One of the most convenient ways of checking in for your flight is to use the website of the airline or its mobile application. However, there are certain limitations and restrictions which do not permit all passengers to use this facility. These factors which make a passenger ineligible for online check in are-
- When certain payments are due
If you have to buy extra baggage but have not been able to do so online, you will have to make the payment at the airport. This requires checking in at the airport desk.
- When documentary proof becomes mandatory
When traveling with an infant who is to be carried on lap and for which the airline does not charge, the airline would like to see the infant at check in desk at airport. You are also required to show the identification proof of the infant in order to establish the age as also parentage or guardianship of the infant. Therefore, passengers with infants are not allowed online check-in.
Similarly, passengers who have special conditions associated with them might need to show Fit To Fly certificates or other medical documents before boarding flight.
- When passengers have special conditions associated with them
Pregnant women, disabled and ill passengers are required to check-in at airport. They are not allowed online check in. This is so because the pregnant woman is required to show the type of pregnancy (multiple, single, without complications, with complications) and, even the Fit to Fly certificates to establish authenticity. Similarly, disabled and ill passengers are also required to furnish certificates establishing illness and its progress over a period of time.
- When more than certain number of passengers are traveling on a PNR
Maximum number of passengers traveling on one PNR who can book tickets online are restricted. If more than this number are traveling, booking has to be done using non-online means, meaning that contact centers or calling has to be used for ticket booking. Since even ticket booking is not allowed for more than a certain number of passengers, online check-in can bot be done as well.
USA airlines restrict this maximum number of passengers on one PNR as given in this post.
If more than this number of people have to fly, then tickets have to be booked at contact centers or on phone with the airline. This cannot be done online. Therefore, even check in cannot be done online for more than these restricted number of passengers.