If you’re planning to travel by air, the most important thing to do before your flight is check in. Airport check-in is a vital step in the travel process, as it ensures that you have the necessary travel documents and are aware of any specific requirements or regulations.
It’s important to arrive early, so you don’t miss your flight! Most airlines require that you check in at least 60 minutes before domestic flight departure and 120 minutes before international flight departure. In this way, there will be time for ticketing, baggage handling, security screening, and boarding.
You can usually check in online or from the app starting 24 hours and up to 45 minutes before your domestic flight. If you’re checking bags, it’s best to do this at the airport counter instead of online or through an app. You’ll need your passport or other government-issued identification ready when you arrive.
Types of Check-In
How to Check-In at the Airport
Here are the steps to follow for check-in:
- Prepare for check-in by having your passport or other government-issued identification and baggage ready.
- Decide whether to check in online, from an app, or at the ticket counter – if you’re checking bags, it’s best to do this at the airport counter.
- Use self-service kiosks to quickly print out boarding passes without directly interacting with an airline representative if available.
- Go through security screening – those with TSA PreCheck® can speed up their screening process by not removing shoes, belts, liquids, laptops, or light jackets during their screening process.
- Proceed to your gate and board your flight!
Tips for a Smooth Check-In Process
To ensure a hassle-free check-in process, arriving at the airport early, at least 2 hours before your domestic and 3 hours before your international flight’s departure time, is important. You will have plenty of time to navigate security and airport procedures.
Pack smart and check your airline’s baggage requirements before arriving at the airport. TSA regulations, such as the 3-1-1 rule for liquids in carry-on bags, must be followed.