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??
 

SYD

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Thanks for that. Will have to hang on til 80hours out!
If you sign up for ExpertFlyer, you can check the seating allocation for any flight. Freebie access only allows a couple of queries per day but will be ample to keep an eye on your flights.

To check, go through the process of creating a “Seat alert” but stop at the seat map for your flight. That should be sufficient to see how full the flight is and available seats. Blocked seats (with an “X”) may free up at T-80 hrs from departure.

You can pay to get an alert if the bulkhead seats become available but for QF, checking at T-80 is free!
 

JohnK

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All things equal though, I can understand the last to check-in gets the bump.
And that's the thing. All things are never equal.

If you are the first person to book that flight at T-360 days but for whatever reason the last to check-in the you miss out? And if seats aren't available for days? Tough luck?

This is not musical chairs in primary school. Airlines should never be allowed to oversell. If an airline doesn't want to depart with empty seats due to no shows that's what waitlisting achieves.

Many years ago agents used to do this for people or popular routes such as FCO or ATH. I know people who had confirmed seats on flights for later travel but would turn up to airport ready to fly earlier if no shows.

What went wrong with society that it's acceptable to be booted off a flight because an airline sold too many seats? Airlines should not be allowed to profit from overselling. Or downgrading.
 

MEL_Traveller

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And that's the thing. All things are never equal.

If you are the first person to book that flight at T-360 days but for whatever reason the last to check-in the you miss out? And if seats aren't available for days? Tough luck?

This is not musical chairs in primary school. Airlines should never be allowed to oversell. If an airline doesn't want to depart with empty seats due to no shows that's what waitlisting achieves.

Many years ago agents used to do this for people or popular routes such as FCO or ATH. I know people who had confirmed seats on flights for later travel but would turn up to airport ready to fly earlier if no shows.

What went wrong with society that it's acceptable to be booted off a flight because an airline sold too many seats? Airlines should not be allowed to profit from overselling. Or downgrading.
Agree… but i think the key is the ‘profit’ part. And that means not only $$, but also profiting from looking after status holders at the expense of non-status. EU261 and equivalents go some way to tackling that.

Overbooking stems from the 60s and 70s, maybe even earlier… when fares were fully refundable and people used to book multiple seats in case they needed them. Nothing ‘went wrong’ it was just how it was… and only the rich could travel back then. We just haven’t made it ‘right’.

But… there is a caveat. Overbooking has saved me several times in the States where there have been misconnects or IRROPS. If flights are full and you’ve misconnected it’s not uncommon for the airline to give you a new boarding pass anyway, overselling the flight, knowing there’s likely to be other misconnects or no shows. Of course if everyone does connect and show up… you get off loaded because last to check in.
 

samh004

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What went wrong with society that it's acceptable to be booted off a flight because an airline sold too many seats? Airlines should not be allowed to profit from overselling. Or downgrading.
I don’t believe we have a philosophy forum, but your question could touch on so many hazardous topics. What went wrong? War, religion, famine, over-population… capitalism I think takes a back seat to that. They’re all older than capitalism, perhaps 🤔
 

JohnK

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I don’t believe we have a philosophy forum, but your question could touch on so many hazardous topics. What went wrong? War, religion, famine, over-population… capitalism I think takes a back seat to that. They’re all older than capitalism, perhaps 🤔
I'm sure they are @samh004 but my point is airlines in Australia should be forced to pay a minimum of $500 compensation if you've been chosen to be offloaded in favour of some status passenger or because you were last to check in.

That will give them something to think about?

Oh and the disgusting practice Qantas does of downgrading passengers and charging them extra to travel in lower class needs to be stopped.

Qantas should have to pay full refund and allow the person travel free of charge. How many downgrades are you likely to see in future? A lot less than today.
 

Forg

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I'm sure they are @samh004 but my point is airlines in Australia should be forced to pay a minimum of $500 compensation if you've been chosen to be offloaded in favour of some status passenger or because you were last to check in.

That will give them something to think about?

