There are a few steps for check in, some of which can now be done at home, or self serve at the airport.
If the airline allows web check in, you should do it. First, they offer business class upgrades at discounted rates when you check in online and early. When you are checked in, you have the choice of printing your boarding passes or sending them to you by email or to a mobile device (with a barcode for scanning). Second, you will be assured to have seats in the case of an overbooking situation. Last, even if you lose your boarding passes, you are still “checked in” and can have them reprinted at the airport check in counter.
Check in Times:
You should arrive at the airport 60-90 minutes prior for a flight within Canada, and at least 90 minutes prior if you are traveling to the USA. We recommend 2-3 hours prior for a flight to the USA or International destinations. US Customs in major airports can be a very long line up, and if there are any security alerts, it can take a long time.
If you don’t check in online, you can use a self serve kiosk at the airport or at Park N Fly if you are using them – it can be faster than a person if you know your information and you are handy with touch screen instructions. It will avoid a longer line up. You can print boarding passes here, or send to a mobile device. Again, if you don’t have seat numbers because of the fare you have booked, checking in as soon as possible is advantageous if the flight is overbooked. Kiosk checkin beats the long line up.
Last, some airlines allow you to print your baggage tags. All this leaves is a line-up for “baggage drop off”. We recommend that you do not affix the baggage tags yourself by peeling the adhesive. Doing this incorrectly could result in the bar code not showing, or the adhesive not holding. You don’t want to risk the tag coming loose – best to let them affix it – they have to weigh the bag anyway.