Travelers love the choice of a budget airline like Ryanair for its rock-bottom fares to destinations around the world. But in some cases, the same rock-bottom fares can also mean sparring with customer service and facing additional fees, including for “unchecking” from flights, as in the case of Damian Lloyd and his family.
The Lloyd family had checked in to their flights to Gran Canaria a month in advance and brought printed boarding passes to the airport in July—but the tickets were not able to be scanned. After being unable to contact customer service or receive help from the airport’s airline representative on his prior check in, the Lloyd family wound up paying $200 to check in again, the BBC reported.
Confusion at the airport
Lloyd, a health and safety manager who is a frequent flier himself, said he was in “total shock” to hear about an extra fee. But he wasn’t alone—even the Ryanair employee at the Bristol airport seemed confused, he said.
“He looked on the computer, and our names and seat numbers came up. But for some reason [the boarding passes] weren’t scanning. He didn’t know why,” Lloyd told the BBC. Ryanair, like most other airlines, didn’t allow passengers to check into flights without scanning their boarding passes.
An employee at Europe’s largest budget airline couldn’t raise the matter with customer service at the time as it was early in the morning, which left Lloyd’s family with two options—either miss the flight and take one three days later while waiting to talk to customer service, or pay the extra $200 charge.
The Ryanair employee also reportedly said the reason the additional fee was reflected was a computer glitch, which the airline later denied.
When Lloyd tried to claim his money back from the Dublin-based airline, his request was rejected. Ryanair said that he didn’t verify his identity, even though a customer service representative had confirmed that he had.
Ryanair told the BBC the family had unchecked themselves the day before the flight—but Lloyd said he had no memory of doing so.
“They [the family] unchecked themselves on the website on 22 July and ignored the pop-up that warned them they would have to check in again and generate new boarding passes,” a Ryanair representative told Fortune. “As they didn’t have valid boarding passes, they were correctly charged the airport check-in fee.”
The airline also emphasized that it…