomomy class in exactly the same seat!!! Am I making sense so far??

 

Basically, once the cheap fares have gone, they've gone, and you have no choice but to pay for the next available fare. One thing I would look into (I'm not a legal eagle, I'm a Travel Agent!!) is that you have only wanted to change the name on the ticket. Not the ticket itself. They should not need to "cancel & rebook" this ticket, unless you gave them very short notice, which I'm afraid you need to take that on the chin! If an airline needs to cancel the person originally on the booking, release the seat back into the system then rebook it for the new person, then yes the new fare will apply. If you have given enough notice (by this I mean before you are due to travel) then all they should do is the name change and charge the admin fee (£30.00 is about standard!!) . Its something I would look into as it may help your case should you wish to pursue it.

 

I wish you luck, and will try to offer the best advice I can. I may not always say what you want to hear, however, I will always be honest with my opinion, be it an opinion or one based on fact!

 

Heidi

I am not a legal expert, any advice I give is based purley on experience or opinion.

Please tip the scales if you feel I have helped you!! :D

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Threads merged - please stick to one thread

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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You have an excellent case - better than my bmi one in fact (that was settled out of court at the last minute) just stick with it and don't cave in.

 

 

It is identical to the bank charges fiasco - dont let anyone tell you otherwise - unless it's a district judge.

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  • 2 weeks later...

IME, the only charge that should be made here if the flight is EXACTLY the same as it was when first booked is for the admin costs to change the name. You may think that all it takes is to "change a name on a screen" but you also have to think about the changing and reissuing of flight tickets if they have gone out, flight manifest, resort manifest, transfer manifest, hotel guest allocation (if applicable) etc etc. Therefore, the admin fee for a name change is just, and will also be mentioned in the booking conditions.

 

Did they actually say to you why they are charging the difference in the flight costs on top?

05.12.06 SENT Data Protection Act LETTER TO ANTONY AT ABBEY IN BRADFORD TODAY

12.01.07 Request Letter Sent

23.01.07 LBA Sent

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It is part of their terms and conditions to charge the difference in the fares Spooky. jet2 use E-tickets so there is no changing and reissuing of flight tickets, the flight manifest is generated from the passenger list and after the gate closes where it is carried the rest of the things you mention don't apply to a seat-only airline.

Lloyds TSB, Total Charges £900, Claim Filed for £1379 - Settled

 

Sainsbury's Bank Credit Card, Total Charges £90 - Settled.

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Jet2.com are ****s...take it from me!

 

My friend booked us on a flight to amsterdam for a weeken, leaving from blackpool. my mate did this for me as i had just come out of hospital, he was trying to cheer me up.

 

The plane landed at blackpool. we waited and waited and were greeted witha few messages of 'this flight is delayed for technical reasons'. eventually over an hour after the flight was due to take off we were informed that the captain had refused to fly due to technical reasons...we would be bussed to manchester instead where a plane was waiting for us.

 

Whilst waiting outside blackpool airport for the bus to manchester i got taliking to a member of the airport staff who happened to mention passengers being bussed to manchester the previous night (yes, seems like they make a habit of it) the pilot apparently lives in blackpool and makes a regular habit of 'refusing' to fly late night to anywhere!

 

There were alot more hassles along the way but to cut a long story short, we arrived at amsterdam at 1.30 am instead of 5.30pm the day before (one night of our break gone!)

 

That was bad enough...I enjoyed the rest of my break in amsterdam...got on my jet2 flight back to blackpool and..guess what...technical fault again.....they couldn't get one of the baggage hold doors shut and had to wait 2 hours for an engineer to sort it. we had to sit on the plne in total 3 and a half hours...some for the engineer to sort the door...the rest to wait on a take off slot.....tyen to top all that (we were straving, freezing and thirsty) 'due to circumstances' there will be no refreshments on this flight'

 

In total my experience with jet2.com was enough to put me off ever flying with them again. I have complained and I await a reply...not holding my breath for medical reasons!

 

Will keep reading with interest!

