What You Need to Know About Ryanair Mobile Boarding passes (Updated)Tuesday, 15 July 2014
As part of their new, user-friendly approach, Ryanair have launched their new app and mobile boarding passes. Available on iPhones and Android (suck it, Blackberry users), the app will let you book tickets and buy extras, check in and create a boarding pass that will be scanned at the airport, in exactly the same way a paper one would be.
As Aer Lingus pointed out earlier today, you've been able to do this with them for three years (I had no idea).
So what does this mean for you, and how does it make your life easier?
The Major Plus
As you must know, you need to check in with Ryanair online, in advance of your flight. Their new (irritating) seat allocation service means that you can only check in seven days in advance of your flight if you don't want to pay for a seat. If you're happy to pay (starting at €5) then you can check in up to 30 days in advance.
If your trip is seven days or more, this has meant that life is incredibly difficult if you don't want to pay for a seat. This is because you'd need to check in while you're away, and find a printer to get your boarding pass.
Basically, this new app is a lifesaver if you're in this position. Just use it to check in up to seven days prior to your flight, and your boarding pass will be saved on your phone and ready to scan at the airport. Of course, you will need internet access - find somewhere with WiFi to avoid racking up roaming charges.
You'll also be able to reprint a boarding pass up to two hours before your flight, if you lose your phone or run out of power. You can also save multiple passes, if you're travelling with family.
I've used this system twice. When I initially checked in with my Android phone, it was quite soon after the scheme was launched. This meant that the App was buggy, slow and frankly irritating to use. It took several attempts to work, and my boarding pass disappeared from the App before my return flight, prompting conversations with the Customer Support team on Twitter.
I persevered with my next flight, several months later, and all bugs seemed to be gone. The process is similar to the one you would go through on the website itself, perhaps even a smidgen easier. I would suggest that you don't do this for the first time when you're in a fluster, or nearing the deadline of 2 hours before your flight. You'll also want to ensure you have good internet access - if your signal cuts out half way through, you'll likely mess up the process.
Not all airports are signed up to the scheme. The following cannot accept the Ryanair mobile boarding passes...
It almost goes without saying, but you'll need to have a charged smartphone for this to work. If you're heading to the airport and running out of juice, you could be in trouble. Also, remember that your passes are checked at various stages - at security, at the gate, on the plane and even sometimes upon landing. So a fully charged phone is your best bet. I doubt they'll be too keen to let you crouch down with a charger for a few minutes at the gate.
Another tip: as soon as you have your boarding pass, take a screenshot, so it's saved in your photos. This saves you any hassle if the app decides to crash, or if you can't access it for some reason.
Aer Lingus offers much of the same service, though only 30 airports allow the mobile passes through (Dublin does, Knock doesn't) - see the airports that allow it here.