Recently I attempted to catch a flight from a London airport on Ryanair.
I arrived at departures reception 25 minutes before the flight, 11.35am - my ticket was scanned. Then I proceeded thru security check-in and quickly ran from the departures lounge to the gate.
Unsurprisingly I missed the flight, arriving at the gate 10 minutes before take-off time, 11.50am - the passengers had boarded and the plane was taxiing to the runway.
I was kept at the gate for an hour before staff finally accompanied me from the departures area to the information desk.
I handed over a transfer fee of hundred and ten pounds to the ticket clerk at the information desk.
This is the crux of my posting:
After the details of my payment were entered into the computer by the ticket clerk, the clerk responded to a phonecall where he claimed "she should pay the fee as she arrived at the gate at 12.10pm".
It seems the caller was disputing the necessity of the payment with the clerk, as I had been registered arriving at the departure reception at 11.35am, where my boarding ticket was scanned.
I got to the gate 10 minutes before midday. There is a 20 minute difference between this time and the 12.10pm claim of the ticket clerk. A sufficient time difference for the budget carrier to charge me the full cost of the transfer.
The budget airline benefited from their mistake of thinking I got to the gate at 12.10pm rather then before 12.00pm.
My question is:
If I find myself in a similar difficulity again, what is the best approach to challenging the budget airline about the disputed time I arrived at the gate? Could I have encouraged the gate staff to support my claim?