Bypass the queue – check-in online

We are glad to announce that our promised check-in page is now available.  It has details for many of the worlds major airlines and can be accessed from the main menu above.

These days there are three ways to check-in before a flight:

  • You can queue in the long line and do it the traditional way.
  • There is the shorter queue at the DIY kiosk.
  • Or you can check-in at home or from the office, online.

 

If you check-in online you will still get fondled by strangers and have your luggage weighed, but there is less waiting and there are some other distinct benefits.
Image showing BA online check-in screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you are using a Travel Agent for the booking, you can have the seat allocated at the time of booking.  If you have exercised that option then when you check-in online your seat allocation will already be set-up.

Advantages

There are several convenient things about an online check-in:

  • You choose your own seat.
  • You are far more likely to get the specific seat you want.
  • You can see exactly where the seat is in a graphical seat configuration.
  • Your seat number is allocated immediately, so you are much less likely to be ‘bumped’.
  • Baggage check-in is faster when you already have your seat allocated.
  • If you arrive at the airport late you are more likely to get on the plane in time.

It is logical that if you check-in online ten hours prior to departure, you are far more likely to get your preferred seat than if you arrive late at the airport just before the gates close and still have to check-in.  If you’re late and have not checked-in online you are unlikely to get a seat you will be happy with.  (You could even have no seat at all as you could get “bumped”.)

Disadvantages

Online check-in may not be for you if you:

  • Intend to change your travel arrangements.
  • Are indecisive about where to sit and like to change your seat.

 

There are some sorts of emergency workers and rapid-response staff who by the nature of their jobs are unable to make bookings far in advance.  They pretty much just need to get on the next flight.  By and large they do not much mind where they sit either.

There are other passengers who make their travel arrangements too early in the planning process, before the details about when, where and with whom a meeting is to be held.  As a consequence the same persons regularly end up changing the dates, their flights, sometimes the carrier and also their seats.  (As a Travel Agent working in the industry I have a special message for you: “Chill out.  This is one time that slowing down is a good thing.  Booking too early makes you less efficient.  And you value efficiency so highly.  And, by the way, you are also increasing overheads by incurring change and cancellation fees.  Someone who waits for clarity before booking is saving the company money.”  Other travel agents tend to have a different message for habitual re-bookers – their message tends to be shorter.  And less polite.)

If you are one of the people from the previous paragraph, don’t check-in online if you are going to need to change your flight details again before departure.

Check-in for later flights

Check-in staff can pre-seat you and check you in for other flights being made on the same ticket.  For instance, for your return flight on the same day.  That can be convenient.

If you anticipate making any change to your booking that have an effect on the later flight do not check-in for the later flight.  If you are checked-in your ticket status changes to ‘check in’ mode, which locks the booking.  Certain airlines will not permit the ticket to be re-issued until you have phoned in or physically presented yourself at their ticket desk.  They must first manually reverse the check-in status, then re-issue a new ticket.  There will almost always be a fee.  And then you still need to get a seat allocated!

If you have planned ahead, online check-in can help ease your passage through the airport.

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