Hat tip to Steven Frischling for alerting me to an interesting story on Ryanair in the Spanish courts.

It was only a matter of time before Ryanair’s fees for boarding passes were challenged in court … and they were by Dan Miro Garcia, a Spanish lawyer specializing in Aeronautical Law and consumer defense against airlines. Mr. Miro Garcia took legal action against Ryanair after he was charged €40 for his boarding pass at Barcelona Girona Airport (GRO), flying to Alghero-Fertilla Airport (AHO), in May of 2010.

The decision went against Ryanair but they have promised to appeal and if they lose that, they have threatened to remove the airport check-in option altogether! I’ve actually been quite supportive of the Ryanair model regarding ancillary revenue in the past, including their online check-in – it is much more honest than those dreaded resort fees.

Whilst on the topic of hidden charges, here is a cautionary tale for airline website managers

State carrier Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has been fined US$40,000 for what the United States Department of Transportation described as unfair and deceptive advertising. But an order served by the department in Washington, DC to CAL on December 2 instructed the airline to pay only US$20,000 within 30 days of the issue of the order and a further US$20,000 if it made a similar violation within 12 months. The report sent to the Express indicated that foreign air carriers, including CAL, are subject to the advertising requirements of the department’s rules. The false advertising is said to have occurred on the airline’s website.

Finally, best wishes to Gillian Gibson in her new role as Chief Marketing Officer for Travelport. I didn’t know Gillian that well when she worked at Amadeus, but in the little involvement I did have with her I found her to be extremely professional and good to work with. Others who knew her better than me typically speak of her in a similar light, so I’m sure she will do well in the new job.