Current Magazine

Mother Made to Pay for Ryanair Boarding Passes: but Who’s in the Right?

By Periscope @periscopepost
Ryanair Ryanair are in trouble again. Photocredit: Karen V Bryan

The background

Ryanair’s at it again – the famously “no-frills” airline is now under fire for charging a mother to print out her boarding passes after the woman took her case to the court of social media.

Mother Suzy McLeod complained on Facebook that she was charged £236 to print out five boarding passes when she was flying back from Spain with her family, despite the fact that she had the passes as a PDF on her phone. Her flights were advertised at £166 per person, but after priority seating, baggage fees and the passes, they had to pay £1,650 in total.

Passengers using Ryanair are expected to check in over the internet, and to print their boarding cards before travel; if they don’t, they’re charged £60 (if flying from the UK; it’s 60 euros if you’re flying from Ireland, which currently means that British passengers pay 25 per cent more). McLeod created a Facebook complaint page, asking people to “like” her comment if they agreed; she soon had 358,000 “likes”, and more than 18,000 comments.

Many users agreed with her; others said, however, that the carrier made it clear that there would be charges for boarding passes – so more fool her.

“We had to scrap every penny we had in cash on us to pay it. It was stressful and unnecessary. I don’t think we’ll use them again. We wouldn’t even consider them,” said Suzy McLeod of Ryanair, quoted on The Telegraph.

What Ryanair said

The company’s spokesman, Stephen McNamara, said, quoted on The Telegraph, that it was clear that there would be charges if passengers didn’t print out their cards.

Ryanair are wrong!

Stephen Glover on The Mail said that he was pleased holiday season was over, as the stress of air travel could be avoided for another year. McLeod’s experience certainly chimed with him – something similar happened to his son. Like most people on holiday, she had no access to a printer “and – silly woman! – had omitted to bring a portable printer with her.” Ryanair could have printed them for free. Sure, it’s in the small print, but that doesn’t make it right – this is “little better than extortion.” Ryanair just doesn’t care about its public relations. Why is air travel “so stressful”? When home, “you often need another holiday – if that did not involve flying again.”

Ryanair are right!

Archie Bland in The Independent said that he’d never been “hotter with righteous indignation” than when he boarded a Ryanair flight without his boarding pass. And yet, McLeod doesn’t “have a leg to stand on.” If you have “the wit to actually pay attention to the terms and conditions,” or “the basic organisational capacity to use a printer,” then you won’t have a problem. You can’t blame Ryanair, just as you can’t blame “cinemas that charge too much for hot dogs, or the phone companies that give you a free handset and a whacking monthly bill.” They have to make their businesses “viable enough to offer you a good deal.” If you don’t want the penalty, then pay extra for a British Airways flight. “And they might even throw in some complimentary peanuts.”

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog