Ryanair fumbles check-in, hundreds delayed

Hundreds of Ryanair passengers were left behind on Sunday, when a shortage of check-in desks caused them to miss their flights out of London’s Stansted Airport. The airline, which encourages passengers to check in online, only opened 11 check-in desks on one of the UK’s busiest travel weekends of the year, when 255 flights were scheduled to depart. 23 desks were open the previous weekend.

Over 500 passengers missed their flights. Ryanair issued an apology saying that their baggage handler, Swissport, (who also issued an apology statement) was short-staffed.

As of October, the point will be moot though, as Ryanair will no longer offer airport check-in. The airline has also announced that plans are in the works to eliminate baggage-handling as well. Passengers would need to carry their own bags up to the airplane doors.

Paying for the toilets, loading your own luggage, standing on flights. . .what’s next Ryanair? I’m guessing the planes won’t even bother to land, and we’ll just need to parachute out at our destination.

[via Breaking Travel News]

The best time to visit amusement parks

Amusement parks are great fun — except for the heat, the crowds, the noisy kids running wild, and the cost of admission. We’re doing what we can to help you with the ticket prices, and we’ll tell you how we avoid all those other problems, too.

Most amusement parks in the US operate on about the same schedule as your community swimming pool: closed in the winter, open with shorter hours on some weekends in the non-summer months, and then open all day, every day in the summer — and that’s when most people visit. They’ve got more free time, and the park is open longer hours, so you get more enjoyment — or do you?

When you visit an amusement park during its peak season, think about all the time you spend waiting in line. For the best roller coasters and the newest rides, you’re often stuck waiting in line over an hour for just a three-minute ride.

Try visiting instead sometime at the very beginning or end of the park’s season. Most kids are in school by then, so even on weekends the crowds will be much smaller. The heat won’t be so killer, and the lines will be so much shorter that even if the park is only open for six hours, you’ll probably get more rides in than if you’d spent a whole day there in July. And tickets are almost always cheaper, too. The end of the summer is not the time to stop thinking about amusement park getaways. Actually, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about them.

Eiffel tower to undergo $267 million makeover

The days of standing in line to enter the Eiffel Tower may be numbered as a $267 million, 10-year plan has been unveiled that will give better and easier access to visitors. Built in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was designed for 500,000 people, today the structure attracts about 7 million visitors a year.

At some point in the future you will be able to reserve a 30-minute slot online, the restaurant will be bigger and cheaper, and there will be a new champagne bar on the third floor. With these changes, they hope to attract not only a larger tourist crowd but also Parisians, and of course increase the Tower’s profit levels too.

Lines to visit tourist hotspots are a major annoyance these days so it’s cool that steps are being taken to cut line-time. The Alhambra and the Tower of London are some of the other places that have done a great job giving people the option of pre-booking their visit online.