This latest affront to passengers follows news that budget airline prices are higher than apparently more ‘expensive’ equivalents. Ryanair.com’s online check-in facility was closed over the weekend for what the airline describes as ‘upgrade maintenance’, leaving passengers with no option but to check in at the gate.
In 2008, Ryanair became the first airline to insist that passengers check in online and print out their boarding passes before reaching the airport. The fee for issuing boarding cards to non-compliant passengers at the airport has gradually increased. It currently stands at £60 per passenger, per flight.
With a bumper weekend for sport, the passenger load during the website’s downtime was estimated to be one third of a million, with many fans heading to the Champions League Final and the Heineken Cup Final.
Under pressure to waive the £60 fee, Ryanair responded: “There is absolutely no reason why anyone should fail to check in on time. We've been sending out reminder emails to passengers all week." Rival airlines are expected to win customers from Ryanair as a result of the shutdown.
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