- You can take care of your check-in from the comfort of home or while at work, or just use your mobile phone on the way to the airport. All you need is an Internet connection that lets you access the airline's Web site. If you prefer, you may check in automatically at the airport – there's no need to queue for check-in kiosk.
- After checking in, whether online or with electronic simplicity at the airport, you can take advantage of a new and simple way to check in your hold baggage: the self service bag drop. The service is available already for customers on SAS and Norwegian flights. After printing the baggage tag at the check-in kiosk, attach it to the bag, go to the bag drop desk, scan the tag, place your bag on the belt and the belt sees your bag safely to the plane.
- Changes are being planned also to expedite the security check. Carry-on baggage will still be scanned, and you will still need to pass through the metal detector as before. If additional checks are not necessary, you can pass through quickly. However, if something requires additional checking, your carry-on bag will be guided onto a separate belt, for manual checking while you are present. If the metal detector finds something, you will be guided to the side to be checked. You can check the waiting time for the security check on Helsinki Airport's interactive Web pages – from any device – before coming to the terminal. At peak times, the service will help you to choose the security check with the shortest queue.
- If you are flying outside the Schengen area, you need to pass through passport control before going to your gate. At Helsinki Airport, this is a snap. There are 30 automated border control gates, more than at any other airport in Europe. They can be used by citizens of the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland. The passport-reading machines are also available for use by Japanese customers. The automatic border control system is based on biometric recognition of the customer: using a real-time image of your face, the automated system compares the dimensions of each feature with the image stored on the microchip of biometric passports.
The future will bring automated systems that make other parts of flying smoother. As you approach the security check, for example, your ticket or boarding pass may be checked by devices that read the barcode and let you through to the security check.
Boarding of the plane can also be automated, with the devices at the gate reading the barcode on your boarding pass and granting you access to the plane.
Where to park
You can check the parking situation on the Helsinki Airport Web site before you arrive. With the service, you can make sure that there are free spaces in the parking area of your choice, and there's no need to drive around in search of a free spot. Also, it will soon be possible to reserve parking spaces online.
Text: Tiia Soininen
Illustration: Birit Sarre