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View Full Version : What is the benefit of Online checking in?


robinbutterfly
12-27-2009, 11:52 AM
Is there a benefit to checking into the hotel room 10 days earlier online?
Also, how do I do it?
THanks!

jksgrammy
12-27-2009, 12:28 PM
We found no benefit to checking in on-line. I completed the on-line checkin for our 12-12 to 12-19 trip. When we arrived at BC and walked into the lobby, we were greeted and escorted to the check-in desk. Since the on-line checkin line had two guests already there, we were escorted over to the "regular" check-in counter and were immediately assisted by a clerk, who explained that he was new on the job. We had to provide him with all our info, was told our room wasn't ready yet (we arrived at BC around 11AM) and he had to print out everything for us (there was no prepared package waiting for us). In fact, I had to remind him that he had to provide us with a parking pass that he forgot to print out.

We got a call from the front desk around 3:20PM that our room was ready.

Please note that I am NOT complaining about any of this, only that other posters have reported that by checking in on-line that all they had to do was go to the on-line checkin desk and they were handed a packet with all their room info and that almost all reported that their room was ready for them.

Would I use the on-line checkin again? Yes. Did it save us any time? No.

havaneselover
12-27-2009, 12:40 PM
Our room at the CR was ready at 7AM because we did online check in (and because there was availability). We also were upgraded (probably a coincidence). Regardless, I'll do it again next year.

PrincessKsMom
12-27-2009, 12:54 PM
I did online checkin for our 8/30-9/6 trip. When we arrived at CBR we went directly to the online checkin desk. The CM said she had just finished printing up our paperwork. We were given our folder, our room was ready and we were in our room by 12 noon. We also got the building we requested. Worked beautifully.

FWIW, everything went our way that day. We landed at 10:45, bypassed the ME desk and went directly to the line for our bus. We waited about 5-10 minutes, loaded onto a bus which left within 5-10 minutes and were the first stop. Unbelievable that in a little over an hour we landed and were in our room. This was probably a once in a lifetime event, but we were happy. :thumbsup2

Baltazar
12-27-2009, 12:55 PM
The only benefit I see is another opportunity for them to make a mistake... but I'm an optimist. :lmao:

BlueBayou
12-27-2009, 01:10 PM
We used online check-in this Oct at POFQ. When we walked up to the desk they handed me a packet and the room was ready. Now we were checking in at 8:30pm or 9pm - so I would hope the room was ready ;)

But check-in took all of 2 minutes for me.

Sue M
12-27-2009, 01:45 PM
Thanks for asking this question. I haven't used the on line check in yet. In Aug we checked in the regular way. Was on line check in an option in Jan 09? We didn't do it then either if it was.
But in Aug, we did a split stay, and at POR there were 4 families ahead of us, and I didn't notice an on line check in desk. And at WL we were the only one checking in, so walked right up.
I'm still debating on whether to try it for our upcoming Poly stay.
I've always been lucky on getting a free upgrade, at AKL and WL stays! Would on line check in be less likely to get a free upgrade?

robinbutterfly
12-27-2009, 01:49 PM
Thanks for asking this question. I haven't used the on line check in yet. In Aug we checked in the regular way. Was on line check in an option in Jan 09? We didn't do it then either if it was.
But in Aug, we did a split stay, and at POR there were 4 families ahead of us, and I didn't notice an on line check in desk. And at WL we were the only one checking in, so walked right up.
I'm still debating on whether to try it for our upcoming Poly stay.
I've always been lucky on getting a free upgrade, at AKL and WL stays! Would on line check in be less likely to get a free upgrade?

