Online check-in - advantages and tips - Flightright UK

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Online check-in – advantages and tips

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Key Points about “Online check-in”

  • Online check-in can save time and hassle at the airport.
  • Check-in timeframes vary by airline and departure airport.
  • Passengers can choose seats and meal preferences.
  • Boarding passes can be printed or saved on mobile devices.
  • Baggage drop-off may still be required at the airport.
  • Some airports have separate security lanes for online check-in.
  • Passengers should still arrive at the airport with plenty of time.


You had a flight delay or a flight cancellation? Check your rights now and increase your chances of compensation

Nowadays, anyone taking a flight enjoys far more comfort than just a few years ago. This is not because the seats are more comfortable or the obligatory tomato juice tastes better. Rather, a lot has changed in all aspects of air travel, which we owe primarily to advancing digitalization and the ubiquity of the internet. Just a few years ago, you had to be at the airport in person hours before departure to be able to check in. Fortunately, almost every airline now offers a convenient online check-in. Here you can check-in in advance via the internet, which lets you avoid an annoying queue at the airport so that you can arrive at your destination less stressed. In the following, we will show you the other advantages of checking in online and what you should bear in mind.

What does online check-in mean? 

Have you booked a flight? Then sooner or later you will be informed that it is possible to check in. For some years now, you have been able to do this conveniently via the internet. But what does Online Check-In actually mean, and what is so practical about checking in online? Firstly, it is important to understand why check-in exists in the first place. The purpose of checking-in is to receive your boarding pass. A few years ago, you had to present your ID and booking confirmation at the airport to receive your boarding pass. Now, thanks to online check-in, you can do this in advance from the comfort of your home.

However, you should also be aware of a few things. Online check-in does not necessarily mean that all you have to do is show up for boarding. For example, if you are taking suitcases with you on your journey, you will have to check in your luggage first. This can also lead to long waiting times, which is why a time buffer is extremely important in these cases. You should also keep flight security checks in mind when planning the correct arrival time at the airport. The same applies if you want to check in unusual luggage items. In particular, travelers with pets or bulky luggage should plan for a sufficient buffer.

Since the operation of the check-in counters at the airport is associated with extra costs for the airline, some now even oblige their customers to check in online in advance. Since pretty much everyone has internet access these days, it is perfectly reasonable to expect your customers to do this. A very well-known airline that requires a check-in via the internet is Ryanair, for example. However, if a passenger does not have an internet-capable device, it is usually possible to check in at a special machine in the airport. A big advantage of checking-in in advance is that you can choose your seat. Whether this reservation is associated with additional costs depends on the airline.

Although you checked in, you were not allowed to board the plane!
You are then entitled to compensation for denied boarding. Our experts are here to help. Contact Flightright online:

With us, you can check your rights for free in two minutes. You can get up to 600 euros of compensation per person (minus commission fee).

Are you also affected by a delay, flight cancellation or missed connection? Check your flight now. Simple ✔ fast ✔ & without risk ✔
  • Short distance flight delays – up to 1500 km – Passengers are due €250 Compensation
  • Medium distance flight delays – between 1500 km and 3500 km – Passengers are due €400 Compensation
  • Long distance flight delays – over 3500 km – Passengers are due €600 Compensation

According to the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation, the amount of compensation is calculated according to the flight route (distance):

Short distance up to 1500 kmMedium distance up to 3500 kmLong distance from 3500 km
e.g. London – Edinburghe.g. London – Athense.g. London – Tokyo
250€400€600€

How does an online check in work? 

How does online check-in work? If you want to check-in in advance, you can do so conveniently via the relevant airline portal. Information on how this works can be found on the websites of most airlines. This process is generally very easy. Nowadays, you often don’t even need an internet browser, as many airlines also offer their customers a convenient app. This allows you to check in conveniently via your smartphone. If you want to check in online, you should have some important documents ready.

These include the booking number of the flight and the names of the passengers. Then simply follow the instructions provided by the airline. If you have checked in successfully, it is important that you print out the boarding passes or at least save them on your mobile device in the form of a QR code. However, we recommend that you print them out in the traditional way. If your smartphone should happen to be defective, you will at least have an alternative to show.

Is the online check-in free of charge?

Being able to check-in in advance is a convenient way to get boarding passes. The question naturally arises whether online check-in is free of charge. When passengers use online check-in, it relieves the airline’s ground staff. This in turn ensures that the airline saves money. Consequently, it is hardly surprising that airlines offer this service free of charge. The situation is different with “special requests”. Especially, seat reservations during the online check-in, may incur additional costs.

What should I bear in mind when checking in online?

Online check-in is a convenient way to obtain boarding passes. However, there are a few things you should be aware of. Sometimes it may not be possible at all. This is the case with some package tours or so-called group flights. So it is better to inform yourself in advance. If possible, you should not check in online if you want to check in bulky luggage or a pet. Conversely, there are airlines that oblige you to check in online.

Should I check in online?

Checking in online is far more convenient than checking in at the airport. However, if you have to check in special luggage such as bulky goods or a pet, you should rather use the classic method.

What happens when I check in online?

You will receive your boarding pass conveniently by email. It is best to print it out and take it with you to the airport.

