There are plenty of Ryanair charges that can catch you out when flying with the airline, but this little known £55 fee has the internet in uproar! Here’s how to avoid it, and the other hidden costs to keep an eye out for too.
What's the Latest News on the £55 Ryanair Charge?
I was scrolling through Twitter the other night and came across this tweet from an understandably frustrated daughter.
Hey @Ryanair, my parents who are in their 70s and 80s, had accidentally downloaded the return flight boarding card instead of the outgoing ones and you charged them £110 to print them at the airport. £110 for 2 pieces of paper which took 1 minute. Shame on you— Old School House Venosc 💙 (@old_school_alps) August 13, 2023
What appears to have happened is that this woman’s parents, who are in their 70s and 80s, had taken the wrong boarding pass to the airport and so were charged £110 . That’s £55 each by Ryanair to print the correct passes.
How to Avoid Paying the Ryanair Boarding Pass Reissue Fee
On first reading, I assumed this was simply a case that her parents had printed the wrong boarding pass.
For this, I had a quick fix which I tweeted out into the abyss in the hope it would help someone reading!
I discovered this hack after I once checked in online and it asked me to print my boarding class. I was perplexed. What’s more, I didn’t even have a printer at home! Was there not an option to download a digital boarding pass instead? It didn’t give me that option, but I decided to try entering my details into the app anyway.
I understand this may not have helped them but wanted to share for anyone reading in a similar situation:— Cheap Holiday Expert (@cheapholidayexp) August 13, 2023
If you realise you're without your boarding pass, download the app, put in your reservation number & you can get a digital boarding pass for free 👍
Yep, all I needed to do is enter my reservation number into the app and I was able to get a boarding pass for my phone’s wallet.
Ryanair don’t point this out, so it’s a good hack to bear in mind!
However, this isn’t actually the issue that happened here…
How do I know? Well, what I should have clocked during my nighttime scrolling was that the fee for simply reprinting a Ryanair boarding pass was too high.
In fact, it ‘only’ costs £20 for this task (it’s still a lot, but it’s certainly not £55).
So what actually happened in this scenario?
How Much Does Ryanair Check In Cost at the Airport?
If you scan through the Ryanair charges, you’ll quickly see the issue.
£55 is the fee if you don’t check in online, and instead check in at the airport.
And in fact, this has been confirmed in the press as the real reason the couple was charged – because they had checked in and printed the boarding passes for the return flight, and not their outbound flight.
The only way that you wouldn’t get charged for checking in at the airport is if you have booked a ‘Plus’ or ‘Flexi Plus’ fare which – whilst it could include additional extras like seats and no change fees – comes at an additional cost anyway.
When Does Ryanair Online Check In Close?
If you’ve booked a seat, check in opens 60 days before the scheduled departure time and closes 2 hours before leaving.
For those who haven’t booked a seat, check in opens 24 hours before the flight and closes 2 hours before leaving.
It’s important to note that if the couple had arrived at the airport 2.5 hours before their flight and been hit with this charge at the desk, they could have stepped out the queue and checked in online for free still.
The problem comes when that 2 hours has elapsed – you’ll have no choice but to pay up at the desk, so make sure you don’t miss the cut off!
Why do Ryanair Have Such High Charges?
Ryanair’s business plan has always been to strip the traditional ‘standard’ services offered by airlines to provide a cheaper service for all.
By taking away ‘in person check in’, they’re able to save money and speed up the process of checking in too.
However, £20 for printing a piece of paper or £55 to check in does feel quite steep. So I believe the reason they charge these eye stinging amounts is for two reason:
- To discourage people from falling foul of the rules
- To make money off people falling foul of the rules
I.e. read the rules and abide by them, or pay through the nose for it!
Should the Couple Have Been Made to Pay the £55 Ryanair Charge?
The big question!
The easy – and cut throat – response to this is to say that they didn’t abide by the rules laid out by Ryanair and therefore it is their own fault for the fee they had to pay.
However, I believe this is where the magical term ‘gesture of goodwill’ should come into play.
In circumstances where it’s obvious that there’s been a genuine mistake, I would have loved to have seen Ryanair put customer service ahead of making money. They could have taken that opportunity to make sure that the couple in question were grateful to them as an airline, and chose to fly with them again.
Now, for all of you saying ‘but that isn’t their business plan’ – I agree. However, with their CEO Michael O’Leary announcing that the era of ‘€10 flights is over‘, I am worried that if Ryanair don’t start to increase their offering in areas , then what gives them the edge over other airlines when their fares aren’t even that cheap?
Currently, there’s little competition for many of the routes they serve and so they’re safe to rule fast and hard with their strict rules. But should things change in the future, I’m not sure how many customers will stay loyal.
My final thoughts
Ryanair is fine, you just need to know who you’re dealing with.
I go into every booking with them like a knight charging across the battlefield – “you will not make me pay a penny more for this flight!!!”
But to do that, you have to resilient. And by that, I mean making sure you know you’ve followed all the rules or at least be aware of the risks you take by pushing them.
When the flight is cheap, I think you’d be hard pressed to find better value for money. £30 to fly to a different country? To explore a new place, meet new people and try new things? It’s the best money I’ll ever spend.
But when the fare rolls into the hundreds… Yeah, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.