The Barcelona commercial court has stated that Ryanair’s commercial practice which forces passengers to pay €40 for those who failed to print out their boarding cards is unfair.
The case was brought by Dan Miró, a Spanish lawyer who objected to being charged €40 for failing to print his boarding card before his flight. Barbara Maria Cordoba, the Barcelona commercial Judge in charge of the case declared “unfair” and added that “under international air travel conventions, Ryanair can neither demand passengers turn up at the airport with their boarding pass, nor charge them €40 (£34) if they do not.“
As some newspaper write, I think it could be a landmark in low cost air travel market commercial pratices, and more specifically Ryanair’s ones. If the Irish low cost airline loses the appeal, as well as in the European courts, Ryanair’s policy on boarding cards would have to be stopped all over Europe.
However, Ryanair already said that it would appeal against the decision. According to the Irish Times, ” The ruling is unlikely to have any impact on Irish passengers travelling with the airline in the short term as it would have to be upheld by European courts before it could be enforced in Ireland.”
Ryanair commercial policies have been criticized several times in the past years. For instance, Ryanair’s misleading commercial practices when selling tickets online has been denounced several times. Recently in Sweden, Ryanair credit card fee has also been criticized for not complying with Swedish law any more.
According to me, there is no doubt that Ryanair’s business strategy is also based on taking advantage of passengers by often operating in a legal grey zone.
Ryanair which has just closed its unique French base to avoid French labor law may be very disappointed to learn that in Spain too, judges are not willing to accept Ryanair unfair pratices any more.