Compare airline check-in options this summer

TD Editor

For savvy travellers keen to speed through check-in ahead of their trip this summer, the airport parking operator and retailer Airport Parking & Hotels has compared the various check-in options of 10 airlines. The research looks at the different check-in options of 10 airlines, including British Airways, EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic. The research also compares the pre-bookable seat selection and twilight drop-off options provided by all 10 airlines.

Click to check-in

Travellers can speed through to security at the airport by checking-in online and all 10 airlines researched, including British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet, allow passengers to do this. The online check-in window ranges from 24 hours prior to departure with four airlines to 60 days before the departure date for Flexi Plus passengers with Ryanair.

The cut-off time for checking in online varies from six hours before departure with TUI Airways to just 70 minutes for those travelling with Virgin Atlantic. Although those with hand luggage can head straight to security on arrival at the airport after checking-in online, travellers with luggage for the aircraft’s hold should note that they will still be required to register their details and print their baggage tag at the terminal via a check-in machine or desk, and this could take some time.

‘Appy travels

Passengers can check-in on the go by downloading the free apps offered by all airlines researched, including Jet2 and Emirates. The British Airways and American Airlines apps also allow passengers to track their flights, stream inflight entertainment and choose their seats. Passengers who don’t want to carry extra paper can download their boarding pass onto the app and present it at security checkpoints.

However, Aer Lingus, Jet2 and EasyJet passengers should not that the option of mobile boarding passes is not available at certain airports, including some in Turkey, Portugal and Bulgaria. For fast track luggage collection on arrival, the Air France and American Airlines apps not only allow passengers to track their baggage but will even tell them which delivery carousel they can collect it at.

Talk’s not cheap

Checking-in at the airport for free is possible with nine of the airlines researched and passengers can either use a self-service kiosk or go to the check-in desk for further assistance. However, Ryanair passengers who want to check-in at the airport should note that a GBP 55 (USD 69) fee per person is charged, and a reissue fee of GBP 20 (USD 25.03) per person if the boarding pass was not printed beforehand.

Take advantage of twilight drop-off

Those who have booked an overnight airport hotel stay the night before their flight can further reduce the stress of their early morning by dropping off their baggage the evening before, thanks to a service known as twilight drop-off. The service is provided by five of the airlines researched, including Aer Lingus and Virgin Atlantic, for flights that are departing early in the morning the next day. Twilight drop-off times vary for each airline.

Savvy seat selection

Seat selection is provided by all airlines researched as soon as passengers confirm their booking, except for those travelling with TUI Airways, where seats on short-haul flights are available to select from 30 days before departure, while seats on long-haul flights are available to select from three days before departure. Aer Lingus offers free seat selection for all passengers until 30 hours before departure, with half price seats offered for children.
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