View Full Version : Check in times

1st Jun 2004, 10:42
Sorry if this is a really stupid question, but have check-in time increased significantly recently? I am flying out to Calgary on Thursday morning and have been given a check-in time of four hours before the flight. :bored: I really don't want to be hanging around the airport for any longer than I have to - particularly as it's a 12 hour flight. :zzz:

1st Jun 2004, 10:52
What airline?
LHR-YYC direct flight times typically run 8 1/2 to 9 hrs depending on wind.

1st Jun 2004, 11:00
Thomas Cook.

And ... oops... somehow managed to work out a completely wrong landing time. You're right about the flight time! :O

1st Jun 2004, 11:06
Sorry, don't know them that intimately. AC check in cut-off is 40 mins but I always get there 2 hours before flight time. Security can be a long line. Enjoy your flight/stay.

1st Jun 2004, 11:13
These "extended" check-in times really hack me off, because you may well find that at 4 hours before the flight the desk is not even open yet ! Or it may be the time that the desk first opens but it gives the impression that it is a minimum. If they're just doing one desk for an A330 it will take them a couple of hours to process everybody.

So what happens is that people just ignore the time given and make their own sensible decisions. In truth processing times at airports seem little different to before 9/11. Sure there can occasionally be long queues for security checks (that used to happen before 9/11 too) but not to this extent.

I would aim for 60 minutes minimum, and allow a bit more, although if seats are allocated at check-in the best ones may be gone by then. What's your departure point ?

1st Jun 2004, 11:40
AerBabe, while 4 hours certainly seems exessive, there's a few things to keep in mind.

Summer is here, and pax loads are up. Lots of folk travelling!
Security can take a looooooooooooong time, especially at LHR!
While hanging around for hours at an airport is not pleasant, stress induced by almost missing your flight due to not factoring in time spent in line is no joke either.

Have a great trip! :ok:

1st Jun 2004, 11:58
WHBM - There's no way I'd be brave enough to leave 60 min for an international flight. :uhoh: And yes, seats are likely to be allocated at departure, so I want to make sure I get a window. After all, in the aisle seat you can't play Scare-The-Nervous-Pax. :ok: Departing from LGW.

Flaps - Thanks mate. I was planning on around 2.5 hours pre-departure. I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't a sensible reason why they suggested 4 hours. It seems not. Give me your address and I'll send the Family Forty a dirty postcard. ;)

1st Jun 2004, 13:34
I used TC when I moved to the USA last month. It was cheaper to use their holiday charter return ticket than an RPT one way...

TC are strict about carry on bag weight*. They weigh the carry on & will require you to repack into your hold bag(s). I observed a number of people doing it at the counter instead of going elsewhere, repacking then returning while others check in.

End result: a slower throughput of pax. check ins.

*NB: They also have a low baggage weight allowance ~20kg so pack light!

1st Jun 2004, 15:57
AerBabe: There's no way I'd be brave enough to leave 60 min for an international flight.For a charter a low-fare or an airline I don't have status with, I agree. But arriving somewhere between 60 minutes and 45 minutes (absolute check-in deadline) for longhauls when you know you're going to be accepted - that's been a lifesaver so many times!

1st Jun 2004, 22:10
If you want a reasonable seat, aim to be at the check-in desk (ie allow extra time to queue) at least 3 hours prior to Scheduled Departure Time.

If you're not fussed about seating and don't mind being wedged between other people, stay in bed a wee while longer - but if you're at the desk after STD -120 mins, you'll likely get to meet new friends who keep digging you with elbows during the meal!

As has been said already, Summer's here and so are the queues!!! All airlines state the same thing when it comes to minimum check-in times:

Passengers must present themselves in sufficient time, allowing for check-in queues, for all transactions to be completed no later than 90 minutes (long-haul) and 60 mins (short haul) prior to departure. (The fact that the desk closes at -60 and -30 respectively, is to allow check-in staff to complete their bits and pieces, NOT for lazy so and sos to get an extra few minutes kip!)

Arrive at the airport late at your peril!

Charlie Zulu
1st Jun 2004, 22:21
I'd double check to see if Thomas Cook have an online seat reservation system for your flight.

Only today I found the "manage your flights" section on Virgin Atlantic, entered my booking reference and obtained seat map of the aeroplane for both outbound and return. I'm quite glad of this as most of the seats have already been booked... I've obtained the *last* window seat left and that is 62A - three rows from the back of the 744. I've got 56K on my return.

If Thomas Cook does have an online reservation seat reservation system then be sure to use it and you should be okay to turn up around 2 hours before with the knowledge that you have your seat assignment in place already.

Have a great time in Calgary.

2nd Jun 2004, 08:58
hi there,

i've booked to go to Cuba with TC in December. I wanted to book Premium Cabin on the A330 but was told they didnt have any left. However, if i booked my holiday with First Choice, who would then book me onto the same TC a/c, I could book these seats! (madness at an extra 400 quid for just the holiday)..

getting back to my main point- I asked if I could pre book seats and was told I can only book seats two weeks before the flight date( you have to phone up, and you dont pay anything) and even then when I get to the airport, my seats may have been given to someone else. ( i would like the exit rows- who wouldnt on a 10 hour flight).

Being crew, the one thing guaranteed to p*** me off on a cold December morning is to find 70 year olds annie and frank in them seats!
( sods law, its bound to happen!!!!!)

2nd Jun 2004, 10:47
I booked through Canadian Affair, so it looks like I can't now pre-book a seat. Never mind, I'll just get there early & window shop for several hours. :suspect: