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Early Check-In Emirates

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Early Check-In Emirates

Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 2:30 pm

Hi all,

maybe one of you knows about this or is heading to the airport one of these days and could find out for me:

I am flying on Emirates soon (still don't know whether that is a good thing or not) and my flight is leaving at 1.40am. I called their customer care and checked their website but nowhere does it say anything about being able to early check in at Changi and the customer service agent didn't have a clue (I know I can check in online 24 hours before departure though).

Changi Airport says that you can do an early check in from 14.40hrs to 18.20hrs and 21.10hrs to 23.00hrs. I found the listed times on their webpage to be wrong for Qantas last time though, so it is not really reliable. I called the airport as well and they referred me to those times (they also did that last time for Qantas and I did a wasted trip).

So my question is whether anybody knows if early check-in is possible on Emirates and if so at what time. Reason why I am asking is that I am 6'7", don't fit into a standard economy seat (there is no space for my legs) and I want to be there super early to have a shot at getting an emergency exit seat.

Thanks for any feedback!

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Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 2:39 pm

Emirates have online checkin from 24 hours before departure. Can I suggest you get up at 1.40am the previous day and check in then? I too am tall, and while you cannot book emergency exit seats online, at least if you try to secure a bulkhead then that will suffice (on Emirates, anyway!) and then just ask when you do a bag drop to see if they can move you.

HTH, Mr. P

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Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 3:00 pm

I am doing exactly that. Currently booked on a bulkhead seat (which they hopefully won't shift me away from). I was thinking about just driving down to the airport the night before but it is the last flight leaving until 9.45am. So I could imagine there is nobody there until three hours before departure (6.45am). Still I will give it a try the morning before.

Not sure if you knew this, but on QF and BA you can make a special request. They will always tell you on the phone the can't guarantee anything etc but they will punch it in their computer anyway. Just tell them you are very tall (give them your actual height because they all say they are very tall). Two years ago on QF SIN-LHR it worked wonders for me all the bulkhead and emergency exit seats were full as they come from Sydney and I couldn't get any (although I went to the airport 24hrs before only to be told to come back in the morning). Once I was at the gate I heard the beep when they scanned my ticket and I head an emergency exit seat. The same thing happened a month ago LHR-YYZ on BA. Everything full already (although I was at the airport three hours before departure). Beep at the gate and bumped up to Economy Plus together with the wife. Always try putting in a special request with BA and QF.

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Postby Plavt » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 3:04 pm

sierra2469alpha wrote:and while you cannot book emergency exit seats online,

HTH, Mr. P


I don't know about Emirates and it has been a while since I travelled but Singapore Airlines gave a diagram of the cabin and you could choose whichever seat you wanted. Although some flights were so busy (e.g. Japan-Singapore) the seats you wanted were almost always already taken.


* A brief look at their website seems to indicate this is still the case although I hear you have to pay a premium for bulkhead seats, once again I don't know about other carriers.

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Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 3:16 pm

I am ex tech crew (pilot) so that usually helps if I have to fly economy 8-)

I agree that it's good to get your agent or the airline to put in a seat request - I hadn't realised you had done that. I believe your only other option is as you asked, get there early. Remember too to ask the FSD once onboard - a friendly smile and demeanour with cabin crew can work wonders

FYI with Tiger you CAN book an exit row (same with Virgin Blue) but you pay $30 or so, plus they have to sight you at the airport to confirm the usual (no head injury, able bodied, etc.)

Plavt - allocation is usually done the night (or sometimes longer, but rarely given the occasional need to change equipment) before and for most international airlines the seats are rated, and priority for the good ones is given to the particular airline's loyalty and high-value pax. That's why you often see the good ones gone.

Good luck and have a safe flight.

