Early check in - is there any advantage?

FlyingFiona

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Are there any advantages to the passenger for checking in for an international flight earlier than the day of the flight? (Aside from running late on the day.)

Maybe I should rephrase it to ask, is there any disadvantage to checking in days before a flight?

Pre mobile phones, you just rocked up at the airport and checked in at the desk. At least they know that way that you were in the airport. Nowadays I don't really get the point of the whole check in process if it's done days in advance. So I was wondering if I ought to do it, or still do it old school at the airport?

I kinda like the whole talking to someone at the desk as a point of contact before I embark on a long haul flight, but if it's to my advantage to do it earlier than I'm happy to skip this step. Perhaps there's less of a possibility of me getting bumped if I'm on a rewards ticket??
 

aikman

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If it's an international flight you still have to check in with an agent so they can see your documents. Checking in online allows you to put in your document details yourself which I suppose saves the agent time. You can also choose a seat rather than leave it for the agent to choose for you.
 

FlyingFiona

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If it's an international flight you still have to check in with an agent so they can see your documents. Checking in online allows you to put in your document details yourself which I suppose saves the agent time. You can also choose a seat rather than leave it for the agent to choose for you.
Thanks, Aikman. So very little advantage then. (Especially if you've already booked your seat.)
 

JohnK

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What @Hvr said.

There is less chance you will be bumped from the flight if you have already checked in.

I recall quite a few years ago I had a confirmed award seat on an SQ SYD-SIN flight. Early morning flight and I got to airport late but before check-in closed. I was last to check-in and apparently I was offloaded and it took some time to get ne back on the flight.

With my dumb luck I also had domestic flight issues. Once when VA they detached my daughters booking from mine and kept me on the flight but offloaded her and we had to go on later flight and they then screwed the luggage around making us wait at destination.

I still dont like using OLCI but need to make sure that I get to airport early.
 

GDale

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Main advantage for me is the seat selection that you sometimes can't do until you go through the check in process.

Also, the couple of times I was operationally upgraded on CX all happened to be where I checked in as soon as OLCI was open (one of those was even a double upgrade - I was stoked!)
 

vetrade

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With BA you have to pay extra, even in business class, to select your seats up until 2 days before departure, so on any BA flight I like to check-in online as soon as possible to get the best possible choice of seats.
 

samh004

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Less likely to be bumped if you've already checked in.
But are you?

Let's say it's a 30 seat plane and they've sold 31 seats. 30 of those seats are held by NB's and they've all checked in online 24 hour prior to departure. The only one not checked in is a WP, who does so when they get to the airport. Is it likely the WP will be bumped, or will the system have realised there is a WP who hasn't checked in and will actually bump one of those who has already checked in the day before?

All things equal though, I can understand the last to check-in gets the bump.
 
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For int flights we still need passport swiping even though we might have done OLCI.
For some flights like US bound they do extra checks don't they.
Plus now we have Aust DPD steps to do on coming back to Aust, plus electronic IPC data soon.
Form filing malarkey.
 

bookworm

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I’ve found that some airlines have separate lines for those who had already done an online check in, and another for those who hadn’t. The online check in queues were invariably shorter and baggage drop off a breeze.
But that was pre- Covid so I’m not sure now.

I can understand @FlyingFiona’s question though.

Once I had selected my seat in advance , only to be told at check in that it was given to someone with higher status.

Another time, I did my online check in on Christmas Eve for my Christmas Day flight from Durban to Johannesburg, en route to Perth. (It was scheduled for late afternoon). Early on Christmas morning, my husband frantically called me from Perth and asked me if I realised my flight had been cancelled? I can‘t remember how I came to know that i was booked on a flight that left in 2 hours. It was a mad dash to pack and get to the So I wonder what was the point of that online check in.
 

