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I wanted to check prices on a flight from Ryanair and because they wanted a name up front I entered "Test Me". After going through all the extra options that Ryanair provides and clicking through ~15 pages with offers for additional services and goods I finally came to the total price. Then I switched off my tablet and thought about it for a while.

When I opened up the tablet browser again 2 hours later, ready to book the flight the flight details were still there and I could just continue booking. By this time I completely forgot that I even entered something because in my mind I didn't even start the process of booking yet. Also, during the whole booking process the name "Test Me" was never displayed anywhere, but my real name was.

So then I created an account using my real name and details, paid for the flight providing my real name and details again and finally I did an online Check-In, again, providing my real name and details and even my passport number.

When I then printed the Boarding ticket on it was the name "Test Me". When I contacted Ryanair about this they requested 160€ for a name change.

Long story short: Which name is the one that counts? And do I really need to pay to have the name changed, even though I registered, paid and checked in using my correct data as printed on my passport?

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    Welcome to TSE. Something is not quite right about your account. Airline booking sessions are incredibly perishable. There is no way that you could leave a browser open for two hours and then resume where you left off—even two minutes is a long time, and Kayak or Orbitz, for instance, would force you to re-submit your search. – choster Jul 21 at 21:41
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    "Which name is the one that counts?" - The one on the boarding pass – Midavalo Jul 22 at 2:38
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    @Midavalo That is not helpful. What I want to know is what name need they put on the boarding pass. I feel like the check-in name has most weight – Paedow Jul 22 at 7:17
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It sounds like you did two things in the same process -

  1. created an account and made a purchase under one identity, but...

  2. for a booking under a different identity

This is perfectly acceptable for most airlines - one account can make a booking that another person will be flying, or in other words the account holder isn't restricted to only making bookings for themselves.

Hence why you saw (or more likely, thought you saw) one set of information during the purchase flow - that side of things was related to account creation and payment, not the booking (which you had already set up in your previous searches).

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    +1 Ryanair (like many airlines) has a distinction between the passenger(s) for a booking and the account making the booking – motosubatsu Jul 22 at 9:46

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