End of the Line

Think the long lines at the airport are inevitable? Think again. Learn how to avoid lengthy check-in queues.

Think there’s no way to avoid lengthy check-in queues at the airport? Think again.


Several airlines, including American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United, now offer the option of checking in right from your home computer.

In most cases, you must be a member of an airline’s frequent flyer club, and must have purchased e-tickets for travel within the U. S. (Northwest and United, which allow online check-in for some overseas flights, are notable exceptions.)

Simply go to your airline’s website at least an hour before your scheduled departure and follow the prompts to choose available seats from a diagram of your plane’s interior. The system then generates a boarding pass, complete with gate information and boarding time, which you’ll print out and take with you.

At the airport, head directly to the security screening area with your picture IDs and printouts. (Luggage is checked curbside.) And we thought ordering movie tickets in advance was cool…