When flying, do you find yourself waiting in long queues at the airline check-in counter worrying if you might miss your flight? If yes, then to save your precious time at the airport, you should follow just one easy step, which is to use the airlines' online flight check-in!
There a a few significant advantage to using online check-in, as you can have a preferable seat for yourself and your family, and you can also have your digital boarding pass for submitting your choice of meals and even other vital information before you even step into the airport. Most frequent flyers now use this convenience as a way of skipping the counter line at the airport (and savvy travelers also stay abreast of their departure time by tracking their flight to avoid any surprises at the gate).
What is Online Check-in?
Online check-in is a process for the travelers to sign-in for the flight between 0-24-hours before departure. Using the internet and any other internet-capable wireless device, flyers can go to the website of the airline on which they are traveling to check-in for their flight.
Domestic travelers can go online 1 to 24 hours prior to departure, and international travelers can check in 2 to 24 hours prior to departure. Moreover, this method is very helpful as it saves a lot of time and makes your journey easier and smoother.
Who is Eligible for Online Check-in?
Anyone who purchased an airline ticket and opted to have it issued electronically is eligible to check-in for their flight online. Further, all those travelers who are flying with a lap baby or children are also required to sign in remotely as well.
What about Luggage?
Many passengers who decide to check-in for their flights online wonder what they are supposed to do with the luggage that they want to carry upon arriving at the airport for their flight. Travelers are permitted to go on online if they are checking luggage. Check out luggage packing tips here.
There is an option for travelers to state the number of bags they are checking on their flight; airlines that charge for checked luggage offer passengers the option to pay for their bags online as well.
Further, on arriving at the airport, all those passengers who are with their bags must go to the designated airline counter to drop off their baggage. An airline agent then prints a luggage tag and tags it to the bags, and then places it on the conveyor belt.
How to Check In Online
If you are not aware of how to check-in online, then you can follow the steps given below for your convenience
Firstly you need to visit the airline's website online check-in page and then click on the "Check-in" option on the main page of the website.
Then you have to enter your surname as well as a booking reference or PNR to initiate your check-in process. After filling the booking reference, it will ask for the credit card number for purchasing the ticket.
You may also require entering advance passenger information if it is demanded by the destination country. At this point in time, you have to declare and pay for any checked luggage.
Then before proceeding to the final step, you have the option of changing your seats.
When you have completed the check-in process, you will receive an eBoarding pass for each passenger in your group.
With these eBoarding passes, you are free to skip the airport counter lines - unless they have baggage to check. Those who do not have any luggage can head straight to the airport security line.
How to select your seats online
When you are checking in online, you can go through the seat map of the aircraft. This map helps you to find out which seats are already booked and which are still vacant.
Further, you can select your seat as per your choice among the available seats by just clicking on the seat on the map.
When you complete this process, then you can be assured that you will get the seat of your choice.
When to reach the airport if you have checked-in online
The time that you give yourself for finishing dropping off your bags, getting to your gate, and getting through the security checks all depends on various variables. It is essential to give yourself enough time even if you have already received your online boarding pass.
The rules for check-in differ from airline to airline, and you must be aware of all the rules and regulations of the airline in which you are traveling. The reason behind this is that it can add or shave off your time for the boarding process.
In most cases, if you have baggage to drop off, then you must arrive at the airport at least two before the listed departure time of the flight.
Further, those who do not have their baggage for checking can arrive ninety minutes prior to departure of the flight to the airport here; it is also important to note that if you are traveling internationally or during any peak holiday time, you must reach the airport even earlier.
Benefits of online check-in
Online check-in comprises multiple benefits to the passengers. The best of these benefits are as follows:
- Saves your precious time on the long airport check-in lines.
- Gives you the option to choose the seats of your choice before even reaching the airport.
- There is a possibility of paying a lesser fee for checked baggage than you have to pay at the time of the airport check-in.
- You can Skip the line! As many airlines have a separate line for those travelers who have already checked-in online. This helps to make the process of bag drop quicker and easier.