Airlines making a mint off your booking errors

Jason Cochran

The British, as a culture, have come a long way since swiping the Elgin Marbles from Greece. They still won't give them back, of course, but the British are nonetheless inscrutably accountable these days.

If their elected leaders so much as replace a broken water heater on the public dime, the papers are all over it. And people care, too.

So it should be no surprise that a British consumer watchdog group has done a survey of how much online booking errors are costing its airline passengers. Add up all those whoops moments -- "Bucharest" instead of "Budapest," wrong travel dates, misspelled passenger names -- and the airlines have raked in an untold fortune from change fees and re-bookings.