Oh and the disgusting practice Qantas does of downgrading passengers and charging them extra to travel in lower class needs to be stopped.

Qantas should have to pay full refund and allow the person travel free of charge. How many downgrades are you likely to see in future? A lot less than today.
A story of recent experience, where admittedly I and the company I was dealing with had lower stakes than an airline, both kids who needed to open the front door to Event Cinemas last weekend were off sick, and by the time a replacement was dragged in to open it, it was past the movie starting time.

We still got to watch … a Minions movie doesn’t have enough of a complicated plot that missing the first 2 minutes (and not needing to see 20+ minutes in ads) makes any difference … but we also got vouchers to see another movie in the same product (VMax) as we’d paid for.

OK it costs Event Cinemas way less to do that than it does Qantas; but still. Qantas could leverage their FF program to deal with stuff like this, it’d probably cost them way less to give you a voucher for $300 worth of FF-provided wine+cheese than put you on a future $200 flight for free …
 

samh004

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Last night I was stuck in Sydney because I was visiting a friend who had flown in from the US, and because they were loyal to United (and 1K), they insisted we travel back on Virgin Australia. My status with them is zero. The wild weather predictably caused chaos and unfortunately, our flight was cancelled. We were given a VA flight 24 hours later and a nights accommodation – as a side note, when entering the lounge they didn't even know what United 1K was and I don't think the systems are linked sufficiently that he was given any preferential treatment when re-booking.

Anyway, long story short, this wasn't acceptable to me. I immediately got onto the Qantas site (and I'm sure they were having problems of their own) and booked QF500 (the earliest QF flight to BNE) back. Checked-in before I even left the VA lounge, but took up the offer of the free hotel stay and food (Rydges World Square). Predictably, before I even went to bed, I received an interesting text from Qantas.

IMG_5B4C3B2F1B8A-1.jpg

I wasn't game to even click the link and see what they were offering incase they would register that as an interest. Instead, I got to the airport early, checked-in and hoped my status would have some weight. I believe it did, as the flight was completely full.

Now, I know it really was operational, planes I am sure were out of position and there was a backlog of passengers to clear, so I don't hold anything against Qantas or think they were overselling flights, but goes to show the difference between zero status and status in general :p
 

Forg

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Now, I know it really was operational, planes I am sure were out of position and there was a backlog of passengers to clear, so I don't hold anything against Qantas or think they were overselling flights, but goes to show the difference between zero status and status in general :p
Now you mention that … when my wife had Platinum with QF yet only Silver with Star Alliance, due to stupid fed-gov internal politicorules she had to fly back overnight from Seoul and 5hrs later catch Canadian to Canadaland in J. I met her at the airport, we had brekky together, and gave her a fresh suitcase-load to replace the one she’d used for Seoul.

Anyhoo Canadian had replaced a bigger 777 with a smaller one due to birdstrike, and it had fewer J seats. Given how far Canadaland is, anyone who flew Canadian even twice a year would prolly have more status than Silver, but probably not every single person in J … so had she not been on a flight from Korea and checked-in to her Canada flight, there’s every chance she would’ve been one of the lower-status folk who got J seats. As it was she only checked-in a few hours before the flight, they blocked out an entire row between the aisles in Cattle for her, but that’s nowhere near a J pew. And of course they refunded the cost-difference of the airfares … to the gumbyment, my better-half got nothing out of that.
They were willing to put her on any Star Alliance flight that’d get her there, but there was nothing scheduled which would work, they tried a few alternate routings (they claimed) and nothing would’ve gotten her there on time for the meeting.
 

Xrayspice

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Last night I was stuck in Sydney because I was visiting a friend who had flown in from the US, and because they were loyal to United (and 1K), they insisted we travel back on Virgin Australia. My status with them is zero. The wild weather predictably caused chaos and unfortunately, our flight was cancelled. We were given a VA flight 24 hours later and a nights accommodation – as a side note, when entering the lounge they didn't even know what United 1K was and I don't think the systems are linked sufficiently that he was given any preferential treatment when re-booking.

