Ryanair visa check scam

Ryanair, the World’s most hated airline, are still ripping people off with their “Visa Check” scam, 3 years on from when we first highlighted the problem in the post below.

The scam, aimed at non-EU passport holders, involves catching people out by allowing them all the way through to the departure gate before informing them that they need a Visa Check stamp on their boarding pass. The unfortunate victim then has to attempt a mad rush back through security, queue up at an often unmanned desk, obtain some bullshit stamp and then try to get back to the gate before the flight departs which, of course, is highly unlikely and results in a new flight having to be booked along with all the associated costs and hassles of missing a flight.

Why do Ryanair not stamp the boarding pass at the check-in desk? Why are they not instead informed that they need to go complete this task before security?

It is all in the name of making money. And the scum at Ryanair could not give a toss about how we all feel about it.

Please avoid flying Ryanair and use a reputable airline that these days are often very competitive on cost. Try British Airways or EasyJet for your next European break, especially if you are a non-EU passport holder.

The original email we recieved about this Ryanair scam is listed below, along with many comments from people who have experienced the same dirty tricks from Ryanair.

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Dear I Hate Ryanair,

There is a new scam which I think you should make your readers aware of which is the new VISA Check policy for foreign nationals.

My friend recently flew to Sardinia with an Italian friend from Stansted. She is Israeli and when she printed out her boarding pass, she didn’t notice that it had the words ‘Visa Check’ on it. Apparently now anybody without an EU passport must go to the Visa Check counter before they go through security where they stamp your boarding pass.

This also happened to an Australian friend of mine who was not even leaving the UK!. He was flying to Belfast and when he went to the Ryanair Visa Check and asked why this was necessary, he was told it was because he was leaving the UK and there are new regulations for the EU? He had to explain to the Ryanair employee that Belfast was actually in the UK!

Anyway going back to my friend going to Sardinia. Because she didn’t go to the VISA check, she went through security and proceeded to the gate. When she got to the gate, the Ryanair employee informed her that she had to go to the Visa check first. She was unable (like any normal airline) to check the visa there and then. As a result she was forced to return through security, queue up for Visa Check and then come back through security. Of course she missed the flight to the delight of Ryanair who charged her another £100 to fly the next day. Another typical Ryanair scam!

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We agree Chris and thanks for your email. Please keep your stories coming and remember, the best ones will win a FREE flight with Ryanair anywhere, yes ANYWHERE in the world!!! Subject to fees outlined in a previous post.

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48 thoughts on “Ryanair visa check scam

  1. I recently travelled with ryanair when this new rule came into effect, I was a little worried that I might get screwed over, but luckily I didn’t. To me being a non EU national, this is almost like being discrimated against just for not being european.

    I suspect this will turn into a way of screwing over non EU nationals, especially since they are getting rid of counter checkin’s in favour of online checkin’s, I can seem them charging just to get a non EU nationals boarding passed stamped.

  2. Hello from Italy. My name’s francesco.
    I completly disagree with the tone of this article. I have travelled to UK from Venice several times with RA and I never experienced delay nor a service under my expectation. Unfortunatly, you said it, your friend didn’t check all the details on her ticket. But of course, when she booked the flight, she had checked all the terms and conditions. Then you shouldn’t give the responsability to RA or, if you really think you are right, claim your money back. You english people are good at that.
    More over if you want, you can always fly BA paying double and not worring about all this scam, you know. People like me, with only few money in the pocket but with a bit of brain, has to thank a lot all low cost airlines because they gave me and my family the possibility of travel around Europe (my wife if from South Africa).
    Thanks
    frank

    1. hi francesco

      I disagree with your comment, some of us in the uk do not claim back money from companys as the companys fob us off, I feel what you said is a bit Racist so please don’t ever come to the uk but if you do please come to stratford-upon-avon I would love to me you as its people like you that come to this country and give it a bad name, do you work for RA? AND THAT YOUR JOB WILL BE AT RISK?

      we have a program here called watchdog and they have even high lighted how bad a company RA IS AND THIS COMPANY DEALS WITH ALL THE COMPANYS IN THE UK

      please go back into what ever hole you came out of and while were slagging another country off I guess that italy is used to crap travel as your aircraft were rubbish in WW2 and we kick your ass now get lost before we come over and teach you another lesson

      1. Why are your comments so abusive. Please learn some etiquette. And my apologies to Francisco, we are not all like this.

      2. Please don’t presume to speak for all English people. You are wrong though, as it is people like YOU that give this country a bad name. Crawl back to stratford and for the sake of humanity, stop going on the internet.

  3. Frank, there is no need for this stupid Visa Check whatsoever; it is simply an invention by this airline to trap and rob passengers from overseas. Other European airlines either don’t have a visa check, or they check it at the check-in or the departure gate. But Ryanair, as always, turns it into a booby trap. Their rules and regulations are designed to make everything as difficult and inconvenient as possible for their passengers and they are frequently changed without notice. Do YOU alway read the rules and regulations when you buy something? I have my own answer, I do not accept Ryanair’s vicious, mean and petty terms and conditions, so I do not fly with that airline. Their arrogance will soon catch up with them.

