Last week I booked a flight via Ryanair approximately 13 hours prior to departure using their official iOS app.

When I went to check in, the app would not let me, giving me a vague error message.

I got to the airport three hours before departure, and eventually found someone who could help (Ryanair didn't appear to have any customer-facing staff).

They told me that the ticket was sold by a third-party travel agent, NOT Ryanair, which is why I couldn't check in, and as it took so long to find someone who could help, I now had to pay a £55 fee to print a boarding pass.

This, weirdly, didn't happen on the return journey - despite the booking reference, etc. all being the same, check-in via their app just worked.

I've since reached out multiple times to Ryanair support seeking an explanation as to why their app seemingly sold me an invalid ticket, but their support keeps closing the queries without offering anything approaching a satisfactory explanation.

How can I get a simple explanation from Ryanair regarding what actually happened here so I can avoid whatever it was in future?

  • 1
    My theory would be you bought it so soon before departure that the ability to check in online didn’t have time to synchronise, and the person who eventually helped you gave the “third party booking” excuse based on an assumption. I’d send proof I booked it via the app and proof it gave me an error attempting to check in, and keep sending that until they refund you.
    – deed02392
    Jan 4 at 8:00
  • I'm pretty sure I've seen a similar story recently, though I don't remember if that was here or on the news... Were you using some kind of VPN or something similar?
    – jcaron
    Jan 4 at 8:54
  • @deed02392: what makes you think that they'll do refund regardless of how much you bug them? This is Ryan Air we are talking about, I don't think they'll cough up any money without using a forcing mechanism (legal, local oversight agency, maybe public shaming on social media).
    – Hilmar
    Jan 4 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


I guess you could call their customer service. In the UK on +44 113 868 4151

This is what I will do tomorrow as I received this message also after booking directly on their website.

I suspect, that as it is Ryanair, they are relying on x% of people not checking in til last minute and then having to pay at the airport when they realise the verification system won't deliver on time.

As mentioned in a comment above Ryanair have the tightest fist when it comes to money. Back in 2018 when they had mismanaged their pilot roster and cancelled thousands of flights, it took months, many emails and then arbitration before they would refund me for 6 flights I had cancelled.

I swore never again I would fly with them and only booked now at the behest of my partner who insisted we travel to a destination only serviced by Ryanair.

But from now, never, ever again

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