Ryanair began their three-phase plan for check-in charges last Thursday by charging $6.55 (or £5) for online bag check and £10 (or $13.10) for airport check-in. They also opened up web check-in to passengers who previously were required to see the Ryanair counters in person; these included people with checked luggage, the handicapped, and foreign citizens outside of the European Union.
Phase two, scheduled for May, will require everyone to check-in online with the new fee of $6.55, unless the booking was made through a promotion allowing the old face-to-face transaction. At this point, the fee for checking your bag online will be eliminated, meaning you will only have to pay that amount once, as a kind of bonus for figuring out how to do everything else properly, we suppose.
If all of this doesn't sound ridiculous enough, just wait for the third and final phase to kickstart on October 1: all airport check-in desks will be eliminated and the online check-in (and the fee) will be mandatory across the board. If, by chance, you happen across a physical Ryanair desk before it is removed, then the $13.10 fee for using it will be doubled.
We already feel horribly for the few employees leftover at the Ryanair bag drop counters who will no doubt be bearing the brunt of these ridiculous fees by taking questions from irate passengers and explaining the fees.
While we do appreciate the disturbingly low fares that Ryanair offers, it's no fun to be nickel-and-dimed during the entire process from our door to our vacation door. It's kind of like dangling a carrot on a fishing rod in front of a bunny. We honestly think passengers would probably just prefer to pay a higher ticket price upfront and be done with it already.
And to think we still remember the days when Ryanair only charged for extra checked bags, sigh.