  4. I will never travel with Ryanair again after my experience. On arriving at the boarding gate after having my baggage checked in, I was told I couldn’t board because my pass wasn’t stamped. The Ryanair staff member at the check in desk had to hand my Australian passport and boarding pass but didn’t stamp it! It’s definitely a scam designed to catch out non-EU members. I had to pay an additional £140.00 to catch the next flight. The visa-check warning is not even printed in the “Important Reminders” section of the boarding pass (the section most people read – how convenient). The fact that so many people have been caught out in this way and Ryanair are turning a blind eye to the problem rather than changing this blatently discrimatory policy makes it even worse. It only further tarnishes their reputation. The good news is the company is currently making a loss. Long may it continue.

  5. Hello

    I know thsi is a bit off topic but I have ryanair flights purchased and won’t be able to fly with them anymore… since you can’t cancel any tickets… I am wondering what would happen if we simply don’t check in or show up for the flight…

  6. I fell victim to this “policy” on Friday night. In my case, they wanted to charge me 250£ to fly the next day, plus I had to pay for a hotel to stay over night. I understand that I didn’t read the boarding card properly and it was my mistake. That being said, with the exception of the note on the boarding card, at no point in the entire process do they “help” you to avoid this. No sign at the airport, at security, at the gate, no announcement at the gate. If you, like I did, make an honest mistake, there is absolutely no opportunity to rectify it.

    I have to say, never in my life have I experienced a bunch of rude, condescending and unhelpful people as I have with Ryanair. This airline is a disgrace. While they claim to be “low cost”, both times I have flown them they have found some way to screw me, and the trip ended up costing me more than twice what it would have on any other civilized airline, BA, Swiss, etc.

    I do not accept that this is the nature of flying “low cost”, as I have been flying frequently with Southwest airlines in the States for well over 15 years and NEVER had a single problem with them.

    At this point I don’t even hope for a change in policy, I only hope for a slow and painful bankruptcy for Michael O’Leary and the rest of the Ryanair board.

  7. Yup, this visa check scam happened to me to!!! There were 15 other people having the same issue at the same time. They made us wait for 2 hours while all the flights for the day left. Finally, at 10pm, the same woman who had been sitting there listening to our complaints escorted us around security to lead us to the stamp place. Apparently, she could’ve done that THE WHOLE TIME and we might have been able to catch a flight and avoid the change fee for flying the next day. They are definitely crooks.

    While I was waiting, I spoke to security at the airport. They said that this happens EVERY DAY. EVERY SINGLE DAY there are MANY people who are screwed like this. It is completely insane.

  8. I am confused. Travelling on an Australian Passport can I use the on-line check-in. Or do I always have to pay the £10.00 to use the desk. I often fly in and out of London and not used ryan air as I can find no answer to this question anywhere.

  9. Hello Travers,

    From what we understand, you can still check-in online and print out your boarding pass as usual. But, once at the airport, you will need to go to the VISA check desk to get a stamp. Allow extra time for this as there may be a queue. DON’T go through security before you get the stamp as you will then likely miss your flight and be subjected to massive charges in order to reach your destination.

    Regards,
    IHR Team

  10. Just to help clarify the above, everyone MUST now check in on line. If you haved an non EU/EEA passport then you have to go to the Bag Drop/Visa Check desk at the airport to get your visa stamped before you go through security.

    Before this was introduced, if you had a non EU/EEA passport you could not checkin online and had to select ‘Airport checkin’ and pay the fee (about 12 pound). But if the only reason you used the airport checkin was because you were a non EU/EEA passport holder (ie you had no checked luggage) you could ‘simply’ fax your email confirmation and a copy of your passport and get the fee refunded (with no time limit). It actually worked ok for the regular traveller flying from London Stansted where they had all those automatic checkin booths and airport checkin was a breeze.

    Ryanair has been great for regular city break travellers/expats who take a cheap flight every other week. You could easily avoid the ‘optional’ charges by getting an electron card and knowing exactly what you need to do to avoid getting slammed. But for the one off or infrequent traveller I agree you could easily get slammed with huge additional charges for just assuming that it operates like a full cost carrier.

    But now, even for a regular Ryanair traveller like me without an EU/EEA passport, the additional hassle of having to queue up for a pointless visa check will make me choose another (budget) airline unless there is a big difference in cost (which there frequently is).

  11. Hello fellow RyanAir hatters, yet another scam from RyanAir which unfortunately I fell victim to in the first week of July. I am Australian and have been living in London for 4 years and have probably flown on more than 50 budget flights across Europe. I have never missed a flight nor had any problems with EasyJet or RyanAir, untill this even happened in early June. I remember once trying to book online check in with EasyJet however they clearly state when selecting online check in you must be an EU or UK passport holder otherwise you must select “Airport Checkin”.
    So when my friend booked my online check in with RyanAir for this holiday to Spain I was a bit cautious and asked her several times if it said anything about non EU UK passport holders (she is aussie but with a EU passport) She said nothing about it, however i still wasnt sure so i went and read all the terms and conditions, and nothing jumped out.

