Why Do We Pay For Name Changes On A Flight Booking?

Often there are a number of obscure costs when it comes to air travel.

If you get the date, time or amount of luggage wrong, you could be hit in the hip pocket.

Some airlines even charge customers to change the name on a flight ticket.

But there are a number of reasons why airlines can be so strict about changing the name or the spelling of a name on an air ticket.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) transferring tickets between passengers poses security and crime risks.

"Should ticket transferability be permitted, a significant secondary market could develop, with serious scope for fraud and ticket touting," the IATA said in a document on their website.

"Governments are putting in place ever stricter procedures for the purposes of security and immigration," the document reads.

A ticket black market could arise. Image: Getty Images.

"Failure to comply or errors in data (e.g. submitting the wrong or even misspelled names) results in substantial fines, inhibits the ability of the government to conduct its security protocols and can also result in a passenger being refused travel."

That's where fees can arise.

Tiger Air also said charging fees for a ticket name change prevents the development of a ticket black market.

"Airlines charge name change fees for a variety of reasons, such as reducing administrative costs for staff to handle booking changes, and to prevent a secondary distribution market arising from the sale of airfares," a Tiger Air spokesperson told 10 daily.

"We want to ensure our customers have access to affordable airfares and name change fees prevents individuals from bulk-buying tickets and reselling them at a lower cost, which disadvantages customers who genuinely want to purchase a ticket for travel.”

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Australian Domestic Airlines And Name Change fees

The IATA said their position is a recommendation to airlines, however each airline's policy is subject to their discretion.

Qantas: Changing the name on an air ticket is free of charge if you do so before midnight on the day you booked the ticket. Otherwise a fee may apply.

Qantas allows name changes in the first 24 hours after booking. Image: Getty Images.

Jetstar: On a Jetstar Starter Fare you are able to change the name of a passenger on a ticket upon payment. After you've paid, passengers do incur a cost, but it is dependant on the flight the passenger is booked on. This cost is typically between $55-$75.

Virgin Australia: Virgin Australia doesn't charge customers to change their names on flight tickets.

Tiger Air: To change the name or the spelling of a name on a Tiger Air flight it costs $70 plus any applicable fare difference.

Regional Express: Passengers are permitted to change their name on REX flights between one-to-two hours after booking, depending on the flight.

Featured Image: Getty Images. 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au