Ryanair Check-In Fees

“Avoid additional fees,” the e-mail from Ryanair said. Oh yes, I like avoiding fees. Especially after already having paid the advertised price for a flight, another fee for a bag, a fee for airport security, a fee for fuel, a fee for booking and a fee for payment.

So I go online where I need to “check in”, which is kind of silly because I will still have to do that at the airport as I have a bag. I don’t understand why travelers should try to squeeze as much of their luggage into the cabin as they can. The plane has a huge hold, there is plenty of space, nobody is going to steal your bag while you’re above the Mediterranean. I feel most relaxed when boarding a plane with nothing more than a book in my hand.

I also don’t understand what is the extra benefit of “checking in” when I have already bought and paid a ticket. Surely Ryanair has a list of people who are supposed to be on that plane that day, for otherwise every hobo could “check in”.

But, if I don’t, I am warned that I will have to pay 70 € at the airport. That would be much, given that my whole return flight with luggage from Bari to Cagliari didn’t cost much more than that.

So I go online and provide lots of information. I still don’t get it why somebody needs my passport details when I fly within one country. Once more I have to decline all these annoying offers for travel insurance, lottery tickets, cars and hotels.

But buying a flight and “checking in” is still not enough. Now I need to print the check-in confirmation myself and take it to the airport with me, for otherwise I shall be obliged to pay a fee of 15 € to have one A4 paper printed at the airport. That Ryanair could print the boarding pass shows that they do have all the information right there, so they wouldn’t really need me going through all of this hassle. And isn’t ironic that an airline which prides itself on being low-cost can’t print a black-and-white page for less than 15 €?

So far, none of this is unexpected. I knew it and I grudgingly accepted it because Ryanair are cheaper than Alitalia or a ferry, and thus I really don’t have a right to complain. I know that you can’t get cheap, fast and good service at the same time.

But now to the part which does annoy me: when “checking in”, I would like to carry out the same procedure for my return flight of course. I don’t want to pay an extra 70 € in a week either. – But I can’t! Oddly, Ryanair allows you to pay for your flight months in advance, but you cannot “check in” more than 7 days in advance.

Ryanair check-in impossibleBut what I can do more than 7 days in advance is to pay for a seat. Another 5 or 15 €, which I really don’t want to spend because I am quite confident that there will be a seat waiting for me anyway. I am an experienced traveler after all, and I rarely had to stand or lie in the aisle during a flight.

Now I have three options:

  • Pay an extra 5 or 15 € for a seat, while I already thought that a seat was included in the price.
  • Do nothing and pay 70 € extra when I wish to board the return flight.
  • Try to find an internet café while on Sardinia and print out another piece of paper.

I am a stingy scrooge, so I am most likely to choose the third option. In fact, I will even try to save the money for an internet café by asking one of the hotels where I will be staying to print it for me. – But, I have been on holidays where I wouldn’t have had any chance to do either because I was hiking in the wilderness all week.

Making customers who have paid the advertised price for a service go through unnecessary extra steps to avoid excessive fees and then preventing them from taking these steps in some cases seems to me like a perfect example for a contractual clause which is invalid under consumer protection law.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Italy, Law, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Ryanair Check-In Fees

  1. Robert Miner says:

    Great, Andreas, I do so agree. Let’s take them to court for a class action!


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  2. Expat Eye says:

    Yeah, it’s ridiculous – all the ticking and unticking. And having to pay that amount of money for a piece of paper is madness – I could buy the ink and paper cheaper myself and give it to them at the airport ;) I’m sure it used to be 14 days in advance – but then maybe they’ve changed it – stranger things have happened!

    • Yes, it used to be a longer time period because I never had this problem before, even when I was flying for more than a week.

      Next time I’ll take the boat. It’s more romantic anyway.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, there’s not much romance in flying Ryanair, that’s for sure!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would be so happy if flying was as easy as traveling by train. Just buy a ticket and arrive at the train station ten minutes before the train departs. Or, if the train is not full, just board the train and buy the ticket inside. Why can’t air travel be like this? Why!?

    • That’s why I don’t understand people who travel by plane over short distances. I always prefer the train. (I only got a flight this time because I am going to an island.)

  4. dino bragoli says:

    I want to fly to ‘Don’t Insure Me’ I’ve heard it’s very nice this time of year.

  5. chartlaie says:

    I flew norwegian ALC CGN lately. Fair cheap good leather seats luxury. no scratch cards offered. Very friendly staff. Ryan must change or die.

  6. dino bragoli says:

    In some kind of Ryanair physiological mind game there was was a very reassuring popular/military/Walt Disney type of bugle call at the end of each landing ..as I leave my massive carbon footprint in the sky quite often and I was used to hearing that bugle call every time on landing with Ryanair. I hadn’t heard it at all lately and I asked a steward why there wasn’t a bugle call anymore when we land. She said “Oh, we still have it, it’s for when the planes land on time.” I didn’t know that, I hadn’t heard it for many months. Leaving the aircraft I realised that the Pavlovian Response from the Bugle works! I really missed it when it wasn’t there… I usually land at Parma PMF airport and because it’s a short ex-military runway the aircraft has to apply very heavy braking on landing… it’s like an emergency stop in a car.
    I really miss that bugle!

  7. Tim says:

    Sounds awful ^^ Thank goodness for our Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which has repeatedly taken action against these sorts of pricing practices!

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