The check-in process may vary depending on which airline you are travelling with.
Checking in: What to look out for
Check-in times vary from airline to airline, so it is advisable to check in well in advance of your departure date. Once you know about how much time to leave before check in, you will need to factor in how much time you need get through security and reach the departure gate with plenty of time to board your flight.
Many airlines provide information on their website about when to be present at the airport for check in. This information is usually easy to find, but a number of the larger global airlines do not publish check in times as they vary from country to country. In these situations, you may need to call the airline you are flying with, check your booking confirmation or check with your travel agent.
Unfortunately, not all airlines make this information easy to find and you may need to dig around on the website to find out your check in deadline time. This information may be in the terms and conditions, conditions of carriage or perhaps in the FAQ’s section of the airline’s website.
Many airlines offer the option of being able to check in online (and some only allow on-line check-in). If you check in online, you will either have to print out your boarding pass or, in some cases, you will have it on your mobile phone. This can help save you time, but it is important to keep the print out safe as you may be charged for another copy. Be aware also that some airlines require boarding passes that you print at home to be in a specific format (e.g. A4 single sided).
Once you reach the airport, you can then deposit any luggage (if you are taking any) at a designated desk.
Check-in at the airport
Depending on the airline you’re flying with, it can be cheaper to check-in online, although you should be aware that some airlines charge you to check in online. Not only is it sometimes cheaper, but you can also save yourself the hassle of standing in line at the airport to check in. If you choose to check in on-line, the time you need to arrive at the airport may vary again depending on whether you have baggage or not.
Be aware that some airlines require all passengers to check-in online and will charge you at the airport if they have to print out your boarding card. In some cases this charge can be over one hundred pounds.
The Department of Transport is responsible for the security of UK airports. Their policies are implemented at each airport by the airport security staff. Airlines and travel companies do not set these rules.
Before flying, you will go through the airport security area. These measures are in place to help maintain your safety, so familiarisation with the rules will help you pass through the security checks as quickly as possible. Restrictions on what you can take on board vary from time to time, so we recommend you read the latest security advice on the Gov.uk web site before every flight from the UK.
Please remember that security procedures can also vary from airport to airport. More information can be found on the web site of the airport you are flying from, and usually from that of your airline or travel company.