Top 5 Tips To Avoid Airport Check-In Stress
Posted on December 07 2020
As Australian regions and state borders open up, air travel opportunities within Australia are increasing daily. It has been a year of staying home so to help you be fully prepared for a stress free airline checkin here are Louise M shoes Founder, and part time airline customer service agent, Louise Matson's top 5 tips to avoid airport checkin stress.
1. Pre plan transport to the airport.
If relying on taxis or share ride providers allow for delays or cancelled rides on the day. Pre book your ride, it may cost a little more but for peace of mind at 3am or peak hour it is worth it. Consider a chauffeur drive service for a luxury experience and be confident you will arrive to the airport relaxed and on time.
If you prefer to drive yourself to the airport and leave your car at the long term parking, you can pre purchase vouchers online. This can reduce the cost of parking significantly and ensure parking on the day.2. Arrive early to the airport.
As flights increase so do the number of passengers travelling. Check-in may take more time than you anticipated as there are more people travelling than you may realise. Allow for check-in delays and bag drop faults that may occur when the airport is busy. Additionally security screening queues can slow the process of getting to the departure gates so allow time for that too.
Confirm checkin and bag drop deadlines with your chosen airline before arriving at the airport. If you miss the airline deadline for check-in and bag drop you miss your flight and need to arrange alternate flights. Domestic travel check in and bag drop typically closes 30 minutes prior to your departure time while International is typically one hour prior. Missing check in and bag drop cut off times is a very common occurrence and one that inconveniences you and alters your travel plans.3. Carry your booking reference, e ticket, and ID with you.
With self check-in becoming increasingly popular with airlines and passengers, have your booking reference and/or e-ticket with you. The bar code can be scanned, or reference manually entered for easy booking retrieval. A great option is to download the airline app to your phone, check in up to 24 hours prior to your departure and view you boarding pass. The boarding pass barcode can be scanned at the kiosk for quick bag tag printing.
For domestic travel, if you have checked in on your airline app and have a q-tag or similar, on your bag you can avoid the self check-in kiosk and go straight to bag drop.
If you require assistance from the airline Customer Service Teams you will need to produce photo identification. A driver’s license for domestic travel or passport for international travel is required. Check in will not be processed and boarding passes are not handed to customers who cannot produce identification.
4. Check luggage allowances before arriving at the airport
Check the carry on and checked in luggage allowance of the airline you are travelling with before arriving at the airport. Each airline has its own allowances and these can differ also depending on whether you are travelling on a domestic or international flight. Domestic travel is typically by weight per piece, while international travel is total weight of all bags. Again check with your airline.
If you do need extra bag allowance it is advisable to pre purchase to avoid excess luggage fees at the airport. It is possible to save up to fifty percent on excess luggage by pre purchasing. If you do buy extra luggage allowance, take the receipt with you to the airport so if any issues do arise they can be easily resolved without delay or frustration.
To avoid having to repack your bags at the airport weigh your bags at home. If this is not possible arrive at the airport early. Having to re pack overweight bags at the airport is best avoided as you may not have time and your personal belongings will be exposed.
The cabin carry-on luggage has limits too, with specific quantity and weight restrictions. If you are carrying too many bags or the bag is too heavy it will need to be checked in. This may incur an unexpected excess bag charge that will need to be paid prior to boarding the aircraft. You will not be able to board if it remains unpaid.5. Ask for assistance if you need it.
Check in at the airport is changing. Self check-in and bag drop is encouraged. Processes have changed with Covid 19 so to reduce the number of bags the agents are handling, close contact with customers, and improved efficiencies the airlines are promoting customers to self check in and bag drop. However you are not completely alone as the Customer Service Agents (CSA) are there to help you when needed and to problem solve.
If you are running late approach a CSA immediately who will assist you check in. Keep in mind that the CSA team do not know what flight you are checking in for or your departure time without referring to your booking. There are many flights taking off at any given time period, with as many as thirty five aircraft departing in a 90 minute time frame.
Stress free check-in is possible.
By following these 5 tips everyone can enjoy a stress free check-in. It is disturbing to learn that Customer Service Agents are verbally abused and blamed for many situations that are the responsibility of the customer and easily avoided with planning. The airline teams are trained to be polite in return however no one deserves to be spoken to inappropriately.
The pandemic has changed workplaces significantly, the airline industry included. Many airline team members are on stand down, have accepted redundancy, chosen leave without pay, or looked for other employment. Please be patient as the teams that are working are doing their very best to make your travel experience an enjoyable one.
Louise M would love you to share your most enjoyable travel destinations and experiences, to do so please email photos and reviews to louise@louisemshoes.
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