    Got to Gatwick in plenty of time, went through security with my 4 friends, got to the gate and was abruptly told along with 1 other friend, we coulnt board the plane…. We were both shocked and dismayed,,, there was no urgency from the RyanAir staff just a plane in a broken english accent “you cannot get on this flight, sorry” and that was it….. so we rushed back through to departure lounge and went to the desk where we were made to wait for a bunch of smokers to gather as they were being De-Controled also as there flight was delayed 8 hours. So by the time we got back to check in we had missed our flight. Absolutely furious at this i was ready to head home, but thought im not letting a budget ripp off airline ruin my holiday so we went and booked an easyjet flight for 5 hours later. I explained to the easyjet staff who was very nice and helpful and she told me “its one of ryanairs typical things to make money, they are the only airline that do it”

    Obviously it was a return ticket so i caught the RyanAir flight back to london but made sure i got my “Visa Check” done, and all they did was check i had spelt my name right against my passport!!! Are they taking the piss?? Unbelivable to this “check” cost me £100 (for new flight)
    Discrimination against foreigners perhaps, because we cannot spell our names? I dont know, all i know is my 4 friends and I agreed never to fly RyanAir again. Also my 350+ friends on facebook were all made aware of this, so im hoping they will also never use this budget airline again.

    EasyJet all the way from now on!

    RyanAir – What a Joke!

    Thanks for listening

    Ant

  12. Hi there Ant,

    Thanks for your post. We understand your frustration and agree that this is a complete rip-off and also totally unjustified as a check.

    Many people are being caught out by this scam and we hope by reading comments here, people will be more wise to the Ryanair robbery tactics.

    Please do forward on this website address to your friends on facebook (and ask them to do the same!) as we need all the support we can get !!

    Thanks,
    IHR Team

  13. I loathe Ryanair. This said, the visa check rule is better than the old, discriminatory policy of charging non-EU passengers more for their tickets, de facto, since they could not use online check-in and had to pay to check in at the airport (and the stamp to apply for a refund; it was never possible to pay as little as an EU citizen).

    The problem with the visa check rule is not that it exists, necessarily, but that it is inconsistently applied. I’m a US national who flies back and forth between Berlin and the UK on a regular basis. In Berlin, the visa check is generally done at the gate. In the UK, you are required to have it done before you go through security. Shortly after the policy was put into place, on my fifth wedding anniversary, I found myself sprinting through the terminal to get back to the check-in desk to have my boarding pass stamped (I had, unusually, bought Priority Boarding, which made all of the difference as it gave me the time to do this). The airline had given no warning about their change in policy, by the way.

    There is a recent article in the NY Times about Ryanair, with comments from Mr. O’Leary. His contempt for his customers knows no bounds.

  14. I’m enjoying reading all these posts. It’s nice to know you’re not alone.

    Yesterday the old visa stamp trick caught me out too – I too am Australian, but living in the Netherlands. The difference in my case was that the ground staff had already let me on the plane. After seeing the mistake the hostess quite politely told me to walk up to the gate to ‘get a stamp’. At the time I was completely unaware what stamp she was talking about. When I arrived back at the gate and asked for ‘the stamp’ I was immediately told that I would not be allowed back on the plane. Nice way to break the news given that I had left my girlfriend and her parents on the plane, with my phone and bagage. I did luckily have my wallet.

    The next thing I know they are asking my EU-passport-holding girfriend to leave the plane too. The pretence was that they had to get my bag off the plane. A fair request except that we had packed one bag for two people – so I didn’t technically have a bad. Try explaining that conundrum to an 18-year-old with a suit and a name badge. The result was that my girlfriend was coerced off the plane with no explanation at all as to why I was not going to catching the flight. The result was that instead of one extra ticket, I had to pay for two. Needless to say, my reaction to their ‘assistance’ meant I did not make many friends at Birmingham airport. In fact I’m probably lucky to have got out of their at all.

    And then, my girlfriends parents, after watching both of us leave the plane without explanation were asked to stand up and move to front of the cabin (along with 9 other passengers who were sitting around us), while they checked the seats for anything ‘suspicious’. Of course, security is important. But the irony of their own doing does not escape me. Unfortuneately my girlfriends parents, with no information as to what happened to us did not see the funny side, and (as infrequent flyers) were in fact quite traumatised by the whole experience.

    We managed to get home two hours later, no great drama. But I would be very interested to get some resolution on how they justify their stamp, and furthermore, how they justify pulling a ‘legitimate’ EU-citizen off the plane. I’m searching further for avenues of … well, anything ranging from ranting complaint to full blown legal action. Not that either will get me very far I suspect. But it was good to get it off my chest.

  15. same thing happened to our family yesterday in luton airport involving a flight to knock,ireland.myself husband and 3 small children were not allowed to board our flight.after 11 hours in luton airport we got on a flight to galway with aer arann which we had to purchase on a credit card .it cost 900 euro!we tried every other available option.our car was in knock. ryanair were charging us 500 pounds (plus bags i presume) to go on same flight the next day.id rather hitch home than give them that the next day.our whole holiday in england cost less than the price home.we didnt have that kind of money to fork out for another flight home especially when there was no reason for us not to be on the booked flight with ryanair.sooo mad,not done with ryanair,intend finding more about passengers rights etc.funny thing is they even admitted at the gate the girl at check in should have noticed that 2 members of our family needed this check and should have sent us there.the 2 members in question (2 children)were born in the usa but were actually carrying irish passports.2 other members of our family are irish born but had usa passports and they were going to let them go on for a few minutes til they decided at gate they couldnt go either even though they didnt require visa check,they were letting me travel i told them to shove it as if im going to leave my husband and 3 small kids behind.something very wrong here,intend looking more into this

