Are online check-in for airline’s really important?

“Learn the many benefits of online check-in for flights and why you should check-in online for your next flight.”

If you have taken a flight or booked one recently, chances are you might have experienced something new and different. It is about online check-in for flights.

Recommending online check-in for flights is a trend that more and more airlines have adopted in recent times. Although checking-in for a flight isn’t anything completely new, many passengers are still unclear about the online feature.

Many seem to question the need of using flight online check-in when the same can be done at the airport. Moreover, many passengers also feel kind of awry about the way airlines are promoting this new feature of online check-in. For instance, many airlines offer seat choices and select meal preferences to passengers that use their online check-in feature.

As far as I am concerned, I consider online check-in to be a great benefit. And as a travel consultant and as someone having many years of affiliation with the travel industry, I recommend online check-in to others as well.

But whether online check-in is just a hassle or a convenience factor, is something this article is all about. So, continue reading further as we explain what online check-in is and its many benefits so as to decide for yourself whether you should use it on your next flight or not.

What is online check-in for flights?

For starters, flight online check-in isn’t anything completely new or different from the regular flight check-in at the airport. Rather than approach the check-in counter at the airport, you do the same thing online. And being online means you can do it from anywhere without being at the airport.

Simply speaking, online check-in means passengers visiting the airline’s website, which usually starts accepting flight check-ins 24 hours before the flight departure. All you need to do is to enter your name, booking confirmation number, and ID number (passport number if taking an international flight) to check-in to the flight.

Upon successful online check-in, you receive your boarding pass which you can download and print or simply save onto your phone for showing it later at the airport when required.

Benefits of online check-in for flights you must know

As evident from above, online check-in seems to do a favor and has many benefits for everyone including the airline, airport management, and of course the passengers. We explain a few key benefits of online check-in for flights below. This will help you understand why online check-in for airlines is important.

1. It suits airline business strategy and business model

Let us first start by discussing the airline business and how it works.

Airlines, like any other form of the transportation business, cannot run their routes by flying empty airplane seats. This means that their management needs to ensure that almost every plane before take-off is fully seated with passengers.

To do this, airlines overbook their plane capacity for each flight and then use a first come first serve basis. Probably you are aware of the fact that many passengers, despite having paid for their tickets in full, aren’t able to board their scheduled flights. Reason – because they were late to check-in for the flight at the airport.

Since a few of the passengers on each flight are prone to not making it to the airport and missing their flight for some reason, each flight is susceptible to having a few empty seats for which there is an unavoidable fixed cost. To compensate for this and avoid any losses, airlines tend to sell more tickets than the actual plane capacity each time.

In simple words, online check-in helps passengers confirm their seats well before time and not miss their flight because of overbooking or arriving late at the airport.

2. Saves you the trouble of waiting in long check-in lines at the airport

Continuing from above, online check-in saves you a great deal of time and trouble that you would have normally gone through had you chosen airport check-in.

With online check-in, you not only get to skip long check-in lines, but also reach comfortably at the airport and then relax without ever worrying about missing your flight.

3. Get to choose your seat

One of the things that flight passengers usually complain about and are hardly satisfied with is the airplane seat or the place where they get to sit during their flight.

Seat selection or allocation is something that varies with each airline. Some airlines allow seat selection upon booking the flight ticket. Others want passengers to check-in first and then choose where they want to sit.

But whatever stage you get to do it, remember that there are only a limited number of seats available on each plane. Hence, you need to make sure to avail this opportunity as early as possible. Online flight check-in is a great way of doing it as soon as the check-in for your flight becomes available.

4. Dedicated checked luggage drop-offs at the airport

Obviously, online check-ins won’t count as a benefit if passengers still must stand in long lines for luggage checks. Hence, to further facilitate passengers with online check-in, some airports have dedicated checked luggage drop-off points. Here, passengers with online check-in can conveniently drop off their luggage and directly move toward the waiting area.

5. Online check-in adheres to the Covid-19 safety protocols

Another great benefit of online check-in is its adherence to the Covid-19 safety protocol of minimizing in-person contact as much as possible. Besides all of the above benefits of online check-in, this is a core reason why many airlines encourage online check-in.


Adapting to change can indeed be hard for many in certain situations. However, as a travel professional, I most certainly believe that this isn’t one of those situations. In my opinion, online check-in for flights for the time being only seems to be a great convenience factor overall. So, why not try online check-in on your next flight?

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