Lonely Planet Writer

How autocorrecting 'Luke' cost one airline customer £100 on booking

A Ryanair customer is contesting a €115 (£100) fine after he claims his name had been autocorrected by the app from ‘Luke’ to ‘Lukewarm’ when booking his flight.

A Ryanair customer is facing an admin fee of €155 after he claims his name was autocorrected to ‘Lukewarm.’ Image by Getty

Luke Bradley from Wicklow in Ireland is facing a name-change fee from Ryanair after he claims his name was autocorrected to ‘Lukewarm’ when booking his flight to Manchester, England to see an upcoming football match in April. It sounds like a minor inconvenience but while the flight cost him €50 (£43) the airline charges €115 (£100) for a name change. He has requested the fee be waived because “Lukewarm is not a name.”

Ryanair has a 48-hour grace period for name changes. Photo by Adam Berry/Getty

In a Twitter post that went viral, Luke addressed his complaint, albeit with a lighthearted tone, to Ryanair and its CEO Michael O’Leary. He claimed that he decided to air his grievances on social media “after a painstaking day on the phone” to the airline’s customer service team. He added: “please allow common sense to prevail here and please waive the €115 charge to change the name on the flight so I can have my sanity back… let’s get #justiceforLukewarm (sic).”

Ryanair is known for attracting customers with cheap fares but then imposing add-on fees for anything from printing boarding passes at the airport to checking in additional luggage. Michael O’Leary even once suggested charging passengers to use the toilet mid-flight but the toilet charges were never imposed.

Ryanair is a pioneer of add-on fees. Image by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

Most airlines impose a charge if a passenger name needs to be changed, although Ryanair and some airlines allow a 48-hour grace period to correct minor spelling mistakes without charge.

A Ryanair spokesperson told Lonely Planet: “it is each customer’s responsibility to ensure the name on the booking matches the name on their passport and we offer a 48 hour grace period to correct minor booking errors. This customer requested a name change nine days after making the booking.”