Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Avoiding Check-in Problems

The whole flying process has become so streamlined and generic that we rarely encounter problems these days.

But there are still times when things can go wrong - usually at check-in.

There are a number of common problems that you may encounter at check-in, most of which can easily be avoided.

The first and most obvious problem to avoid is related to your baggage. Airlines make a large amount of money from baggage fees. Charging passengers for bags that are over weight has become a profitable source of income for airlines. Make yourself aware of your airline's baggage rules before you get to the airport to avoid this.

You should also double check the contents of your hand luggage. There is nothing worse than finally getting to the scanners then realising that you have can of hairspray or an unopened bottle of water in your bad that is about to be confiscated by a burly security guard. You may not look like a terrorist, but they're just doing their job! Leave purchases such as these in your main baggage, or alternatively, hold on until you are through to the waiting lounge.

Queues at the check-in desk go hand-in-hand with the flying experience, but they are an annoyance that can be avoided. Numerous airlines now offer the option of online check-in. This means you can go straight to security rather than having to pay a visit to the check-in assistants. Online check-in is usually only available on domestic flights due to more stringent passport checks on international flights.

If you are a frequent flier, you should really have applied for a frequent flier number by now. This can speed things up hugely as you can check-in at an automated kiosk by typing in your personalised number and all of your flight details will be instantly recognised, completing check-in in minutes.

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