How do you get free upgrades? That is awesome!
When you do online check-in, does it already assign you a room?

ckdsnynt
12-27-2009, 01:53 PM
We attempted to use on-line check in for our trip in Dec. We stayed at the Poly and at the end of the on line checkin process , it required you to leave a $500-1500 deposit on your credit card for room charges. The amount depended on your resort I believe. There was no option that I could find to not leave this.
We never leave a credit card for room charges because we do not charge things to our room. Therefore, we did not use the on-ine check in.
However, we did not get our request honored at the regular check in. I have a disability and use an ecv. I asked for ground floor, not too far out from the main building. We were given the third floor in the building farthest from the main building! At our request, we were changed to the third floor (nothing else available we were told) in a building just a little closer. So much for requests.

LSchrow
12-27-2009, 02:03 PM
We attempted to use on-line check in for our trip in Dec. We stayed at the Poly and at the end of the on line checkin process , it required you to leave a $500-1500 deposit on your credit card for room charges. The amount depended on your resort I believe. There was no option that I could find to not leave this.
We never leave a credit card for room charges because we do not charge things to our room. Therefore, we did not use the on-ine check in.
However, we did not get our request honored at the regular check in. I have a disability and use an ecv. I asked for ground floor, not too far out from the main building. We were given the third floor in the building farthest from the main building! At our request, we were changed to the third floor (nothing else available we were told) in a building just a little closer. So much for requests.

just a suggestion: make sure your request is noted as "medical". medical neccessity takes precedence over simple "preference" requests. your requests are much more likely to be granted if it is for medical reasons. (i've never had a medical neccessity request not granted, but have had many a preference request not given) :)

stitchfan18
12-27-2009, 02:52 PM
So you have to leave a CC for charging if you do online check in? We are checking in at the BWV next friday around noon and I was thinking about doing online check in for my mom and I, but I never leave a CC on file, even if it wasn't charged, wouldn't it still take that amount away from the available balance for your CC until they lift the hold? I'll be disapointed if we can't do online check in without a CC. We're traveling with my 16 month old nephew and thought it would be super easy and we could get to one of the parks a little faster...

mickeystoontown
12-27-2009, 03:03 PM
I did online check-in for our August, 2009 stay at the CBR. Upon arrival, I went to the Customs House and got in the line for online check-in. We were the only family in line. The castmember took about 5 minutes to give us our packet, our celebration pins and explain to us where the room was. We were given a free upgrade from a standard to a preferred location.

Sue M
12-27-2009, 03:05 PM
How do you get free upgrades? That is awesome!
When you do online check-in, does it already assign you a room?

I never asked for upgrades, but at check in the CM would just say, we've upgraded you to whatever, depending on your resort. Just a bit of WDW magic! :wizard:

Can't say about on-line, I haven't used it yet. Thinking about it, but haven't come to a decision yet. :confused3 I have a couple of weeks more to think!

DebbieB
12-27-2009, 03:23 PM
How do you get free upgrades? That is awesome!
When you do online check-in, does it already assign you a room?

A room is not immediately assigned when you do online check-in. It is still assigned by the front desk.

PrincessKsMom
12-27-2009, 04:04 PM
So you have to leave a CC for charging if you do online check in? We are checking in at the BWV next friday around noon and I was thinking about doing online check in for my mom and I, but I never leave a CC on file, even if it wasn't charged, wouldn't it still take that amount away from the available balance for your CC until they lift the hold? I'll be disapointed if we can't do online check in without a CC. We're traveling with my 16 month old nephew and thought it would be super easy and we could get to one of the parks a little faster...

I never did, nor did I leave a credit card when I checked in.

crusoe2
12-27-2009, 05:00 PM
About the timing of the room assignment - I would assume this is done before your arrival in order to have your packet ready when you get there? What if I have a major problem with the room I'm assigned? How big a hassle would it be to get it changed?

