Check-In Online for Ryanair Flights 5 Days in Advance

Looks like Ryanair’s upgrade went well, and the site even came back up a day early. When I read through the page describing the benefits of the upgrade, one thing stood out.

You can now check-in for your flight online up to 5 days in advance of travel. If both your flights happen to be within 5 days, you can check in for both of them. Interesting.

It used to be that if you had checked in for a flight with most airlines, you were somewhere in the airport. Gate agents could be pretty sure that if they showed a certain number of people checked-in, they could expect them to show up, unless they were on a delayed connecting flight. Even then, it was easy for the agents to predict how things would go. That was really helpful on oversold flights.

But then people started having the ability to check in from home. All of a sudden, people could show up as checked-in, but they could have been stuck in traffic or had a last minute change of plans so there was a better chance they wouldn’t show up. It made it harder to predict how full an aircraft would be.

Now, you can check yourself in 5 days prior to your flight. Imagine all the things could happen in that time? Yet now, people will check in 5 days in advance on Ryanair, because it’s still first come, first serve seating. So, even if you think your plans might change, you’re not going to take a chance that you get stuck with a late boarding number. So they can expect even less certainty.

This makes me think. What’s the point of having you check in at all?


12 Responses to Check-In Online for Ryanair Flights 5 Days in Advance

  1. Bryan in San Francisco says:

    Good question! What is the point?

    I welcome the 5-day advance check-in, if only because it’s frustrating when hotels charge for WiFi or your crackberry stops working for no reason in Vegas. It’s hard to online-check-in while travelling.

  2. Bryan in San Francisco says:

    On another note, Ryanair’s web site still looks as crappy as ever. With all the design-obsessed Dubliners out there, you’d they would get this right.

  3. Hmm.. I wonder if this checking in thing is a vestage from the days of paper tickets and boarding passes.. This does leave the question of what procedurally is still around the check in process.. Probably something worth looking at, but who knows if it is something useful..

  4. 5 days is nothing.

    Air New Zealand allows passengers to on-line check in (OLCI) for domestic flights (as long as no international flights in the same booking) at the time of booking. Indeed they encourage it by prompting for OLCI after payment has been processed.

    My own unscientific observation is more of their flights are leaving a bit later than they used to, with many more passengers paged. Not surprising – a lot can happen in the up to 12 months since booking.

  5. Albert says:

    As others have asked, I’ve always wondered the same. In fact, one thing I’ve also wondered is …

    Just what is the difference between an e-ticket and a paper ticket? Even if I have a paper ticket, surely they still have a record somewhere in their system that I’m flying on flight XYZ on day ABC.

    BTW- thought I’d share with you I finally got to fly on the A380 last December on SYD-SIN. Economy’s still economy but a brand new 10″ widescreen LCD (plus my own noise-cancelling headphones) really helped pass the time quick! Also … the faucets are “digital” … I was so excited I filmed it with my camera phone. The next day I got to fly on the A345 SIN-EWR and I must say, I wish economy seats were more like the Exec. Economy they had on that flight. The 18 hours on that flight was much more pleasant than the 8 hours in the A380 economy … Too bad that route’s going all business in the near future.

  6. CF says:

    Albert – Yes, there are reservations in the system if you have a paper ticket, but it tells the agent not to allow boarding without a paper coupon. It’s a relic, but fortunately, it’s gone for good on June 1.

    Now, about the A380 – upload that video to YouTube and put the link here!

    I hadn’t heard that SIN-EWR was going all Business. I had thought I’d heard rumors that it was going away. Is that wrong?

  7. Patrick says:

    EasyJet lets you check in 60 days in advance if you aren’t checking bags.

  8. Albert says:

    Paper tickets:
    What exactly was the rationale for not allowing people to board w/o the paper coupon? Isn’t a simple ID check enough? And is an e-ticket the same only that it tells the agent to allow boarding w/o coupon?

    A380 toilet- I’ll see what I can do about that. :)

    SIN-EWR- I think this is confirmed by the good folks in the SQ forum on FlyerTalk. And I believe it is also impossible to find econ. seat on the route after a certain date. I don’t understand how they can go all business in this route and their … now once a day direct LAX flight. Huh. I could’ve sworn they used to have another direct flight to LAX around noon.

    Anyway, sorry, didn’t mean to hijack this thread!

  9. CF says:

    Albert – If you didn’t have a paper coupon, there was no proof that you had bought the ticket. It was a live document, and the value resided with the ticket instead of the reservation. The e-ticket boarding pass looked exactly the same except it said “E-ticket” instead of “Need Paper Ticket” or something like that.

  10. Simon says:

    Ryanair don’t do boarding numbers. They board the passenger who checked in online first, but in the order they arrive at the gate and stand in line.

    They then board those who checked in at the terminal – again in the order they arrived at the gate.

  11. Pingback: On line check in (OLCI) - Musings of The Global Traveller

  12. Google says:

    Ryanair don’t do boarding numbers. They board the passenger who checked in online first, but in the order they arrive at the gate and stand in line.

    They then board those who checked in at the terminal – again in the order they arrived at the gate.

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