Updated: Jan 24, 2021
When it happens to you once, you swear it won't happen ever again until it does.
Technology advancements make our lives easier, that's for sure. And when airlines started adopting online check in I was one of the happiest persons in the world. There's nothing I despise more than spending endless hours at the airport doing check in. Everything in fact is wonderful and saves you so much time until you miss your online check in.
I have been through it all. From missing online check in's to actually checking in but arriving at the airport so late that I start to nervously sweat because I'm stuck in the security checkpoint line afraid that I won't make my flight. Hey, third time's a charm, right? I have learned from these past experiences and now I have a system to not go through them again.
Try these few tips next time you fly:
Set up an alarm
Airlines open check in 24 hours before the time of your flight. Make sure you set up an alarm or reminder on your phone so you don't miss it. We all know the earlier you get to the airport and on the plane, the better.
Download the airline app
This way you don't have to rely on being near a computer so you can check in. If you're abroad and have no internet, make sure you get closer to a place where they offer free WiFi. Pro tip: try fast food restaurants or coffee shops! 90% of the time they have free WiFi for their customers.
Gather all your personal information in one place
Usually for online check in you just need your name and booking confirmation number. But the online check in process can get complicated sometimes and the airline might ask you for your passport number, expiration date and more, so make sure you have written down your personal information in a safe place. Take it with you wherever you go the day prior to your flight so you don't have to stop your exploration in the middle of the day.
Stay close to your hotel hours before traveling
Try not to go so far away the day you're flying. I tend to plan a chill day and visit places that are close to my hotel. This way if I stay longer at the last place I'm visiting, I get to rush to my hotel and go straight to the airport.
Even though you are saving time by doing online check in, remember you still have to go through the security checkpoint and drop off the bags you're checking in, which might take a while. Leave ample time to go through these steps, I would say about 30 minutes, and an additional 10 minutes or so to walk to your gate, which could be at the complete opposite side of the airport.
And remember! Arrive at least two hours in advance when traveling international and on busy holidays.
Good luck! And try not to be late next time you fly.