View Full Version : Internet Check-in is *****

24th Jul 2008, 02:30
Anyone else agree??

Just spent an hour trying to get the KLM site to let me check in......:ouch:

First it thinks I dont exist, then when it finally agrees I have an E-ticket it hangs up and then crashes when you attempt to change your seat!! I can get no further and give up on it.:mad:

The Airlines all reckon that we should check-in online and encourage everyone to do so as it saves them money. Well how about making it work then???:ugh: Had the same problem on the last two trips (where I didnt even attempt to change seats) and its really beginning to pi$$ me off!!

Sorry, but just needed to rant somewhere seeing as they dont answer the phone either.....:suspect:

24th Jul 2008, 05:07


Use KLM quite a lot on long haul and agree with the comments.
Also in JHB there is no point in checking in on the internet, neither with KLM, SAA, Virgin, nor probably anyone else. All passengers are made to wait in what passes for a line before being let in one by one to the check in area. Travelling Upper Class/Virgin with only a briefcase, no check in bag, makes no difference.
Doesn't seem to make any difference either in the States because all bags have to be tagged at check in desk and then hauled over to screening.
At Heathrow it is all, not surprisingly perhaps, a mess.
The only advantage of it, if you can organise the thing, lies in the seating allocation. But this seems usually very uncertain in its benefit. Have to say that, especially on KLM, I find that the best seats in either class always seem to be blocked off permanently. Those who end up sitting in them, it has been remarked, always seem to be KLM employees.
Still the best bet, in this opinion, is to get there nice and early, chat up madly, get airside and relax even if it means paying for entry to a business lounge if you're flying with the peasants.
There seem to be few short cuts available to making air travel anything but just another journey. The exception to this, it has to be said, are BA First Class out of T4/LHR or Virgin Upper also LHR. :)

24th Jul 2008, 06:29
I've used BA,United, SIA and SilkAir's internet check-in several times over the past few years - all quick and satisfactory. I can't comment on KLM, but some airlines block off seats for special requests (such as disability and young families etc.). In nearly 40 years, I've never had a seat blocked for me on staff travel!

24th Jul 2008, 07:54
Interline check-in works fine most of the time with most carriers. Of course, computers being computers, there can be glitches from time to time and of course it's frustrating.

The only problems I've had with KLM interline check-in is not being able to check-in from the USA on the return leg. I've no idea why.

In an unrelated issue regarding their (KLM) booking engine, I remember that it took me months, a lot of calls and a great deal of patience to convince them that there was a particular glitch with their system (and not my PC) when trying to book Business Class from MST. 5 months later they finally acknowledged it and fixed it!

24th Jul 2008, 09:28
I had a similar problem with KLM on a recent LHR/AMS/LHR where it all worked fine at LHR T4 but in AMS nothing worked over the internet and the KLM self service checkin machines at Schipol did not work either so we had to stand in a long line and go to a manual checkin. The agent told me that this happens very often!
On arrival at T4 we were held for 20 minutes for "our assigned gate to be available" and then went to an alternate where we were met by at least ten Customs agent, one policeman and a sniffer dog. The slow checkin didn't seem so bad afer all!

Conan The Barber
24th Jul 2008, 10:51
I have to agree with Cavorting on KLM. Even when checking in 30 hours before a flight very few seats are actually available. In the last year I have done about 50 legs with KLM, and I would estimate that only between 5% and 10% of seats on longhaul flights are available when checking in on-line. The rest are blocked.

24th Jul 2008, 12:40
Just checked-in for my GR JER-GCI flight on Sat morning. It took literally seconds - it was the simplest, quickest I have ever used.

24th Jul 2008, 13:48
Does checking in on the Internet kill your chances of getting an upgrade if your class of travel is full?


24th Jul 2008, 14:20
Anybody any experience of on-line check-in with Ryanair?


