Digital boarding passes make it quick and easy to breeze through airport check-in and security, but Ryanair passengers may find it’s no longer a given.

The airline, which already charges extra to print boarding passes, has imposed a new fee on its customers.

According to Ryanair staff, it is now customary for travellers to pay to add a random seat to their booking to access the digital boarding pass.

It comes as a crushing blow to savvy jet-setters who have managed to dodge seat selection fees by accepting their fate with a randomised allocation.

Now, fliers must pay between £8 and £21 for their e-pass, or face long queues at the airport to get a physical one.

The budget airline already charges extra for additional hand luggage, hold luggage and boarding pass printing, like most other carriers.

But now passengers have found that seat selection is no longer something they can easily opt out of – even if they’re happy with a random allocation.

Airport staff reportedly told The Mail on Sunday that the change, which has been rolled out in recent days, had caused outrage among customers.

And it’s clear to see on social media, with several people having taken to X, formerly Twitter to share their anger.

Just yesterday, one person wrote: “@Ryanair I just can’t believe your new policy of not allowing passengers to create a boarding pass (mobile or print-out) unless they buy a seat, forcing them to join a check-in queue (30 minutes or longer) to do so for no other reason for you to make a few quid. Scandalous.”

Another wrote: “When you thought @Ryanair couldn’t sink any lower, they find a way to force you to buy a seat. How is this legal, please? Isn’t the whole point of online check-in to avoid people queueing at the airport???”

On the Ryanair app, the airline states that those who queue to collect their boarding pass “will not be charged an extra fee”, which means customers are not subject to the usual £20 printing charge.

This existing £20 tariff is imposed on those who need their boarding pass printed because they have not checked in online, or perhaps because they have checked in but are unable to show a boarding pass.

Reasons for being charged the re-print fee include losing the paper copy, not having downloaded the Ryanair app, or even a dead phone battery which makes the e-pass inaccessible.

It means passengers face an added cost built into their journey every time they fly with the budget airline, which already charges for extra luggage and seat selection.

Prices for priority boarding and two cabin bags stand at between £6 and £38 with a 10kg checked bag between £11.99 and £35.99.

A 20kg checked-in bag costs between £18.99 and £59.99 depending on when it is booked.

Express.co.uk has contacted Ryanair for comment.