Notoriously cheap airline Ryanair currently charges customers â‚¬40 ($53) if they show up at the airport without having printed up their boarding pass. But a judge in Spain says this fee crosses the line from thrifty to illegal.
Said the Barcelona-based judge in her decision:
I declare abusive and, therefore, null, the clause in the contract by which Ryanair obliges the passenger to take a boarding pass to the airport… The customary practice over the years has been that the obligation to provide the boarding pass has always fallen on the airline.
A rep for the airline said it is appealing the decision and that Ryanair will not be forced into printing its customers’ boarding passes:
The court is wrong… You need the boarding card to fly. If a passenger arrives without a boarding card, we find an ad hoc solution to their problem. The â‚¬40 is a penalty for doing that… If the problem is the â‚¬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.
While we occasionally admire Ryanair’s hubris, we’re really hoping the judge’s decision stands on this matter. Otherwise, you can probably expect this kind of fee to be showing up on the next list of possible add-ons to your airfare.