Bitterwallet poll - is Ryanair's boarding card penalty fair?

Bitterwallet - Ryanair new plane liveryOn Friday afternoon, Ryanair found itself in trouble with the law - Spanish law, but the law nevertheless. A judge in Barcelona ruled that the budget airline can neither demand that passengers turn up with their pre-printed boarding card, nor can they charge them €40 (£34) if they don’t.

In retaliation, a spokesperson for Ryanair claimed the judge was 'wrong' and Ryanair was well within their rights to impose the 'penalty'; if the issue was the charge, the spokesperson said, then they'd withdraw the service completely so passengers couldn't fly.

There was a mixed reaction from avid readers; some of you are happy to see the 'idiot tax' continue, others think it's acceptable but too steep; reader Stu pointed out that Ryanair's two week restriction means if you're abroad for longer than a fortnight, you're forced to find somewhere to print out boarding cards beforehand.

So over to you - do you think Ryanair's boarding card penalty is fair? Should you be able to arrive at the airport without a boarding card, and still expect to board the plane without penalty? Let us know, comrades:


  • Alexis
    £34 isn't a genuine pre-estimate of loss and likely to be unenforceable. £5 would be fair.
  • Robin
    I understand the need to encourage us to print our own boarding passes - it saves them money. But it needs to be an incentive, not a way of cashing in. The conditions need to be relaxed: You can only do it two weeks in advance - screws up anyone on holiday for two weeks. It has to be at least four hours before you fly - screws up anyone arriving at the airport without it, nope you can't run around to find an internet cafe, you are forced to use ryanair, as they're the only ones who can do it. Grrrrr A little tip, if you are flying ryanair and HAVE remembered to check in online, save a PDF copy of the boarding passes, then email them to yourself. If the worse was to happen and you are stuck at the airport with no passes, at least you still can print them - assuming you can find a printer.
  • brian
    I don't understand, don't they print the boarding card for you when you check in your bags at the counter? I haven't flown Ryan Air so I don't know their procedure.
  • Kaibor
    How exactly does not printing boarding passes keep the fares low? It is just a sheet of paper.
  • Dick W.
    I don't see why you need a boarding card anyway. You must have a passport to fly with them, and they know the passport number and the name of everyone on the flight. Why not just delay checking of passports until the gate before leading you into a holding pen, before getting the bus to the plane.
  • Stu_
    Brian: The way to make Ryanair work well is not to check luggage in. Therefore only about 20% of people are actually checking baggage in. This means rather than have 4 or 5 people checking in, they only have 1. Unless of course you are going to / from Poland where everyone checks in the absolute maximum amount of luggage and the fella who is working on his own gets rinsed and the queues are halfway round the airport!
  • klingelton
    @ kaibor: a sheet of paper and associated I.T. hardware and infrastructure. the fewer sheets of paper printed means the reduced likelihood of hardware malfunction.
  • Ten B.
    [...] Bitterwallet poll – is Ryanair’s boarding card penalty fair? [...]

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