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With Ryanair's online checkin, how much time should you allow at the airport now?

With Ryanair's online checkin, how much time should you allow at the airport now?

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Old Jul 15, 09, 1:30 am
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With Ryanair's online checkin, how much time should you allow at the airport now?

Having read numerous horror stories, I have always been careful when taking budget airlines to show up at the airport two hours or more in advance. But I never did an online checkin with a budget airline.

Has online checkin changed the amount of time required?

Can anyone give recent experience of how much time is advisable to allow at MAD (Madrid Barajas) and STN (London Stansted)? I am risk-adverse.
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Old Jul 15, 09, 5:35 am
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If you have checked luggage you still have to drop it off which can take as long as normal check-in.

If you don't then you can go directly to security checks
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Old Jul 15, 09, 6:39 am
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Note that unless you have an EU passport, you would still need to go to one of the special desks/check in counter to get a stamp on your online checkin boarding pass.
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Old Jul 15, 09, 6:59 am
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IIRC you need to be at the gate at least 30 minutes before departure time. This is 5 minutes before the plane is due to be there.

The only problem with arriving just before the deadline is the potentially 186 pax already waiting to storm the aircraft to find seats. Of course, shelling out £/€3 for the priority line would help mitigate this.

Because of the lines at the insecurity check at STN (don't know about MAD), I would allow an hour and a half after checking baggage. This will allow plenty of time to get over to the Ryanair area and wait in line. On the way, you could buy a sandwich - better and cheaper at Pret a Manger than onboard - and pick up a newspaper at WHSmith. There's usually a free 750 ml bottle of water with the Independent or Telegraph. If you do this, make sure you do so after security. If you do it landside, the bottle will be confiscated at insecurity.
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Old Jul 15, 09, 6:17 pm
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I will have checked luggage and a non-EU passport, so it sounds like I should just plan to arrive my standard two hours before, even if that is longer than necessary.
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Old Jul 16, 09, 2:41 am
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At Stansted it also depends on when you are flying regarding getting through (in)security. They can be a real pain early morning (6 'ish) as there aren't many lines open. It can take half an hour. After 8 am it's a lot better. I'm not sure how things are in the evening.
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