Nothing is worse than the queues at check in during the morning rush. Everyone is tired from being up early, some are still half drunk from the night before, kids are screaming – it’s bedlam. How about checking your bag in the night before?

This could be very handy for people who are staying at airport hotels as it will allow much more time for sleep. Anyone living near the airport will also be able to take advantage of it, not to mention families with children and lots of bags. So who does it?

Aer Lingus ‘Evening Before’ Check In

Aer Lingus introduced this service back in 2013 and now allows this for flights departing both Dublin and Cork. You are eligible if your flight departs between 06:00 and 08:00.

The page on the Aer Lingus web site states – “Each passenger needs to present themselves to check in and drop off bags but if you are travelling with immediate family, one member of the family can check in and drop bags for the group the evening before. Passports/ID cards are required for all passengers travelling, and must be presented the evening before.”

Passengers can check in the bags between 17:00 and 20:00 in Dublin and 16:00 and 19:30 in Cork. I think this is very convenient indeed.

Ryanair Also Allows Night Check In

Imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail from Ryanair with the subject “Avoid Bag Drop Queues”. It appears Europe’s largest airline also allows the same thing in Dublin.

The difference here is that one person can check in all the bags as long as they have the Passports and boarding passes for each person. Also, you can only check the bag in after 20:00 which is quite a bit later than Aer Lingus and a little more inconvenient as a result.

When you do it, the check-in staff take your phone number as you’re advised to wait at the airport for ten to fifteen minutes while the bag is screened. Presumably if there is an issue you need to go back and explain yourself.

Anywhere Else?

A quick search on Google shows that Jet2 offer what they call Twilight. On flights between May and October, passengers can check their bag the night before in Manchester from 15:00 to 20:00.

Thomas Cook offer Sundown Check In for a fee of £5.00 at London Gatwick and Manchester. Lufthansa stress it is ‘possible on all flights’ and is available at ‘numerous airports’, which suggests to me it’s not available everywhere.

Condor and Bulgarian Air Charter offer the service from Berlin-Schönefeld. Frankfurt airport lists a number of airlines including Singapore Airlines, Air France and Swiss that offer it from that airport. Who knew this was a thing? I didn’t!

Overall Thoughts

Night bag check in is something you should consider if you have an early flight scheduled. Check with your airline to see if it is on offer from the airport you are departing from.

I think it is an excellent idea and I used it myself the other day. While I’d rather have checked the bag in before the 20:00 start at Ryanair, having the option is better than no option. The next day I went straight through fast-track security and minimised my time waiting for my flight which is always welcome when there is no lounge access.

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