Air travel isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. Now that the price of flying has gotten more affordable, more people do it, and they are flying on a regular basis. This makes the airports more crowded and the check in process becomes more complicated. There are ways by which a savvy traveler can shorten the amount of time it takes to go through the check-in and that will make their travel experience a smoother and easier one in the process.
Here are some tips to help make that check-in process as easy and stress free as possible.
*Check-in online –
Most airlines will allow travelers to check in online beginning 24 hours before their flight is due to depart. When you do this, you can verify that you are sitting in a seat you want to sit in and change your seat if there are any vacant seats from which to choose. You can then print your boarding pass or passes so that you won’t have to stand in one of the long lines.
*Weigh your luggage before you leave home –
This is very important because it doesn’t matter whether you use the self service check in or go through a line. You will have to weigh your luggage, and if the weight of your bag exceeds 50 pounds, you will be charged a penalty for an over weight bag. Be sure you know how much that penalty will be.
*Don’t over pack –
On most airlines, anyone who travels by economy rather than business or first class has to pay to check luggage. This means that you pay $15 to check your first bag and then an additional $25 per bag. Make sure you can get everything you need in one bag without having it be over the 50 pound weight limit.
*Pack liquids in sealed plastic bags –
You never know what will happen from the time you leave your luggage to be sent through to the plane and when you retrieve it. It’s best to assume that your luggage won’t be handled with care, and liquids that aren’t in sealed bags or unopened and tightly sealed containers can easily spill all over everything in your suitcase.
*Use the electronic check-in terminals
Once you arrive at the airport, look for the electronic check-in terminals. There, you’ll be able to scan the bar code from your e-ticket or boarding pass and that will bring up your reservation information. You can then opt to check your luggage in from there. This will save you from having to go through the long lines where people wait to see an attendant.
Once your boarding passes are printed, you go over to an area where a person is waiting to tag your luggage. You then put your luggage on the scale where it is checked to make sure that it doesn’t exceed the 50 pound weight limit. Once they determine that your bag is 50 pounds or less, they will put the baggage claim ticket on it, give you the claim receipts and send you to the conveyor where your luggage is sent through to the baggage department.
*Have ID and credit card out in advance –
To expedite the check in process, make sure you have your ID and credit card out before you reach the check-in terminal. You will need the credit card to pay the fee to check your bag. You will need to show the attendant who weighs and tags your luggage your ID.
Take the time to find out what the airline regulations are regarding advance check-in, how much luggage you can check and how much you’ll have to pay to check it. If you take advantage of the early check in, you will make the airport check in much easier and the entire process will go faster. Make sure that you get to the airport in plenty of time.
You want to be sure that you get your luggage to the conveyor at least 45 minutes, if not an hour before your plain leaves. This will assure you of getting your luggage on the flight you are on and you won’t have to worry about whether or not your luggage will arrive when you do. Be sure that you have proper luggage tags on your luggage so that you can easily retrieve it when you arrive at your destination.