Ryanair and no desk check-in?

Ryanair has been in the news a good bit again this week, and for a change it’s not about yet another attempt on hostile takeover of Aer Lingus or advertisement infringement etc.

Instead, they’re introducing a new fleet of flights that allow in-flight mobile phone calls. Well, of course, this is a service that comes with a price (check this press release) and is currently available only to Vodofone and O2 customers. To be honest – can people really not wait till they arrive at their destinations to make further contacts etc? The plane is the only mode of transport where I don’t have to hear incessant ring tones of phone calls and text messages coming in (personally I keep my mobile on silent at all time), and I can also do without hearing one sided conversation (for some reason, a lot of people increases the decibel when speaking over the phone in comparison to talking to someone while seated side by side).

Never mind. I don’t think this will be a major issue since most people probably wouldn’t be too keen on paying the exhorbitant fees. Afterall there is a reason why people are flying Ryanair despite all the grumbles about their charges and service – they’re the cheapest option to fly in/out of Dublin to European destinations. Therefore money matters.

Another piece of news that I just saw on BBC is their plan to scrap desk check-in service. I can’t find any details yet from their website, but it certainly raises a few questions.

Currently, online check-in service is only available to EU/EEA passport holders with hand luggage. Other international travellers and anyone who has luggage to check in must pay additionally for desk check-in service. Already this is obligating many to travel light (which is not a bad thing to be honest) and it’s also rather unfair that international travellers be charged more by the nature of their citizenship.

Now, if the desk check-in is to be abolished:

1. Travellers who have hold luggage must check in online then drop off the luggage at bag drop. I’m imagining chaos with this if the tags were not put properly etc and there is need for someone to man the bag drop anyway, so how is this different from having desk check-in?

2. Will this be a sneaky way to re-introduce some kind of online check-in charges to all travellers at some stage in the future?

3. What happens to international, non-EU/EEA travellers? Can they now suddenly avail of online check-in whereas previously they can’t (for reasons unknown – or the faible “it’s for security purposes” without further explanations) or will they just not able to travel with Ryanair anymore?

I guess only time will tell what Ryanair’s full plan is. They are always full of surprises and implement radical changes, enough to confuse anyone who doesn’t travel regularly with them. Frequent travellers on Ryanair know full well what the score is and I’d imagine by now have benefited in the experiece to become one of the most unflappable air passengers in the world.

2 Comments so far

  1. More Ryanair "fun" | Dublin Metblogs (pingback) on February 27th, 2009 @ 11:57 am

    […] week, it was all about abolishing desk check-in service. Earlier this week, they went on blogger bash fest. And today, what that comes in as […]

  2. Yup, no more free online check-in! | Dublin Metblogs (pingback) on March 11th, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

    […] knew it! As I suspected last month, when Ryanair announced the intention to abolish desk check-in, there’s going to be a sneaky […]

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