Ryanair re­duces check-in op­tions for ‘ba­sic’ fare pas­sen­gers

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Ryanair is mak­ing life tougher for pas­sen­gers who choose not to pay ex­tra for as­signed seat­ing.

The air­line, which is Europe’s big­gest no-frills car­rier, has told pas­sen­gers pay­ing only the ba­sic fare that, from next month, the win­dow for check­ing in on­line for free is shrink­ing from a week to four days.

The move will in­fu­ri­ate pas­sen­gers who are happy to have their seats al­lo­cated ran­domly, avoid­ing the charge. At present any­one who is on hol­i­day for a week can check in and print out board­ing passes for both legs — or down­load them to the Ryanair app — on the day of de­par­ture.

From next month, such trav­ellers will need to in­ter­rupt their hol­i­days to find a com­puter on which to check in and print out their board­ing passes, or find some Wi-Fi to use the Ryanair app.

Al­ter­na­tively, they will need to pay £6 per per­son, per flight for as­signed seat­ing. That al­lows check-in up to one month ahead of de­par­ture.

Ryanair’s email to pas­sen­gers said: “From 1st Novem­ber, free on­line check-in will be avail­able from 4 days to 2 hours ahead of de­par­ture. Cus­tomers who do not wish to re­serve their pre­ferred seat, can check-in on­line or on the mo­bile app free of charge be­tween 4 days and 2 hours be­fore de­par­ture and will be al­lo­cated a ran­dom seat.”

It goes on to point out that any­one who has booked a seat “can check-in on­line and on the app, from be­tween 30 days and 2 hours be­fore their flight.”

The change ap­plies to ex­ist­ing reser­va­tions as well as new book­ings. The air­line said: “Af­fected cus­tomers who do not wish to ac­cept this pol­icy change have the right to can­cel and re­quest a re­fund,” pro­vid­ing they do so within five days.

A Ryanair spokesper­son told The In­de­pen­dent the move was in re­sponse to “ex­ten­sive cus­tomer feed­back” and was in­tended “to in­crease the choice avail­able to cus­tomers who wish to re­serve their seat on­board”.

Pas­sen­gers re­sponded swiftly to the news. Peter Lil­ley tweeted: “I trust @Ryanair isn’t re­turn­ing to its old ways of think­ing it doesn’t mat­ter how you treat cus­tomers?”

But Brian Watkin­son tweeted: “With BA, Air France etc you can only check in 24 hours ahead. So no big deal re­ally.”

Ryanair’s slo­gan is “Al­ways Get­ting Bet­ter”.

The air­line’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Michael O’Leary, pre­dicted six weeks ago that “Fares will fall by 10-12 per cent for the rest of the year,” due to fierce com­pe­ti­tion and weak de­mand fol­low­ing the EU ref­er­en­dum.

“Af­fected cus­tomers who do not wish to ac­cept this pol­icy change have the right to can­cel and re­quest a “re­fund,” pro­vid­ing they do so within five days.“

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