Ryanair cuts online check-in time to 48 hours

Ryanair shortens the time passengers can check in from four days before departure, unless they pay for allocated seating

Europe’s biggest budget carrier has decided to shorten the time for standard online check-in. Currently four days before departure, from 13 June Ryanair’s free option will only be available from between 48 to two hours before takeoff.

The airline aims to extend the time for passengers who are willing to pay a fee for seat allocation. Paid early check-in remains available for up to two months before departure.   

With the aim to give more time to customers willing to pay for their seats, Ryanair will cut the free check-in window to 48 hours before departure — Rob Wilson / Shutterstock
With the aim of giving more time to customers willing to pay for their seats, Ryanair will cut the free check-in window to 48 hours before departure — Rob Wilson / Shutterstock

“Standard (free) online check-in will be available from 48 hours to two hours pre-departure for all flights from 13 June onwards, in order to increase the choice and time available to customers who choose to pay for reserved seats,” a Ryanair spokesperson told the Independent.

Ryanair has been facing criticism from passengers for allegedly allocating their seats separating travel groups and couples during their flight.

“We are very happy to facilitate any customer who wants a free-of-charge random seat, but we are also going to do our best to facilitate customers who are willing to pay for a reserved seat,” the airline said.

The time for free online check-in has changed a few times already. Two years ago, passengers had a full week before takeoff to receive their boarding passes without any additional charge.

Ryanair changed the conditions in 2016 to four days ahead of the departure in reaction to “extensive customer feedback”.

On 14 May, the carrier sent notifications to all affected passengers with tickets to flights after 13 June. Customers have the option to disagree with the change and request a refund five days after they were notified. In case of no response “the change will be regarded as implicitly accepted,“ the spokesperson said.