Ryanair has been criticised for a "ridiculous" and "disgraceful" add-on charge where some customers are reportedly having to pay a fee to access their digital boarding pass.

The budget airline already charges for add-ons such as checked baggage and booking a seat in advance.

Now it appears that some are being stuck with having to pay a fee to access their digital boarding pass, otherwise they will have to queue to collect a printed one from the airport.

Passengers have shared screenshots on X (formerly Twitter), with the airline’s app instructing them to select a random seat in advance at a cost of between £8 and £21 if they wish to download their digital boarding pass.

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

How did Ryanair passengers react to digital boarding pass charge?

One Ryanair customer posted online: "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 (30m or longer) to do so for no other reason for you to make a few quid. Scandalous."

Another person shared: "@askryanair I know that you're cheap but forcing me to pay for a seat or having to go to the airport early to collect a boarding pass in person is RIDICULOUS".

Frustration was evident among many people, with another posting: "@Ryanair why have I now got to buy a seat to access a digital boarding pass that was free for years you're disgraceful and do nothing but congest airports and damage your reputation inexorably".

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday Ryanair spokesman said: "Passengers have the choice of choosing a seat for a small fee or be randomly allocated a seat free of charge." 

The latest fee does not appear to affect all travellers, with some saying they got a digital boarding pass for free.