What is online check-in?
How does online check in work? And what is the point of checking in online for a flight? What are the benefits of web check in? In short, online check-in is a process when you confirm that you will be taking your flight. It’s done via the Internet. One of the top reasons why many people do it, is that often it helps you to save time and money, but these aren’t the only benefits.
Why it's always a very good idea to wait until airport check in starts? Even if you have already checked in online. We talk about that below.
Read on to learn more about online check-in.
What does it mean to check in for a flight?
It’s a process of registering for your flight that you have booked. First, you have bought a ticket / booked a flight. Now you are confirming that you’ll be taking that flight. The process is done on the website of the airline or via their mobile app which you can download on App Store or Google Play. Mostly it’s done a day or two before the actual flight. You can check-in online from your home, office or elsewhere where you have an internet connection.
If you check in online what do you do at the airport? If you are travelling with carry on only and don’t have check-in luggage, you can proceed through airport security.
Airport check-in usually starts 2-3 hours before the departure.
Our tip for you is to wait until it starts, before proceeding through airport procedures. Even if you have already checked in online, and you don’t have luggage to check in, it’s still better to wait until airport check-in starts. Why? Just in case your flight is cancelled last-minute, and you have to go back and check-in once again. Wait also if your flight is delayed.
Start of airport check-in is a sign that most likely everything will go as planned.
There are a few things you should know about airline online check in process.
Do you have to check in online?
No, but it can make your life easier. Here’s how:
With budget airlines it’s especially important.
If you are travelling with a traditional full service airline, you are allowed to choose your seat free of charge at the time of check-in. Unfortunately, budget airlines do not allow this luxury. The seat is assigned randomly. If you want to choose your seat, you have to pay. This is one of the ways budget airlines make money.
That’s why it’s important to check-in early if you have an overnight flight and you plan to sleep on the plane. The ultimate early check-in benefit is having more seats to choose from.
One of the top benefits of web check in - it saves your time.
More often than not, there are long queues at check-in counters.
Checking in online allows you to skip check-in counters and save some time. Unfortunately, very often that’s only true if you are travelling with a carry-on only. Because not all airlines have separate baggage drop counters. If there is one, though, head there and you’ll save time. And if you don’t have any luggage to check in, and you have checked in online, head straight to the security check.
Online check-in is available for free.
While airport check in with many budget airlines isn’t.
Many budget airlines don’t offer free check-in at the check-in counter at the airport. Often the fees are ridiculous. For example, Ryanair charges whopping €55 per passenger. Also, you can add additional luggage to your reservation during the online check-in. It’s cheaper than buying additional luggage at the airport check-in desk.
Last but not least, online check-in is more safe.
If there is one thing that all this COVID pandemic has taught us, then it’s this that sometimes having less human contact is better. Why stand in queues if you can easily skip them, right? You don’t have to hand your passport either, or to receive a paper boarding pass.
Checking online and mobile boarding passes reduce unnecessary contact.
Checking in online or via an app, step by step.
If you have a connecting flight, you may check-in for your next flight as well. Unless it’s not too early (online check-in is not open yet). Once you have completed the check-in process, your boarding pass or passes will be available for download.
Go to App Store or Google Play to download your airline’s app.
Just type the name of your airline and the app will pop up for you to download. When in doubts see the description of the app and reviews, to find out if it’s the official app. Then follow the instructions above. Mostly the process is exactly the same in the app as it’s online.
There are times when online check-in is not available.
Here are a few of these situations:
Here's where you can check in with these airlines.
In 2021, they are top airlines operating in Europe.
Have a safe journey! And don't forget to check in online.