We’re well over a week into Ramadan, which is a busy travel period in the Middle East, as many people are traveling to visit friends and family.
To deal with what will presumably be pretty full airports, Etihad is giving people an incentive to check-in early.
The promotion is called “Moonlight Check-In,” and through it Etihad is offering select passengers the following:
- 5kg extra luggage allowance
- A voucher for 2,500 Etihad Guest miles
- 1 hour of free parking
So how do you qualify?
- You have to check in between 1AM and 6AM, or between 1PM and 6PM (sort of funny that’s considered “Moonlight Check-In”)
- You must be traveling between June 21 and July 31, 2015
- You must check-in “well in advance” of your flight
- You must be departing Abu Dhabi, and can’t be flying to the US
Here’s how the program is described:
Check in during moonlight hours and we’ll give you an additional 5kgs of checked baggage allowance, an Etihad Guest Miles voucher preloaded with 2,500 miles per traveling guest and 1 hour free parking at Skypark, allowing you to complete the check-in process.
Moonlight check-in incentives are only available if you are booked to travel on Etihad-operated flights (excluding flights to the US) where you check in well in advance of your flight.
For instance, if your flight departs at 5 PM and you check in 2 hours earlier on the same day, you are not entitled to the incentives. However, if you check in at 5 AM that morning, then you will receive the additional benefits.
Oddly they don’t seem to specify how early you have to check-in, though do give the example of checking in two hours before departure not being eligible for the promotion.
What they seem to be suggesting is that you should first go to the airport to check-in, and then separately return to catch your flight.
It’s an interesting promotion, though I wonder:
- Is this enough of an incentive for people to make two trips to the airport?
- Presumably this will increase crowding at airports, given that you’ll have people showing up at the airport twice — that’s more people parking, more people walking in/out of the terminal, etc.
- This seems like it could delay flights. Typically when people check-in bags the airline knows they’ll make the flight (since they’re at the airport), while in this case it’s not so certain — it makes it difficult for the airline to predict whether a passenger is actually at the airport or not.
This is an interesting promotion on the part of Etihad. I appreciate the problem they’re trying to solve in general (being as efficient as possible during a busy travel period), though I can’t help but wonder if this is enough incentive for people to go to the airport twice. And if it is, I wonder whether it’ll actually make the airport experience any smoother.
Would you show up at the airport “well in advance” of your flight for 2,500 bonus miles and an extra baggage allowance?