Checking in online
In most cases, you'll be able to check in online for your flight. Online check-in typically opens 24 hours before departure, but for some airlines, it can be earlier.
To check in online, you'll be asked for your booking reference and your last name. If your name includes a special character, such as a hyphen or apostrophe, you may need to omit them, as some airline's systems don't accept these characters.
Depending on the airline, you might also need the email address used to book your flight, if that's the case, you'll see this on the booking details tab when viewing your booking on the platform and at the top of your booking confirmation email.
After checking in online, you will normally be able to print your boarding pass or save it to your mobile phone.
If you're travelling with Ryanair or Laudamotion, unless you've booked a Flexi Plus fare, you should check in online or you'll be charged by the airline for checking in at the airport.
Here's a list of the most popular airlines, with links to their online check-in page:
Ryanair *including Laudamotion flights
Vueling *select Search by Origin/Destination
If you're unable to check in online
You may be unable to check in online if your booking includes flights on more than one airline.
You might also be unable to check in online if you're booked on a codeshare flight. A codeshare flight is one that's operated by a different airline to the one that sold the ticket.
In both these instances, it's just down to the technical limitations of airline's systems not speaking to each other. When this happens, you just need to check in at the airport instead.
What happens at the airport?
Check-in generally opens 2-3 hours before a flight departs. You should normally plan to arrive at the airport at least 1-2 hours before a domestic flight, and at least 2-3 hours before an international flight.
You should ensure you have your passport, along with any visas or vaccination certificates that may be necessary for your journey. If you're travelling on a domestic flight and you don't have a passport, check your airline's website for their ID requirements.
If you've checked in online and you're travelling only with hand baggage, you can go straight to security. If you do have a bag for the aircraft hold, you should go to the fast bag drop desk to have your bag tagged. Some airlines now have kiosks at the airport that allow you to tag your own bag.
Travelling on Eurostar?
You can visit the Eurostar website and print your tickets or save them to your mobile at any time after your booking has been made. Doing this in advance will save you time at the station.