Irish budget carrier Ryanair is to start charging passengers £2 or €3 ($4) for airport check-in across its entire network, but is abolishing its web check-in fees.

Ryanair has been charging £2 or €3 for Internet check-in and priority boarding, while airport check-in was free of charge. But from 20 September it will reverse this policy.

A Ryanair spokeswoman says: “The uptake for web check-in hasn’t been particularly good, because the charge acted as a disincentive.”

The move is aimed at discouraging passengers from checking in bags and using airport desks, which add to Ryanair’s overheads, instead encouraging them to travel light and use Internet check-in.

Passengers travelling with hold baggage will not be able to use the web check-in service. They will therefore have to pay a £2 per person check-in fee, plus £5 per item of luggage and a further £2 should they want priority boarding – a perk which is free to those checking in online.

“[The baggage fee] may well go up in future, because what we are doing is trying to discourage passengers from carrying large amounts of luggage,” says a Ryanair spokesman.

Ryanair flights are available for online check-in from 48 hours before departure. The service closes at minus 4 hours.