Disuser
12-27-2009, 07:05 PM
I did an online check in today for Wilderness Lodge. It was fast and simple. They asked if we wanted to leave a credit card number for charges to our room. They allow you to bypass that section if you are not leaving a card number.
I had made room reservations over the phone and some CM had put our country down as Afghanistan :rotfl2:, so I took the opportunity to correct that little mistake to United States.

ckdsnynt
12-27-2009, 07:09 PM
just a suggestion: make sure your request is noted as "medical". medical neccessity takes precedence over simple "preference" requests. your requests are much more likely to be granted if it is for medical reasons. (i've never had a medical neccessity request not granted, but have had many a preference request not given) :)

I didn't know how to do this! Makes sense tho. Where do you make this notation?

ckdsnynt
12-27-2009, 07:12 PM
So you have to leave a CC for charging if you do online check in? We are checking in at the BWV next friday around noon and I was thinking about doing online check in for my mom and I, but I never leave a CC on file, even if it wasn't charged, wouldn't it still take that amount away from the available balance for your CC until they lift the hold? I'll be disapointed if we can't do online check in without a CC. We're traveling with my 16 month old nephew and thought it would be super easy and we could get to one of the parks a little faster...

Someone on here said you could bypass this section but I didn't find a way to bypass it and yes, it does tie the money up on your cc. So, I simply elected to do regular check in.

aubriee
12-27-2009, 08:50 PM
I did an online check in today for Wilderness Lodge. It was fast and simple. They asked if we wanted to leave a credit card number for charges to our room. They allow you to bypass that section if you are not leaving a card number.
.

I used online check in for our Dec 12th-20th stay at CSR. I too bypassed that section and did not leave a credit card number. When I checked in, I swear the online check in line was much longer than the regular check in. There were only two CMs there and both were dealing with families who were having problems and were upset about something. When I finally got to a CM he made a comment that he saw I had not given a credit card for charges and he asked if I wanted to do so. When I told him no, it was not a problem at all. He then just handed me my packet and asked for my cell phone number and if I wanted a text message or voice mail, since our room was not yet ready.

When I was there Sept 25th-Oct 4th, I chose to use regular check in and was very glad I did. The online check in line was MUCH longer than the regular check in then also. My room was ready and I was through and on the way to my room faster than other people from my DME bus that had arrived with me to check in. On neither trip did I see an advantage to online check in.

*Seanaci*
12-27-2009, 09:42 PM
I didn't know we could check in online, or else I probably would have done so last year when we went.

However, even staying at ASMu, we waited less than 10 minutes to check in, get our packet of info and KTTW. We were also lucky to get ground floor, building 10 which was like a 2 minute walk from the foor court, not to mention about a 3 minute walk to the bus every morning.

robinbutterfly
12-27-2009, 09:47 PM
I didn't know we could check in online, or else I probably would have done so last year when we went.

However, even staying at ASMu, we waited less than 10 minutes to check in, get our packet of info and KTTW. We were also lucky to get ground floor, building 10 which was like a 2 minute walk from the foor court, not to mention about a 3 minute walk to the bus every morning.

Online checking in wasn't offered when you went last year.
My question is, will a room already be assigned to us at online checking?

WDWjen
12-27-2009, 10:02 PM
...from the previous post that said they bypassed the desk and got right on the line for Magical Express...

Is there any reason that you have to check in for DME? I would love to bypass that long line and get right on our bus - did you find any problem?? 2 yrs ago we waited forever on the DME line and missed 2 buses while waiting. (didnt help much that my husband got lost in the airport, LOL) I would love to skip that - is that possible??

eroller
12-27-2009, 10:14 PM
I just left the Polynesian today and we used online check-in. It went without a hitch. I had requested the Fiji Longhouse, 3rd floor overlooking the Marina and that is exactly what I got. The room wasn't quite ready when we checked in at 11am, so we had lunch at the Kona Cafe, and even before we finished I received a text message with out room number and that it was ready.

FYI I did not have to show my credit card at check-in because I had already supplied all the information via the online check-in.

Ernie

MagicalMawMaw
12-27-2009, 10:30 PM
I found no advantage to online check-in. We arrived at the airport at 8:15 p.m. & finally got to POR about an hour later. Was Dec 6th & no online check-ins lines were open..wasn't any regular ones open either. Every check-in line was marked pop warner.

