Why You Should Always Check In 24 Hours Before Your Flight

reserving seats on airplanes

Unsplash/Florian Schneider

You’re probably busy when you get that reminder email, text or calendar notification 24 hours before your trip that you can check into your flight. You’re probably packing (or even doing last-minute laundry), tidying up your apartment or sneaking in one last episode of “Riverdale” before you go all digital detox on vacation. But we have one very convincing reason why you should take two minutes to check into your flight as soon as you’re allowed: picking your seat.

If you’re not shelling out the extra $20 when you book your flight to reserve that prime window seat (and who pays for that privilege?), you have a small window of time to snag one starting as soon as you can check in.

reserving seats on airplanes

Unsplash/Gerrie Van Der Walt

Think about it this way: Once the 24-hour period of time before your flight opens for check-ins, everyone is slowly claiming all the good seats on the airplane. If you check yourself in right away, you have the best odds of getting that nap-ready window spot (or aisle seat — we see you, too, aisle people).

Just keep an eye out for the premium seats that still cost an extra fee even 24 hours before you board the plane. Stick to the freebies. There should still be good seats open if you get your online check-in started in time.

Now, some airlines still won’t let you reserve your seat at check-in. Those are usually the ultra-budget flights, so you knew what you were getting into when you bought the ticket. But on the major carriers, don’t procrastinate, friends. It’s worth it once you’re sitting pretty for your flight.


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