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Check-in desks scrapped by Ryanair

Gap year travelers and other holidaymakers can no longer visit the airport check-in desk if they are flying with Ryanair.

From today (1st October 2009), the airline has removed its check-in facilities and is asking all passengers to register for their flights online instead, at an additional cost of £5.

However, holidaymakers who forget to carry out the process online will face a £40 "emergency check-in" fee.

Although the change has attracted criticism from some travel experts, Ryanair believes it will make travelling by plane easier by cutting out waiting times.

"This move will allow all passengers, including those traveling with checked baggage, to check in online thereby avoiding time wasting queues and delays at airport check-in desks," a spokesperson for the carrier said.

The online check-in service opens 21 days before the scheduled departure time of a flight.

Ryanair currently serves popular destinations for travelers who book hostels, such as Barcelona, Berlin, Prague and Edinburgh.

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