Spanish court rules against Ryanair’s boarding pass penalty

€40 fine for not having a printed boarding pass is “abusive” says Consumers Union

Show up at a Ryanair check-in desk without your printed boarding pass and you have two options: if there’s time you could head for the nearest internet café at the airport and print it out, or face a €40 fine.

When Spanish lawyer Dan Miró was fined he took things further – to the Barcelona commercial court. Now a Barcelona judge has ruled that the airline has no right to impose the automatic fine on passengers who don’t bring their boarding passes with them, calling the policy “abusive”.

Judge Barbara Cordoba said, “I declare unfair and therefore void the contractual clause in which Ryanair obliges the passenger to be the one who brings the printed boarding pass to travel – or face a penalty of €40”.

The Consumers Union of Spain welcomed the decision, describing Ryanair’s policy on boarding passes as “abusive.” It said, “International air traffic laws, to which Ryanair is subject, oblige a transporter to provide the travel document."

Ryanair have vowed to appeal the ruling. Spokesman Daniel de Carvalho said, “The court is wrong…If the problem is the €40 charge for this service, we’ll simply stop offering the service. That, of course, will mean the passenger who arrives without a boarding card cannot fly.”

Dan Miro may have won his case but the Spanish ruling will have to be upheld in the European courts before it applies to other countries.

Commenting on the outcome, Miro said, “I like Ryanair in some ways but it seems to believe it can make up all the rules. It has to observe the law too.”

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