Q. I booked a flight to Berlin with my friends for January, It’s nearly December and I've just found out I can’t go. I want to change the name on my ticket and gift it to a friend. Why won’t my airline allow this?
A. Very few airlines allow name changes. Among the ones that do, even less are willing to do it for free. Sometimes it depends on the fare you paid.
If name changes were universally allowed, some enterprising person would buy up dozens or perhaps hundreds of seats at the lowest fares and then resell them (with a name change) to other passengers when the fares are higher, such as for last minute travel. This would make for chaos in the airlines’ booking procedures and result in a loss of revenue.
It would essentially create a “ticket tout” marketplace similar to what concert or sports event attendees experience.