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What You Need to Know About Ryanair Mobile Boarding passes (Updated)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

How many times have you raced through a European city, scrambling to find an internet cafe that will let you print out a boarding pass? Or have you ever reached the check in desk at an airport only to realise your boarding pass is safely tucked away at home? Or tucked into a bin?

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.

Confused yet?

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.

The Drawbacks
Not all airports are signed up to the scheme. The following cannot accept the Ryanair mobile boarding passes...

Rome Ciampino

You must also be an EU national to avail of the scheme.

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.



  1. Thank your post. It is a very useful information with everyone....Love it. keep posting

  2. Many airports (London Stansted, Dublin, ...) have those automatic gates that scan the Barcode on your boarding pass and then open. Are these airports unsupported or is there some kind of trick to make the scanners read it off the smartphone screen?

  3. May I asked that if not UN national, i am chinese flight from seville to barcelona. I download the apps, but fail to register the log in as it redirect to ryanair website that was busy all the time. Can I use the mobile boarding pass in my case at sevilla, spain airport.

    1. Hi Olive, I've just checked for you and I'm afraid that you do have to be an EU national to use this app. You'll have to check in online on the website and print out the boarding pass. You can do this in advance.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Never use the app. Print your tickets. I checked in online and I could view my boarding pass. Assuming everything was fine, just like the other times I used the mobile boarding pass, I didnt start the app until I was on the airport. Now everything was gone. Completely gone. Needless to say, I had plenty of juice and my internet was working. So it had to be a problem with the app. There wasnt enough time to print one so they told me they were sorry. I couldnt board the plane.

    1. No way! They told you that you couldn't board? That doesn't seem right to me. What I did was take a screenshot of the app just in case the app crashed or deleted the pass. They should have had a record of you checking in regardless, and the app should work offline. I'd recommend you go through their complaint process. Good luck.

  6. Why do you have to be an EU national to use this feature? That's really dumb considering I just travelled from Philadelphia to London and London to Amsterdam and back all on mobile boarding passes with other airlines.

  7. If as you said you took a screen shot and the app crashes on you can you use the screen shot to board with ryanair. Thanks for this post it has helped me to understand some of what happens when you use the app.

  8. Thank u helped me to understand some of what happens when you use the app.

  9. Thank you for this very useful information. Have now also learned how to take a screenshot! Belt and braces.

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  12. Can I ask the screen on my phone has quite a few cracks on it would the scanner be able to pick up my boarding pass or would it be better to just use my boyfriends phone for both our boarding passes

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