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Ryanair to Eliminate Airport Check-In Desks

Taking a page from the Alaska Airlines “Airport of the Future,” Ryanair announced that it will close all airport check-in areas by the end of 2009.  Passengers will check-in online and the airline, as they say, will pass the savings on to you.  Incredibly, 75% of its passengers already check in online.  I’m fairly certain all US carriers will eliminate check-in desks by about 2012.

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  1. The reason 75% of Ryanair customers already check in online is that they charge travelers a fee for checking in at the airport — it was an absurd €10 last I bought from Ryanair in December. The airline will have to figure out what to do with the huge list of passengers who they don’t currently allow to check in online, including the disabled, passengers with bags to check, those traveling in large parties, anyone flying from a ‘scary’ place like Romania and Morocco, and lots of others: http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/faqs.php?sect=chk&quest=whoco. Most interesting to me will be how they handle non-EU passports — at the moment, they only allow travelers with EU passports to check in online, meaning that travelers without an EU passport are required to use a check-in desk (and to pay the fee).

    And of course, once they’ve completely eliminated check-in desks, I’m sure they’ll start charging everyone a Ticketmaster-like ‘ticket printing fee.’ It’s just what they do.

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