What would you do if you bought a dream vacation for you and your significant other, then split up before you could use the non-refundable tickets? Changing the passenger name is nothing short of a nightmare, and canceling the ticket comes with major fees and penalties ... if you can cancel it at all!
That's exactly what happened to Jordan Axani. He booked a trip around the world, spanning from New York to Hong Kong, over three weeks with his girlfriend, Elizabeth Gallagher.
But when the relationship went sour, Axani found himself with a non-refundable, non-transferrable ticket and nobody to keep him company on his trip. But that's when he came up with a brilliant plan.
The plan was simple, really: Find a woman with the same name to accompany him on his trip. With that idea, Axani went online in search of another Elizabeth Gallagher who would be willing to take the old Elizabeth Gallagher's ticket.
Here's the posting from Reddit:
I need your help. You see, in March I booked a fairly wicked trip around the world for this Christmas for my ex and I. While our relationship has come to a close, I am still planning on going on the trip and she is not (naturally). And because I hate the idea of a ticket around the world going to waste, I am looking for a Canadian names Elizabeth Gallagher who would use the ticket.
Anyone familiar with the archaic system that is modern air travel will know that a name change on a ticket is damn near impossible. Moreover, the flights were purchased during a massive blow-up on Priceline and were frankly so cheap and on so many different airlines that they're not worth the headache or money to cancel.
The route is as follows:
- December 21: NYC --> Milan
- December 28: Prague --> Paris
- December 29: Paris --> Bangkok
- January 7: Bangkok --> New Dehli
- January 8: New Dehli [sic]--> Toronto
Some Ground Rules:
- I am not looking for anything in return. I am not looking for companionship, romance, drugs, a trade, or to take selfies with you in front the Christmas Market in Prague. If you feel compelled to toss me a couple hundred bucks, great. Really the only thing I ask for is that you enjoy this trip and that it bring you happiness.
- We can travel together and see some cool stuff - or not. I'm easy and have no problem with someone taking the tickets and doing their own thing (see ya on the plane!). Embracing the spontaneity of life is more my thing, though, so if you want to travel together (and are not an axe murderer) I'm likely game.
- This is for flights only. In the wake of the breakup I have deferred all further planning for the trip. No hotels, trains, or anything have been booked. You're on your own, bucko. Having said that, I will buy the first round of vino at JFK upon departure.
- We can totally stay in India for a couple days longer. Long story, but if we can come to the agreement the airline can push back the return flight on both tickets (it's both or nothin') with no charge.
Still interested? Please meet the following, more or less:
- Be sane, smart and (hopefully) interesting.
- Have always wanted to travel, but maybe haven't had the opportunity or cash to see much of the world.
- Be named Elizabeth Gallagher and have a Canadian passport.
- Be ready for a spontaneous life experience that will, one day, be an epic story that you'll tell your kids.
- Pay it forward. I've been lucky in life and this is me giving back to the universe. Do something similar one day.
Interested? Shoot me a message and we'll chat.
Aaaand, break! Let's see what we can come up with, Reddit.
Believe it or not, Axani was able to find a new Elizabeth Gallagher to go with him. The young Canadian woman took the trip with Axani starting on Dec. 21 in Toronto and ended in New York on Jan. 8. with stops in Milan, Venice, Prague, New Delhi, Khao, Lak and Hong Kong.
Here's her initial response from Twitter:
I think it's safe to say the trip ended up being a success. The pair developed a brother/sister type relationship and both noted that they had no regrets. Gallagher noted:
'We probably got along better because we were strangers. We didn't have a relationship to break.'
'It was wild,' she told The Morning Show. 'And it's just because of my name ... I have to thank my mother for that.'
Even better, with all the press this trip has gotten, Axani decided to help more people who haven't been fortunate enough to travel the globe. He's created a charity called "A Ticket Forward" that aims to become the "Make-A-Wish" of travel.