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I was traveling from Germany to Ireland, with UK tourist visa. I am a Turkish citizen and I am allowed to do so. (Visa waiver programme)

I checked in to the flight, and made my boarding pass signed from Ryanair's counter. Then during boarding, at the last check before we enter the plane, as the responsible officer was not aware of the waiver programme, she said I can't enter to Ireland with UK visa and denied me from boarding.

She also refused to show her badge number, and she told me instead. (Possible gave me a fake badge number to get rid of me.)

As my papers are good to enter to Ireland, I had to book another flight from another airline, and enter to Ireland without a problem the same day.

To make a complaint, I contacted with Airline first, and stated that the officer denied me from boarding. They replied "People at the last check are not our officers, you should make a complaint to the airport authorities."

I find it hard to believe, because the airport won't be fined for people travelling with wrong documents, airlines will. And Only Ryanair hires this type of people who denies me from boarding without consulting anyone and hide their badge number like a child.

Do you have an information about who should I contact with? Or how can I sue them?

Edit: I contacted with Ryanair, they said "Those people are Airport's staff you should make a complaint to there." I am not buying it and I don't want to lose time trying to figure out who is responsible, as it is limited.

23 Apr '19: Ryanair Replied my last correspondence with legal documentation, and denied again. I will either continue with EU Complaint Form just in case, then sue them. Ryanair gives me pain each time for this case, and most likely many others suffers from it, so I will let you know about the progress.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JonathanReez Apr 16 at 23:33
  • Please post further comments in the chatroom, no longer here. – Willeke Apr 17 at 15:25
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In a comment, you wrote that Ryanair said

"People checks during boarding are not our staff, ask to the Airport". I don't think that's correct.

You are right. Even if the person was employed by another company, that company acts as the airline's agent, and the airline is liable for the agent's actions. You should absolutely be entitled to a full refund plus denied boarding compensation.

(If Ryanair's liability to you arises because of the agent's actions, then Ryanair may have a claim for compensation against the agent. But whether that is the case depends on Ryanair's contract with the agent, and the question is no concern of yours whatsoever.)

Ryanair is unlikely ever to say so explicitly. Instead, they will probably hope that if they keep telling you that they're not liable, you will eventually believe them. Many people would believe such a statement, so this strategy is probably cost effective for them. Therefore, you should not waste your breath or time trying to get them to concede the point. Just file your formal complaint.

The EU air passenger rights complaint form says that a complaint should first be submitted to the airline. Your e-mail exchange may already satisfy that requirement, but if you decide that it does not, you should probably fill out this form and send it to Ryanair. That will let them know that you know your rights and that you are serious about getting your refund and your compensation. I might try that anyway, since if they get that message you might get your money sooner than you would if you complain to the German government.

If you decide that your e-mail exchange does satisfy the requirement to submit the claim to the airline first, then you can send the form directly to the "national enforcement body" in Germany. That is the

Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA)
DE - 38144 Braunschweig
Tel.: +49 531 2355 115
Fax: +49 531 2355 9099
fluggastrechte@lba.de
http://www.lba.de

The complaint should probably include the following:

  • a description of the visa waiver program
  • a detailed and specific explanation of why you were eligible for the visa waiver program
  • a detailed and specific explanation of why Ryanair and its gate agent should have known that you were eligible

The fact that you subsequently entered Ireland under the terms of the program is good evidence that you were in fact eligible for the program, but the most important thing here is likely to be what Ryanair should have known. I would therefore mention the subsequent visit to Ireland, but I would not dwell on it.

In case it helps, here's what TIMATIC has to say. TIMATIC is the database that the ground agent should have used to decide whether to issue a boarding pass and allow you on the plane:

Visa

Visa required.

Visa Exemptions:

Nationals of Turkey with a valid C visa issued by the United Kingdom if they have first entered the United Kingdom and been granted a stay of 180 days in the United Kingdom. They are visa exempt for a maximum stay of 90 days in Ireland (Rep.) or until the end of the period of stay granted in the United Kingdom, whichever is shorter.

  • Passengers arriving in the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, and traveling to Ireland (Rep.), the visa waiver programme will apply and only a visa issued by the United Kingdom will be required. The visit to Ireland (Rep.) must be within the stay granted within the United Kingdom.

    Passengers are permitted to travel to a third country before traveling to Ireland (Rep.) if the visa issued by United Kingdom is still valid. Furthermore, re-entry into Ireland (Rep.) from a third country is permitted if the visa issued by the United Kingdom is still valid and period of the stay granted in the United Kingdom is still valid. Passengers with a long term visa must visit Ireland (Rep.) within a period of the current stay granted in the United Kingdom.