24th Jul 2008, 14:36
I have never had problems with internet check-in, not with VS, BA, SK, IB, or TP. I check in, I arrive at the airport, I present my ID, bag is weighed, labelled and it's all over and done. Perhaps the thread should be changed to "KLM online checkin is ********".

cavortingcheetah, what you experience at JNB is not a failure of online check-in, but rather a security check against the pax list. It's designed to prevent illegals getting anywhere near airside (although it's probably easier to bribe a gate guard and get airside that way). Considering that SAA has most of the check-in spaces, and VS and others have to make do with 4 or 5 desks (Tuesday only had 3), it's managing the crowds. I had no problems checking myself in online, proceeding past the initial pax check, and getting the bag dealt with.

JNB has improved in the last year. The new international departures area (landside) feels a lot better than before. There is a lot less people crush than before.


24th Jul 2008, 14:37
Used FR's online check-in many times. No problems at all. However, they have relatively recently added a bit which requires you to add passport details for every passenger. This makes it a little more time-consuming than it used to be. But still, it works well for me.

24th Jul 2008, 14:38
The only advantage of it, if you can organise the thing, lies in the seating allocation. But this seems usually very uncertain in its benefit. Have to say that, especially on KLM, I find that the best seats in either class always seem to be blocked off permanently. Those who end up sitting in them, it has been remarked, always seem to be KLM employees.

When I eventually got to the seating plan page I noticed that there were only a couple of free seats available..... This was 24 hrs ahead of flight time.
I wonder if they permanantly allocate everyone to a seat on the flight and so you only get to change to a vacant seat? If so this defeats the whole point of choosing a seat.

I am on a night flight with hand luggage only and so wanted to get a window seat to curl up in, it was the only reason I attempted to check in on the internet, I dont usually bother/persist if I have hold luggage, 'cause you have to queue anyway, the "fast bag drop" isnt fast anymore!!!

Regards, SD..

24th Jul 2008, 16:12
Does checking in on the Internet kill your chances of getting an upgrade if your class of travel is full?


I have been upgraded a number of times on BA and they were all internet check-ins (upgraded either at the gate or in the lounge when presenting my boarding pass).

It may possibly increase your chances as you have indicated to the airline that you intend to travel so, they get a better idea of the pax load they are going to have.

If they need to upgrade they may chose you as you have checked in.



24th Jul 2008, 16:21
Airport security scanners in the UK only like reading boarding cards printed on laser printers.

Use an inkjet printer and you are likely to be told to go back and get another boarding card at check-in.

Seems that a batch of cheap bar code scanners have been purchased by BAA and MAG. :ugh:

24th Jul 2008, 16:27
Airport security scanners in the UK only like reading boarding cards printed on laser printers.

Use an inkjet printer and you are likely to be told to go back and get another boarding card at check-in.

Seems that a batch of cheap bar code scanners have been purchased by BAA and MAG. :ugh:

I never print my boarding card.

I pay enough for the ticket so BA can print my boarding card :p. I am not going to use up my printer supplies

I have to say that I have seen a number of people turned back from security due to their home/office printed boarding pass not being read correctly!!!



24th Jul 2008, 17:09
Never had a problem with ink-jet printed boarding passes. Maybe the secret is don't fold over the bar code.

24th Jul 2008, 17:17
I'm missing something here, but I don't often fly on the Euro airlines: can't you book your seat when you make your reservation online some days/weeks/months before?

24th Jul 2008, 18:09
obgraham, it all depends on the airline. Some allow you to select your seat when you book (most charge for this option) and some only allow you to select a seat with interline check-in (24-30 hours prior departure depending on the airline).

24th Jul 2008, 18:32
Hola! Que tal? I must disagree with what you've written about inkjet printers. I've used injet printed boarding passes to depart UK airports thirty five times in the last twelve months alone and not once has the scanner refused to recognise what my printer had produced. Of course, if a passenger is idiotic enough to fold the A4 sheet a dozen times, then put it into his/her back pocket for good measure, well.... Hasta!

24th Jul 2008, 18:53
Flying recently with BA I've found online check in quick, straightforward and simple. I have had one problem, and that was due to a glitch caused by a change of booking.

