Romantic gesture ends in huge bill for travellers at Zurich airport
It should have been the start of a perfect holiday: instead it ended up with three passengers having to buy new flights to Asia and one person fainting in shock.
When a Swiss man of Thai background recently booked tickets for himself and two other people to the Japanese city of Fukuoka, he decided to include a special message in the reservation of a female fellow passenger.
To show how much he was looking forward to the trip, he included the romantic Thai nickname ‘duang’ –equivalent to ‘sweetheart’ – in the booking between the woman’s first and last names.
But the gesture backfired when airline staff said she could not check in because the name on the ticket did not match up with that on her passport. As the name could not be changed, she was forced to buy a new ticket for the following day, Swiss daily Tages Anzeiger reported.
The group of travellers decided two of them would go on ahead with the woman following the next day.
However, after the delays at the check-in counter, the other travellers also missed their flight and were forced to rebook their tickets to Asia. This was too much for the woman. She fainted but quickly recovered after being attended to by ambulance staff.
A Swissport spokesperson said names on tickets must match up exactly with those on travel documents and that changes to flight tickets were generally not allowed, although some airlines permitted two or three letters to be altered for a fee.
The spokesperson said passengers who noticed errors on their tickets should contact their airline as soon as possible.