Ryanair has cut its online check-in window from four days to just 48 hours unless customers have paid to reserve a seat in advance.
The new rules will come into effect on all flights departing from 13 June and anyone checking in from that date, with passengers who haven’t reserved a seat only being able to check in online between 48 hours and two hours before their flight departs.
Passengers can pay £4 per person to book a seat online up to 60 days before their departure date – but this means a family of four would pay an extra £32 on return flights.
Back in March, the budget airline raised the price of reserving a seat from £2 to £4, while the cost of reserving seats at the front of the plane went up from £7 to £13.01.
This new move means holidaymakers going away for a long weekend won’t be able to check in for both outward and return journeys before they fly and will have to check in on the Ryanair website or via its app while they’re away. Checking in at the airport will cost passengers a whopping £55 each, except for those who have a Flexi-Plus ticket who can check in for free.
Ryanair argues that its new policy is still “double the 24-hour check-in period operated by Aer Lingus, British Airways, Lufthansa, Norwegian and Iberia” and that the move gives customers who have paid the £4 fee more time to select their seats.
However, passengers have taken to Twitter to complain about the rule change.
Roy Murray said: “Nice bit of greed @Ryanair! You know most peoples [sic] long weekends away are more than 48hrs forcing them to pay extra for a seat!”
Adrian Remedios tweeted: “When you take something away from customers without giving them anything back or without an incentive, you stand to face this reaction. Soon we will be charged to use the loo.”
Blakey added: “Why does anybody bother with @Ryanair? Do they have a department that specialises in ways to irritate customers: ‘What can we do today? Lets [sic] cancel hundreds of flights? Done that, how about reducing the checkin [sic] window?’ Great idea.”