Any passenger who arrives at an airport without having checked in beforehand is forced to pay a fee of £55, so it’s going to be more difficult to avoid that fee after the new rule comes into force in June.
If the departure airport isn’t in the UK, the fee is €55 (around £48).
If you have checked in but have forgotten to print your boarding pass, you are charged a boarding card reissue fee of £20.
Ryanair’s new reduced check-in window applies to existing as well as new bookings from June 13 onwards.
The airline said that anyone who had already booked a flight but hadn’t reserved seating was entitled to cancel their booking and request a full refund.
The offer is only available until May 19, “after which the change will be regarded as implicitly accepted.”
The new check-in restrictions mean that anyone on a holiday of longer than three days will be unable to check in for their return journey before they leave home.
This means holidaymakers will need to access the internet while they’re away, which may not be easy abroad.
Passengers unhappy with the change can pay extra to reserve a seat, which then allows them to check in during a bigger window, as the new rules only apply to customers who don’t want to pay.
If you have paid to reserve a seat, you can check in online during a much bigger timeframe, from two months to two hours prior to departure.
Ryanair announced the news on their website: “Please note that for all flights from June 13 2018 onwards, standard (free) online check-in will be available from 48 hours to two hours pre-departure.
“Customers who choose not to reserve their preferred seat can check in online or on the mobile app free of charge from 48 hours to two hours pre-departure and will be randomly allocated a seat.
“All Ryanair customers may buy a reserved seat online,” the statement read.
“These customers can check in online anytime they so wish between 60 days to two hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight.”
Reserving a seat costs £4 per person, per flight.
If you want a seat in a front row or with extra legroom, that fee jumps to £15 per person.
Airport check-in is free for Flexi Plus passengers, Ryanair notes. Flexi Plus also allows a fee premium seat, priority boarding and one free 20kg checked bag.
The downside is that the Flexi Plus bundle costs £120 per passenger, per flight.
The new rules come into effect just before the peak summer period, when many thousands of Brits head abroad during the school holidays.