In light of what is sure to be a year filled with many airplane rides, we thought we’d share our views on online flight check-in.
Is it worth it? Should you even bother when you could just do it at the airport?
Read on below to find out what are some of the pros and cons of online flight check-in.
Choose your own seat
By checking-in online (up to 24 hours before your flight), you have the luxury of choosing your own seat (based on what is available). If you leave it to the last minute, and by this we mean you show up only 2 hours before your flight departs, you’ll likely be stuck with seats that aren’t all that desirable as all the good ones will have been snatched up. As well, the flight attendants will be the one choosing your seat for you when you check-in at the airline counter within the airport. So, while you may be able to request a window/aisle seat, this may not always be possible. Lastly, by leaving it to the last minute, you won’t be able to scope out the prime seats on the aircraft on Seat Guru!
If you absolutely loathe airports like us, checking-in online allows you to arrive at the airport a little bit later, especially if you are travelling by carry-on only (like we did when we went to Cuba!). Likewise, if you are running late, having checked-in prior to your arrival at the airport could be the difference between you making your flight or missing it.
Another huge bonus about online flight check-in? You don’t need to print anything! So if you don’t have access to a printer, as is often the case when you’re on the road, or care about the environment, this is a great opportunity to go paperless. Seriously, think about how much paper is wasted every single day just on boarding passes…
Tip: Be sure that your electronics are fully charged! You don’t want to be stranded at the airport with a dead phone/tablet and no boarding pass.
You may need to drop off your bags anyways…
If you are travelling with bags that will need to be checked, then online flight check-in probably won’t save you that much time. BUT, you will still get to enjoy the other features we mentioned, namely choosing your own seat and doing your small part in saving the planet!
Technology glitches can happen
Your phone battery could die midway through the airport. The wifi could be really slow. You could forget to save your boarding pass. You could drop your phone (it’s happened…). All of these things would definitely make your online flight check-in experience less than perfect, so please keep this in mind when going digital only and take necessary precautions. Make sure your phone is charged or bring a battery pack, keep your phone away from water and be sure to have a decent wifi connection when completing your check-in process.
You need Internet access
If you’re travelling to places where to the wifi isn’t all that great, online check-in may not be for you. You’ll just get frustrated as the process will take too long to complete. In case you hadn’t caught on yet, we’re advocates of online flight check-in, but this is one of the rare instances that we do not recommend using it.
What are your thoughts on online flight check-in?
Do you use it frequently?
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