Airport counter check-in is the process during which the passenger, upon arrival at the airport, hands over any baggage that they do not wish or are not allowed to carry within the aircraft's cabin and receive a boarding pass before they can proceed to board the aircraft. If it is possible we recommend using online check-in – it is much more convenient and you can arrive at the airport later.
Check-in desks and personal
After arriving at the airport you can find the information about the check in for your flight on special information boards. Appropriate information can be obtained in the airport information point, usually situated near the bag drop off area (check-in desks).
You should arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure of your flight.
Step by step
- Find the appropriate check-in gate (point) for your flight.
- Have your documents ready – passport (or national ID), online reservation booking number (code) or paper copy of the ticket (if you have one).
- At the check-in desk you will be asked to present the above documents and you can hand over the check-in baggage which will be weighed and proceeded to board the plane.
- After presenting the documents and checking-in the baggage you will receive a boarding pass which enables you to board the plane.
- Upon completion of the check-in procedure, proceed to the appropriate gate, where each passenger undergoes a security check.
- During the security check each passenger needs to place objects like keys, telephones, belts, electrical equipment, as well as coats, jackets, and scarves in the provided bins on the conveyer belt.
- Upon completion of the security check you can proceed to the appropriate gate, from which you will board the plane. The time of boarding the plane is indicated on your boarding pass. When the time comes, the airport staff will inform you about being ready to accept the passengers on board the plane.
Self-service check-in at the airport
In order to avoid the queues at the check-in gates you can use the self-service check-in machines, which can be found at the majority of international airports.
Step by step
- Locate the self-service check-in machine – on the airport web pages you can find information about the location of these machines.
- Provide the machine with the details from the identity card which you used to buy the ticket as well as the number (code) of the booking confirmation.
- If the machine allows it, you can choose your seat on the plane, or the automatic system will assign you a seat.
- Take the printed boarding pass with you – it is required to board the plane.
At certain airports the option of self-service check-in is available only if the passenger is travelling with hand baggage only.
The largest airports provide self-service check-in services for registered baggage. In this case you will receive a special tag or sticker tag to put on your baggage. Baggage should be tagged and handed over at the baggage drop-off point.
Self-service check-in at the airport is free of charge.
Economy class check-in
Passengers of regular airlines who purchased a flight in economy class can choose from a number of check-in methods:
- Check-in at the airport
- Self-service check-in at the airport
- Online check-in
- Telephone check-in (via voice connection or data transfer)
Not all the airlines offer the telephone check-in option (however e.g. Polish Airlines LOT have such an option available in their offer as a voice connection). Obviously the most accessible is online check-in, where the passengers can avoid possible airport check-in queues and freely proceed, after dropping baggage off in the assigned baggage drop-off point, to the security control. Passengers are reminded that they still need to go through security control.
First class check-in
For passengers who have purchased seats in first class (for certain airlines in business class as well) regular airlines provide special baggage drop-off points. Thanks to such conveniences passengers using first class can count on fast and hassle-free formalities at the airport. First-class check-in points are clearly marked, similarly to additional fast security check points.
Passengers travelling first class can obviously use online, self-service or telephone check-in. British Airways, for example, offer a smart phone check-in via data transfer – the passenger obtains a barcode from the boarding pass and can print it off on a portable printer. Such an option is still not available with all airlines, but it’s becoming more and more popular.