As queues began to get longer at airports worldwide and rapid strides began to be made in IT industry, there was convergence of interests that led to emergence of web check in, or, online check in, as some would call it. This method made use of internet to enable passengers to get their boarding passes in their emails or smartphones and select their preferred seats. For airlines this meant shorter queues at their check in counters. For airport management, this meant less hassles and better passenger management at the airport. While it was a boon for passengers who were only travelling with the cabin luggage since they were not required to report to check in counter of the airline at the airport, the ones who carried check in baggage were either not offered web check in service or were required to keep it at drop-off boxes.
So, you achieve the following by web check in:
- Save time
- Save long queues at airport check in counter
- Confirm that you would be boarding the plane
- Select seat of choice, if available, ahead of others
- Save paper as you get boarding pass on mobile or in email. Print boarding pass on your own.
- Travel straight to security screening bypassing airport check in when you are having only cabin luggage.
- If you have check in luggage as well, this can be left at drop-off boxes. You will get the baggage tags here.
- Manage Frequent Flyer Program points
- Choose meal options
- Enter baggage details
Since online check in method is convenient (just as in case of Indigo web check in), passengers are charged more for certain services which are chosen using the non-web methods. Some airlines might also charge for getting the boarding pass printed at the airport.
If passengers who have used the online check in are also carrying the check in baggage, they are required to leave their baggage at the drop-off boxes. There is usually a separate line for such passengers so that they can complete check in formalities in time. Some airlines might also require compulsory airport desk check in for passengers requiring special assistance, if travelling with an infant and in cases where there is a need to verify the travel documents, valid ID proof or other transportation details.
Web-based check in opens ahead of the normal airport check in, allowing users to get their desired seats conveniently and ahead of others. This facility might not be available at all airports. Passengers shall enquire about this facility before booking their tickets. Airlines, such as IndiGo, also provide this facility of automatic internet-based check in for passengers who book tickets with it.