In an escalating row over $54 boarding pass fee low-cost carrier Ryanair is threatening to refuse to allow passengers to board its planes unless they print their own boarding passes.
The threat comes as the airline appeals a decision by a Spanish court that ruled a charge for printing passengers’ boarding passes was illegal.
Passengers who fail to print out their boarding passes themselves face a fee of €40 ($54) for the airline to print them at check-in.
Advertisement: Story continues below If Ryanair’s appeal fails, the airline plans to force passengers without boarding passes to purchase another ticket at the airport.
“Ryanair’s low-fare, low-cost services appeal to millions of passengers because they are simple, efficient and agreed by each passenger at the time of booking,” spokesman Stephen McNamara told London’s Telegraph.
“Without these procedures, Ryanair would have to re-employ numerous handling agents at all airports to issue manual boarding cards for passengers who simply ‘forgot’ to bring their pre-printed boarding passes or who failed to comply with their original agreement to check in online.”
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.
Ryanair has regularly caused controversy with its fees and charges, which have increased by more than 700 per cent since 2006.
The airline charges $64 to check in a bag, a $16 fee to book with a credit card and an $8 “administration fee” for every flight.
The airline was fined €3 million in May by Italy’s civil aviation authority for failing to assist passengers during the flight chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano eruptions.