easyJet launches online check-in

The airline carrier easyJet has recently launched an online check-in service for passengers with hold luggage. At last, easyJet has caught up with other airlines, including British Airways, Flybe and Ryanair, that already offer such a service (in fact, Ryanair no longer offers the option of airport check-in desks).

The new easyJet check-in procedure is similar to other airlines: you check in online within a specified period before departure, then print out your boarding pass before leaving home. At the airport, you take your hold luggage to a ‘fast drop’ facility and head straight to security.

However, as with anything to do with airlines, different rules and regulations apply depending on the airline you’re flying with, so it’s important not to assume all online check-in services operate in the same way. Advance check-in periods vary, some airlines allow you to print your boarding pass at the airport and some impose a heavy penalty if you lose it.

Here’s how it works at the five most popular UK airlines:

Bmibaby (0905 828 2828; www.bmibaby.com)
Optional online check-in is free but available to passengers with hand luggage only, open 72 hours before departure (24 hours for Geneva). Not available to passengers travelling with small children. £10 check-in fee if you lose your boarding card.

British Airways (0844 493 0787; www.ba.com)
Optional online check-in is free and available to all passengers; open from 24 hours before departure. Print boarding card at home or at an airport kiosk.

easyJet (0905 821 0905; www.easyjet.com)
Optional online check-in is free and available to all passengers; open from 60 days before departure.

Flybe (0871 700 2000; www.flybe.com)
Optional online check-in is free and available to all passengers; open from 36 hours before departure. There’s a £10 fee if the boarding card is lost or illegible.

Ryanair (0871 246 0000; www.ryanair.com)
Mandatory online check-in for all passengers (no airport check-in desks), at £5. Open from 15 days before departure. A £40 reissue fee if the boarding card is not produced.

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