EasyJet is to close all its airport check-in desks, in an attempt to encourage more passengers to check in online.
The desks will be replaced by bag-drop desks, for those fliers wishing to travel with checked luggage, from April 30.
Passengers who forget to check in online will still be able to do so at the airport free of charge, but it is hoped the facility will only be used in “exceptional circumstances.”
Low-cost rival Ryanair abolished check-in desks in 2009 and currently charges passengers £70 per person at the airport if they don't check in online, or if they fail to print out their boarding pass. Last year a British woman, Suzy McLeod, received the backing of more than half a million Facebook users after she was charged £240 (the fee at the time was £60 per person) at Alicante airport after she forgot to print out four boarding passes. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary responded in typically confrontational style, branding Ms McLeod “an idiot”.
An easyJet spokesman said an unspecified “transition period” would give passengers time to adapt to the new policy, but claimed that no plans were in place to charge a similar fee if they forget to check in online, or to print their boarding pass.