  16. Folks,

    Well, this helps to read all these other complaints. My wife came from the U.S. (Washington State) to meet me when I was finishing up a teaching assignment in Ireland. She flew to Heathrow first, and then caught a flight to Manchester, where she had a RyanAir booking to Dublin. We’ve done this before, so neither of us anticipated problems. She saw the “Visa” notice, but misread it, thinking, “I’m not travelling on a visa; I’m just using my passport to visit,” and was too jet-lagged to think about it more; and, because she’d flown with RyanAir before, and no such regulation concerning the stamp was present then, she didn’t think there could be any real problems. So, she got up to get on the plane, and was denied. She managed to finagle a flight the next day for an additional 100 pounds (they made her feel like they were being benevolent, telling her it was ‘normally’ 200 pounds), and had to deal with cab fare and a hotel for the night. They made her feel like it was her fault, and it was humiliating.

    We already had two more flights booked with them. When we checked into the Dublin airport, we had to find a line where we could get the boarding passes stamped. The ticket agent who did this gave our passports no more than a cursory glance. Surely it was something the agent on the boarding side could just as easily have done. As a security measure, it was silly (my wife had been through Heathrow’s security/immigration, and through security in Manchester, and would have to go through Dublin’s immigration, so what was gained?). Same thing (the cursory glance and stamp) happened when we returned to Dublin. Their website advertises that their measures are designed to reduce the need to stand in lines, but this gives zero incentive; and, if it’s a small airport, there isn’t a separate line; you have to line up with the passengers who are checking in luggage (as we did at Leeds/Bradford). No line hopping. It’s maddening. When we tried to at least lodge a complaint with the visa stamper, she was thoroughly uninterested. It’s very difficult to yell at a corporation. The individuals representing it at any stage aren’t really the company, and we try not to treat them with malice, since it isn’t their particular fault.

    Will we continue to fly with them? Maybe. They usually have the best rates by a long way much of the time; BUT we will be very, very cautious. It’s not that we hate them, but we do hate needless, mindless, uncharitable, greedy behavior. One of our Irish friends gave the opinion that RyanAir knew very well that people would be confused by this, and be forced to buy more tickets. It’s difficult for me to believe any corporation so large could be that petty, so I’m reserving judgment on that. I’m not reserving any disappointment. It’s unprofessional practice, and it’s bullying. The fact that they don’t have any easy way for customers to lodge a legitimate complaint seems to imply that they believe they don’t really have to care.

    Sam

  17. I REFUSE TO EVER USE RYANAIR AGAIN!!!!!

    I AM FROM NEW ZEALAND AND MY GIRLFRIEND IS FROM IRELAND, WE HAD AN 06.30AM FLIGHT TODAY AND AFTER GOING THROUGH CUSTOMS ETC AND LINING UP TO GET ON THE PLANE THE LADY AT THE TICKET DESK SAID I WAS UNABLE TO FLY BECAUSE I DIDN’T HAVE SOME SHITTY STAMP ON A PIECE OF A4 PAPER!!!! I HAVE FLOWN TO IRELAND LOADS OF TIMES BEFORE!.
    I WAS THEN INSTRUCTED TO WAIT AT THE GATE UNTIL EVERYONE BOARDED AND THEN SOMEONE WOULD TAKE ME AROUND TO A DESK WERE I COULD COMPLAIN!, THEY SAID I WOULD NEED TO PAY ANOTHER 100 POUNDS!! TOO BOOK ANOTHER FLIGHT!

    THE THING THAT REALLY PISSES ME OFF IS THAT THEY COULD HAVE EASILY GOT MY TICKET STAMPED WITH THE TIME OF BOARD!

    I HATE RYANAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. I missed my flight few weeks ago when I was heading to Dublin. They made me go back outside to get visa stamp….I had already missed my flight. They made me pay 100 pounds extra for next flight to Dublin………

    The guy at luggage check-in desk told me that they bought this rule to make more money…..I wanted to punch that guy on his face!!

  19. I cannot understand why anybody would fly to Dublin from Heathrow via Manchester if no stay in that city is planned. In the first place, the flight to Manchester might be delayed or cancelled, which means missing the connecting Ryanair flight. I can not believe that this is cheaper than a direct flight to Dublin. It takes much more time and as happened in this case, you may walk into a Ryanair boobytrap. Aer Lingus flies direct from Heathrow to Dublin in one hour. The earlier you book, the lower the fare; Aer Lingus has more luggage allowance – 20 kg v 15 kg on Ryanair, comfortable planes, pleasant cabin crew, food and drink on board cheaper than on Ryanair and no special Visa Check.

  20. I fell in this trap on my well planned spain trip this long weekend.

    Flight was late by an hour as expected but i was there in time. I had this online checkin done and passed the security without getting a stamp on my boarding pass.

    Then i realised i need to get this done and rushed ….
    I had 30 minutes left to get the boarding pass stamped when i reached the counter/desk where servis air (who can escort you in such cases) operates. I found no one at the counter…. and when i called from the phones at the counter …no answer… n you all know what would have happened after that… infact there was no other flight till next 2 days so i had lost all my flights and hotels money.

    Is there anyone who has claimed any refund through Travel insurance?

    I’m writing to customer care (not that i expect them to pay me back) but you need to do this before you approach the Watch dog…

    Can some pls let me know if they have done this before.