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Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 4:19 pm

Emirates allow you to pick your seat online after booking, however they do not guarantee this seat (only if you have gold status on Skywards). For some reason the bulkhead seats in the first economy row are not available for reservation until you are at the airport. So it is just not on the seat map you get. Same with the emergency exit seat which are not displayed for the obvious reasons. Some airlines (notably SQ and QF) do allow you now to book emergency exit/bulkhead seats at a premium. The good thing on QF is that the bulkhead is not all the way down to the bottom and you can stick your feet underneath.

I tried putting in a special request with Emirates as well but they didn't listen/care. Be early at the airport is what I got... problem is the flight comes from Melbourne... So yeah if anybody happens to be in T1 one of these days, maybe you can just have a brief chat with them, otherwise I will post my experience in September.

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Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 5:14 pm

Yeh that's what I like about Tiger - you can choose your seat before payment :)

Hope you get a good one...cheers, Mr. P

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Postby durain » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 5:35 pm

find out what type of aircraft you are flying and head over to http://www.seatguru.com/ to check what is the best seats.

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Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 5:59 pm

durain wrote:find out what type of aircraft you are flying and head over to http://www.seatguru.com/ to check what is the best seats.


Thx bud. Been there, done that for years. I guess I am just a perfectionist and want to cover every angle :wink:

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Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 6:09 pm

Always got to be careful of changes to equipment type due to maintenance, revenue considerations etc. Plus, many airlines operate the same type, say A333 or B744, but within those, there are different seating configs. Plus, you'll never know from say QF, which A333 config you'll be flying (they have 3 different configs from memory).

Plenty of people don't always realise this, book the seat they want, then find out it's not the seat they thought! All of a sudden the nice two seats together turns into the dreaded 4. The B77x operated by some carriers is a particularly lovely aircraft, but prone to this kind of occurrence - particularly larger B77x fleets.

Times are a-changing - some airlines, DJ (Virgin Blue) are working on a new model where the seat pitch will change depending on what's known as booked demand (! huh!) - they will add/remove physical seats (well, actually just shift them) to meet premium pax requirements. I *think* they are trying this on their Embraer fleet.

Anyways - good discussion, and good luck getting a decent seat, LittleGreenMan.

Mr. P

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Postby Saint » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 6:54 pm

As Mr P has said above, check which cabin layout you are flying, for example SQ fly I think 4 different 777-200 layouts

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Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 7:16 pm

At the time of booking I was surprised to see that Emirates is using a 3-4-3 layout where SQ and others are using 3-3-3 on their 773 and 77w which will be used on my trip. Fortunately I am tall, not fat.

Apparently though Emirates offers a bigger seat pitch (34in.) than SQ (32in.) In my opinion seatguru.com is better than seatexpert.com which shows several outdated/wrong layouts.

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Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 7:23 pm

Just to confirm as I may not have said it properly. Even the same type - eg A333 or B777 operated by the SAME airline, can have different layouts.

This often comes about because the carrier may purchase a/c types at different times, or purchase some second/third/fourth hand a/c, or simply change the config on the fly (as I said some carriers are now trying).

Cheers/ Mr. P

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 8:57 pm

littlegreenman wrote:Emirates allow you to pick your seat online after booking, however they do not guarantee this seat (only if you have gold status on Skywards). For some reason the bulkhead seats in the first economy row are not available for reservation until you are at the airport.


CX is the same, or least was when i was flying them. First and last row of the first economy class cabin is often blocked until a few hours before the flight. Sometimes even the first row of the second cabin was also blocked. They free them up if they know the flight is not to be full.

Reason? Gold card members of OneWorld are guaranteed at least an economy class seat on any flight and these are blocked to cater for them. There were a few times that perk saved my trip plans.

So, maybe Emirates are the same.

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Postby Plavt » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 9:00 pm

sierra2469alpha wrote:
Plavt - allocation is usually done the night (or sometimes longer, but rarely given the occasional need to change equipment)


I know but if a flight is not busy as in the case of SIA (sometimes happens), I have been able to select a different seat at the last minute. Although I had booked through the airline itself and not a third party so I don't know if conditions and allocations are done differently in that instance.


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