Ryanair is Changing its Early Check-in Policy Again

By Tom Pritchard on at

You know the drill. There are airlines out there that will try and lure you in with cheap tickets, only to try and gouge as much money out of you in other places. Whether that's asking for your credit card when you want to choose your own seat, removing a few inches of legroom so they can fit more people on board, or charging you £5 for a panini the size of a stamp.

The budget airlines are more notorious for this sort of thing, and now budget king Ryanair is reducing the amount of time you have to check into your flight unless you decide to pay the extra fee to reserve your seat.

In Ryanair's defence passengers who choose not to pay will still be able to check-in up to 48 hours before their flight, though anyone who does pay can do it four days before departure. The official line is that it will give paying passengers more time to choose their preferred seats, though that does mean those who don't are probably going to end up stuck over the engine, next to the toilet, or in middle row seats.

You can't help but wonder whether people will end up paying up because they feel its necessary to sit with their friends/family, and to ensure they're actually in a seat that can accommodate their needs. People like me, for instance, don't function too well in middle row seats thanks to big shoulders and long legs. Choosing your seat costs £4, unless you want a seat with extra leg room (£15) or at the front of the plane (£13).

But Ryanair was also quick to point out that the 48 hour 'free check-in' period is double that of airlines like Aer Lingus, British Airways, Lufthansa, Norwegian, and Iberia, all of which only offer 24 hours. Not that having extra days to check-in is really necessary. I've honestly found the concept of checking into a flight before you've even got the airport rather bizarre, and the same goes for hotels. Picking your seats is one thing, but checking in? I don't get it.

Then again I don't understand lots of modern trends, and they're ready to continue regardless of what I think. [Standard]