  21. I have fallen victim to this mad Visa Check regulation too. I didn;t read my board pass properly (who does?) got to the gate and was very rudely turned around by the Ryanair staff and told to get my visa checked. I travel on a New Zealand passport and explained to them I do not need a visa to enter Ireland but they could not give a stuff. Also on my flight 3 Aussies, 2 other Kiwis and 2 Indians got kicked off. I asked to speak to a manager but was told that Ryanair is an online airline and no managers were at Gatwick.
    So I wasted £100 on flights and didn’t get to go to Ireland to see my friend. The other Kiwis missed out on their friend’s hens party which is pretty sad.
    I wrote to the airline but got some form letter reply telling me nothing and not refunding me my flights.

    A few weeks ago I had to fly Ryanair again and so got my Visa Check done – all he did was stamp my boarding pass with a red date stamp – I could have done that myself for god’s sake!!

    People – never fly Ryanair, they are evil money-grabbing b**tards and their planes are crap anyway. Easyjet all the way!

  22. I’m in the same boat as Brendan, flying to Dublin on Friday night to join my Irish wife and children who were already there. Flown to Dublin umpteen times (inc ryanair) with no hassle whatsoever and waltz up to the boarding gate to be told I can’t get on as I don’t have a stamp to say my visa has been checked. So I read the small print that he points out and then try to explain to him that whilst I am not an EU passport holder, I am in fact an EU passenger due to my indefinate leave to remain in the UK status. Think this is really badly worded, but surprise surprise he wasn’t having it and I got sent back to join the other four people who had the same problem on the flight. When we finally got escorted back through there were no seats left that night and the best we could do was pay £100 to get a flight in the morning. Decided to tell them to shove it and found a flight on a different airline for next morning, and whilst looking for a cheap hotel to spend the night I ran into another couple who had the same problem on the flight after me. So it turns out there were five on our flight and five on the next flight, thats £1000 re-booking fees ! And the guy on the desk had the cheek to tell us that this rarely happen ! What a load of shite, this is pure and simple a money making scam just like every other add on you have to pay for with this crappy airline. I unfortunately have one more flight booked on Ryanair and then its the end of the line for me, if you look around and book early there are definately flights available for similar money by the time you take into account all the extras…

  23. The same thing happened to my boyfried who is South African.

    We where at the boarding gate, about to get on the plane to Sweden, when he was told he had to run back and get a stamp. I was waiting at the gate, begging them to hold the plane as he was heading back through security. The lady at the gate was not interested in doing any favours. As I was waiting for him there was another 4 people heading home for Christmas but she refused to open the gate for them!

    What is the point of offering online check-in for non Eu nationals when they still have to check in? I cant see any other answer but to rip you off!

  24. I’m sitting on my iPhone I’m gatwick after having been scammed this morning in stanstead. Cost if scan 200 pounds. Worst thing was I actually HAD a UK passport as well as my Ozzie one: so when they said you need the stamp I pulled out the UK passport. They then said sorry your ticket says You are Australian. They just make up the rules as they go along. It is Christmas, my wife is pregnant waiting for me in Poland. I told her not to stress as it’s bad for the baby, but I will never fly Ryanair again. The true discrace is that the politicians seem oblivious, as if this is acceptable practice to keep a UK airline in business.

  25. I am really pissed off by this crappy visa check, which nearly ruined my Christmas trip to Germany one week ago. I took KLM instead, I would not spend a single pence on Ryanair. First, it is a very obvious discriminating policy and I don’t really get a single point of that! Second, it makes no fucking sense that they are just too stupid to check the passport at the departure gate. Bunch of idiots. I will never fly this shity airline again and really wish they get into legal problem with this soon!

  26. I fell victim to the ‘visa stamp’ scam today and am glad to know I’m not the only one, in fact, I’m relieved I was not in such an awful position that many of you have been in. I’m so sorry for you and only hope that websites like this will help others avoid this trap.
    Something that struck me in my experience and it has been mentioned by many others, is that the whole check in process was fine until boarding time.
    If the guy that scanned my ticket, or the security guy had mentioned that I needed to get a visa stamp before I went through security, well I had loads of time to kill and would have easily been able to get it.
    But I only found out when trying to board the plane when there was no time to do anything.
    I struggle to understand how the airports can turn a blind eye to this – surely they are affected by having to process 100′s of people through security repeatedly every day. Surely, the security risks increase, the delays because baggage has to be removed for passenger x that didn’t have their unneccesary ‘visa stamp’.
    And what about the poor staff who have to deal with the angry and upset travellers? It’s not their fault, but they have to deal with the situation Ryanair created as much as the passengers do.
    In my case I had to return purchases I had made in duty free – so the airport shops suffer too.
    I hope the airports wake up to this soon.

  27. I had this happen to a friend of mine from the USA. I believe that Ryanair may owe compensation to such passengers under the EU Charter of Passenger Rights. The Charter says that if you are denied boarding *except for a reason beyond the airline’s control* then you are due compensation. It is clearly NOT beyond their control to look at your passport at the gate; as transcripts of arguments at the gate on other sites show, the passengers are being denied boarding not because of invalid visas but because of company policy, which is obviously not beyond the control of the company.

    We will be making a claim against Ryanair for compensation under the EU Charter of Passenger Rights and if successful, it could open the door for a class action. If anyone else has tried a claim under the Charter then I would be interested to hear about the result.

