Several check-in options are available for passengers travelling with Air India:
Depending on the route, as well as on the preferred check-in method, you have different time windows in which you can complete the checking-in procedures.
If you have to travel within India, you can check-in at the airport counters from 2 hours prior to scheduled flight departure up to 45 minutes before take off, regardless of your ticket class. Passengers departing from Jammu, Leh and Srinagar, although are not allowed to any carry-on baggage, must be present at the airport at least 120 minutes prior to departure, since extra security measures will be taken.
International travelers must report at the counters from 3 hours up to 1 hour before scheduled flight departure, regardless of their ticket class. These time limits were set in such a manner as to allow all passengers to successfully undergo all the required formalities from checking-in all the way to boarding the plane.
When checking-in online, the service will be available for public use beginning with 24 hours prior to take off and will close 2 hours before scheduled departure. The same time window applies for the mobile check-in facility.
As far as the advance check-in is concerned, passengers flying from Mumbai to Europe / UK / USA on the same day, or up to 800 a.m. the following day, must personally contact whether the Chattrapathi Shivaji International Airport, or the Air India Building (Ground Floor, Nariman Point), between 1100 a.m. and 600 p.m., having upon themselves their valid passport, their original tickets, as well as their locked baggage.
Passengers travelling with Air India can check-in online for both domestic and international flights by simply accessing the airline’s official website and following the easy, 6-step process. During the web check-in procedure, you have the liberty to check yourself in (and any other fellow travelers), select your desired seat, as well as print your boarding pass. In order to successfully complete the process, all you need is a personal computer with internet access and a printer.
When initiating the web check-in sequence, one of the following identification methods will be required:
The boarding pass printed as a result of the web check-in will allow you to go straight to the security inspection at the airport, provided that you are travelling with your carry-on baggage only. However, if you have any baggage to check, you still need to visit the Baggage Drop counter, for proper baggage check-in and for collecting your luggage tags.
While, for domestic flights, you can print your own boarding pass and proceed with it to the airport, for international sectors passengers are provided with a confirmation slip - initially replacing the traditional boarding card. At the counters, all the passengers’ documentation will be verified, as well as their baggage registered (if any), and the confirmation slip will be exchanged for a boarding pass.
Any passenger who possesses a confirmed booking and an electronic ticket can log on to Air India’s official website and complete the online check-in, no prior registration being required.
The time frame for completing the online check-in procedure is different for metro and no-metro stations. If your flight originates from one of the following metro stations: Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata or Mumbai, you can initiate the web check-in sequence stating 2 days prior to scheduled flight departure. When your flight originates from a non-metro station, you can start checking-in online 1 day before take off. The service will close 2 hours prior to departure.
All travel classes are eligible for this type of service, provided that the passenger holds a confirmed booking and an e-ticket.
In spite of the fact that the web check-in facility is recommended for passengers travelling with their carry-on luggage only, those with baggage to check can also avail of the service. Specially designated Baggage Drop Counters can be used to check-in your baggage, as well as complete other formalities. These dedicated counters cease service 40 minutes prior to scheduled departure - for domestic flights, and 60 minutes before take off - for international flights.
If you are planning to use the web check-in platform, you should know that you can check-in a maximum of four passengers at one time, provided they are booked in a single Passenger Name Record (PNR).
Infants can also be checked-in online, if associated with an adult on the same PNR.
Certain categories of passengers are not eligible for the online check-in. For example, travelers with disabilities, passengers with special requests or unaccompanied minors cannot benefit from this service.
The web check-in facility is not currently available for: Dubai, Muscat, Paris, Seoul and Sharjah.1
If you want to cancel your check-in, you cannot do so by accessing the online platform. Instead, you are supposed to whether contact the airline’s call center, or go directly at the airport counters and seek the help of the airline’s staff.
You can check-in for your Air India flight also through your mobile device, provided that you have internet access on it. By accessing http://flyai.mobi, you can not only undergo the checking-in procedures, but also view the timetables for different flights, as well as get different contact information, such as useful phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
No third party application needs to be installed on your mobile device in order for you to successfully initiate the check-in sequence. Moreover, the mobile device used for checking-in must not necessarily be the same as the one given in the PNR. The check-in confirmation message will be sent to the same mobile number from which the check-in process was completed.
Upon receiving the check-in confirmation SMS, whose syntax will look like: “Checked-in [Flight No./Date] [Seat No.]. Collect Boarding Pass at airport [URL]”, you will be provided with a Mobile Bar Coded Boarding Pass, which can be retrieved from the URL. At the same time, an e-mail confirming the check-in was completed successfully will be sent to the e-mail address provided by you at the time of checking-in.
