Booking air travel can be stressful enough without having to worry about getting passenger names correct. But for Australian low-cost carrier Jetstar customers, naming mistakes can prove costly. Jetstar has stringent rules and hefty fees for changing passenger names after booking.
Jetstar Name Change Policy
Jetstar operates a strict policy for name changes on bookings, especially for their cheapest lead-in “starter” fares. This no-frills carrier relies heavily on ancillary fees, including charges for booking changes. Their name change rules are:
- Starter fares – No name changes are allowed under any circumstances. You must cancel and rebook.
- More expensive fares – Name changes incur a fee of $129 per passenger on domestic flights or $299 on international flights.
This rigid policy contrasts with most full-service airlines, which allow complimentary name changes on bookings. Jetstar’s fees are criticized as excessive compared to the initial cheap airfare. Their inflexible rules often lead to customer complaints and frustration.
Why Name Changes Are Restricted
Jetstar defends its strict name policy as part of its low-cost business model. Some of the reasons include:
- Keeping costs down – Manual processing of name changes incurs staffing and admin expenses for Jetstar. Charging high fees helps offset this.
- Discouraging abuse of name changes – Some passengers might try swaying to a cheaper fare if free changes were allowed after booking.
- Driving ancillary revenue – Income from add-on fees helps Jetstar offer cheaper base fares. Name change fees are a lucrative revenue stream.
- Fraud prevention – Stricter rules help prevent fraudulent bookings or resales of tickets.
While this maintains Jetstar’s budget pricing, passengers view the name policy as extreme compared to most other airlines today.
Jetstar Name Change Fees & Rules
Jetstar’s full policy for changing passenger names on bookings depends on the initial fare purchased.
Jetstar’s cheapest “starter” fares have the most severe restrictions:
- No name changes are allowed at all
- The booking must be canceled and rebooked under the correct names
- This applies to both domestic and international starter fares
- No exceptions granted, even for minor spelling errors
You cannot change the passenger name on a starter fare booking. You must cancel and rebook from scratch.
On more expensive “Flexi” fares, Jetstar does permit name changes, but a hefty fee applies:
⦁ $129 per passenger on domestic flights
⦁ $299 per passenger on international flights
⦁ Fee applies per name change, not per booking
⦁ If changing multiple passengers, the price is charged per traveler
⦁ Payment of the name change fee guarantees the new name can be used
⦁ There is no guarantee of fare or seat availability if the booking canceled and rebooked
So, each name change incurs a separate fee based on the number of passengers affected.
Other Fare Types
Jetstar’s other fare categories, like Business Max and Premium Economy, have similar rules to Flexi fares:
- Name changes are allowed with a fee per passenger
- No changes on discounted sale fares
- Business Max fares have a $50 discount on the name change fee
Always check the specific fare rules before booking tickets with Jetstar. Their cheaper fares tend to have the most severe name change restrictions.
Problems with Jetstar Name Changes
Jetstar’s inflexible policy on name changes can cause significant issues for passengers:
- High fees – $129 domestic or $299 international per passenger are considered excessive by customers just to correct a minor name spelling error.
- Inconsistent application – Some customers report Jetstar waiving fees at check-in, while others are charged the total price no matter the reason.
- Rebooking issues – Canceled tickets lose their fare and seats. New bookings may cost more if prices rise.
- Stress from errors – Naming mistakes causes huge pressure to rectify the situation within Jetstar’s narrow policy.
- Risk of denial at check-in – With no name change option on cheap fares, a denied boarding risk exists unless the ticket is rebooked.
Jetstar’s stringent rules allow them to enforce fees strictly and decline at check-in, frustrating passengers. Those who booked incorrectly under pressure feel punished further by the name change policy.
Customer Experiences with Jetstar Name Changes
Here are some examples of Jetstar customers caught out by the strict name policy:
- Minor spelling errors – A passenger was quoted $129 to correct a letter typo in their child’s name. The fee was non-negotiable.
- Incorrect order – One customer booked their name as “John Smith” instead of “Smith John” as in their passport. Jetstar demanded $299 per ticket to swap the order.
- Middle names omitted – A family booked tickets without including their toddler’s middle name provided at check-in previously. Jetstar insisted on $129 per person to add it back.
- Inconsistent fee application – Some passengers have reported name change fees being waived at check-in, while others were charged the total published prices.
- Newlywed names – A bride could not change her surname following marriage after booking flights in her maiden name. Jetstar considered it a separate new booking requiring full payment.
These examples demonstrate the problems Jetstar’s inflexible name policy poses. Even tiny name corrections trigger substantial fees under their rules.
Tips for Managing Jetstar Name Changes
Here are some tips for navigating Jetstar’s strict name-change policy:
- To avoid issues, triple-check names at booking – Ensure all details precisely match the traveler’s identification documents.
- Consider middle names – Include middle names provided previously for travel. Omitting these can risk a name change fee.
