If you never traveled by plane or are bit rusty, you should take the time to learn more about the airport check in procedure. This will help you with having everything prepared, and perhaps make your upcoming trip less stressful. So, what are the first things you should do once you arrive at the airport?
The check in procedure is all about confirming your flight. Along with that, you will receive a boarding pass and finally choose a seat. Depending on how crowded the airport is, this might take more or less time. Make sure to arrive at the airport early, just in case there is a long line waiting for you. The boarding pass will be given to you after you pass security and without one, you will be unable to travel.
There are a few different ways which a traveler can use to check in. The first method is the most popular one, and it involves showing your ID or passport to a security agent. This method allows you to check in your bags at the same time, so it's recommended if you have a lot of luggage. You will also have to present your ticket or your electronic tickets if the purchase was made online. You should get documented on what other papers you might need for check in, as each country has its own rules. If you travel abroad, you may need a visa in addition to your documents.
One thing to consider is that each airline has its own check in procedures. Delta requires the travelers to be all checked in with 15 minutes before the plane takes off. If you arrive late, you will not only miss the flight, but also be requested to pay an additional fee. On the other hand, United advises the passengers to be at the airport with one hour and a half before the trip. Perhaps you don't need to check in your luggage, and in that case you can arrive with one hour before your flight. The entire boarding procedure generally takes from 30 minutes to an hour.
More and more airlines allow check in at the kiosk. This self check in method involves getting a seat if you don't have one, as well as the boarding pass. Self check-in can be useful if you don't want to mingle with other travelers. You will also need to have your passport on you, or least the credit card you used to buy your tickets.
If you are in a hurry, the best way to avoid a crowd is by using the online check in option. You will get to print the pass before arriving at the airport, and even get a better seat if available. If you use this option, make sure to check whether the time for your flight has changed.
If you need more information, browse through your airline's website in order to see whether it has any specific rules. This will save you some time and maybe the trouble of missing a flight.