Ryanair has issued a warning to passengers booking through Kiwi.com to not accept ‘fake boarding passes’ issued by the online travel agency.
The airline insists that only those who have completed its check-in process directly and been informed of safety and regulatory protocols are permitted to board and warned that those with passes issued by Kiwi.com would be denied boarding.
Kiwi.com said the carrier’s warning was “petty” and designed to stifle consumer choice, while insisting that its boarding passes were identical to Ryanair’s apart from a branded background and colour scheme.
Ryanair director of marketing Dara Brady said: “We became aware of these fake boarding passes when a small number of passengers who booked their flights through Kiwi.com arrived at the boarding gate without official Ryanair Boarding Passes last week.
“It is an obligation under EU regulations that an airline informs passengers directly of all safety and security policies regarding their flight, Kiwi.com are circumventing this by checking passengers in and replacing the Ryanair Boarding Pass with a fake Boarding Pass issued by Kiwi.com.”
Brady added: “Any passenger presenting a Kiwi.com Boarding Pass will be refused boarding on Ryanair flights. If you made a booking through Kiwi.com we urge you to contact Kiwi.com to obtain the necessary Ryanair booking reference and email address so that you can complete check-in in line with our safety and security protocol.”
A Kiwi.com spokesperson said: “There is no such ‘fake’ boarding pass – Kiwi.com complies with all the requirements to ensure safe travel for our customers and have done so for years. As well as providing customers with the Ryanair boarding pass we have also placed it on a Kiwi.com branded background – all the information is the same, just the colours are different.
“Threatening not to board customers is petty and an evil Ryanair practice to try and stifle customer choice.”
The spokesperson added: “The real reason for this action is because Kiwi.com often sells Ryanair tickets cheaper than Ryanair and they don’t like it. Ryanair’s behaviour is nothing short of cruel by putting profit ahead of consumer choice.
“We will do everything in our power to support our customers through this despicable behaviour from Ryanair who are punishing travellers just because they don’t like competition.”