Which check-in options do I have for Lufthansa flights?
Passengers may choose from several check-in options which Lufthansa offers to its customers:
- Automated Check-in.
- Online Check-in.
- Mobile Check-in.
- Machine Check-in.
- Counter Check-in.
- Late Night Check-in.
Which check-in deadlines apply for Lufthansa flights?
When traveling with Lufthansa, check-in deadlines are different at every airport and may vary from 120 minutes to 30 minutes prior to departure. Information on check-in deadlines for Lufthansa flights is available on Lufthansa website or at the travel agency where the air ticket was issued. Also, you will be advised of the check-in deadline by Lufthansa or the travel agency which issued your ticket. Lufthansa reserve the right to cancel your reservation if you do not comply with the check-in deadline for your first flight.
Automated Check-in is available for all Lufthansa flights within Germany and Europe, free of charge. All it takes is to choose whether you would like to receive your mobile boarding pass by SMS or e-mail. You can register for Automated Check-in via your Miles & More profile or, if you are not a Miles & More member, via the link in your booking confirmation. You can reserve your seat at the time of booking, but you can change your seat at any time online or via your mobile phone provided that the booking class chosen permits a seat reservation. Provided that your ticket allows for your booking to be changed, changes to your booking after Automated Check-in can be made 23 hours before departure either online, under “Check-in” via the option “Cancel Check-in”, or by contacting the Lufthansa Service Centre.
Registration in the Miles & More programme and sending of the text message are free of charge, but any additional charge that may arise from the service provider is your responsibility (e.g. for sending the text to a mobile number registered with a foreign provider or receiving the text message overseas). You will also incur charges for sending your reply by text when using the SMS check-in service. If you do not want to use the Automated Check-in service, you must deactivate Automated Check-in in your Miles & More profile at least 24 hours before your departure.
Online Check-in is available from as early as 23 hours before departure. You will need an electronic ticket, etix, and, to identify yourself, you can use the number of the Miles & More card, another Star Alliance airline frequent flyer card (e.g. United Airlines – MileagePlus, Air Canada – Aeroplan, Asiana Airlines – Asiana Club, etc.), credit card, or the German EC card under which the etix is stored. Also, it is possible to use another airline’s frequent flyer card number as identification for Online Check-in with many of Lufthansa’s partners (e.g. SWISS, Austrian Airlines, LOT, etc.), provided that this number was saved when you booked your flight. You must select the relevant frequent flyer programme in the drop-down list as identification for Online Check-in. Alternatively, you can also check in by using your booking code or ticket number.
Online Check-in available for Lufthansa worldwide flights, with a few exceptions. Online Check-in is not available for departures from:
- France – Bastia (BIA), Montpellier (MPL).
- United Kingdom – Cardiff (CWL), Inverness (INV), Newquay (NQY).
- Ireland – Knock (NOC).
- Croatia – Pula (PUY).
- Hungary – Balaton (SOB), Debrecen (DEB).
- Italy – Lamezia Terme (SUF), Perugia (PEG).
- Spain – Vigo (VGO), Jerez de la Frontera (XRY).
- Portugal – Madeira (FNC).
Online Check-in is available even if you are traveling with an infant, or you have baggage to check. After you have checked in online, you can check your baggage at the Lufthansa Quick Check-in baggage drop-off counter. When checking your baggage at a conventional check-in counter, you should notify the Lufthansa employee that you have already checked in online.
During the Online Check-in process, you are offered several options:
- Check in for outbound and return flights. After having checked in for the outbound flight, just choose your return flight for check-in from the flight list if the departure of the return flight takes place within the next 23 hours.
- Check in multiple passengers. Online Check-in offers passengers travelling together and booked under one card number the option to check in either individually or as a group. Also, you can check in additional passengers as long as they are booked on the same flight on the same day. Your travelling companions must be identified using the booking code, frequent flyer or credit card.
- Check in as a waiting list passenger. You can still use Online Check-in if you are a waiting list passenger, but explanatory notes will appear on your online boarding pass. If you are accepted for the flight, you must go to a Lufthansa service counter or the departure gate to exchange your existing boarding pass.
- Choose/change seats. You can select seats for all the passengers in your party, and for every leg of your journey, with the aid of the interactive seat map. To change your seat after you have checked in online, simply log on again and select the seat you want, or use a Lufthansa check-in machine at the airport.
- Change flight. This option only appears if your ticket can be changed without charge, you have no connecting flight, have not ordered a special meal and do not want to use an upgrade.
- Upgrade to a higher travel class. The “Upgrade against miles” option only appears if your Miles & More card number has been stored and you are travelling alone.
- Add a frequent flyer card and/or entry/visa information. For example, if you are checking in for a long-haul flight, you can provide your entry information.
At the end of Online Check-in, you must choose how you want to obtain your boarding pass:
- Print your online boarding pass right away or save it for later printing (you can use normal printer paper).
- Have a Mobile Boarding Pass sent to your mobile phone via e-mail or text message link (requires a mobile phone with Internet access).
