Wednesday 11 March 2009

Ryanair Removes Airport Check-in

Irish low cost carrier, Ryanair, has announced that it will remove airport check-in completely from October 1st 2009.  According to a Ryanair News Release: "This move will allow all passengers, including those travelling with checked baggage, to check-in online thereby avoiding time wasting queues and delays at airport check-in desks."

Check-in removal will be phased as follows:

Phase 1: From 19th March 2009, Ryanair’s web check-in service will be extended to (a) non EU/EEA citizens, (b) passengers travelling with checked baggage and (c) reduced mobility customers. 

Customers choosing web check-in and travelling with only carry-on bags will continue to enjoy this service free of charge. A web check-in fee of £5/€5 per person/per flight will apply to passengers travelling with checked baggage, while customers who wish to use airport check-in will be charged an airport check-in fee of £10/€10 per person/per flight at the time of booking.

Phase 2:  From 1st May 2009 all new bookings will be required to use web check-in, and the use of traditional airport check-in desks will be phased out over the summer months. The web check-in fee of £5/€5 per person, per flight will apply to all new bookings (except promotional fares) from 1st May 2009. In order to dissuade passengers from using airport check-in desks, the fee for airport check-in will double to £20/€20 per person/per flight at the time of booking.

Phase 3: From 1st October 2009 airport check-in desks will no longer be available at any Ryanair airport. All passengers will be required to web check-in and those who have checked in bags will use the airport “bag drop” desks, if required. From this date, children under the age of 16 will no longer be able to travel unaccompanied and passports and national ID cards will be the only accepted forms of photo ID on Ryanair flights.


This is the latest move in Ryanair's unrelenting bid to remove its reliance on services at airports which it deems to be costly (for passengers, it says, but anything that is costly for passengers is obviously costly for Ryanair as well and these costs get passed on to passengers). 

For a company which is so anti-charges (particularly the new government introduced departure tax of €10 which induced a serious Michael O'Leary hissy-fit) the standard £5/€5 per person web check-in fee seems particularly retrograde and in direct opposition to company policy. Essentially the company is now charging for something which was, up to now, completely free, and which passengers cannot avoid. 

Big Null Points on the competition front there Micko. 

Apparently charges are fine as long as they are introduced by Ryanair, but not if they are introduced by anybody else. As usual the company is a law unto itself. 


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