Online booking boo-boo costs thousands, traveller says First name mistakenly entered twice renders ticket useless

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
CBC News

A Newfoundland and Labrador woman has learned the hard way that making a typo when buying a plane ticket online can mean more than just a spelling mistake. "I've been so stressed," said Evelyn Parrott, a Corner Brook woman who estimates a mistake she made while buying return airfare to Texas has wound up costing her family an extra $2,100, above her original $900 ticket.

'When you book on the internet, and you push that enter button, it's there. It's done.'
Travel agent Ellen Tucker

"I can't sleep, I haven't been eating well and it's like this just can't be happening, because this is just too much stress for someone to do."

This winter, a friend helped Parrott book an online fare through the online travel site Expedia.

But the ticket was accidentally addressed to Evelyn Evelyn, instead of Evelyn Parrott. When Parrott finally noticed the mistake, she was told she would have to buy a whole new ticket, with her full name.

According to Expedia, a customer has until midnight of the day that a reservation is made to cancel the ticket.

However, Parrott did not contact the company for two months.

As well, Parrott said, carrier American Airlines will not allow any name changes for security reasons.

'I will never buy a plane ticket from Expedia after reading this story and seeing how unhelpful
and un compassionate they are!'
--Jenn Rachelle

Ellen Tucker, the Atlantic Canadian chair of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, said consumers should know that there is no room for errors when they book online. "When you book on the internet, and you push that enter button, it's there," Tucker told CBC News. "It's done." Parrott told CBC News that she knows she cannot do anything now, although she added she will never book with Expedia again.