Check In


Whether you’re flying short or long-haul, there are important factors to consider before you arrive at the Airport, to ensure you have a stress-free experience. We’ve set out some handy guidance for you below:

How much time should I allow to check-in?

For Short Haul flights (approximately four hours or less across the UK & Europe), we recommend arriving at least 2 hours* before your scheduled time of departure to allow enough time to check-in for your flight, drop-off any hold luggage and process through Airport security before heading through to Departures to enjoy our facilities.
Please note that every airline has its own recommendations so do check with your airline before you fly. 

If you’re travelling on a long haul flight or taking an onward connection from Cardiff via one of our hub destinations please ensure that you arrive at least four  hours before your scheduled time of departure. This is especially important when flying on longer journeys as the check-in and security search process is likely to be longer.  During rush hour it’s advisable to allow extra time to account for for road delays and parking your vehicle. Cardiff Airport offers a Meet & Greet car parking facility so that you can drop off your vehicle and head straight to the terminal, to pre-book this service please click here

We endeavour to make your journey through the Airport as smooth as possible, however check in and security may take longer during busy periods. Follow the following guidelines to make your trip as swift as possible.


What is the check-in process?

Online check-in

Many of our airlines offer an online check in option. Please visit your airline’s website a few days before you’re due to fly for more advice.  Simply check in online ahead of your flight, print off all boarding passes on your booking and ensure you bring the required form of identification. On the day of your flight you can drop off any hold luggage in the check in hall, or if you have hand luggage only proceed straight to Airport security with your boarding pass and ID.

Checking in at the Airport

 The check-in hall is located as soon as you head through the Airport’s main entrance. On arrival please locate your relevant check in desk, indicated by the screens above each one. There are members of staff on hand to advise you if you require assistance. When you are called forward please present your flight confirmation and a valid form of ID. You will be asked to weigh all items of hand luggage and hold luggage on the scales before checking in each item.

Important: It is essential to ensure that any items of luggage adheres to your airline’s strict weight limit policy and that you make the airline aware if you plan to travel with any excess or over sized items in advance. Any discrepancies can incur additional charges, cause a delay and severely affect the check-in process. For advice and guidance please click here

If you’re only travelling with hand luggage, please also ensure that this is in line with the airline’s restrictions, as you might be charged if your bag is over sized. Each airline’s baggage restrictions differ so please check specific information with them beforehand.

What can I take through in my hand luggage?

Rules apply when it comes to taking items through the Airport security search process, including some medications, liquids, gels, pastes and powders. Please visit the Airport Security page for all of the guidance and advice required to ensure a smooth security search process.

Baby food and baby milk are considered to be essential items and therefore you can take these in containers of 100 ml or over in your hand luggage. Please note that on some occasions we may need to screen the item before allowing it through. Baby food and baby milk can also be purchased from W H Smith located in Departures. 

Large amounts of cash and foreign currency must be declared in advance before travelling through the Airport. Please for guidance.