  28. Ian, let us know how you get on. A bunch of us are flying to Slovakia on Sunday (I’m the only non EU person) and one of our party pointed that rule out to me, thankfully.

    The only reason we’re flying RyanAir is that we originally booked Danube Wings who have cancelled our flights. The chalet would not refund our fully paid fee, so we either lost £600 or swallowed our pride and flew RyanAir.

    I just thank god my mate was on the ball and noticed that clause, otherwise, I could see myself going to jail for assault.

  29. I got caught out by this scam last week, and to echo everyone else it definitely helps to know that other people know what its like to watch their flight leave without them!

    What annoys the most is with the first flight from Germany to the UK, I went to the check in to make sure my bag was underweight, and the woman at the check in desk directed me straight to security. No mention of this stamp, which I didn’t realise was given by the person at security who ckecks the boarding passes. The return UK-Germany flight was what caught me, and I’m still gobsmacked at the rudeness and unhelpfulness of Ryanair bag check staff when I was trying to figure out how and when I could get on another flight

    Unlike Ryanair’s other sneaky-but-transparent money making schemes, this seems to be designed purely to trick people into missing their flights, I can only imagine how many people have been completely stranded without the means to buy an expensive replacement flight. Ian – please keep us informed on the outcome of your claim!

  30. I said one day a year ago , doesn’t matter how much a ticket with a regular airline cost I will never fly with Ryanair again and so far I haven’t I hate them I hate them I hate them, cheap abusive , disgusting, Sorry I am Eu citizen but reading this my blood pressure goes up!!!

  31. i have never flown ryanair but my cheap aunts took my gran back to ireland via ryanair. they made my 80yo gran walk amile to the plane would not let her take a wheelchair.

    But i don’t blame ryanair i blame my aunts for taking her on the worst airline in history. there cheap and nasty no class

    i think when anyone buys a ryanair tickett there just a mugg

  32. I just fell for this scam at Gatwick. I didnt require a visa (but had actually one anyway) but did not have my boarding pass stamped. At the gate I was flatly told I would miss the flight and there was nothing I could do (albeit one of the first at the gate). No help, just told they couldnt check my passport at the gate and I need to buy a ticket on the next flight (in 24hrs). Dispite having 45 mins before departure I was forced to miss the flight. This resulted in moderate rage; at this stage I could partially accept it was my fault for not following there bureaucracy but could not understand the staff’s rudeness.
    Next day; new ticket in hand I went to the checking and asked for a sta,mp on my new boarding pass so that I would now be able to actually board the place with my valid ticket- and it was stamped without even looking at my passport!!!!! -Total foaming-at-the-mouth rage!!! The night before I was stopped from flying because I didnt have the stamp and now I got the fking stamp without showing my passport!! After consulting the Gatwick staff (who rightfully informed me Ryanair have no obligation to require stamps, only to not fly individuals to countries where they do not hold visas for) I boarded 300 pounds worse off and filled to the brim with anger! What a complete total scam and utter lack of anything approaching customer service.

  33. I, like most of you, have fell for this scam a couple of days ago. And like most of you as well, I had to deal with extremely rude, unhelpful, cold-blooded ryanair staff.

    Now, I cannot believe it is possibly legal that an airline will refuse a passenger to board with a perfectly legal visa on their passport just because they didn’t stamp the boarding pass??? After all, the stamp that they use is a standard date stamp that could have been bought at any stationary shop!

    There is immigration police, who are certified to check on visas, the ryanair people couldn’t even tell which visa they were looking for!! Moreover, if the people who are at the check-in counters, are commonly the same people who wait for you at the boarding gate, would it be too much trouble for RyanAir to provide them with a stamp as to avoid people having to run back and miss their flights?

    It is just soooooo obvious this is a scam. I even suspect their staff gets a commission for turning people down. I cannot believe there can be so many evil and unhelpful people determined to make your life impossible, packed in one single airline.

    To Frank: I inititally paid £120 for my ticket, plus another £100 after I fell for this scam (and that’s not even including the £35 extra they wanted to charge for check-in luggage). So yes, I should have flown with BA. I would have paid the same, and got a much better service for it.

    RYAN AIR IS NOT A LOW COST AIRLINE. IT’S A SCAM.

    PS. And to those of you who will get ripped off by the other scam, the £35 they will try to charge you for that half gram extra on your hand luggage, do like I did: Open your suitcase and put all of your clothes on (don’t worry, you can take them back off 10 meters later and stick it back in your hand luggage). There is no regulation as to have much weight you can carry on yourself, is there?

  34. I recently flew on ryanair to venice. Got the stamp and all that and on the way back thought I didnt need to get once seeing as I had already been checked to get out of the UK, and they let me through without one. I then travelled to Dublin same deal but on the way back they needed that god forsaken stamp.
    MY QUESTIOn… What exactly is the point of this stamp?? We keep the section of the ticket that the stamp is on and as far as I can see this is the ONLY airlines that implements this nonsense.
    FUNNIEST fact!
    There were a few non-EU passangers and once they saw us get told we need the stamp, and dublin is a MASSIVE airport no-way of getting back in time, the people behind us quickly used a marker and made a stamp on their ticket and got through. Its Kinda funny.
    I will certianly pay the extra 50-100 for a better flight and never use ryanair.
    When returning to departures the ryanair ticket area was closed so there was no way of getting a rescue ticket and checking online a flight home was like 179.99 plus all those retarded fees. I said screw you to ryanair and took aer lingus. ALL of Dublins airport employees said they hate ryanair and suggested this airlines. No only is there a boarding pass printer and no fee for not checking in 4 hours earlier but NO VISA check is required. The security told me that ryaniar is the only ONLY flight that does that and that it is NOT EU law, it is something they have implemented themselves.

