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In the check in counter at Ciampino airport in Rome, I was denied boarding, as the Ryanair staff kept asking me to show an Irish visa. But, Malaysian passport holders actually do not need a visa to go to Ireland. I tried to explain this to her and asked her to check, but she didn’t want to check.

She refused to talk to me and asked for the next person in line. So, I was waiting at the check in counter until I missed my flight. After I missed my flight, I explained everything to the supervisor of Ryanair. After they talked to the staff who made that decision, they realised that the staff had made a mistake.

So they offered me a free ticket to go back to Ireland; however, a flight was only available two days later, which meant that I needed to spend extra money for my accommodations and another PCR test in Rome. They denied to pay for my accommodation and PCR test, which cost me more than 100 euros.

I ended up getting a free ticket to Valencia for my partner but finally I still needed to do another PCR. They denied to pay for me for those consequences.

Can I get compensation for these expenses, as per the EU passenger rights charter?

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  • 5
    What is your question? Jun 13 at 10:39
  • 3
    There is likely more to this story as Timatic clearly says visa is not required and Timatic is what everyone around the world consults for this.
    – chx
    Jun 13 at 11:12
  • 5
    Did you properly get your documents checked at the check-in counter and did you get the appropriate stamp at that point? At what point where you denied? Check-in or boarding? If it was indeed Ryanair’s fault, it’s quite clearly their responsibility to rebook you, pay for hotels and meals when required, and pay compensation for the delay, per EC261. But if you didn’t follow their procedure or there’s more to it than described it could be quite different.
    – jcaron
    Jun 13 at 12:18
  • 3
    I've voted to close this question because we don't know what you want to know. Ryanair made a mistake. They acknowledged their mistake, made you an offer of compensation which was less than what you wanted but you accepted it. What else do you want to know? Jun 13 at 12:27
  • 5
    @chx This would be far from the first time an airline employee denied boarding without looking it up in Timatic, or even after looking it up but not getting all the nuances right. (San Francisco -> Tokyo (2 hours) -> Shanghai (5 days) -> San Francisco, US passport, no visa. Before the virus it was a legal itinerary, but you have to enter it into Timatic as a trip to Tokyo that has a 5 day connection in Shanghai.) Jun 14 at 4:01
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Under regulation EC 261/2004, if you are denied boarding you are entitled to three things (see also Europa.eu):

  • Compensation
  • The right to chose between reimbursement, re-routing or rebooking
  • Assistance

Assistance does cover accomodation but not PCR tests (it was written before the pandemic and doesn't cover visa fees either). The flight you accepted would seem to fall under the second bullet point but accepting that doesn't impact your right to compensation. That much is clear and relatively straightforward even if airlines are known to make difficulties to actually apply the rules.

The key question is whether EC 261 applies at all. It contains the following definition for “denied boarding”:

(j) "denied boarding" means a refusal to carry passengers on a flight, although they have presented themselves for boarding under the conditions laid down in Article 3(2), except where there are reasonable grounds to deny them boarding, such as reasons of health, safety or security, or inadequate travel documentation;

You did, in fact, have adequate travel documentation (and they accepted that fact) so I would conclude that you were denied boarding under that definition.

Concretely that means you are at least entitled to €400 (compensation for a flight over 1500 km).

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  • Concurring. "Our checkin staff got it wrong" does not make your documentation "inadequate". It makes their training inadequate, especially as you told them what to check and that the info was correct, and they still did not.
    – Stilez
    Jun 16 at 16:18

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