Never used KLM, but their website isn't really compatible with anything other that IE - which possibly highlights problems in their systems!

I disagree with IB4138 - I have printed boarding cards off on rubbish paper on a rather poor quality inkjet and been read at security no problem!

As for OLCI being useless in the States I don't totally agree - last time I flew back from the States, everyone else was checking in at the airport. So I had a completely clear queue for bag drop! The queue for check in was out the door. And this was not long before check in was due to close...

And finally from me - whether you check in online or not, there is always the possibility for an upgrade! And no, I don't mean if you put your hand in your pocket. I've been upgraded twice at bag drop :)

24th Jul 2008, 22:58
If I print the boarding card - I use the laser and take care not to fold the paper in the sensible way.

That is, the problem is with the layout of information on home printed passes prevents you from folding it in the sensible way. The information is so badly laid out that you cannot fold the A4 page twice (presenting a neat size not much bigger than an ATB ticket) that fits into a pocket or bag. IF you do fold it twice - you fold it across the large square bar code.

If you fold it where they print dotted lines, the page is then too large to fit neatly into a pocket. Accordingly, I tend to get the pass from the machine at the slow bag drop.

How the airlines could manage to layout the information (text and images) in such a poor way is a mystery ... actually, No. I can well imagine that a committee could louse up this important document and make it more difficult to use. :suspect:

Mr Quite Happy
28th Jul 2008, 17:38
KLM online is a disgrace.

To come at it slightly grandfatherly…. The original website was a shonky piece of work that barely functioned. Then they ‘merged’ with Airfrance, there was a brief attempt to get the two websites to work in tandem but that clearly failed, during which time the KLM website didn’t function for a few weeks.

Last week the website worked for me at work. Today, it doesn’t. This will be because some KLM genius tweaked some software and the new version doesn’t work with the office activeX filters. Or possibly because the site isn’t working or possibly because my IT colleagues at work have done something to stop it working by raising the security levels. I noticed that Opodo doesn’t work today either.

It should be a pre-requisite that a companies front end channel should work with the majority of modern corporate firewall standards. The constant effort by some stupid IT geek in a backroom of the company trying to get his HTML to be sexier than his mates by putting in flying 747's across the screen might satisfy him and look great at home but if folk can't buy 'in their lunch hours' from work then....

The KLM website it appalling, and if the CEO understood exactly how much money he was losing via his site’s downtime, he’d hire me to fix it. In the meantime, anyone moving money in NL or BE through a certain large bank can thank me for it getting through on time with the minimum of charges :)

28th Jul 2008, 21:27
I've never had a problem with folding my A4 sheet either... Sorry Paxboy, but seriously, if you fold it along the dotted lines, you get a 'classic' boarding card size, which generally is a problem anyway. But - If you fold it right, you won't have problems.

I certainly don't.


29th Jul 2008, 00:09
Thanks for that VAFFPAX but have you tried it with Print-U-Like boarding passes that eminate from the FlyBe computer???

29th Jul 2008, 23:16
Have to agree, the KLM website is utter pants.

Mind you, I never cease to be amazed at how bad some airlines websites are. There is no excuse in 2001 to have a Global website for booking, information and check-in, that is not internet standards compliant, won't function with anything other than Internet Explorer, and has been designed by a four year old.

Airline websites which are just p*ss poor;

KLM (doesn't work half the time, reservation fields won't accept certain words in the address etc...). It has actually got better, as previously it just didn't work at all.

SAS Just poor

Flybe - oh my god! What a piggin mess. Do flybe think people will not notice the total cost of their flight if they make the website extremely confusing.

USairways (uk) This website achieves nothing. Why did they even bother, as it is virtually impossible to reliably make a booking.

Lufthansa isn't too hot either, but useable (just)

Among the better ones;


Virgin Atlantic


To the airlines with bad websites: you need to realise, people like myself often have a free choice of airlines to use on business, and if your website is a mess, I just give up, and use BA or one of the other ones that actually work. I haven't got time to p*ss about with crappy websites that just don't work.