The Mobile Bar Coded Boarding Pass does not replace the standard, printed one, which still needs to be acquired from the airport counters, at least 40 minutes prior to scheduled flight departure.
No additional fee will be charged when making use of this service, the only fees applicable being the ones set by your mobile service provider for the web access.
The mobile check-in service is available exclusively for domestic flights, and can be performed by passengers holding a confirmed booking of any travel class, who are departing from one of the following six metro airports: Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.
You can check-in using your mobile device starting 1 day prior to departure, until 2 hours before take off. Moreover, you can access the timetable and find out the flight schedules for seven days, the current day of inquiry being included.
The mobile check-in facility allows you to select your preferred seat, check-in your entire family (one member at a time) - should all of them be booked on the same PNR, and even complete the check-in procedure for groups of travelers consisting of nine members at most, but only if they are booked in the same Passenger Name Record.2
Among the advantages of performing the mobile check-in is the possibility to select the “Return Schedule” option and find out the respective timings for your return flight, and also inquire for the flight schedule for the following six days.
Should you travel accompanied by more than your carry-on luggage, you must seek out the Baggage Drop counters to check-in your baggage and pick up the corresponding tags. These specially designated counters close 40 minutes prior to flight departure and allow you, besides depositing your registered baggage, to pick up your physical Boarding Pass.
Once completed, the mobile check-in procedure cannot be cancelled by SMS. Therefore, only by contacting Air India’s call center, or by visiting the check-in counters at the airport, can you invalidate the procedure already finalized.3
Special passengers, such as infants, unaccompanied minors, travelers with disabilities or with special requirements / needs, cannot avail of this type of service. Furthermore, codeshare flights are also not eligible for this check-in method.
2The mobile check-in facility allows only one passenger to be checked-in at a time.
Self-service kiosks are another fast, easy-to-use method of checking-in. Unlike web check-in and mobile check-in, after checking-in at a kiosk you can print your own boarding pass directly at the machine.
Please note that only passengers travelling within India can avail of this check-in method, and only at certain airports. As with all the other check-in methods, after checking-in at the kiosks you still have to pass by the Baggage Drop counters and register your checked luggage, if any.
Provided certain conditions are met, you can opt to check-in by phone (tele check-in):
Air India puts at the passenger’s disposal a non-stop call center, which is available 24/7 and free of charge. By calling at 1800-180-1407, you can have your check-in request answered and completed.
Passengers holding a confirmed booking and travelling lightly (with their carry-on baggage only) can avoid queuing at the airport on the day of departure and save time by checking-in in advance at the specially designated City Booking Offices, spread throughout metro cities.
With your check-in completed in this manner, you can simply report at the airport directly at the security inspection, and afterwards proceed to the boarding gate. However, be advised that this type of check-in is available for domestic flights only.
Recently, a new City Check-in facility / Baggage Drop point has been introduced in Delhi, at the Airport Metro Express Line.
Passengers travelling from Mumbai to Europe / UK / USA can perform their check-in at any time during the same day of the journey, or up to 800 a.m. the following day, by personally contacting the Air India Building - Ground Floor - Nariman Point in Mumbai, or by reporting to the check-in counters at Chattrapathi Shivaji International Airport. This must be done anytime between 1100 a.m. and 600 p.m., also bringing along your valid passport, your original ticket(s), as well as your baggage (if any).
No matter at which of the two aforementioned locations you choose to advance check-in, your baggage will be screened or X-rayed as part of the necessary formalities. You have the responsibility to check that your baggage is tagged with the right information, and also verify the correctness of the flight details printed on your boarding pass. At the time of check-in, a flight coupon, as well as a physical boarding pass will be given to you if you possess a paper ticket.
After completing the advance check-in formalities, you must go through immigration and security checks, and pay attention to the announcements made on the public address system.
Whether you are a first time flyer or a frequent one, you must allow yourself plenty of time to complete all the necessary formalities at the counters. It is therefore advised to arrive at the airport in a timely manner, in advance of the departure time printed on your ticket / flight coupon.
If you want more information regarding seat availability, ticket reservations, fares updates, flight scheduled timings etc., you can call Air India’s contact center at 1800-180-1407, or 1407. Both numbers are free of charge and addressable on a 24/7 basis. The airline’s official website also provides up-to-date information regarding the abovementioned subjects, as well as an extensive 2013 Timetable for all the flights carried by Air India.
If you find yourself in any of the six following metro stations: Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, special customer service counters, accessible from city side, are at the passengers’ disposal, providing direct assistance from the airline’s staff.
Beside these kerbside counters, the six aforementioned metro stations also have transfer desks, whose purpose is to ease passenger and baggage transfer between distant gates or connecting flights on Air India’s network.