    Passengers arriving first in Ireland (Rep.) and traveling to the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, and then returning to Ireland (Rep.) will require separate visas issued by Ireland (Rep.) and the United Kingdom. However the visa issued by the United Kingdom will be accepted under the visa waiver programme for the return journey to Ireland (Rep.).

  • Not applicable to C visas issued for the purpose of transit, marriage or to enter into a civil partnership.

Passengers with a family member residence card issued by Germany. The card must be issued to family members of a national of Switzerland or an EEA Member State .

In particular, note the second paragraph under the first bullet, which I repeat here with added emphasis:

Passengers are permitted to travel to a third country before traveling to Ireland (Rep.) if the visa issued by United Kingdom is still valid. Furthermore, re-entry into Ireland (Rep.) from a third country is permitted if the visa issued by the United Kingdom is still valid and period of the stay granted in the United Kingdom is still valid. Passengers with a long term visa must visit Ireland (Rep.) within a period of the current stay granted in the United Kingdom.

By "detailed and specific," I mean that you should for example mention the date on which you were admitted to the UK and the length of your period of admission or the date on which it was set to expire, to make it clear to anyone reading the complaint that you did in fact qualify for the visa waiver.

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    Thanks for the detailed answer, I marked as answer so other people would benefit from it. I will take your advice on bringing a formal complaint. Actually I will be attacking from all fronts: Irish court, Answering to them, and the LBA you mentioned. Really good stuff. Thanks again! – Hakan Erdogan Apr 17 at 9:56
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    @HakanErdogan Let us know please when you resolve the issue, what worked in the end. Thanks! – Idolon Apr 17 at 10:10
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    @CactusCake it is satisfied if they have entered the UK recently and the stay they were granted at that time has not yet expired (the condition covered in the emphasized text). I assume that it was satisfied in this case because Hakan reports in the question that he entered Ireland "without a problem the same day." It is possible that the condition was not satisfied at the time of the incident and that the second flight had a connection in the UK, in which case the denial of boarding was proper. – phoog Apr 17 at 17:23
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    @HakanErdogan I had similiar problem with Ryanair two years ago, and it took me one year to get my money back. I had to file numerous complaints to different authorities in the Europe but in the end it was worth it. Good luck – kukis Apr 18 at 8:05
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    According to EU261 Ryanair was supposed to pay me €250 + price of the ticket. In the very end I got €250 + price of the Ryanair ticket (~€20) + price of AirBerlin ticket that I had to buy instead (~200€) – kukis Apr 18 at 11:36
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Did you buy your flight ticket with a credit card relatively recently? Check your credit card terms and conditions and benefit programs. You may be able to file a claim through the credit card company for the original (probably less expensive) ticket which should at least get somebody's attention at RyanAir.

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    I had a vaguely similar situation five years ago. I got nowhere with the airline or the travel agency, but the credit card company credited my account immediately and told me they would take care of it. (I never heard anything else about it, so I assume they got their money back.) – adam.baker Apr 16 at 14:37
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    I suppose, OP would prefer compensation for the more expensive ad hoc flight bought with another airline rather than compensation for the cheap RyanAir ticket ... – Hagen von Eitzen Apr 18 at 4:16
  • @HagenvonEitzen I totally agree, which is why phoog's answer should be the accepted one (as it is). However, going through the credit card route may be a faster and better route to partial resolution and could also get somebody's attention to address a complaint being filed through another channel, which might be easier to ignore without the credit card claim. – WBT Apr 18 at 14:58
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Ryanair’s complaints procedure is available here https://www.ryanair.com/gb/en/useful-info/help-centre

You can complete an online complaint form or write to the Custoner Service department. Their published response times are 10 and 15 working days respectively.

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    Thanks, I did. they replied "People checks during boarding are not our staff, ask to the Airport". I don't think that's correct. – Hakan Erdogan Apr 16 at 9:28
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    I am downvoting this answer. Ryanair complaints procedure, support staff, online chat gets you nowhere. Much more time-effective is using existing tools and authorities in Europe – kukis Apr 18 at 8:10
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Regarding your desire to sue, the Ryanair terms and conditions of carriage state

2.4.2 – You are entitled to bring a claim against us in your local court, except that Irish courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to claims under EU Regulation 261/2004 where you have not complied with Articles 15.2.1 to 15.2.7 of these Terms & Conditions of Carriage and in relation to non-consumer (i.e., business to business) claims.

so the most practical legal resolution probably involves the civil courts in your country of residence (Germany?). Since Ryanair were the people you had a contract with, then they are the best point of contact for you, even if the gate checks are subcontracted. Note that this may end up costing more in time and money than you win.

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