WARNING: RYAN AIR VISA/PASSPORT CHECK FOR NON-EUROPEANS
As much as I love flying on budget airlines in Europe, there is one main drawback when flying with Ryan Air. When I say major, I mean it. If you miss this one fine detail as a late arrival, you are in trouble my friend. I have actually missed a flight regarding the one vital detail traveling on this airline as a non-European. When you’ve booked your flight, it is imperative that you read the fine print, which let’s face it, most of us of don’t pay attention. If you look closely at your printed ticket and actually read through the wordage, you’ll not that ALL non-EU members (those not living within the European Union) are require to get their ticket stamped at the check-in.
Never heard of such a thing, have you? Neither did I. I was your leisurely traveler never bothering to read the fine print or any notices on my ticket. Nor did I think to even take a second glance at the booking after it was printed off. The failure to take a second glance at the entire printed ticket was dare I say, very regretful. I already figured that since I am able to travel within EU-member countries for up to 90 days, that I didn’t need to worry about reviewing my ticket or any entry requirements, right? WRONG!
I learned a wise lesson the day that I turned up at Gatwick airport in England ready to board my plane without double-checking my ticket prior to taking a flight with Ryan Air. I don’t even remember why I was running late that day, but I was and that didn’t help either. It could have been that I was lounging around the airport far too long or maybe my coach bus to Gatwick airport arrived later, either way I was screwed!
Once I had passed security, no one bothered to inform me that I didn’t have my printed ticket stamp. For all I knew, I was in the clear. In fact, I would have hoped that the staff at the security terminal gate would have stopped me from entering, but no. That’s why you need to be prepared yourself people if flying with Ryan Air! Once inside the terminal, I realized that I had been somewhat late after all and suddenly passengers were being boarded onto my flight. I dashed through the corridor since my terminal was far down. When I reached the flight attendant, she casually informed me that I had forgotten my stamp? Stamp? What stamp?
As she pointed to the instructions for non-EU members, my heart completely sunk realizing that there was no way I could possibly run back to the airline counter to get this darn stamp! I was definitely,100% going to miss my flight and I had no one to blame, but myself! I felt so awful that I could be negligent enough to somehow miss my flight due to this requirement. Even worse, I had to cancel my trip altogether because it would be too costly to book another flight. The airline certainly wasn’t going to compensate me for the missed flight either on account of my own negligence or the fact that none of the staff along the way pointed this MAJOR detail out to me. From that day on, I swore that I would double and triple check my ticket to make sure I had my stamp and was prepared to fly. Warning to all non-EU members, please check your airline stamp before you enter security!