Man Changes Name to Avoid Airline Fee
Adam 'West' won't give in to Ryanair
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2015 7:06 AM CDT
A Ryanair plane lands at the Marseille Provence airport, in Marignane, southern France.   (AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)

(Newser) – This might be the best story about an airline fee in the history of airline fees, and not only because it involves Batman. A 19-year-old from Manchester, England, has legally changed his name rather than pay a $336 fee to Ryanair, reports the Guardian. The tale of how Adam Armstrong became Adam West began when his girlfriend's stepfather booked him a ticket for a family vacation to Ibiza. The problem is that he used Facebook to get Adam's last name, and Armstrong was using "Adam West" there as a jokey homage to the Batman TV actor. When Armstrong discovered the error on the tickets, Ryanair—notorious for its fees—informed him it would cost $336 to correct the mistake. Instead of paying the airline, Armstrong legally changed his name for free, then paid $158 for a new passport.

"Yeah, I'm not giving Ryanair a penny," he told an Irish radio show. The airline explains to Business Insider that the steep fee is to protect against "screenscraping," in which people buy tickets on the cheap and then resell them at a profit. Armstrong's was double the usual amount because his girlfriend was on the same booking. The story was first reported by The Sun, and Armstrong says he actually made a profit on the whole ordeal because the tabloid paid him for an interview, reports the Daily Edge. ("Good man yourself," adds the Irish site.) The teen says his dad wasn't too pleased with the new name idea, but “I’m going to change it back in seven years [when the passport expires]," reports the Irish Independent. (In the US, a crying toddler got himself and his mom booted from a flight.)