Ryanair to appeal Spanish court ruling

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Irish low-cost airline Ryanair said Tuesday it would fight what it called a "bizarre" ruling by a Spanish judge that would bar it from charging passengers for failing to print their own boarding cards.

It warned that if the appeal is rejected the airline would prevent passengers without pre-printed cards from boarding their flight.

In a decision made public Friday, a judge in Barcelona ruled that Ryanair cannot charge passengers for failing to print out their boarding cards and that the airline itself must provide the document.

The judge was ruling on a case brought by a Spanish lawyer, Dan Miro, who was charged the standard Ryanair fee of 40 euros (53 dollars) for failing to print his boarding card before a flight.

Ryanair said in a statement Tuesday it "has instructed its Spanish lawyers to appeal what Ryanair believes is a bizarre and unlawful ruling by the Barcelona Commercial Court No.1 last week that Ryanair's 40 euro/40 pounds boarding card reissue fee is unlawful.

"All passengers agree at the time of booking that they will check-in online, and print off their own boarding cards at least four hours prior to the scheduled departure of their flight...

"Should this ruling not be reversed on appeal, then Ryanair will dispense with the boarding card reissue fee altogether, and passengers who arrive at the airport without the agreed pre-printed boarding card will not be able to pass through security or board their aircraft."

Ryanair said in September it had overtaken Spanish flag carrier Iberia as the largest airline in Spain in terms of the number of passengers carried.

© 2011 AFP

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