When does online check-in make sense?

Online check-in makes the most sense when you do not want to spend a lot of time waiting at the airport. Especially people who are only traveling with hand luggage can save a lot of time this way.

Advantages of online check in

More and more passengers are using the Internet to check in before a flight. But why is that? What is the advantage of online check-in? Online check in offers many advantages to air travelers. Many airlines such as Eurowings offer online check in, which is usually available 24 hours before departure. Check-in during the evening is also possible with Eurowings. Online check in at Eurowings is free of charge and can be done via the website or the Eurowings app.

Online check in is also possible with Emirates, but only via the website or the Emirates app. It is important to find out about online check in with the booked airline in good time before departure and, if necessary, take the necessary steps. Online check in is also possible at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER), but you should arrive there on time at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 to be able to check in at the self-service machines. It is always advisable to find out about online check in and check-in times at the airport before departure to avoid stress. We have listed the advantages of online check-in for you below.

1. Less waiting time at the airport

If you have already checked in beforehand, you don’t have to queue for check-in. This saves you time at the airport.

2. Less likelihood of overbooking

By checking in online, you secure your personal boarding pass and thus also a seat on the plane. In the rare event of an overbooking, you are thus protected.

3. Boarding pass always at hand

Your boarding pass is stored in digital form on your smartphone and is therefore always at hand.

4. Seat selection 

You can choose your preferred seat. This allows you to choose a place of your choice in the plane.

5. Paying when checking in at the airport

If you choose to check in online, you avoid additional costs that are incurred when checking-in at the airport.

Online Check in – are there also disadvantages?

It is not so easy to find possible disadvantages of checking in online. One disadvantage is certainly that many people have poor time management and arrive too late at the airport if they check in online. For some, this can lead to unwanted time pressure. On the other hand, those who still have to check in at the airport itself usually arrive early enough and are therefore over-punctual.

Check in at the airport or online check in? 

Check in at the airport vs. online check in. Which is better? In our opinion, it depends on which flight you are taking. For a short-haul flight where you are only taking hand luggage, checking in online saves a lot of time and is therefore much better than checking in at the airport. If, on the other hand, you have to check in bulky luggage, it is better to use the classic check-in at the airport for security reasons.

When do I have to be at the airport if I have checked in online?

Even if you have checked in online, you should follow the advice of most airlines and be at the airport at least two hours before departure.

Can I go straight to security after checking in online?

If you have additional baggage besides hand luggage, you must first go to the baggage check. If, on the other hand, you are only carrying hand luggage, you can go directly to the security check.

What do I do with my baggage if I have checked in online?

You must check in your baggage at the baggage claim area before going through security.

How do I get my boarding pass when I check in online?

Not having a boarding pass in your hands after checking in online is probably the biggest difference compared to checking in at the airport. But you don’t have to worry about that. When you check in online, you will receive your boarding pass on your mobile phone. It is best to print out your boarding pass after checking in online and take it with you to the airport. Alternatively, you can show the QR code on your smartphone.

Can I choose seats when checking in online?

For an additional charge, you can select and reserve the seat you want when you check in online.

How far in advance can I check in online?

Most airlines allow online check-in between 24 hours and 2 hours before departure.

When can I check in online? – Overview of the airlines

When can I check in online? We have listed the airlines’ time slots.

Airlines Earliest check in (When can I check in online)Online Check in
Aer Lingus48 hours before departureAer Lingus online check in
Air France30 hours before departureAir France online check in
American Airlines24 hours before departureAmerican Airlines online check in
British Airways24 hours before departureBritish Airways online check in
Virgin Atlantic24 hours before departureVirgin Atlantic online check in
Eastern Airways48 hours before departureEastern Airways online check in
EasyJet30 hours before departureEasyJet online check in
Wizz Air30 hours before departureWizz Air online check in
Eurowings72 hours before departureEurowings online check in
Flybe36 hours before departureFlybe online check in
Jet228 hours before departureJet2 online check in
Loganair96 hours before departureLoganair online check in
Lufthansa23 hours before departureLufthansa online check in
Monarch Airlines28 hours before departureMonarch Airlines online check in
Ryanair24 hours before departureRyanair online check in
Scandinavian Airlines30 hours before departureScandinavian Airlines online check in
Thomas Cook24 hours before departureThomas Cook online check in
Thomson Airways48 hours before departureThomson Airways online check in
Turkish Airlines24 hours before departureTurkish Airlines online check in
United Airlines24 hours before departureUnited Airlines online check in

Despite online check in, boarding was denied!

Although you have checked in, you were not allowed to board the aircraft? Then you have a right to compensation for denied boarding. Flightright’s legal experts can help you enforce your rights.

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How can Flightright help you?

Although you checked in, you were not allowed to board the plane?
Then you have a right to compensation for denied boarding.
Contact Flightright online:

Tip: Flightright helps you enforce your air passenger rights! With us, you can check your claims free of charge in two minutes. ✔️Easy, ✔️fast & without ✔️risk

According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. You can claim up to 600 euros of compensation per person (minus commission fee). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your right for you. If necessary also in court.

As experts on the subject of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline! Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket reimbursements and refunds for cancelled package tours. 

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