Lawyers acting for Ryanair have been instructed to appeal against a Spanish court decision branding the airline’s £40 boarding card reissue fee unlawful.
Barcelona Commercial Court No.1 ruled last week Ryanair’s £40 charge – applicable to anybody unable to produce a self-printed boarding pass when arriving at an airport – was illegal.
In response said it could simply cancel the charge and prevent passengers without boarding passes from boarding aircraft.
“We believe the Barcelona Commercial Court No.1 has no basis, as a matter of contract law, for its ruling last week, that there is any obligation upon Ryanair to reissue boarding passes to intending passengers who have failed to comply with their agreement to arrive at the airport with a pre-printed boarding card, except on payment of the specified reissue fee,” said Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara.
If this ruling is upheld on appeal, Ryanair claimed it would be forced to cease offering a Boarding Pass Reissue facility at airports and passengers who are not in possession of a valid Boarding Pass for their flight will not be able to pass through security, and will be unable to travel.
These passengers will then need to make a new booking for the next available flight at the current fare.
“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,” continued McNamara.
“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.”
Ryanair argued passengers agreed to the terms when booking.
The airline also went on to question how the Barcelona Commercial Court can reinterpret a contractual agreement freely entered into between 73 million passengers and Ryanair.
“We are confident that this ruling will be overturned on appeal, and in the meantime the boarding card reissue fee will continue to be applied at all Ryanair airports for this tiny number of passengers who do not comply with their agreement to arrive at the airport with their online boarding card,” added a statement.