Did you know you can check in for your flight on line 24 hours before departure? But why would you and how do you do it? If you have never done it before, deciphering the airline’s directions might be confusing. So please, allow us!
First, for whichever airline you are flying with you must decide if you will use the website or if you will use the app. If you’d like to use a regular computer then you will be able to use the website whereas if you will be using a phone or tablet you can download the app or simply visit the website using a browser. Once you have downloaded the app or you are on the airline’s website, you are ready for step two.
Introduce yourself! You must tell the website/app who you are. Look for a button or tab that says something like “manage trip” or “add trip” or “my booking,” something like that. This should take you to a page that asks for some of your information which is typically your last name as well as your confirmation number, otherwise known as a record locator. This is a 6-digit code made up of numbers and letters or in some cases all letters. Sometimes, you may be asked for your ticket number instead. Ticket numbers are 13 digits and are made up of only numbers. Enter all information that is asked for, and then your flight information should appear. If you are within 24 hours from your flight’s scheduled departure time, you should see an icon or link that says “check in.” Now, you can begin completing your online check-in to obtain your boarding pass.
Checking In Online
Online check-in is really just a series of last minute questions. You may be asked for your passport details (for international flights), to upgrade seats, if you are checking bags, and to acknowledge that you are not bringing any hazardous materials aboard. After you have completed all the questions, you should have access to your boarding pass!
If you used your phone, you can use the mobile boarding pass when you are at the airport. You may have the option to also have it emailed to you as a backup. Whether you are accessing it from the app or from your email, be sure the square QR code is visible. Security and gate agents will scan the QR code, or barcode, right from your phone. If you have done online check-in on an actual computer then you should have the option to download your boarding pass as a document when you are finished. You can either save this document somewhere that you can access from your phone, like email or a Dropbox account, or you can print the document and use that printed piece of paper as your boarding pass.
It’s Worth It
Think of the time this can save! If everyone completed online check-in, then when they make their way to the airline counter at the airport essentially all that must be done is check your bag. What is usually a 5 minute interaction with the agent at the airline counter becomes a 2 minute interaction. Show some ID, lift with your legs, and bam – done! This can be an especially effective time saver if you are not checking a bag at all because then you do not even need to go up to the counter! That’s right. If you are not checking a bag and you already have your boarding pass, either printed or electronic, then when you arrive at the airport you can go right to security.
Please be advised that airline policies and procedures vary greatly and the above description is a mere guideline of a typical online check-in process. For unique details you would need to obtain directions from the airline with which you are traveling. Some types of tickets may not be eligible for online check-in such as “group air” blocks on certain airlines.
Well, there you have it!
If you have not used online check-in before, give it a try! Hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised at the ease of the process as well as the convenience of how much time you can save at the airport. Don’t forget that when you book your flights with Van Zile Travel, your friendly neighborhood Van Zile Travel Agent is always there to help.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Van Zile Traveler
Written by Carol Gabbert, Van Zile Travel