Finally, Virgin Australia offers international online check-in

By Chris Chamberlin , December 14 2016
Finally, Virgin Australia offers international online check-in

Virgin Australia passengers travelling on international flights can, at long last, use online check-in to select their preferred seat, attach their frequent flyer number and print their boarding pass before heading to the airport.

Open between 24 hours and 90 minutes before departure, it’s available to guests departing directly on a Virgin Australia international flight – such as Sydney-Los Angeles – along with passengers with domestic to international connections (and vice versa), like Canberra-Sydney-LA.

There’s just one catch: for online check-in to work, Virgin Australia needs to be the first airline you fly as part of your journey that day... so if you’re jetting from London to Abu Dhabi with Etihad and connecting home with Virgin Australia, you’ll need to obtain your Virgin boarding pass at the airport.

During online check-in, you’ll have the option to print or email your boarding pass – and on flights departing New Zealand, to receive a digital mobile boarding pass too – although from Australia, you’ll still need to carry a printed copy.

Selected airports will also offer dedicated bag drop counters for international travellers who check-in online, which is also where passports and any relevant visas can be sighted.

Receiving boarding passes early allows business class passengers and Gold- and Platinum-grade frequent flyers to zip straight through from kerb to lounge when travelling with only cabin baggage – but allow a little extra time at the boarding gate instead to have your documents checked.

Online check-in remains unavailable for flights departing Nadi (Fiji) and Port Moresby due to local regulatory requirements.

Also read: Earn extra Velocity points en route to the airport with Melbourne's SkyBus

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

And seriously who need web check-in for international flights? Almost always (for me always) one need to drop baggage and even without baggage one need to visit check-in to verify passport. And then we still have to pass passport control, immigration, custom and so on.
IMHO web check in is only make sense when one flying domestically and without checked baggage, then yes you can save quite a bit of time to go directly to boarding gate with your preprinted boarding pass. But for international with checked baggage? Just to be "modern geek" or whatever?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 255

I always do online check-in, for every flight (inernational or domestic). I like to choose my seat in advance and in the case of SQ I can use the 'Internet check-in' desk at the airport to drop my bag off.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Cool if it works for you. I always choose my seats upfront even before check-in and only few companies offer dedicated "internet check-in' deck. Ah and for long flights I do not fly economy anyway, so for me no point whatsoever. YMMV of course.

LP
LP

30 Jun 2016

Total posts 46

+1

Its amazing just how many airlines have long check in lines for economy and no queue at bag drop for online checked in pax. 

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@LP:

Interesting.  My checkin experience for the past 10yrs has been the opposite:  Much longer queue @ bag drop desks than the regular check-in desks

Despite having already checked in online, I often go to the regular check-in desks to tag+drop my bags instead of the bag drop desks just to avoid the longer queue.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Yes!  I have on several occasions seen huge check-in lines and the bag drop immediately next door is completely empty.... I've wondered if I was in the correct line whilst being death-stared by 100 people.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Excuse my ignorance, but Virgin didn't have online check-in for international flights?!?  I'm an avid domestic flyer of Virgin, but have never flown with them internationally.  LOL, come on Virgin, that's bad.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

It was worse than that... at out ports in New Zealand, Virgin has been opening check-in 2 hours before departure and then closing it 90 minutes before departure leaving everyone just 30 minutes to check-in. I've been caught out after arriving around 60 minutes prior to departure back home. Meanwhile Virgin partner Air NZ open check-in 3 hours prior and in some airports (Christchurch and Queenstown) shut it 30 minutes prior to departure or when boarding starts (which ever one comes first).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 50

But it's not just Virgin as its the same with Qantas as I have never been able to check in online for a North American or European bound flight with the latter. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1150

Same here, I just assumed they already had online check-in for international flights, like you know just about every other first world airline.  Shocking, actually.

Online check in is also about seat allocation, among other things. And I'd rather check in online and just have to do a baggage drop then do both at the airport. If half of the passengers on each VA flight do online check in then surely the queue time at the airport just for baggage drop is going to be halved too.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jan 2016

Total posts 61

So how do the Gold and Plat members with hand luggage get an express pass if they check in online?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Plantium

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 120

That is a very good point mcglynp.  Going through Sydney on my way to LA the express pass probably saved me a good 20+ minutes

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

Just drop by the service counter at checkin and ask for one. Still much faster than having to actually check in.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

Welcome to 2016 Virgin

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

More like, welcome to ~1998.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@Chris_PER:

That was the 1st thought came to my mind when I read about  this news.

This announcement sounds like a typical electronic pax service enhancement news back in the early 2000s.  I very rarely hear this kinda announcement by an airline anymore for nearly a decade because almost every int'l carrier has already got it for ages.

These days, a checkin process enhancement news is typically about automated bag-tag & bag-drop devices @ the terminals...not even automated check-in kiosks are considered new anymore.

May be VA will launch automated bag-tag & bag-drop devices by 2025....

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

31 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

Brisbane Airport owned Check in kiosks. Wow up their on the hate

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2016

Total posts 9

Maybe at some point they'll also get themselves an Android app. Still living in 2010 I'm afarid.

05 May 2016

Total posts 534

If you travel light, have lounge access and are getting to the airport very early online checkin is fantastic.
 
It's good that Virgin is finally offering online check-in.
 
For a QF (which already had online checkin) flight I printed off a boarding pass at HKG airport (they have the facility for that there). I only had hand luggage and was able to visit two CX F lounges and a QF lounge.

I was at the airport hours before checkin at the airport opened so a lack of an express path didn't bother me one bit. Whilst I was in a lounge others who only had hand luggage and didn't know they could print off their boarding passes were spending money on food outside when they could have been in a lounge.

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

Yes, this works very well for Qantas with its relatively shorter flights like SIN and HKG, Virgin only has much longer flights to LAX and Abu Dhabi where 'hand luggage only' is less likely, although for flights to NZ this will be handy.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 118

Last month, i checked in online for CX, due to road works and other issues, i was pushing at the 60min min time to drop the baggage, they called my mobile and i advised them i was 2 mins away, the attendant mentioned that check in closes in 3 mins, anyways, we got there with seconds to spare, once she looked at our passport, she printed our boarding passes. She told me, without online check in, we would have missed our flight, as she would have had to enter few of the details herself. So, online check in is always beneficial. There is nothing to lose, but lot to gain.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 351

There's also the issue of overbooked flights - if more people check-in than there are seats ....... it's often the last to check-in who get bumped!!


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