30th Jul 2008, 07:03
So, you won't be flying Ryanair then:}!

30th Jul 2008, 18:43
Paxboy, I don't fly with FlyBE, so no.

I've flown SAS and both check-ins (there and back) were ok. I just had to print my boarding pass at the airport on the way back because I had no printer accessible.


31st Jul 2008, 18:44
Earlier this year I wanted to go from Girona to Madrid and back. As the locals are all raving about how good the AVE is - that's the new high-speed TGV train from Barcelona to Madrid - I tried using RENFE's website to book the tickets, RENFE being the Spanish national rail system.

After two eight-hour days of crashes, lockouts, BSOD's etc., I gave up on the RENFE website and booked our seats on Ryanair. As usual, Ryanair's website worked perfectly and as an added bonus our seats were cheaper than the AVE would have cost.

There are some really lousy booking sites out there and a few good ones. Uh-uh, this isn't anything new is it ! But the Spanish RENFE railway website is about as crap as the French SNCF site is*.....so as comfortable as TGV train travel is, if I can't book the ticket I go elsewhere.

* Showing "Trains Unavailable" for the past week.


1st Aug 2008, 14:24
I have to say the bmi OLCI is very good and the new text barcode to phone service is brilliant! Added with the fact that bmi have now installed OLCI fast bag drop makes it a very easy experience with less time waiting in lines!

1st Aug 2008, 21:26
The Aer Lingus web site is one that works very well from my experience.
I've had no problems with the web sites of - Ryanair, US Airways, BA, Continental, Gulf.
In fact I've had no real problem with web sites of any airline.
Perhaps I've been lucky?

2nd Aug 2008, 12:52
No trouble with Ryanair? You have been lucky!

4th Aug 2008, 22:33
Talking of Ryan Air ... :(

This is not an OLCI question but a booking one and I thought that I'd ask in here, rather than start yet another thread. Besides, in a few weeks time it will be OLCI!

Booking today from GTO (Gothenburg in Sweden) to dear old STN. One of the check boxes was: Do you have a valid EU/EEA passport? with a Yes/No. My companion is on a non-EU passport (with more than six months validity) and has her Schengen Visa issued by Sweden. So I said: No. The site would not let the booking continue. There was no other option and no explanation about this. The last time we used FR was from Denmark to STN (2.5 yrs ago) and this question was certainly not asked then.

So, I said: YES and completed the booking. Now ... what next? Any suggestions and has anyone encountered this EU/EEA question before??

Lastly, I was almost caught out by the following statement at the end of the booking (and all in bright red):
Important! Compulsory Advance Passenger Information (API)
Ryanair are required to collect the passport or EEA issued National Identity Card details of all passengers departing from the UK, IRELAND, MOROCCO AND SWITZERLAND to Spain or the Canary Islands/Balearic Islands. FAILURE TO PROVIDE THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION PRIOR TO ARRIVAL AT THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT WILL RESULT IN YOU BEING DENIED BOARDING WITHOUT REFUNDWhich does not apply - although with the usual FR subtlety of web page layout - it looks as if it applies to all.

Thanks folks.

5th Aug 2008, 06:45
I think your companion may have difficulty using OLCI as one can, if I remember correctly, only enter details for passengers who hold EU passports when checking in this way. This, presumably, explains the question during the booking process.
Because citizens of EU member states are also citizens of the whole EU there is no need for them to have visas for travel to other EU states; the reason for not allowing OLCI for non-EU passport holders might be to allow staff at check in desks to make sure passengers have the appropriate visa. If this was not done OCLI passengers could proceed straight to the gate where such checking does not take place. I may be wrong about this as perhaps entry to the UK automatically confers the right to travel within the EU.
P.S. I've just looked at Ryanair's website. It allows citizens of EU and EEA nations to make bookings including OLCI so the facility is available to citizens of a slightly larger number of countries than the EU alone.