Xrayspice

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We got cancelled from Jetstar and put onto Qantas. Due to the change I couldn’t actually use the Qantas app to check in. We were forced to check in at the airport, and to our surprise we were put in an exit row. Not bad for a $52 flight. So maybe checking in early is not always the best plan.
 

serfty

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But are you?

Let's say it's a 30 seat plane and they've sold 31 seats. 30 of those seats are held by NB's and they've all checked in online 24 hour prior to departure. The only one not checked in is a WP, who does so when they get to the airport. Is it likely the WP will be bumped, or will the system have realised there is a WP who hasn't checked in and will actually bump one of those who has already checked in the day before?

All things equal though, I can understand the last to check-in gets the bump.
I would agree with @Hvr re less likely.

However nothing is certain.

Downgraded from Business Class.

In that case, maybe an OLCI would have helped. (It was available ex US in 2014).
 

Lynda2475

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With BA you have to pay extra, even in business class, to select your seats up until 2 days before departure, so on any BA flight I like to check-in online as soon as possible to get the best possible choice of seats.

This is not my experience i have 3 upcoming BA J flights and was able to select seats on all of them 6+ months in advance without any charge. IME inability to select seats for free until 48hrs only applied to Y.
 

GDale

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This is not my experience i have 3 upcoming BA J flights and was able to select seats on all of them 6+ months in advance without any charge. IME inability to select seats for free until 48hrs only applied to Y.
I'm assuming you inserted your QFF number into those BA bookings? In which case your free seat selection status benefit would've kicked in. Seat selection without status on BA is chargeable in my experience.
 

vetrade

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This is not my experience i have 3 upcoming BA J flights and was able to select seats on all of them 6+ months in advance without any charge. IME inability to select seats for free until 48hrs only applied to Y.
What GDale said............. I have 4 BA flights in J in an upcoming OWA and can only select seats for a fee up to 2 days before, as has been the case for the many BA flights I have flown over the past 15 years or so. You obviously have status, which I don't, and there-in lies the explanation for the difference.
 

Lynda2475

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Well i was QF Gold last time i flew BA LHR-JFK in 2019 on a paid Y fare (booked as part of a QF itinerary) and couldnt select seats until 48 hours before.

Am still Gold now but this time on an OWA in J and have been able to select seats. So perhaps you need J fare plus status, as status alone didnt do it in Y.
 

serfty

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Well i was QF Gold last time i flew BA LHR-JFK in 2019 on a paid Y fare (booked as part of a QF itinerary) and couldnt select seats until 48 hours before.

Am still Gold now but this time on an OWA in J and have been able to select seats. So perhaps you need J fare plus status, as status alone didnt do it in Y.
BA have been charging for Business class seat selection for over a decade. As a oneworld Emerald (BAEC Gold Equivalent) I have ben able to avoid paying, I was not aware it extended to Sapphire.

There's an extensive FlyerTalk thread on it.

BA Seat Policy Guide | FlyerTalk Forums
 
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MEL_Traveller

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BA have been charging for Business class seat selection for over a decade. As a oneworld Emerald (BAEC Gold Equivalent) I have ben able to avoid paying, I was not aware it extended to Sapphire.

There's an extensive FlyerTalk thread on it.

BA Seat Policy Guide | FlyerTalk Forums
Also extends to OW ruby… free seats 7 days before departure. I haven’t once been left with a terrible seat. Big money saver.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Not sure if this is the right spot to ask this question....

We have a PE flight booked with QAN for September, are both Silver, but the site is saying "seat selection unavailable". When I first booked it (Nov 21) I chose seats and just wanted to check they were the same. I have applied for an upgrade, would that cancel our seat selection or is it just a glitch? Don't like flying in the middle of the plane. Any thoughts??
It means there are no more seats available for selection to silver or below. Passengers with higher status may have rows reserved for them further forward.

It doesn’t mean the flight or cabin is full, or that your upgrade has cleared unfortunately.

Around 80 hours before departure all remaining seats will open up for selection. You might want to grab the bulkhead seats if still available. And if not upgraded.
 

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