A dad and four of his mates were made to fork over an extra £272 so that they could get home on a Ryanair flight they’d already paid for.
They booked it with travel company On The Beach, and ended up getting the flights for £475, as well as a four-star hotel and airport transfer for their money.
While he says the holiday was ‘brilliant with no problems’, things went sour on the way home when they were hit with another cost they hadn’t accounted for.
Apparently, the airport staff in Palma were unable to book them onto the flight because they hadn’t checked in online before arriving, which is a requirement for Ryanair flights.
However, the group say that they were never told about this, although On The Beach says it informs all customers that they’ll need to be checked in online before arriving for a Ryanair flight.
So, the friends were made to pay an extra £30 check-in fee as well as £38 each to store their bags in the luggage hold.
That amounts to £272 in total, which isn’t exactly a minimal expense.
The dad said: “We were absolutely fuming.
“We didn’t have to pay that at Manchester. It’s a lot of money to pay.
“We didn’t have any spare cash, so my friend had to pay on her credit card.
“We are still trying to pay that back.
“I’m a full-time dad, so any money I lose is less money for my son.”
The argument seems to have started a bit of a set-to between Ryanair and On The Beach, as Ryanair claimed the passengers were not informed by their OTA (online travel agent).
A statement claimed: “The issues these passengers encountered is a direct result of having booked their flights through an unauthorised online travel agent (OTA).
“Ryanair has no commercial relationship with any OTAs and in this instance, the OTA failed to advise the passenger of Ryanair’s online check-in and baggage policies, resulting in them being correctly charged an airport check-in fee of £30 per passenger at Palma airport and a gate bag fee of £38.
“Ryanair urges customers to always book directly, as OTAs may provide Ryanair with incorrect email addresses, contact and payment details, which block Ryanair from communicating directly with the customer to share essential flight information and updates, including check-in prompts, potential departure time changes, delays, cancellations, and refund updates.”
On The Beach has said it ‘strongly reject[s] any suggestion that we provide false or misleading information to Ryanair or to our customers’.
A spokesperson said: “Our communication provided all of the flight information needed to check-in online including reference number, unique email address and baggage allowance.
“We also advised that failure to check-in online could result in airport check-in fees.
“We’re sorry to learn that he incurred these charges.”
They went on to complain about Ryanair’s ‘aggressive anti-competitive campaign against travel agents and their customers’, arguing that their customers had been treated like ‘second-class citizens’.
On The Beach said that customers choose to use external travel agents because it means they can book travel, accommodation, and transport at the same time.
However, Ryanair replied: “Like any business, Ryanair is entitled to determine its own distribution model.
“Ryanair has decided to deal directly with its customers, and not intermediaries who seek to freeride on Ryanair’s innovation and investment in many cases just to impose inordinate intermediary mark-ups on air fares.”
They added: “We would ask On the Beach to respect Ryanair’s distribution policy and also its own customers.”
Ryanair said it believes customers are led to believe that On The Beach has a commercial partnership with Ryanair when no such arrangement exists.
LADbible has contacted Ryanair and On The Beach for a further comment.