The low cost carrier is making life more difficult for travellers who choose not to pay extra for assigned seating. Until two years ago, passengers could check in online up to a week before departure.
In 2016 the airline cut its check-in window to just four days, saying the move was in response to “extensive customer feedback”.
Since May 2017, the airline has faced repeated criticism for assigning passengers travelling together seats far apart on the aircraft. The airline responded: “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.”
Earlier this year the Civil Aviation Authority announced an enquiry into airlines’ seating policies.
Said Ryanair: “Online check-in (for those customers who don’t choose reserved seats) will be available from 48 hours to two hours pre-departure for all flights from Wednesday, June 13. “This is more than double the 24 hour check-in period operated by British Airways, Lufthansa, Norwegian and Iberia. This will give reserve seat customers more time to select their preferred seats prior to departure.”
Ryanair says it has offered passengers booked to travel from June 13 onwards, and who have not paid for reserved seating, the chance to cancel and request a full refund. But it must be made within five days (by May 19) – “after which the change will be regarded as implicitly accepted”, says the airline.