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Ryanair forced to pay up after refusing to let toddler fly

Airline would not let family board because three-year-old did not have passport or DNI

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary, pictured in Madrid in May.
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary, pictured in Madrid in May.

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair will have to pay 1,222.26 euros of compensation to a family whom it would not allow to board one of its flights, given that it refused to accept the identity documents of their three-year-old child.

A court in Palma de Mallorca reached the decision after the case was taken to the justice system by Spain’s state air authorities.

The events date back to January 2011, when a married couple and their three-year-old son were trying to travel from a short break in Barcelona to their home, on the Balearic island of Ibiza.

The family presented ground staff with the Spanish Libro de Familia — a passport-style document containing information on a husband, wife and any children they might have — as well as a residency certificate. Under Spanish law these are valid documents for under-14s to fly.

However, the company refused to accept the documents, demanding instead a passport or Spanish identity card (DNI).

The court ruled that the compensation paid will cover the cost of the new flights the family had to pay for, the hotel room they needed while stranded in Barcelona, and the day of work missed by the husband as a result of the incident.

Just over a month ago a Valencia court forced Ryanair to pay 1,001 euros to a family for a similar incident, this time involving a two-year-old girl.