This year several low-cost airlines have launched a service enabling their customers to do an online check in, print their boarding pass and avoid the usual queues at the check-in desks in airports.
Ryanair already offers this service to passengers flying from several destinations. Customers can obtain their boarding card from 72 to 4 hours before the scheduled flight departure time and are allowed to carry hand luggage weighing up to 10 kilos.
British airline Bmibaby which specialises in cheap flights has launched a new service for passengers flying from East Midlands Airport. The service is available to travellers carrying hand luggage weighing less than seven kilograms and if it proves popular, Bmibaby plans to expand its online check-in to the other airports it flies from.
Easyjet does not yet offer on-line check in although it does offer offer a self-check-in service in Nottingham East Midlands airport which it plans to expand across all other airports in the future.
Important things to remember when doing an online check in
- Put your printed boarding card in your passport as soon as you have finished the online check-in procedure to avoid leaving it at home. You will need to present both at airport security and if you forget it some airlines charge a fee for having to reissue a boarding card
- Check the hand luggage weight allowance – it varies from airline to airline
- Online check in is not usually available for passengers travelling with prams, wheelchairs or similar equipment
- Once the online-check in procedure is carried out, passengers are no longer able to make any changes to their flight booking