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A couple had to pay more than $3,000 at the airport because one ticket was booked under ‘Kate’ instead of ‘Katherine’

The couple began their journey to London at Brisbane airport.TK Kurikawa /

  • An Australian couple faced a huge last-minute expense over a name discrepancy on a ticket.

  • The husband bought a ticket for his wife “Kate” instead of “Katherine,” the name in her passport.

  • The couple had to pay more than $3,000 before they could start their journey to the UK.

An Australian couple had to pay more than $3,000 to board their flight to the UK because of a name discrepancy on one of their tickets.

Australia’s Nine Network reported that Phil and Kate from Brisbane, whose surnames were not disclosed, bought two return tickets to London for 4,800 Australian dollars (about $3,200).

They bought the flights on a travel website called StudentUniverse.

The couple had booked to fly from Brisbane to Melbourne with Virgin Australia and then to London via Doha on Qatar Airways, “A Current Affair” reported.

However, at the Brisbane check-in counter, the couple was informed of an issue with one of their tickets.

Phil had booked his wife’s ticket under “Kate,” but the name on her passport is “Katherine,” according to Nine.

“It was an administrative error – I think I married Kate in church and not Katherine,” Phil told the program.

According to the report, Virgin advised the couple that they could make the small change on the booking website for a small administrative fee.

However, StudentUniverse told them they would need to cancel Kate’s ticket, with only a partial refund, and buy a new ticket under “Katherine,” Nine reported.

The network said the ticket would cost them 4,700 Australian dollars ($3,141).

“They didn’t have time – that was their reasoning – to issue a name change on the ticket. But they had time to sell us a new ticket,” Phil told the Nine Network.

Kate added: “I begged them on the phone: ‘please, you can’t do that – that’s all our holiday money gone in a flash’.”

Phil told “A Current Affair” he felt exploited by the response: “They’ve just taken advantage of the entire situation, particularly peak travel season, and time was of the essence.”

Neither StudentUniverse not Virgin Australia immediately responded to requests for comment from Business Insider, sent outside normal business hours.

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