For even the most frequent of fliers, traveling by plane can be stressful and exhausting. You’re always rushing to make your flight or waiting, bored, because you arrived too early. Sometimes it seems like there’s no in between. If you’re looking for a way to skip part of the tiresome airport procedure, online check-in is a great option.
Some advances in technology promise to make life easier and end up making things more complicated, but online check-in is actually valuable. It’s mutually beneficial for the airline and the traveler. The airline saves money on employees and paper, and the traveler gets to bypass lines and streamline the process of getting to their flight.
Usually twenty-four hours before your flight, check-in becomes available for you at the airline’s website. Simply enter your name, booking confirmation number, and ID number (your passport is necessary if flying internationally). You can download your boarding pass to your phone or print it out. Completing this process from your phone or computer offers you several benefits.
Benefits of Online Check-In for Flights
Choose Your Seat
Airplane travel is one of the most incredible advances of the last century, but let’s face it: it can be miserable. One thing that can make or break a flight experience is where you sit. Some airlines, especially the bigger ones, allow you to choose your seat when you book your airline tickets. Others only allow you to choose a seat when you check in. In this case, you want to check in as early as possible so you can snag your preferred seat, whether it’s an aisle seat or that emergency exit row with the extra leg room.
Check Your Luggage
Some airlines allow you to check your luggage in advance and pay for any additional fees. This saves time once you’re at the airport because you can simply drop your luggage off and move on. However, even airlines that generally do provide this option may not offer it for international flights.
Skip the Lines
The biggest benefit of checking in online is bypassing the lines at the airport. You can skip waiting in line to check in, then possibly (if the airline allows it for your flight) skip waiting in a second line to check your luggage, and instead head straight to security. Once you’re through security, all that’s left to do is find your gate.
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Some Things to Consider if Using Online Check-In When Flying
The simple process of checking in online will save you time and keep the beginning of your trip free of unnecessary stress. But don’t be too relaxed! You should still get to the airport with plenty of time to make your flight. Don’t let yourself fall into a false sense of security just because you’ve already checked in. Allow time for traffic and getting through security.
Also, know that online check-in won’t always be available, especially if you’re traveling with special circumstances like flying with a pet. In special cases, you will have to go through the normal check-in process at the airport. As previously mentioned, international travel is another instance in which online check-in may not be available. This varies depending on the airline you’re flying with, so be sure to get this information before your designated travel day.
Is Online Check-In Right For You?
Honestly, the answer to that question is…probably. There are minimal risks to checking in online, so as long as you give yourself time to deal with any unexpected setbacks, checking in for your flight online is the easiest way to travel. If the option is available, it’s the best way to make your airport experience a little less frenzied.