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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 17:01 UK
Ryanair to close check-in desks

Ryanair planes
No Ryanair check-in desks will be left by 1 October at the latest

Ryanair will begin to close its check-in desks at airports from next week.

Customers will then be charged £5 per person, per flight to print out boarding passes at home. If they forget, it'll cost £40 to have it reissued at the airport.

The company also says customers will only be able to check in 15 days before their flight, or within four hours of one.

The new online check-in and "bag-drop" system will be phased in at the 146 airports used by Ryanair by 1 October.

Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said the new system, which will start being introduced next Wednesday, will lower the airline's costs and allow it to drop prices for passengers by next winter.

He said: "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.

"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 fee policy replaces Ryanair's previous practice of offering free on-line ticketing and charging extra for anyone who opted for face-to-face check-in.

The company already adds £10 or more to each round-trip ticket per passenger if the flight's bought with nearly every major credit or debit card.

The airline also announced it will no longer accept bookings for unaccompanied passengers under the age of 16 years.

All new bookings will require passengers, including infants and domestic flight passengers, to hold a valid passport or valid national identity card.

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