With travel slowly reopening across the world, many people may be thinking about taking a flight in the near future.
Passengers set to travel out of Abu Dhabi International Airport can now take advantage of new home check-in services introduced by Etihad Airways.
From today, travellers flying with the national airline of the UAE can check-in for flights, have their luggage collected and take a PCR test without leaving their home.
Etihad has partnered with airport baggage handling company Dubz to offer these preflight home services. Travellers can also use the platform to book additional baggage or add priority boarding to bookings.
The home check-in service starts from Dh209 for up to four bags, and allows travellers to complete preflight procedures from their house or hotel room.
“Etihad is continuously looking to enhance the travel experience and, with this latest initiative, the airline is giving guests more convenient travel options," said John Wright, vice president of global airport, network and cargo operations at Etihad.
“Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the home check-in service also limits human interaction at the airport as guests are able to head straight to immigration and avoid long lines at the airport."
Can all passengers use these home services?
Travellers using the home check-in facility should be located within 70 kilometres of Abu Dhabi airport, but those who are further away may be able to request the service for an additional fee, subject to availability.
All passengers booked to fly with Etihad must be at home for the check-in procedure. The services are not available for anyone flying to the US, unaccompanied minors, passengers travelling with pets or those requiring medical assistance.
How does home check-in work?
Travellers can book the service any time before their flights, and up to seven hours before departure. Passengers will be asked to select a date and time for the check-in procedure, with appointments available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.
Once booked, agents will arrive at the designated location between 24 and seven hours before a traveller's flight departure time. They will check travel documents, complete the check-in process and collect bags.
Seat selection can also be made at the same time. Guests who want to board their flight early and receive their luggage first can add Priority Boarding or Priority Bag Tags for an additional fee.
Travellers who book the disinfection service will have their luggage treated, with the process claiming to remove germs and provide protection from microbes for up to 72 hours before bags are loaded on to aircraft.
Once at Abu Dhabi International Airport, all non-transit passengers using the home check-in service can skip the queues bag-free.
However, travellers should note they will need to collect their own luggage at their destination.
Pre-flight Covid-19 tests
All travellers flying with Etihad need a preflight Covid-19 test before boarding and Dubz allows passengers using home check-in services to book a PCR test at home, too.
The service costs Dh239 and involves a certified nurse from LifeDx arriving at travellers' homes to complete the test. Results will be digitally delivered within 48 hours.
Passengers should check testing requirements for their destination before booking, as timeframes for when results must be delivered can vary by country.