Finally, Virgin Australia offers international online check-in

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 a senior journalist with Australian Business 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!
 

23 comments

  • Serg

    Serg

    14 Dec, 2016 12:11 pm

    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?
    No member give thanks

  • nix584

    nix584

    14 Dec, 2016 03:50 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    14 Dec, 2016 06:32 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • LP

    LP

    14 Dec, 2016 06:58 pm

    +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. 
    No member give thanks

  • FLX

    FLX1

    15 Dec, 2016 01:05 pm

    @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.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    16 Dec, 2016 05:42 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    14 Dec, 2016 12:46 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    14 Dec, 2016 06:21 pm

    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).
    No member give thanks

  • Victor Perez

    vperez

    14 Dec, 2016 11:08 pm

    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. 
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    15 Dec, 2016 12:21 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Tim Saunders

    Tim Saunders

    14 Dec, 2016 12:48 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • mcglynp

    mcglynp

    14 Dec, 2016 12:53 pm

    So how do the Gold and Plat members with hand luggage get an express pass if they check in online?
    No member give thanks

  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    14 Dec, 2016 01:00 pm

    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
    No member give thanks

  • Mal

    Mal

    14 Dec, 2016 03:38 pm

    Just drop by the service counter at checkin and ask for one. Still much faster than having to actually check in.
    No member give thanks

  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    14 Dec, 2016 02:23 pm

    Welcome to 2016 Virgin
    No member give thanks

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    14 Dec, 2016 04:34 pm

    More like, welcome to ~1998.
    No member give thanks

  • FLX

    FLX1

    15 Dec, 2016 01:21 pm

    @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....
    No member give thanks

  • Southland

    Southland

    15 Dec, 2016 04:05 pm

    Brisbane Airport owned Check in kiosks. Wow up their on the hate
    No member give thanks

  • Shane Tomlinson

    shane.tomlinson

    15 Dec, 2016 10:46 am

    Maybe at some point they'll also get themselves an Android app. Still living in 2010 I'm afarid.
    No member give thanks

  • mviy

    mviy

    14 Dec, 2016 02:56 pm

    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.

    No member give thanks

  • Mal

    Mal

    14 Dec, 2016 03:39 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Say Mee

    mspcooper

    14 Dec, 2016 04:39 pm

    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.
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    14 Dec, 2016 06:48 pm

    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!!
    No member give thanks

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20 May, 2019 08:58 pm

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