Ryanair to impose online check-in fee as airport desks go

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Ryanair is to introduce an online check-in booking fee of €5 ($6.77) from 20 May as it gradually moves to phase out all airport check-in by 1 October.

The budget carrier claims that the €5 fee will actually reduce fares as it eliminates its €10 airport check-in fee. Passengers on specific promotional fares, it adds, will not be charged.

"If you are price-sensitive, then you will travel with promotional fares that 50% of our passengers fly with," says a Ryanair spokesman. "This will eventually reduce the fares for everybody."

The €5 check-in fee will be displayed from the start of the booking process in line with European Commission regulations.

Passengers can check-in online between four hours and 15 days before departure, but those arriving at the airport without a boarding card will be subject to a re-issue fee of €40. Ryanair says it would like to see provision of Internet zones at airports to solve the problem of passengers arriving without boarding cards.

Ryanair will require all passengers on all flights - including domestic services - to carry a passport or national identity card.