Alternatively, you can pick up your boarding pass at a Check-in Kiosk or a Lufthansa Service Counter if you have problems printing, forget or lose your boarding pass, or if Lufthansa does not offer the facility for printing out your own boarding pass on the route you are flying. After you’ve checked in online, you can log in again and reprint your boarding pass, change the method of delivery or even cancel your check-in.
For Mobile Check-in via Lufthansa app or mobile portal, you need an Internet-enabled mobile phone and an electronic ticket. Mobile Check-in is available 23 hours before your flight (or connecting flight) departs until the check-in deadline for that flight if you have no special requirements (e.g. you wish to take weapons with you, you are checking in an unaccompanied child). You can identify yourself the same as for Online Check-in (booking reference, frequent flyer card number, etc.).
Mobile Check-in is available when traveling as a group and all Mobile Boarding Passes can be sent to the same phone number or e-mail address. Although for each passenger in the group is required a phone number or an e-mail address, these can be the same for all passengers.
Mobile Check-in is possible for flights with Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, and bmi. You can check in via your mobile for only flights from Germany with SWISS, SAS, Croatia Airlines,TAP Air Portugal, and Adria.
When checking in from your mobile, you can choose your seat and select how you want your to receive your Mobile Boarding Pass, via e-mail or text message link. For iPhone users who already have the iOS 6 operating system on their phones, the Mobile Boarding Pass is also available via the Passbook app. The Mobile Boarding Pass is introduced on many routes worldwide.
From as early as 23 hours before departure, passengers may use a check-in machine, available at numerous airports in Germany and throughout Europe, to check in quickly and easily. At the present time, it is not possible for passengers traveling with pets to use a check-in machine. When you check in with baggage, either you will be automatically asked to check your baggage, or directed to the nearest baggage drop-off counter at the end of the check-in process. At the check-in machine, you can check your baggage until you reach the limit of your free baggage allowance. You may combine the individual free baggage allowances when you are travelling in a group.
The check-in process begins with identification: enter name and booking code, scan your machine-readable passport or ID card, or use your EC, frequent flyer or credit card. If you have already checked in and would like to make changes (e.g. to change your seat or the number of items of baggage), just scan your paper boarding pass or Mobile Boarding Pass.
The Machine Check-in process offers you several options during check-in:
- Changing your seat.
- Adding travelling companions.
- Adding your frequent flyer card.
- Upgrading to a higher travel class.
- Changing your flight.
- Checking in for your return flight.¹
- Entering entry/visa details.²
Once your check-in process is completed, the number of the baggage drop-off counter at which you can hand in your baggage without a long wait will be displayed on the screen.
¹If you do not want to check in for your return flight, touch “No check-in for return flight”.
²Lufthansa is bound by law to register the passport information of every passenger traveling on flights to the US, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, India, and South Africa. To save yourself the trouble of registering at the departure gate, you can register the information yourself at the check-in machines equipped with scanners.
For flights in Lufthansa Economy Class, Lufthansa eFly services are available in place of the traditional check-in counters. Passengers with an Economy Class ticket can only check in at the check-in counter in exceptional circumstances. Instead, they can check in conveniently online, via their mobile phone or at a check-in machine at the airport.
Late Night Check-in
Late Night Check-in allows you to complete the check-in process the evening before your flight, but no earlier than 23 hours before departure. You can check in, choose your seat and obtain your boarding pass at the counter or check-in machine.
In general, Late Night Check-in is available at numerous airports, for all flights operated by Lufthansa or one of the Lufthansa regional partners. The Late Night Check-in to the US and Mexico is situated in the specially designated check-in area for these destinations and possible for direct connections, as well as for transfer flights (except transfer flights into the US when the transatlantic flight is operated by an US-American carrier). For security reasons, Late Night Check-in for flights departing North America (the US, Canada, and Mexico) is not available.
Especially popular with passengers with a lot of baggage, families with small children and groups, Late Night Check-in for groups is only available if the accompanying tourist guide, who must prove his identity with an official document including a picture, is present at the time of check-in. For smaller groups (families, couples), Late Night Check-in via one member of the group is possible if this person carries all ID documents of the members of the group. Animals may only be checked in on the day of departure.
There are mandatory deadlines for boarding the aircraft at the gate so that flights can depart on time. For this reason, you will find the boarding time shown on your boarding pass. You should be present at your gate by this time whereas boarding can start at any time. If you arrive at the boarding gate later than the time specified when you check-in, Lufthansa may cancel the space reserved for you.
At selected gates at Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Bremen, Cologne, and Hanover, you can use Quick Boarding machines to board independently. When you are travelling with etix and have received a boarding pass with a barcode, you have the option of boarding quickly and conveniently: just place your boarding pass onto the scanner, with the barcode face down, and the gate will be released after a short verification. A new coupon, which you can pick up as you pass through, is printed by the Quick Boarding machine if your seat has changed at short notice.