Ryanair flights could be thrown into chaos after the Irish airline announced online bookings and check-in will not be possible for 12 hours from 5pm on Wednesday 7 November.
Ryanair is set to upgrade its systems and so will be closing down both its website and app from tomorrow until 5am on Thursday 8 November.
Customers who are affected should have been contacted by email or text, the low-cost airline said in a statement.
Passengers are being urged to check in online today to avoid paying Ryanair’s £55 airport check-in fee.
Travellers will be unable to make new bookings or make changes to existing flights during the 12-hour closure.
Ryanair has apologised for the inconvenience caused but is refusing to waive the £55 airport fee or its £20 phone booking fee.
Its communications chief, Robin Kiely said in a statement: “As part of our continued digital development, a web closure and system upgrade will take place for 12 hours, from 17:00hrs (UK time) on Wednesday 7th November, until 05:00hrs (UK time) on Thursday 8th November, during which time our online check-in service will not be available.
“Flight bookings and changes will also be unavailable during this period. Customers travelling on Wednesday or Thursday should check-in for their flight on Tuesday 6th November.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by this upgrade, which will further improve Ryanair.com.”
Passengers who don’t manage to check in for their flights today, before the web closure, will be hit by the airline’s £55 airport check-in fee.
Ryanair is refusing to waive the fee for passengers affected by the systems upgrade.
Consumer website Which? reported that when asked about their refusal to waive the fee, Ryanair said: “That is why we’re giving customers travelling on Wednesday and Thursday sufficient notice to check-in for their flights before the website closure.”
Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, commented: “Hot on the heels of a summer of cancellations and confusing changes in baggage policy – this latest bit of bad news won’t do much for the airline’s bad reputation.
“It’s wholly unfair that Ryanair refuses to waive its airport check-in fee for the period its free check in via the website and app is unavailable.
“Some passengers will almost certainly get unexpectedly stung with this £55 charge at the airport.”
It’s not known in what ways the systems upgrade will improve Ryanair’s online portals, but there have been reports of customers struggling to pay and check-in online in recent days.
Ryanair has already come under fire due to its strict new hand luggage rule changes it implemented at the beginning of the month.
Travellers with the airline will no longer be able to take a hand luggage sized suitcase into the cabin for free.
Ryanair passengers can only travel with a personal bag that measures no more than 40cm x 20cm x 25cm. Bags such as laptop bags or small backpacks are included in this as long as they fit underneath the seat in front.
Travellers who want to take a hand luggage-sized suitcase have two options when travelling with Ryanair.
They can either purchase Priority Boarding which costs £6 or they can pay £8 for their bag to be put into the hold.