- Know the fare rules – Cheaper fares prohibit changes. If available, pay more for a Flexi fare to choose the name change option.
- Weigh up cancel/rebook costs – Weigh up change fees versus any fare differences and seat availability from withdrawing and rebooking.
- Verify details immediately – Double-check bookings immediately after purchase to identify errors early.
- Check-in online – If names differ slightly between booking and ID, try checking in online to avoid scrutiny at the airport.
- Seek waivers courteously – Politely ask staff for releases for minor spelling changes at check-in, but don’t rely on these being granted.
- Avoid booking under pressure – Carefully enter names when booking rather than rushing. Last-minute bookings increase the risk of errors.
- Consider travel insurance – Some policies may help recover change fees for involuntary name issues like legal changes.
While not ideal, avoiding name errors when booking is the key to sidestepping Jetstar’s restrictive policy and high fees.
Jetstar vs. Other Airlines for Name Changes
Compared to other airlines, Jetstar’s rules and charges for changing passenger names are uniquely prohibitive:
- Besides a small administrative fee, most full-service airlines allow complimentary name changes on bookings.
- Other low-cost carriers also charge for name changes but at lower rates. e.g.:
- AirAsia charges only AUD 35 per passenger.
- Scoot sets $25 for changes made online.
- Many airlines openly permit minor spelling corrections without fees at check-in, as long as the identity matches the ticket.
- Jetstar is the only airline with a “no changes allowed” policy on their cheapest fares. Every other airline allows changes for a fee.
- Jetstar is known for having one of the strictest name policies of any airline in Australia and internationally.
Jetstar’s budget model relies heavily on ancillary fees, with name changes representing a significant revenue source. Their uniquely prohibitive rules maximize income from these fees.
Options for Correcting Jetstar Name Errors
What should you do if you realize passenger name errors were made on a Jetstar booking? Here are the possible options:
- Starter fares – Absolutely no name changes allowed. You must cancel the booking and rebook correctly from scratch.
- Flexi fares – Pay the name change fee per passenger and update details. Retains original food and seating with confirmed new name.
- Cancel and rebook – Assess price differences and seat availability from a new booking. Usually best for starter fares already restricting changes.
- Seek a waiver – You could politely request a check-in or call center staff member waive the change fee at their discretion. But this is not guaranteed.
- Travel insurance claim – Involuntary name issues like legal name changes may qualify you for reimbursement of fees under a travel policy.
- Do nothing – Check in online and say nothing at the airport if names differ slightly between documents. High risk of denial, though.
- Avoid the flight – As a last resort, you may need to cancel the entire booking and forfeit the tickets to avoid change fees.
Jetstar’s strict name policy leaves few good options. Carefully assessing the costs and benefits of each approach is essential to resolve name issues.
Key Takeaways – Jetstar Name Changes Are Challenging
Jetstar’s restrictive name change policy and steep fees can make correcting passenger name errors an expensive nightmare. Key lessons include:
- Jetstar prohibits name changes entirely on their cheapest fares under all circumstances.
- Name changes on pricier fares incur fees of $129 domestic or $299 international per passenger.
- Their policy contrasts sharply with full-service airlines allowing complimentary changes.
- Customers report excessive fees charged even for tiny spelling corrections.
- Mistakes require canceling and rebooking, costing time, stress, and potentially more money.
- Jetstar’s strict rules maximize revenues but frequently draw customer complaints.
- Avoiding name errors when booking is critical before getting caught by their inflexible policy.
- So always cautiously enter names when purchasing Jetstar tickets. Their punitive name change fees and terms can add huge costs and headaches to an otherwise budget trip.
It depends on the fare type. Jetstar’s cheaper “starter” fares prohibit any name changes. More expensive “Flexi” fares permit changes for a hefty fee per passenger.
Jetstar charges AUD 129 per passenger for name changes on domestic bookings or $299 AUD per passenger on international flights. This applies to their Flexi fare types that allow changes.
Jetstar relies heavily on ancillary fees as part of its low-cost carrier model. Name change fees constitute a significant revenue source, so they set prices high.
Jetstar staff may sometimes waive fees at their discretion, but this is not guaranteed. Their official policy is to charge the published change fees.
Unfortunately, spelling corrections are still considered name changes by Jetstar, even for a single letter. Their standard change fees apply.
Swapping the order of first and last names is not permitted on starter fares. On Flexi fares, the standard per-passenger change fee would apply.
Yes, name changes for children also incur Jetstar’s standard fees. There are no discounts or waivers for minor passenger names.
As legal name changes require amending the booking, Jetstar’s fees would still apply in these situations on Flexi fares.
Jetstar is known for having uniquely strict and expensive name change policies compared to full-service and other low-cost airlines.
For cheaper starter fares, your only option is to cancel the booking and purchase new tickets under the correct name, if available. Paying the fee is mandatory for Flexi fare changes.