Family lose £165 Ryanair check-in dispute

An airline dispute resolution scheme ruled that Damian Lloyd had checked out his family.
Family lose £165 Ryanair check-in dispute
Damian Lloyd and familyDamian Lloyd

A passenger who lost his dispute with Ryanair after being charged £165 to check in at the airport has said he does not regret taking on the airline.

“I was so mad at the time, I had to try something. It ruined a couple of days of my holiday,” dad-of-two Damian Lloyd, from Neath, told the BBC.

Ryanair said Mr Lloyd had “unchecked” his family and charged him to check in again, which he disputed.

But an independent ombudsman ruled in favour of the airline.

AviationADR, an independent airline dispute resolution scheme, said that Ryanair had “adhered to their own Terms and Conditions”.

“The airline has provided evidence that despite the passenger checking in online on 21st June, they also checked out on 22nd July. This is the reasons why the printed boarding passes were invalid and a new check in was required,” it said in its ruling at the end of last year.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Lloyd said he did not regret going through the dispute resolution service, despite Ryanair being “really rude”. He said the airline “didn’t want to know and that made me more angry”.

AviationADR said the determination was not binding and that Mr Lloyd had the option to continue the complaint through the courts.

But the 50-year-old said: “That’s me forking out money for a case then, I’ll just leave it.”

‘Every excuse under the sun’

Health and safety manager Mr Lloyd had booked a 10-day family holiday to Gran Canaria in July.

He had checked in online but was left “in total shock” when his, his wife’s and his daughter’s boarding passes did not scan.

A Ryanair employee at the check-in desk was equally confused, but as it was an early morning flight, they could not phone Ryanair’s customer service to investigate the problem as it was not yet open.

The family was given a choice – either wait for customer service to open and miss their flights, or pay for new passes – which they did.

Mr Lloyd said he was told he could “claim the money back,” but when he requested a refund, Ryanair rejected the claim, before being told he had unchecked the day before his flight.

At the time, Mr Lloyd told the BBC: “Ryanair came up with every excuse under the sun. I felt wronged.

“If they would have said sorry and offered me 10% off my next flight, I would have been happier.”

The issue of airline fees was already in the spotlight last summer after an elderly couple were charged £110 by Ryanair to print their tickets at the airport.

The couple told the BBC they had to pay airport check-in fees after mistakenly downloading their return tickets instead of their outgoing ones. Airport check-in fees were far more expensive than downloadable boarding passes.

Regarding Mr Lloyd’s case, Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “It’s clearly unfair to charge customers £165 to print out three pieces of paper for a genuine mistake. ‘Gotcha’ fees like this are part of the reason Ryanair is regularly rated one of the UK’s worst airlines.”

Ryanair did not respond to the BBC’s request to comment.

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