  35. I’m due to fly with Ryanair in July (having broken my vow NEVER to fly with them again) I’m a U.S. pasport holder and I’ve decided to try again due to online check in now being available to non EU and the fact that my usual carrier has pulled out of the Spanish airport I normally fly to.
    In preparation, I’m trying to make sure I avoid the RA scam. My question is, what do you do at the other end? I.E. I’m flying into Spain, I understand I’ve got to get this crazy stamp before I pass thru security in the U.K. , but what do i do when I leave Spain to return to the U.K.? Do I need a stamp?

    Also, what about the A.P.I. they used to make you do? I am summizing that they’ve done away with it because of online checkin, but it was always supposedly required by the country you were entering.

    What an awful build up to a journey. I am already dreading the whole experience-haven’t even started fighting for seats yet….

    Many thanks if anyone can offer some advice.

  36. I have an Australian passport with a UK ancestry visa in it, and the last time I flew with Ryanscum, I queued for almost an hour to get a visa check.

    When I got to the check-in/visa check desk, the little girl-child behind the desk thumbed through every page of my passport, studying every stamp from every airport I had been to, like she was an immigration officer.

    Once this 18 year old thing was satisfied, she stamped my boarding pass – with any old rubber date stamp you can buy in a supermarket.

    Surely this was a breach of privacy, having this check-in child scrutinize my entire flying history? Vile, vile staff working for a vile, vile company.

  37. Ryanair Stansted: VOTE WITH YOUR FEET/ WALLET

    Understandably it is a job for them and any job can get to you, but above and beyond the blatent rudeness from 99% of staff i dealt with at Ryanair standsted, it is clear to see that tactics are definately employed to rip people off;

    I nearly was caught out by this newly hashed visa scam; not through my own negligence because i’d fully read the boarding pass & all other literature both before and after dealing with the desk cleark and knew about the stamp requirement. At the desk my papers were checked but handed back unstamped, i checked and on not seeing the stamp- politely asked for it. The desk clerk was rude and childish in her response ‘it’s not necessary, but if you want it ….” she snatched the boarding card and roughly applied the stamp. (I understood the attitude as anger at not securing another £100 for the company which they later probably get a cut off through colleague share schemes or commision based ensentivising- it’s the only way to explain the rudeness that has blanketed ryanair stansted staff ).

    Unfortunately I’m sure many other passengers would simply accept the clerk handing their boarding card back without a stamp, and be hassled later by security or and the gate and miss flight= teamwork scam. It’s definately a scam, why wait for someone to get all the way to the boarding gate to tell them they need a silly stamp, also why not just check the damn visa right there at the gate instead of insisting the person goes all the way back to the bagdrop desks= hustlers (especially after seeing that it takes them exactly 3seconds exactly to perform this check.

    THere’s so many things noticed about this firm that suggests that many scams are going on, either in an attempt to delay passengers at the airport itself, clasues within their literature, tactics employed by staff, false advertisements leading incurred charges etc:

    People, the only way to effect change is to vote with your feet- don’t travel with this company (easy to say, hard to do….. maybe).

  38. At standsted however, I dealt with 1 lovely black chap, professional, helpful and cheerful. But one person can’t save your rep ryanair:
    “RYAN AIR IS NOT A LOW COST AIRLINE. IT’S A SCAM. ” Gala

    I agree with marco’s qoute “with any old rubber date stamp you can buy in a supermarket. ” it’s a farce, they make such a seemingly big deal over this cheap supermarket stamp and this 3 second “check”.

    Amanda & others: Although i don’t remeber them making such a big deal of the stamp when flying inbound, it seems more of a money maker for ryanair uk. Best advice is to insist on the stamp, always… it’s better to waste their and a little of your time at the desk (both inbound and outbound desks) then to be made to miss your flight and incur 100 pound charge.

    Patricia: to add to your comment, the same commentary was made by one of the guys that work for BAA stansted, basically that Ryanair are exactly as people say here, and customer care is zero and money making scamming is king. go figure.

    You can complaing and complain till the cows come home, no sympathy will be had from standsted clerical staff, managers etc. They don’t care, they just want another slice of your pie. The manager WES at stansted even commented that there’s so much bad experience comments from other ryanair customers online and he’d be waiting to read ours. They won’t address these issues as long as people are paying and flying with them= poor management, poor service= poor poor poor.

  39. Hi

    just wondered if anyone has been ripped off by the new car rental option which now comes up when you are purchasing a ticket.
    Just for interest I asked for a car for the 3 weeks I am going to be staying in Spain at Christmas. When I altered the time and date to the 3 weeks from the one day offered the price remained the same for the car ….66 euros .

    There is no way to view the terms and conditions of the car rental…no details of what they are offering.

    In my case it was blatantly obvious that they were not going to give me a car for 3 weeks for 66 euros!!!!

