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Spanish court rules Ryanair's £40 boarding pass reissue fee illegal

Published: 18/01/2011 - Filed under: News »

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A court in Barcelona has ruled Ryanair’s practice of charging passengers £40 for reissuing boarding passes at the airport is illegal.

The ruling by the Barcelona Commercial Court No.1 follows a test case brought by Spanish lawyer Dan Miro Garcia, who was himself charged by Ryanair to have his boarding pass reissued last year.

Ryanair currently charges £40 (or €40) per person per flight to all customers who fail to present their boarding pass at the airport. But the Spanish court ruled that the carrier was breaking international law by charging the fee, stating that the responsibility for printing boarding passes has always rested with the airlines.

Ryanair says it will appeal against what it calls the “bizarre and unlawful ruling”, citing that all passengers agree at the time of booking that they will print off their own boarding passes at least four hours prior to departure.

The carrier adds that “there is no obligation on Ryanair to provide them with replacements”, and that should the ruling not be reversed on appeal, the airline will “dispense with the boarding card reissue fee altogether, and passengers who arrive at the airport without the agreed pre-printed boarding card will not be able to pass through security or board their aircraft”.

Ryanair says that “It is not open to the Barcelona Commercial Court No.1 to redraft or alter the reasonable contractual terms already agreed between Ryanair and its passengers and which are readily observed by over 99 per cent of all Ryanair passengers who arrive at the airport with their boarding cards”.

The carrier says that it is “confident that this ruling will be overturned on appeal”, and stressed that “in the meantime the boarding card reissue fee will continue to be applied at all Ryanair airports for this tiny number of passengers who do not comply with their agreement to arrive at the airport with their online boarding card”.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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