When we got helped our pkg. was ready but no room. Finally they found a cleaned room but was the wrong place & wrong floor, etc. So they had to find another room & had to send maid service to clean it. Was after 1:30 in the morning when we finally got a room.

They were nice about the whole mess & gain us credit on our room...BUT online checking sure didn't make things faster for us!

Leshaface
12-27-2009, 10:33 PM
Thank you for making this thread OP! :thumbsup2

I wasn't planning on doing online check-in because I thought it might be easier to just check-in with a human, but it might not be so bad!

Glad to hear that you can bypass the CC option and can also leave requests!

It is ten days before your vacation that you can check-in correct??

PrincessKsMom
12-27-2009, 10:59 PM
...from the previous post that said they bypassed the desk and got right on the line for Magical Express...

Is there any reason that you have to check in for DME? I would love to bypass that long line and get right on our bus - did you find any problem?? 2 yrs ago we waited forever on the DME line and missed 2 buses while waiting. (didnt help much that my husband got lost in the airport, LOL) I would love to skip that - is that possible??

That was me. I can't remember what it was. They asked us if we had something that came with our ME packet. I said yes and they said, well then there's no reason for you to go to the ME desk, you can proceed directly to your bus line. Can't remember what it was, but I'm sure someone on the DIS must remember. Wish I could be more helpful. FWIW, the other times I've taken ME I've had to check in at the desk; this was much more convenient!

ckdsnynt
12-27-2009, 11:06 PM
That was me. I can't remember what it was. They asked us if we had something that came with our ME packet. I said yes and they said, well then there's no reason for you to go to the ME desk, you can proceed directly to your bus line. Can't remember what it was, but I'm sure someone on the DIS must remember. Wish I could be more helpful. FWIW, the other times I've taken ME I've had to check in at the desk; this was much more convenient!

If you brought the ME voucher you received in your ME packet, you do not have to go to the ME desk. If you forgot or lost your vouchers, you have to check in at the ME desk.

Or, if your luggage did not have the colored tags on them that were sent in your ME packet and the ME people have to search for your luggage by your tag #, you have to go to the ME desk to give them you luggage tag #s to look for your bags. This means your bags will arrive later than usual at your room also.
So, don't leave your colored luggage tags at home when you head to the airport and do not misplace your vouchers!
How do I know these two things? Because I did both on my last trip:rotfl2:

Sue M
12-27-2009, 11:09 PM
I found no advantage to online check-in. We arrived at the airport at 8:15 p.m. & finally got to POR about an hour later. Was Dec 6th & no online check-ins lines were open..wasn't any regular ones open either. Every check-in line was marked pop warner.

When we got helped our pkg. was ready but no room. Finally they found a cleaned room but was the wrong place & wrong floor, etc. So they had to find another room & had to send maid service to clean it. Was after 1:30 in the morning when we finally got a room.

They were nice about the whole mess & gain us credit on our room...BUT online checking sure didn't make things faster for us!

:scared1:Oh no, Pop Warner, I never want to be there during that!

PrincessKsMom
12-27-2009, 11:11 PM
If you brought the ME voucher you received in your ME packet, you do not have to go to the ME desk. If you forgot or lost your vouchers, you have to check in at the ME desk.

