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Ryanair Dispute over Boarding Pass Fee Heats Up

Ryanair is pretty displeased with the a Spanish judge’s ruling that charging their passengers a fee if they don’t print their own boarding pass before getting to the airport is illegal. This issue was brought to court when a Spanish lawyer was charged the reissue fee after he didn’t pre-print his own. Now they are threatening to turn away passengers that arrive without their ticket unless the court overturns its ruling.

The carrier currently charges £40 to travelers that don’t have their own pre-printed boarding pass after agreeing to do so. A Barcelona judge ruled this an illegal charge, and the airline says that they may stop issuing boarding passes to those that don’t print theirs. This would mean that the passengers couldn’t board their flights and would have to rebook for the next flight available at the current price.

Ryanair previously did away with traditional airport check-ins and announced that all passengers have to check-in online, as well as print their own boarding pass or be charged the fee. The carrier has now told their Spanish legal representation to appeal the ruling, calling it unlawful and bizarre.

The low-cost airline says that they would have to re-employ many handling agents to issue manual boarding cards for passengers that forget their own without the charge. Over 99% of travelers arrive at the airport with their boarding pass, they noted, and they will continue imposing the reissue charge pending the appeal.

Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara says that they believe the court has no basis for the ruling as a matter of contract law. There is not obligation on the carrier to reissue boarding passes if passengers fail to comply with the deal made at the time of booking that they will arrive at the airport with a pre-printed boarding pass, he added.

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