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Madrid court throws out clauses in Ryanair ticket terms

Judge rules that 40-euro fee for reprinting of boarding pass breaches consumer protection laws

Ryanair passengers currently have to pay 40 euros to have their boarding pass reprinted at the airport.
Ryanair passengers currently have to pay 40 euros to have their boarding pass reprinted at the airport.

A Madrid commercial court has declared a number of clauses in the terms and conditions of carriage of low-cost carrier Ryanair null and void. Among these is the airline’s 40-euro fee for the reprinting of a passenger boarding pass at the airport.

In a press release posted on its website, the Spanish consumer protection group OCU said Thursday that the Irish airline’s practices “violate consumer-protection legislation,” explaining, for example, that in some cases the charge for printing the boarding pass is greater than the cost of the ticket.

The ruling came in response to a suit filed by OCU in 2011 against what it argued were abusive clauses included in the travel conditions of Ryanair, Iberia, Spanair and Vueling.

The court has thrown out a total of eight clauses, including Ryanair’s insistence on the production of certain identity documents before allowing passengers to travel. OCU said this clause causes a lot of problems for passengers travelling with small children, who can be denied the right to board a plane because they are carrying the Spanish Libro de Familia (family book) for their youngsters rather than the passport or Spanish identity card required by the Dublin-based airline.

It also declared null and avoid Ryanair’s requirement that all legal complaints against the carrier be filed with the Irish authorities, as well as the carrier’s requirement that tickets should be paid for at the airport using a debit or credit card and not in cash.

The court also ruled as abusive the airline’s refusal to accept items in baggage such as money, jewelry, precious metals, keys, cameras, computers, medicines, spectacles, sunglasses, contact lenses, watches, cellphones and personal electronic devices.

The judge also ordered Ryanair to publish its ruling in one of the three major newspapers in Spain. Ryanair can now appeal the court’s decision

OCU said it does not believe Ryanair will comply with the judge’s ruling and urged the authorities to take action against the airline if it persists with its abusive practices.

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