Ryanair will charge €3 for airport check-in

Low-cost airline Ryanair has said it will start charging its customers for checking in at airports, in a bid to reduce costs. The carrier's chief executive Michael O'Leary said only customers who check-in online, and have hand luggage weighing no more than 10 kg would be exempt from the new charges.

Starting 20 September, priority-boarding will be offered to those that use the new online, hand luggage check-in service, called Check'N'Go. Passengers who do not use the online check-in service will have to pay €3 for priority boarding passes.

The airline says the new charge is to recover part of the cost of airport check-in desk facilities. It believes the new measures will encourage more and more passengers to travel without checked in baggage and use Ryanair's free web check-in and priority boarding service.

Ryanair already has the lowest cost-base in Europe, but is obviously seeking to drive costs down further. O'Leary has also been working out new ways for travellers to spend money with the carrier. It already takes a cut on hotel and car hire bookings through its website, and sells food and drinks on board.

Ancillary revenues like these rose 40 per cent last year to €362 million ($491.5 million), exceeding the growth rate in passenger volumes. The figures do not include the recent charges imposed for checking in luggage.