I recently flew from Albania to Italy on a Blue Panorama/Albawings flight booked through Kiwi.com. The day before the flight, I received an email saying that online check-in was not permitted and I would have to do it once at the airport.
When I got there, I was told I could not check in because my passport did not match the ticket, which only showed my first name and surname. The Albawings helpdesk insisted I would have to buy a new ticket for €300 (£259). Kiwi was no help and, given that I could not miss the flight, I had no choice but to buy a new ticket. I researched this and found lots of other people had suffered this fate for failing to include a middle name.
The whole thing is ridiculous. Can I get my money back?
PN, by email
Most problems like this occur because of misspelt names, and I agree the airline’s stance is absurd. The problem seems to have been caused by the fact that you used an agent (Kiwi) to make the booking. Both the Albawings and Blue Panorama websites clearly demand the customer’s middle name when they book. Kiwi’s booking process did not require it, though it has since added a warning reminding users that middle names should be added. Blue Panorama did not respond.
Kiwi has denied any liability and suggested you were at fault for not complying with the airline’s booking conditions. “We always advise customers to ensure they enter their details exactly as listed in their travel documents to avoid any issues,” it says.
I’d take this up with your bank card provider and ask it to intervene. Next time, book with the airline direct. There is no reason to use these online travel firms.
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