Anyway, long story short, this wasn't acceptable to me. I immediately got onto the Qantas site (and I'm sure they were having problems of their own) and booked QF500 (the earliest QF flight to BNE) back. Checked-in before I even left the VA lounge, but took up the offer of the free hotel stay and food (Rydges World Square). Predictably, before I even went to bed, I received an interesting text from Qantas.

View attachment 283795

I wasn't game to even click the link and see what they were offering incase they would register that as an interest. Instead, I got to the airport early, checked-in and hoped my status would have some weight. I believe it did, as the flight was completely full.

Now, I know it really was operational, planes I am sure were out of position and there was a backlog of passengers to clear, so I don't hold anything against Qantas or think they were overselling flights, but goes to show the difference between zero status and status in general :p

I would happily accept any flight later than 6am.
 

samh004

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Out of curiosity, how much was a last minute fare?
When I booked, stood at the VA service desk, $350 red-e-deal. By the time I left the lounge only Savers were available. By the time I got to the hotel only evening flights were available. Then the text later that night after I'd gone to bed.
I would happily accept any flight later than 6am.
Between a flight a whole 24 hours later on VA and the early QF flight home to my own bed and the things I had to do that week, it was a much better choice for me to grab the refund from the VA fare (while still taking the hotel) and book a replacement QF fare that I wouldn't be bumped from. After all, if the wild weather had continued in SYD there would be nothing stopping the same flight 24 hours later being cancelled again and me as a Velocity Red member being pushed another 24 hours. Not worth that aggravation.

The value of status is apparent when things hit the fan. I've experienced it as a WP on QF and now experienced it as a nothing on VA.
 
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JohnK

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The value of status is apparent when things hit the fan. I've experienced it as a WP on QF and now experienced it as a nothing on VA.
I'm not sure I agree on the value of status based on latest experience.

I travelled a few days after you BNE-SYD on Qantas. I posted the details in another thread.

Basically moved forward 2 flights then flight cancelled. Text from Qantas said I was rebooked on next flight. Went to service desk for boarding pass only to be told I was only waitlisted and to go to the gate in case of no shows. What about luggage and golf clubs?

Ended up flying later than original flight and no idea which flight they put my golf clubs but I went back to airport next day to get my golf clubs.

So status not that important in the lottery of getting rebooked.
 

Forg

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I'm not sure I agree on the value of status based on latest experience.
Status 100% gives you an advantage over us plebs ... as far as there's capacity available to kick plebs out in order to cater to those with status.

I reckon the situation is so messed-up at the moment that they can no longer just chuck a few plebs off the flight (who weren't flying that often, so lost business for their next flight is "meh" and there's every chance the pain of the experience will have faded for them by 2024 anyway), and keep the Statusy Folk happy.
 
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(Apologies if this is not the best thread for this Q).
What are check-in time suggestions for a Platinum FF travelling on QF63 scheduled for a 9.30am departure on 29th July?
Is Sydney International presently still so busy that a 3-hour before flight arrival time is necessary as per the sms received from Qantas?
Looking at the schedule it doesn't look like there are that many flights around that time; I'd obviously much prefer to arrive around between 7-7.30 rather than by 6.30am. Any thoughts or advice?
 

SYD

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(Apologies if this is not the best thread for this Q).
What are check-in time suggestions for a Platinum FF travelling on QF63 scheduled for a 9.30am departure on 29th July?
Is Sydney International presently still so busy that a 3-hour before flight arrival time is necessary as per the sms received from Qantas?
Looking at the schedule it doesn't look like there are that many flights around that time; I'd obviously much prefer to arrive around between 7-7.30 rather than by 6.30am. Any thoughts or advice?
What class of travel? If whY, there is no express line and you definitely do not want to arrive after 7am for a 09:30 flight. You won’t see the lounge and you may miss your flight. It took me 1.5 hrs from eGate to exiting security on Monday morning. I left checkin about 7am.

There are actually a lot of flights leaving during the morning peak at the moment (across all carriers, not just QF).
 

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