My father bought a ticket through Ryanair online directly from their website.

On their website there was an option to pay 7 euros to check in online or to check in at the airport for free. He chose the latter. He went to the airport and then he was charged about 56 euros just for checking in! What's the purpose or excuse for such a ridiculous fee? And what's the excuse for having a check-in fee in the first place?

Also, I see no reason to need to have any check-in process in the first place. If you are in the plane on time you fly, if you are not you miss the flight and that's it.

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    This is mostly a rant rather than a question. If you actually want an answer you might be better off at economics.stackexchange – user16259 Apr 4 '18 at 8:01
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    Can you provide a link that Ryanair has an option of a free check-in at the airport? I have never seen it - Ryanair always informs you that the check-in at the airport will cost you more than 50 euro (well, it seems to be 56 Euro as you say). And BTW it is possible to check-in online without any fee. – Neusser Apr 4 '18 at 8:37
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a question which can only be answered by Ryanair. – CGCampbell Apr 4 '18 at 18:53

The checkin process is also used to verify documents. E.g. if you are not a citizen from an EU country and fly in the EU with Ryanair, you have to present your passport and visa during the checkin at the airport.

Regarding the fees, AFAIK Ryanair doesn't charge a fee for the regular online checkin. I also found no occurrences about such a fee on their website. It could be possible, that this was a fee for an early online checkin (i.e. more than 30 days before the flight).
But they clearly state, that airport checkin costs 55 Euros, except if you book a BusinessPlus fare. The reason for this fee is clear, personnel at the airport costs money, and they want to have as little personnel as possible, so they want you to check in online.

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    This. Most likeyour your (OP) father misinterpreted the information given by Ryanair. Early checkin is for a fee, online-checkin shortly before the flight (24 hours?) is the only free-of-charge option. – DCTLib Apr 4 '18 at 8:30

Ryanair have charged for airport check-in since 2006, in order to save on staff costs. The current cost is €55, after a reduction in 2015 - yes, it used to be higher! Online check-in is normally free, but only if you check-in four days or fewer in advance. I suspect the €7 charge your father saw was for checking in more than four days in advance, which also includes a seat reservation.

You can fly very cheaply with Ryanair, but you have to follow their rules to the letter to avoid some very high extra fees. I'm sorry your father had this experience.

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