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Ryanair is notorious for requiring that all non-EU passengers go through a visa check at a landside check-in desk before their flight. However, do they actually deny boarding to passengers who ignore the visa check and proceed straight to the gate?

I'm not interested in what Ryanair's website, terms and conditions, or support agents have to say about this. The question is strictly about what's going to happen in practice.

  • Do you actually receive the boarding pass on online checkin, even if you have to do the visa check? Or do they only print the boarding pass after visa verification? I had a colleague, which needed to go to the desk, but i don't remember if he got the boarding pass before or after the check. – dunni Jul 23 '18 at 7:29
  • @dunni you do get the boarding pass in advance, however it says "go to visa check" in big bold letters – JonathanReez Jul 23 '18 at 7:30
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    @Neusser "They do not stamp boarding passes" At BSL they do, often even for EU/Schengen citizens and always for others. – Crazydre Jul 23 '18 at 8:58
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    I'm voting to close as unclear. What are your criteria for "in practice"? It seems clear that it is Ryanair's policy that you must do X before boarding the plane. Maybe they don't usually enforce this policy but since it is a policy, there's always the possibility that it will be enforced, perhaps by an employee in a bad mood or perhaps by a new employee who isn't aware of a company culture of non-enforcement. The only possible answers at the moment are "It's policy so it might be enforced" and the survey-participant answers of "It happened/didn't happen to me". What are you looking for? – David Richerby Jan 23 at 18:14
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    @JonathanReez Then that's a survey, not a question. – David Richerby Jan 23 at 18:55
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For the last several years I flew RyanAir, I have never had my boarding pass stamped (I have non-EU/EEA passport). I have never been refused boarding, and never seen anyone being refused boarding.

The typical RyanAir procedure depends on airport, and is one of the following:

  1. They scan everyone's non-EU passport regardless of whether one did check or not. This is typical at BER airport.

  2. They call non-EU passport holders who didn't get visa check to the gate agent before boarding, and scan your passport there.

  3. They walk along the line ready for boarding, and ask who has non-EU passports and didn't do check, sending us to the gate agent for the check.

Note that this check takes some time (10-30 seconds), and they do close the gate 30 minutes before departure; if you do so, try to arrive earlier than 30 minutes before the gate closure time.

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+250

This is anecdotal, but here's a forum post about someone who was denied boarding at Edinburgh in March 2018 for not obtaining a visa check stamp. However, another poster says that at Edinburgh in February, the gate agent gave non-EU passengers an opportunity to have their boarding passes stamped at the gate, so experiences vary.

It's clear that this requirement is not enforced consistently at all, but does appear to be enforced at least occasionally.

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    Probably safest to conclude that the local ground handlers make up their own policies in practice. – Crazydre Jul 31 '18 at 23:24
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As a Non EEA/EU from London to Madrid it was not required, but from Madrid to London it was and we were denied boarding. We had to go through the whole inmigration and security check again. Lesson learned, if you have to print your BP and it says “visa check”, you have to get the stamp. Don’t play with it; we almost lost our flight because they were not allowing us to board.

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My family (2 adults and 2 kids under 6) was just denied boarding at the gate because of this Visa thing with Ryanair. The airport is Eindhoven. We hold American passports and are residents of the Netherlands. They didn't care. The gate person said this was just policy. They happily went through the effort to remove our 5 bags from the flight and offered to rebook us for free 4 days later.

It seems like approving a Visa at the gate would have been less effort. We are obviously not happy about it. We will not book Ryanair again.

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At Basel, for flights to London-Stansted, it's done at the gate, with a Checkport (Swissport subsidary) agent verifying documents (which, however, isn't always done carefully - I've seen South Africans and Macedonians not being checked for a visa or exemption), before stamping the boarding pass (often even for EU/Schengen citizens), which is then shown at the final boarding check a few metres ahead.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    -1 for arrogance. – Neusser Jul 23 '18 at 12:06
  • @Neusser, why is the answer arrogant? Coke writes from his observation of what actually goes on, which is what was asked in the original question. – David Jul 31 '18 at 23:41
  • @David It was due to a comment I wrote but later removed, not the answer itself – Crazydre Jul 31 '18 at 23:52
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I suspect it varies from airport to airport and maybe even from flight to flight. My Ryanair boarding passes always say this must be done at the check-in desk before passing security. In Edinburgh in March 2018 I forgot to do it and nobody said anything about it. In Warsaw I tried to do it at the Ryanair check-in desk and they told me to do it at the gate.

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enter image description here You need it stamped at the counter even for domestic flights. I am South African and travelling from Scotland to England. This applies for all non-EU citizens. You have to pay an extra £3 to check in and print your boarding pass so that it can be signed (this only applies if you need to checking in 48hr before your flight)

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I live in Spain. For national flights not necessary. For international flights (i.e. from Spain to the rest of Europe) it is necessary.

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