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Europe’s largest discount airline has raised the cost of its check-in baggage and airport check-in services in an attempt to change customer habits, with the threat of more fee increases to come.

The idea, according to a Ryanair news release, is to get more people to use online check-in services and to bring only carry-on luggage when they fly.

“These will not be the last increases in Ryanair’s checked in baggage or airport check-in fees, which will continue to increase over time until we reach our objective of persuading at least 50 [percent] of all Ryanair passengers to travel with hand luggage only, use our free web check-in service and avoid airport check-in queues,” Peter Sherrard, Ryanair’s head of communications, said in the release.

The Dublin, Ireland-based airline increased the price of its airport check-in service from 2 to 3 British pounds (about $4 to $6) per flight and its online check-in baggage fee from 5 to 6 pounds (about $10 to $12) for each bag up to 15 kilograms (33 pounds). Passengers pay a standard rate of 12 pounds (about $24) per bag if they check a bag at the airport or through one of the airline’s call centers.

A “generous” amount of hand baggage — one bag weighing no more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) — is already allotted to each Ryanair passenger, the release said.

Budget airline rival Easyjet has no weight restriction on hand baggage as long as it’s within reasonable limits. The airline charges passengers 8 pounds (about $16) for each check-in bag up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds) at the airport. Each bag booked online costs 3.99 pounds (about $8).

More customers using Ryanair’s Web site would allow the airline to cut airport check-in desks and the employees who work them. The savings generated by these reductions will then be passed on to the customer, the release added.

Online services can be a good thing but penalizing those who don’t go online isn’t the answer, according to a spokeswoman for Which?, an England-based consumer watchdog group.

The advocacy group recently reported that low-cost airlines devise new ways to levy extra charges on passengers, sometimes up to 28 pounds (about $55) more than the advertised ticket cost.


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