What does Ryanair say?
Mr Jacobs says in his letter that the airline was able to identify 79 of the cases in our dossier, and has investigated each of these “in detail”.
It says these complaints relate to bookings made over a five-month period between September 2018 and January 2019, and that over the same period a total of 54 million bookings were made on the Ryanair website – so the number of complaints is in Ryanair’s view “tiny and statistically insignificant”.
Mr Jacobs writes: “Of the 79 bookings we identified, it is noteworthy that nine of these passengers identified the name error in the booking within 24 hours after [sic] confirmation, and then called our reservation line within 24 hours to change the name of the booking without any charge.
“Another 44 persons have paid the name change fee, which we accept is expensive (but the name change fee is designed to deter screen scrapers and other intermediaries booking up our flights with fictitious names and then reselling these cheap seats to unsuspecting consumers at an inflated price). A further 11 customers booked a new fare, as it was cheaper for them to do so, and 15 passengers have still taken no action yet.”
Mr Jacobs goes on to say Ryanair has been unable to replicate the issue reported by passengers, and adds: “Over 2.5m customers each week make a booking on the Ryanair system, and over 30% make bookings with multiple passenger names in the booking without difficulty.
“Our IT team conduct rigorous testing of the Ryanair.com platform, as do over 300,000 passengers on a daily basis. If there was any such “glitch”, it would have given rise to many thousands of such erroneous name changes on a daily basis, and any such problem would have identified itself within minutes, if not hours, through our customer care telephone lines, and chat services. No such name change problem arose at any time between Sept 2018 to date in Jan 2019.”