No frills airline Ryanair is abolishing the use of traditional check-in desks at airports as it moves the service entirely online, it was announced today.
The carrier said the move will allow it to halve its checking in fees from £10 (10 euro) to £5 (5 euro) per person each flight, other than on promotional offers.
Passengers who arrive at the airport without their own pre-printed check-in boarding card from the internet will be charged £40 (40 euro) for a so-called "boarding card re-issue fee".
Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said the new system, to be introduced from next Wednesday, will further lower the airline's costs which will in turn allow it to drop prices for passengers by next winter.
"Passengers travelling without checked-in bags have already embraced our online check-in service and the extension of this service to all passengers, including those with hold luggage and those travelling with infants, will allow all passengers to forever avoid check-in queues," he said.
"Ryanair's web check-in service allows passenger to check-in from 15 days to four hours before, and print, or re-print, their boarding card up to 40 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time. "
The new online check-in and "bag-drop" system will be phased in at the 146 airports used by Ryanair by October 1.
The airline also announced it will no longer accept bookings for unaccompanied passengers under the age of 16 years from today.
All new bookings will require passengers - including infants and domestic flight passengers - to hold a valid passport or valid national identity card.