Irish low-cost airline Ryanair billed a couple in Great Britain just under 130 euros (110 British pounds) for not having their boarding passes printed out until they got to the airport.
Several British media outlets picked up the story earlier this week after the couple's daughter took to the short message service X, formerly Twitter, and received widespread attention. Consumer advocates were also outraged.
As the two seniors told the BBC, they had accidentally printed out the boarding passes for the return flight instead of the outbound flight at home. Printing out the correct ticket at the airport is usually not a problem and is a free service with most airlines. But in this case, that simple process cost them each - £55. The Londoners traveled last Friday from Stansted Airport near the British capital to Bergerac in France.
The airline confirmed on Twitter/X that "the correct fee" had been charged. "All passengers traveling with Ryanair agree to check in online prior to arriving at their departure airport (...)" it said. It is unfortunate that these passengers ignored the reminder email, the statement continued.
Ryanair is considered the pioneer of low-cost airlines in Europe. Instead of the service-oriented offers of classic airlines such as Air France or Lufthansa, the product sold with Ryanair usually consists only of the seat. All extras such as food or luggage cause additional costs for those who want to travel - a paper printout of the boarding pass at the airport is obviously one of the extras that are subject to a fee when planning a Ryanair flight.
Sources: Twitter (now "X"), BBC, DPA