Ryanair defends visa check for non-EU citizens

 

ONLINE CHECK-IN:RYANAIR HAS defended a rule requiring passengers from outside the EU to have their visas checked by the airline before proceeding to their flights.

The Irish Timesis aware of a number of passengers who have missed their flights because they failed to have their boarding cards stamped as required by the rule, which is applied by no other airline.

The airline says all non-EU and non-EEA passengers travelling on its flights must have their online boarding passes checked and stamped at the Ryanair “document/visa check desk” before going through security. It says this is necessary “to ensure compliance with immigration authorities”.

A Ryanair spokesman said it had introduced the rule early this summer to allow non-EU and -EEA passengers to use web check-in. Previously, the airline did not allow non-EU and -EEA passengers to check in online; instead, it offered a refund of the extra cost of checking in at the airport.

Aer Lingus says it does not have such a requirement. “For those passengers who check in online, passports are checked either at the bag-tag desk or bag-drop machine or at the boarding gate,” a spokeswoman said.

The Ryanair spokesman said: “Other airlines don’t offer passengers the convenience of 100 per cent web check-in, so they don’t need to do this yet. They check visas at their long-queue check-in desks, which Ryanair passengers now avoid.”

The Garda Press Office, speaking for the Garda National Bureau of Immigration, said all passengers were required to have valid travel documents and carriers could be fined for allowing passengers to travel with defective documentation.

However, a spokesman said no new rule had been introduced for EU or EEA citizens.