We didn't believe him when Michael O'Leary came out and began moving his lips. He was yakking about how Ryanair was going to start charging people to use its on-board lavatories (oh the headlines!) and then said while it was improving customer comfort this way, his airline would get rid of airport check-in counters. Everybody would have to check in on line, O'Leary said.
Well, he was serious, at least about the airport part. Ryanair now officially plans to eliminate its airport check-in by October. You will have to check in from home, and the airport will only offer a drop desk where you can check your bags (for a fee).
As we reported or posted, Spirit Airlines down in Florida said it was thinking about taking this step, and Air Asia tells our colleagues in Singapore that in a few years, it too would be an all-Internet check-in carrier. Ryanair isn't stopping there: it just opened a competition in which its flyers can suggest the next thing to charge for. Among the most interesting entries, according to the carrier's Stephen McNamara: charging for toilet paper, each sheet of which would have an image of O'Leary imprinted. There's also the concept to the left.