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Michael Weber
09-26-2016, 11:26 AM
If one has a bag to check in and so needs to get it weighed and a destination tag attached is there really any reason to do the online early check in? Your going to have to stand in line anyway or is there a way to avoid that? I've never seen a special line for doing that at least at the local small airport.

David Bassett
09-26-2016, 12:02 PM
I'm guessing it will depend on the airline and the airport. On some early check in is how you get a seat assignment or a place in the boarding order. There may be other benefits, e.g. on Delta at CVG (Cincinnati-area) there was a bag drop line for those with bags that had already checked in. (I was in the other check in line, their check in email and my "smart" phone didn't agree. But I wasn't worried, bus had me there in plenty of time and I already had a seat assignment.)

BTW- since many (most?) airlines are charging baggage fees these days, expect TSA check points to be insanely crowded. It seems like people are trying to carry on everything but their pack mule and it has slowed the screening down. Also, every leg I was on ran out of luggage space in the cabin and was gate checking bags for free. You had a choice of gate to gate or gate to final destination's baggage claim.

Chris Padilla
09-26-2016, 12:51 PM
You can still do the early online check-in but with bags, you may have to stand in line for a bit to check that in but in my experience, it tends to move pretty quickly since there is no ticketing to deal with. I would still do it as you'll likely spend less time in line except for TSA's fun lines.

David Helm
09-26-2016, 1:08 PM
In terms of TSA inspection, there are a number of trusted traveler cards that can make it easier. We have Nexus cards (live near the Canadian border and get to bypass the big lines). These trusted traveler programs give you a number that you put on the airline website when buying tickets. You automatically get TSA Pre approved status.

Mike Henderson
09-26-2016, 2:24 PM
The Trusted Traveler program is great. I have Global Entry which is TSA PreCheck (for domestic flights) and a fast pass when you come from out of the country. It's a bit more expensive than just TSA Pre ($100 vs $85 for five years) but for Global Entry you have to go to a Customs facility for a personal interview. TSA Pre is easier to get.

But if you come from out of the country to a busy airport like Los Angeles, Global Entry is really worth it. You fly through customs.

Mike

Peter Kelly
09-26-2016, 3:38 PM
If one has a bag to check in and so needs to get it weighed and a destination tag attached is there really any reason to do the online early check in? Your going to have to stand in line anyway or is there a way to avoid that? I've never seen a special line for doing that at least at the local small airport.I think youíre more likely to have your seat secured if you donít have any status with the airline.

No reason not to anyway. Checking in early doesn't cost anything and there's typically separate lines for bag drop off that are a lot shorter and quicker than the full-service ones.

Rich Riddle
09-26-2016, 4:50 PM
I check in early even when checking a bag. It has advantages. I also have avoid TSA lines with pre-check. It's worth its weight in gold to avoid the lines because people don't know how to travel with light luggage.

Wayne Lomman
09-26-2016, 7:07 PM
With Virginia Australia you get your seat allocation when you book. Check in is just to get a boarding pass which you do either on line or over the counter. Every time ( 6 airports a month) there is a longer queue at the bag drop only. I always therefore go to the personal check in - they do the work, I keep someone in a job and breeze through. The only quicker way is gold or platinum velocity card and alas I just miss out on frequency and only have silver. Cheers

Rich Riddle
09-26-2016, 7:42 PM
It's going to devolve into airlines starting to charge for carry-on bags. Some already charge more for carry-on than checked. I carry a bag specifically designed to fit under any seat. Some of the things people bring aboard are enormous.

glenn bradley
09-26-2016, 10:17 PM
I fly cheap so I don't know that all airlines or airports do this. I check in online and send the boarding pass to my phone. I check my bags at the curb and head for security.

Michael Weber
09-27-2016, 9:50 PM
Thanks, we just checked in at the counter like we generally do. Took about 3 minutes. Sitting in a small motor inn in Maine with the Atlantic just out the back. Going to PEI tomorrow. Glad I brought a warn hoodie. Brrrr

Jim Becker
09-28-2016, 9:33 AM
You'll enjoy PEI. I was there many years ago. Nice place to visit, but yea...already getting a bit nippy up that way!

Cary Falk
10-03-2016, 2:20 AM
Airlines overbook flights regularly. Just because you have a reservation doesn't mean you will get a seat. You are not guaranteed a seat until you have checked in. That is probably still not a guarantee.