Or, if your luggage did not have the colored tags on them that were sent in your ME packet and the ME people have to search for your luggage by your tag #, you have to go to the ME desk to give them you luggage tag #s to look for your bags. This means your bags will arrive later than usual at your room also.
So, don't leave your colored luggage tags at home when you head to the airport and do not misplace your vouchers!
How do I know these two things? Because I did both on my last trip:rotfl2:

I knew someone would have the answer. I'm just sorry you knew from experience what NOT to do. :flower3:

GoofyTraci
12-27-2009, 11:15 PM
I had no problems with online check in either on our trip last month. We got to CBR went to the online check in and no one was in line I gave them our last name and was given the packet and on the way. We did have a couple problems with the room b/c it wasn't clean but that didnt have anything to do with the check in process. I will definately do that again.

robinbutterfly
12-28-2009, 06:26 AM
Why is everyone not leaving their credit card info?

ancestry
12-28-2009, 06:33 AM
I really liked online check-in. We used it this past June for our stay at the Beach Club. When we arrived at the Beach Club the hotel lobby was a mad house with people checking in an out and the line at the front desk as HUGE! I mentioned to a CM that I had already done the online check-in and the directed me to a separate place for online check-ins. I got my packet immediately and was off to my room. No waiting. Others were in line for at least 30+ minutes.

Why is everyone not leaving their credit card info?

I don't know about others but I don't use room charging when we are on the dining plan. I've read too many horror stories on the boards about waiters/restaurants accidentally charging the cost of a meal to the room instead of deducting it from the dining points available. Without charging privledges on the KTTW card I don't have to worry about this happening.

Lynne M
12-28-2009, 09:56 AM
If you're the kind of person (like me) that doesn't much care about room location, doesn't have a bunch of questions for the front desk CM, and doesn't need to do any complicated transactions with tickets, room payment, etc. at check-in, then you're probably the ideal candidate for online check-in. IMHO, it's really intended for the grab-your-key-and-packet-and-go traveler.

If you just read the above paragraph and thought "that's SO not me", then online check-in is probably not for you. ;)

Here's the deal....all online check-in does for you is get your paperwork and key prepared before you arrive at the resort. If all you need to do is pick up your key and info packet, it'll very likely save you time.

If you think you'll want to change your room location, or upgrade to a different view, or add a guest, then online check-in won't save you any time at all, because your paperwork and/or keys will have to be re-done.

Online check-in is not a guarantee that your room will be ready when you arrive, BTW.

Baltazar
12-28-2009, 10:06 AM
I don't know about others but I don't use room charging when we are on the dining plan. I've read too many horror stories on the boards about waiters/restaurants accidentally charging the cost of a meal to the room instead of deducting it from the dining points available. Without charging privileges on the KTTW card I don't have to worry about this happening.

We've only had 2 issues in all the years we've had the meal plan. Both times they were quite painlessly fixed at the resort concierge desk.

Once a meal credit was used instead of 2 snacks.
Another time my son used a snack because he asked for a cup.

It is funny cause both of those were fixed as an afterthought. My wife was asking a few questions about the meal plan and just brought up the issues and they were fixed.

One time they charged our meals to our room but my wife caught it at the register so it was fixed then.
We also like room charging because it makes it easier to leave a tip.

another thing you can do is only have room charging privileges on one KTTW card then use the other card for the food.

Chee Chick
12-28-2009, 10:58 AM
I did the online check in for my stay last April at the Wilderness Lodge. We were traveling with my husbands father who did not do the online check in. It took me less than 5 minutes to complete the check in once I arrived at the hotel. It took my father-in-law over 30 minutes to complete check in. We had arrived at the resort at the same time. I was actually upgraded to a courtyard view from a woods view. :yay: My father-in-law did not receive such an upgrade.

WDWjen
12-28-2009, 06:29 PM
"I did the online check in for my stay last April at the Wilderness Lodge. We were traveling with my husbands father who did not do the online check in. It took me less than 5 minutes to complete the check in once I arrived at the hotel. It took my father-in-law over 30 minutes to complete check in. We had arrived at the resort at the same time. I was actually upgraded to a courtyard view from a woods view. My father-in-law did not receive such an upgrade. "



I would LOVE to get an upgrade but was assuming my chances were better with a live person rather than the online check in... it seems as i read these boards some people even get upgraded to concierge level!! I want that!:rotfl:

Has anyone found there is more of a chance of upgrade if you use online check in?