It’s Ryanair policy for passengers to print their own boarding passes, but if its forgotten they’ll be hit by £34 for it to be reissued at the airport. But should a boarding pass really be your responsibility in the first place?
Even as a seasoned traveller, preparing to head for the airport can be an anxious time. You’ve checked and double checked that you’ve got your passport, your insurance documents are all in order and your tickets are accounted for.
You arrive at the airport and follow the sign to departures. But wait a minute, you’ve forgotten your boarding pass and are now in the process of being charged to have one printed out!
But surely boarding passes are the responsibility of the airline? Not so for Ryanair passengers who are required to print their own – forget it and be prepared to pay.
Ryanair contests court ruling
Last week a Spanish court ruled that Ryanair’s 40 Euro (£34) charge for re-issuing a boarding pass was unlawful. But the low-budget airline isn’t taking this lying down, calling the ruling ‘bizarre and unlawful’.
The charge will stay at airports for the time being, but if the ruling is upheld on appeal then its removal could be enforced across Europe.
If that does happen, Ryanair says it’ll be forced to stop offering a boarding pass reissue facility at airports. Instead, passengers who haven’t printed one off won’t be allowed to pass through security, leaving them unable to board their flight. They’ll then need to make a new booking for the next available flight at the current fare.
Online check-in dilemma
Now, I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to flight tickets and boarding passes. In a perfect world, where there are no long queues at check-in, I like a good old cardboard ticket sent to me by the airline and a boarding pass handed to me when I drop off my suitcase.
I feel nervous when dealing with ‘e-tickets’, unsure as to whether I’ve printed off the right thing. This usually leaves me carrying a wad of flight-related correspondence on every holiday ‘just in case’.
Being given a ticket or boarding pass feels like part of the service, part of the holiday experience even. I also find it much more reassuring when the airline takes charge, leaving me with one less thing to worry about when planning my trip.
However, when faced with a game of ‘queue race’ (praying the queue I nearly joined doesn’t beat me to check-in) I spend part of the time wishing I had checked–in online, so I could just drop off my bag and head to departures.
One thing I’m sure of is that I like having the choice of whether to print off my own boarding pass or get it issued at the airport. I’m lucky enough to have a printer at home and I’m a bit computer savvy, but if you don’t meet these two criteria, it’s not always the easiest task.
Is it right that Ryanair requires you to print your own boarding pass and hits you with a charge if you fail to do so? Or is this just one big fuss – no one’s forcing you to fly with a particular airline after all.