Ryanair tightens check-in restrictions for cheapest tickets - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ryanair tightens check-in restrictions for cheapest tickets

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A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 departs Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport in France in November 2016. A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 departs Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport in France in November 2016.

Ryanair passengers will soon have less time to check-in unless they pay extra to reserve their seat.

The budget airline said its check-in window for passengers who have not paid for reserved seating will shrink from four days to 48 hours starting June 13.

But if customers pay for a reserved seat, which costs from £4 (about $5.50) each way but rises to £15 (about $20) for seats with more leg room, they will be allowed to check in up to 60 days before flying.

Passengers who turn up at the airport and have not already checked in online will be charged an extra £55 (about $74).

The latest rule change comes just months after a controversial baggage policy change.

Passengers now have to pay £5 (about $6.75) for priority boarding to avoid having their main cabin bag checked in to the hold at their departure gate.

The new check-in policy could encourage travellers on weekend breaks to pay for reserved seating or be forced to find ways to check in online while they are on holiday.

In 2016, passengers could check in for free up to a week before departure, but this was cut to four days and will now move to 48 hours.

The airline has also faced widespread criticism for its seat allocation policy when passengers haven't paid to reserve a seat.

Many couples travelling together have reported finding themselves seated at opposite ends of the aircraft despite Ryanair claiming that the allocation policy is random.

A Ryanair spokesman said: "Online check-in (for those customers who don't choose reserved seats) will be available from 48 hours to 2 hours pre-departure for all flights from Wednesday, 13th June."

"This is double the 24 hour check-in period operated by Aer Lingus, British Airways, Lufthansa, Norwegian and Iberia."

"This will give reserve seat customers more time to select their preferred seats prior to departure."

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