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First thing...don't be so confident about costs...if they do attend and win then they can apply for their travelling costs.

 

They can apply, it doesn't follow they'll be granted.

 

If the attend and win and can convince the District Judge that you have acted unreasonably then they can also apply for their legal costs as well.

 

No. They would have to convince the judge that the Claimant was being vexatious, or had not tried to resolve the issue without going to court, which is clearly not the case. If the Claimant has acted in good faith thinking he had a valid case, a judge would be extremely unlikely to award costs, and even then, those costs would be capped.

 

Turning to the actual claim...you (presumably) entered into this contract freely and without any pressure. You (probably) did so on the tinternet where the terms and conditions are fully published and then received an e-mail confirmation which contained a further link back to the full terms and conditions.

 

As our main thrust with the banks clearly shows, T&Cs do not supersede British law, for which we are all thankful.

 

Ignoring the fact that you specifically agreed to these terms when you made the booking and the fact that they're very well-known and completely standard throughout the 'no-frills' airline industry,

 

As above.

 

Firstly...if prices have gone up then it's completely reasonable to expect the customer to pay these costs.

 

Well, yes and no. Would the airline have sold that seat anyway, and when? That is of course the non-answerable question, and I can accept that there may be a portion of the cost apportioned to the passenger. On the other hand, if it is only a change of name, it is still the same seat, booked when it was at a certain price, so what has the airline really lost here? "Nothing" is the answer. It would be a different story if OP cancelled some of the tickets 2 weeks before the departure and the airline could then not resell the seats. Then again, as we know the airline sells the tickets for more as the date of the flight gets closer, it may well be that they benefit there.

 

I don't see why Jet2 (as a business) would have to offer a refund if the prices had been reduced, regardless of the imbalance of the parties.

 

The answer is in the question. "Imbalance of the parties", or more precisely "significant" imbalance, is specifically against the UTCCR 99:

 

Unfair Terms

5. - (1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.

 

There is a certain logic that, should the price at the time of changing the ticket have dropped instead of increasing, if the increase is passed on to the consumer, so should the decrease, otherwise the terms imposed unilaterally are invariably loaded in favour of the party having drawn the contract (the airline).

 

Secondly...£30.00 appears perfectly reasonable to amend a ticket. I'm sure there are staff and/or system costs involved.

 

If there are, they should be able to provide a breakdown of those costs.

 

Plus...there should be some 'punitive' element to the charge to stop people flogging their tickets on ebay or something.

 

No, there shouldn't. Penalty charges are unawful in contract law, full stop. Deterrents are ulawful. If that was the sole excuse given by the airline, then they'd deserve to lose.

 

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that the airline should be able to levy a small nominal charge to change a name. If it was a flight change, then it's a different story, and yes, passengers should be expected to pay the higher amount if they change their flight close to their departure date, although I do believe that this should be counter-balanced by the fact that their original seat is now back in the "selling" pool, and is now worth more than it was when they first booked it, thereby mitigating the alleged loss to the airline.

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  • 1 month later...

Any offers from Jet2 on this yet? When is the hearing? I'm hoping they do show up in court because I'd be very interested to know the outcome.. but I'm guessing they will settle to avoid costs. Also, their HO has now moved to Leeds, so it's not so much of a treck (although their lawyers could be anywhere I suppose...)!

___

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FD - PL sent 23/10, offered approx 75% 27/10

Marbles - PL sent 23/10, rejected letter received 27/10

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No offers yet. I've had all the papers through that they'll be relying on in the hearing and am serving mine this weekend. The hearing is on 19 February.

 

They've changed their defence slightly but the main thrust is their "pricing policy to deter people from buying them early and selling them on". :roll:

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They've changed their defence slightly but the main thrust is their "pricing policy to deter people from buying them early and selling them on". :roll:

 

 

Then they've really shot themselves in the foot. Admitting it's a deterrent is admitting that it does not represent their true loss, and admitting it is in fact a penalty. Nice of them to prove your case for you. :-D

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