Woman Pays Ryanair $390 To Print Boarding Passes, CEO Calls Her ‘Stupid’

Travelers taking issue with budget airline Ryanair is nothing new. In fact, it now seems to simply be commonplace.

First, there was the Norwegian man who was arrested after complaining that the in-flight sandwich he purchased tasted like rubber. Then, of course, there were the passengers who staged a sit down strike in Belgium after being told they must take a bus 225 miles to their
final destination after being rerouted. The list really does go on from here.

The ire doesn’t stop with the passengers, however, as there was also the Ryanair pilot who was coincidentally transferred to Lithuania after publicly making remarks against the company, a move, which ultimately caused the veteran pilot to quit. Recently, there has even been talk of Ryanair making customers pay to use the lavatory.

As usual, this can all be traced back to Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary who also wants to do away with co-pilots and has suggested that long-haul flights offer free oral sex.

Oftentimes, such stunts are attributed to extreme marketing moves meant to gather attention, and it has seemed that recently Ryanair has backed off a bit from their ludicrous outcries.

Or, maybe not.

According to a recent Time Business article, when a passenger traveling from Alicante, Spain, back home to England complained of Ryanair charging her a fee of €60/person to print boarding passes for her family of five (a total of $390), Time reports that O’Leary branded the woman as “stupid” and called the rest of Ryanair passengers “idiots.”While this definitely seems extreme, it’s not exactly a new policy; it’s well known by many European budget travelers that you must print your boarding pass prior to arriving at the airport lest Ryanair levy a hefty fee.

When the woman complained on her Facebook page (and subsequently received over half a million ‘likes’ from those agreeing with her), O’Leary is reported by the article to have responded by saying:

“We think Mrs McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid,”…”She wasn’t able to print her boarding card because, as you know, there are no internet cafes in Alicante, no hotels where they could print them out for you, and you couldn’t get to a fax machine so some friend at home can print them and fax them to you… She wrote to me last week asking for compensation and a gesture of goodwill. To which we have replied, politely but firmly, thank you Mrs McLeod but it was your ****-up.”

What do you think? Does CEO O’Leary have justifiable reason to be angry, is he at it again with his old marketing stunts, or is the woman completely in the right for being so upset over the hefty charge?

[Image courtesy of aromano on Flickr]