Ryanair wants to stop passengers from boarding

Ryanair, the European airline that people seem to love to hate, is threatening to stop passengers who have booked and paid for the flight the right to board the plane unless they print out their own boarding pass.

This is the latest threat in an escalating row over Ryanair’s €40 boarding pass fee – yes, that’s what they charge to print that flimsy bit of thin cardboard called a boarding pass.

The threat comes as the airline appeals a decision by a Spanish court that ruled a charge for printing passengers’ boarding passes was illegal.

The case against Ryanair was brought by a Spanish lawyer who fell subject to the fee for failing to print his boarding pass. The judge in the case ruled that it was the carrier’s responsibility to issue the boarding pass.

The Ryanair website does request people to print their own boarding pass, and the airline maintains that only about 0.1% of passengers don’t do so.  They say that they introduced the high fee to discourage people from turning up to the airport without their boarding pass.

Ryanair has a reputation for charging the highest airlines fees in Europe, and for making their passengers go to sometimes extreme lengths to travel.

For instance, British Citizens who are flying domestically within Britain still need to show Ryanair their passports.  This is not a legal requirement by the British Government, it is simply a Ryanair requirement.  If you are a British citizen flying within Britain and you don’t have a passport, you can’t fly with Ryanair.

Of all the European airlines, Ryanair also has a reputation for selling the most expensive and least comprehensive insurance policies, having the least generous hand luggage restrictions, the highest onboard food prices, the highest credit card charges, and currency conversion charges that are way higher than even banks will dare to charge.

In fact, Ryanair’s charges have increased by over 700 percent since 2006.

The loss in the Spanish court case is not the first time that Ryanair has run foul of a European Government.   The airline was fined €3 million last May by Italy’s civil aviation authority for failing to assist passengers during the flight chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano eruptions.

Mind you, if you can get a flight from England to Milan, Italy for just £3 you can understand why Ryanair still attracts millions of passengers.  But one thing that I can’t understand, if the airline can afford to sell a ticket for just £3, why does it cost them €40 just to print out a piece of paper?

In fact, I have just figured it out – it’s because they do sell tickets for £3 that they have to charge exorbitant fees for everything else.

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