No more online check-in for flights to the US?

47 posts in this topic

Today my daughter wanted to check in online for her flight to New York. However, the airline´s (Delta)  website didn´t let her but stated that due to government regulations check-in must be done at the counter. This is a bit of a headache as I booked her train ticket assuming she needed to be at the airport only 1 hour before departure. Has anyone experience with this? Is it for all flights to the US? Is it one of Trump´s new ideas? Annoying since Delta Airlines had said on their website that online check-in will be possible and they even sent an email with a link to the online check-in this morning.

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I'm not sure, but there have been times that even I, as a US citizen, haven't been able to check-in for a US flight. It's also the case when one has a lap child. I think it depends on the airline, and here in Frankfurt, non-Star Alliance airlines (i.e. non-United, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, etc.) are more likely to require document checks.

 

Plus, one hour before a flight to the US is not always advisable!

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Does anybody happen to know in what intervals the skytrain commutes from the terminal 1 (where the railway station is) to terminal 2 of Frankfurt airport as of 8 a.m.?

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I don't think it has anything to do with Trump, it has always been like that. 

 

30 minutes ago, jeba said:

This is a bit of a headache as I booked her train ticket assuming she needed to be at the airport only 1 hour before departure.

That is quite dangerous for all flights out of EU. And Deutsche Bahn trains are not as punctual as they claim.

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34 minutes ago, jeba said:

This is a bit of a headache as I booked her train ticket assuming she needed to be at the airport only 1 hour before departure.

 

That's cutting it REAL fine. Most flights state that you should arrive with at least 2 hours to spare for flights out of Europe. I'd only chance being 1 hour early for an internal or short flight - even having checked in online. 

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I suspect that the reason they want you to be at airport 2 hours up front is that you then have to spend 1.5 hours in their expensive cafes / shops.

 

On 1st October last year my wife & I flew with LH from Hamburg to Seattle via Frankfurt. 

Checked in online, handed in our luggage the evening before & on the morning our daughter dropped us off 45 minutes before departure.

Through security in less than 5 minutes and still had time to kill.

 

No additional security in FRA (just the usual US folks double-checking passports & boarding cards).

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Security can sometimes take 30 minutes, depending on queues. And it's a big airport -- getting to a gate can take ages! I'd change the train if possible.

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Well, meanwhile I phoned Delta. They said they are required to pick 10% of passengers and ban them from online check-in. If my daughter doesn´t make it to the check-in counter in time they will book her on a different flight provided she lets them know before check-in closes.

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36 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

I don't think it has anything to do with Trump, it has always been like that. 

No, it wasn´t like that in August last year.

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5 hours ago, jeba said:

This is a bit of a headache as I booked her train ticket assuming she needed to be at the airport only 1 hour before departure.

 

I always leave more time to get to the airport you never know what might happen on the way! I once almost missed a flight because I hadn't noticed that the train I was planning to catch didn't run the day after a bank holiday.

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17 hours ago, jeba said:

 

Does anybody happen to know in what intervals the skytrain commutes from the terminal 1 (where the railway station is) to terminal 2 of Frankfurt airport as of 8 a.m.?

 

It runs at about every 3-5 mins.  And takes about the same amount of time to travel between the terminals.  There is also a bus which goes from the central bus station.  

 

 

As somebody who has travelled through Frankfurt airport 100's of times then I can say that you can never be sure what it will be like.

I have checked-in at the counter and been sitting at my gate some 5-10 mins later.  

I have also had to queue for 20 mins to check-in, then 60 mins to get through security, and another 10-15 mins to get to my gate!

Even during a relatively quiet time I have had to queue a long time in security, because they only had 1 lane open, and it took 10 mins to open a second (10 mins from when the staff first arrived!).  

 

Once I even got stuck in traffic at the airport (@DUS), and it took me 45 mins to get from the motorway off-ramp to the car park.  Luckily I was picking somebody up and not catching a flight.

 

At Frankfurt T1 is normally much worse than T2.

At T2 for the non-schengen flights you have security for a group of gates.  This means that if there are delays at security then the staff for the flight can see it easily, and they will even check the security line for the missing passengers and help them get through quicker if they can.

 

 

You also need to be careful with check-in because for some long-haul flights some airlines have a check-in cut-off time that can be 45-60 minutes before departure.  And I know that some airports such as London Heathrow also have enforced "conformance" times.  This is the time before the departure time that you must have entered the security line.  This is enforced electronically by the gates and can't be overridden by staff.  I think that the time is something like 35mins, but might vary by Terminal.

 

 

 

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I learned my lesson at Gatwick airport. Somehow I read the gate signs wrong and ended up at the wrong gate; had to run all the long way to the right gate but it was closed. Booked a new flight for that evening (Easyjet to Stuttgart) but there was thick fog and the flight was cancelled. Easyjet booked me into a hotel but the next day the fog was even thicker, and the airport was clogged with people who had missed their flight. Flights were booked out for two days and I had to get to work on Monday. In the end I realised it was hopeless, went into London, and tried to get the Eurostar. All booked out due to the cancelled flights. In the end I bought a first class ticket on Eurostar through Brussels and was able to get to work on Monday.

All because I had missed that Saturday morning flight due to leaving the time too close. Now, even with online check-in I try to arrive at the airport an hour before the gates close.

(First class on Eurostar is nice, though!)

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If you go to the airport so late, you don't have time for a proper German beer before flying to the U.S.

 

Seriously, I couldn't pre-check in online back on Dec. 1 when I was flying to the U.S. and  have TSA pre-check approval.  I could, however, check the seating and change my seat. 

 

I'm always early and like to walk around a lot before sitting for 9 - 10 hours. The double security at Munich for U.S. flights can take up to 45 min. combined. The last time I flew, they had the gate security closed. Nice surprise.

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I have an experience of arriving 15 minutes before departure. Fortunately, no queues at the security, so I won that race. But I don't recommend it: you need to run really fast and have excellent navigation skills.

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Sometimes it also depends on airline. Scheduled ones ( BA, LH etc) more flexible with check in times. Easy jet very strict! But with increased security, always better to allow more time.

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European Parliament has just adopted a new directive for stricter passport control for EU citizens. I.e. if you're a EU citizen and are used to quick passport control without checking security database, this will soon be history, i.e. queues to passport control will be much longer.

 

This applies to non EU flights, of course.

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@yourkeau Do you have a link to that directive perchance? Curious to read through the changes but could not find with simple google search. Thanks!

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Some years ago I was in Cyprus and queuing for passport control at the departure terminal. There was only one counter open and some 50 Russians were in front of me. Then, an officer noticed my Dutch passport as he walked by and told me to skip the waiting line and just go through. He told his colleague at the counter it's ok. Just a few minutes before I also got an upgrade to business. I love Cyprus 👻.

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