    However someone that was taking a car for a few days could be tricked into thinking that the prce they show is the total price…it actually states that it is!

    as far as I am aware the next step is that you pay for the car rental with your flight.

    I am 100 percent sure that had I proceeded with the payment the 66 euros would not have ben the total cost of the car rental with Hertz.But I would think it virtually impossible to argue this with Ryan Air or Hertz to the point of getting a refund.

    I would be very interested to know if anyoone has been caught out by this…or was it just a one off that the correct price did not register after the correct dates of the car rental were introduced.Certainly it is wrong that you are unable to view the terms of the rental before purchase.

  40. I have just been done by this scam from Ryan Air, flying to Dublin out of Gatwick. At the gate i was told by Ryan Air that I was required to get my passport checked against my boarding pass and my boarding pass stamped at Checkin, Ryan Air wouldn’t let me back to checkin until my flight left, so I missed my flight.

    Here’s what happened.

    I arrived at the gate right as it opened, still with about 45 mins before the flight left to be told I needed to have my passport checked at checkin and to get my boarding pass stamped. I was told to go and wait at a service desk inside departures, where a Ryan Air representative (who transpired was not an employee of Ryan Air) would come and escort me out through immigration, I was told this was the only way I could get out bact to the Check In area. No one at the service desk worked for Ryan Air, but there was a no. that I could call Ryan Air on, my flight was leaving at 9.40am. Still with 45 mins before my flight left, i rang and spoke to a Ryan Air rep. who informed me that they wouldn’t be able to get someone to escort me back through immigration until 9.40 and after my flight left and I was told that I had to wait at the service desk until then, and to put the situation in perspective as after all Tom Hanks in the Terminal got stuck in the departure lounge for weeks.

    Within the next 10 minutes and with still over half an hour before my flight left 1 other Aussie and 6 Americans (4 of which were all travelling separately) arrived at the counter in the exact same position as me and were also on the same flight as me. So it happened to 8 people on one flight. The plane carries 200 people, you could say that at a minimum that a 2/3 of those people would be EU and would not have to get their boarding pass checked. Taking into consideration that many non-EU customers have luggage and have to go to the check in counter anyway you are talking about a MASSIVE % of people that this scam is happening to. I would estimate that 50% of non-EU customers that only take on carry on luggage would get screwed by this scam based on the 8 of us that this happened to.

    Ryan Air deliberatly waited until our flight left before escorting the 8 of us back out to the checkin desk. We would have had plenty of time to go back and get the stamp if Ryan Air had of made a staff member available. We each had to pay a adjustment fee of 110 pounds at a ticketing desk (which was not staffed by a Ryan Air employee, so they don’t even make a Ryan Air staff member available in any capacity to discuss problems with and caught a flight 4 hours later. THe man from Servic Air that escorted us out, stated that this happens on every Ryan Air flight and that Ryan Air do not have any member of staff they you are able to talk to about it, they use agents from different companies to do their dirty work for them who receive the abuse from angry customers.

    What’s the point of having online checkin for non-EU passeners if you still have to go to the checkin desk? Non-EU passengers just simply should not be able to check in online. This situation is so easily remedied by Ryan Air, but it’s not in their commercial interests to do so.

    When the plane finally took off we were served by air hostesses who were vending ‘smokeless cigarettes’ who assured me that they still had just as much nicotine as regular cigarettes are were just as bad. You could ‘smoke’ these on the plane (they looked just like real cigarettes). After the ‘ciggies’ came out, a new hostess came out peddling ‘scratch and win tickets’. Well done Ryan Air not only do you screw over your customers at every opportunity but you also encourage them to smoke and gamble. I was expecting the next hostess to walk down the aisle selling herself.

    Ryan Air the way you do business and treat your customers is an absolute disgrace.

    Consumer Protection laws should act to prohibit this kind of corporate misconduct.

  41. Does anybody ever read their flight conditions? If you miss the visa check, it’s your own fault. Yes, Ryanair does shady business. They cut safety corners and will do anything they possibly can do in order to turn a profit. But they warn you about all of these things, usually in big, bold, capital letters. Travel smart.

    1. I do travel smart, that means, I do not fly Ryanair. Simple as that. I reject their petty rules which are designed to make things as inconvenient as possible for travellers. For instance, my small cabin bag fits in the Aer Lingus rack, but not in the Ryanair one. That saves money. And this ridiculous Visa Check is totally unneccessary.

  42. Hi there,
    I was so happy when found this site after printing in google “f**k ryanair”. I’m not alone here. I really had the same problem with visa check today in London Gatwick. I forgot to put this stupid stamp before I went through security and nobody stopped me about this until the boarding has began. I had printed my boarding pass and I was standing 5 meters far from the aircraft, but… one stamp rules everything!! I couldn’t understood, why I wasn’t allowed to go back and put this stamp so that I can be in time for my boarding, I had enough time to do it, but… Only one thing I was told: “It’s ryanair policy, sorry, you can’t take this flight. They can offer you another flight at 110 pounds for tomorrow, or the next day, o in some future… but today you won’t fly” Low rate!! WOW
    Wish you be more lucky if you’re going to fly with this airline… Demn!!!! I HATE RYANAIR really!!

  43. Same thing happened with me when I was flying from Faro to London. I missed my flight and ended up paying big money to book next flight. Any idea if it is covered by our travel insurance? Thanks

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