Check-in and airport FAQs

Here’s how you can keep your airport experience simple. Scroll down for our FAQs.

Start by checking in online

If you’ve upgraded to Premium, Extra Legroom seats or Extra Space seats, or chosen the Select Your Seat option, online check-in will open 14 days prior to your departure. If not, it’ll open 48 hours prior to your departure. Just so you know, in either case, you’ll need to check in for your outbound and inbound flights separately. Online check-in closes six hours before your flight departure time. If you’d like to select or upgrade your seat, or check in please visit Manage My Booking or the TUI app.

If your flight has a TOM or BY flight number, use Manage My Booking or the TUI app to check in.

If you’re flying with one of our TUI partner airlines or a non-TUI airline, you can find out more about checking in at our FAQ page.

We recommend downloading the TUI app so that you can stay updated on things like your departure gate number.

Don’t worry if you have an issue checking in online. You can still head to the airport, where we’ll check you in as normal and issue your boarding pass.

Day-before bag drop

If your flight has a TOM flight number, your flight time is eligible, and you’re flying from one of the airports listed below before midday, you can check your bags in on the day before you're due to fly. You can save even more time by checking in online beforehand.

If you're joining one of our Marella Cruise ships, day before bag drop is available for cruises from Palma, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Las Palmas, Tenerife and Turkey.

We offer day-before bag drop at:

Birmingham Airport

For flight times: before midday

Open between: 2pm and 9pm

Bristol Airport

For flight times: before midday

Open between: 4pm and 9pm

East Midlands Airport

For flight times: before midday

Open between: 4pm and 9pm*

Gatwick Airport – North Terminal flights only

For flight times: before midday

Open between: 2pm and 9pm

Glasgow Airport

For flight times: before midday

Open between: 4pm and 8pm

Manchester Airport – from Terminal 2

For flight times: before midday

Open between: 2pm and 9pm

Just so you know, this service isn’t available for flights to the USA and P&O Cruises. IMPORTANT – You will need to bring your passport and documents to use the ‘Day-before bag drop’ service.

Some airports offer either free or discounted parking if you’re only staying for a short time. More details can be found in the FAQs below.

Self-service bag drop

If you’ve checked in online, your flight has a TOM or BY flight number and you’re flying from an eligible airport, you can head straight to the self-service bag drop kiosks on your day of departure.

We offer self-service bag drop at:

  • Aberdeen Airport

  • Birmingham Airport

  • Bristol Airport

  • Cardiff Airport

  • Gatwick Airport - from the North Terminal

  • Glasgow Airport

  • Manchester Airport – from Terminal 2

  • Newcastle Airport

Self-service bag drop is open the same time as your flight check in time.

No bags to check in?

If you’re just taking hand luggage with you on your flight, and you’ve checked in online, you can make your way to security as soon as you arrive at the airport.

Travelling as a group?

If there are two or more of you travelling on the same booking, then only one person needs to go to the bag drop desks with the following:

  • All boarding passes – if you've checked in online

  • All passports and any visas

  • All bags to be checked in

Plus, you can use our day-before check-in service to drop your bags, too, if your flight’s eligible.

Just so you know, you can’t check in as a group for flights to the USA and P&O Cruises flights to Malta.

FAQs

I’m planning to use the day-before bag drop service. Will I need to pay for parking at the airport?

Some airports offer either free or discounted parking if you’re only staying for a short time. Please see below for further details. If your departure airport isn’t listed, then you’ll need to check with them directly for the best short stay option.

East Midlands

It’s free to use the ‘Short Stay 1’ car park at East Midlands airport for day-before bag drop – just collect a token on entry and the TUI team will explain how to get your token validated. You’ll need to show your boarding card and have been parked for less than 90 minutes.

Birmingham

You can use the Premium Set Down Car Park for up to an hour, for the special price of just £4 – just let the customer service booth know you’ve used the day-before bag drop as you exit the car park.

Bristol

You can leave your car at the Short Stay Car park free of charge – just ask for an exit ticket at the day-before bag drop desk.

London Gatwick

London Gatwick Airport offers up to two hours free parking. Follow the signs for ‘North Terminal long stay’ or ‘South Terminal long stay’, depending on which terminal you’re flying from. Take a ticket at the barrier, park your car in an open zone bay and catch the free shuttle bus to the terminal. Once you’ve used the day-before bag drop and are ready to leave, simply scan the ticket on exit for free parking up to two hours.

Glasgow

Park in one of the orange-coloured one-hour bays on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park directly opposite the terminal. After you’ve used the day-before bag drop at the TUI desks, make your way to the car park payment machine located on the ground floor foyer, enter your vehicle registration and scan your boarding pass – the one-hour free parking option will be applied.

Manchester

You can use the T2 West multi-storey car park for up to an hour, free of charge. You’ll collect a token as you enter the car park and you’ll need to validate it before leaving the terminal – our TUI airport team will show you where to do this.

How long before my flight should I arrive at the airport?

You can use check-in opening times as a guide, even if you’ve checked in online. Standard check-in opens at least two-and-a-half hours before departure for short and mid-haul flights, and at least three-and-a-half hours before departure for long-haul flights. Arriving any earlier than this won’t mean you can check in or pass through security early.

How can I prepare for security?

Here's a quick reminder of what you can do to help you pass through security as quickly as possible. It'll help speed things up for everyone if you take these steps while you're in the queue.

  • Remove your belt, if you're wearing one, and empty your pockets (e.g. keys, loose change) and pack these in your hand luggage.

  • Remove any outdoor clothing, boots or shoes with heels, ready to place them in a tray. - All liquids – including water and any creams, lotions, perfumes, hand sanitiser, foods, lighters – must be in containers no larger than 100ml.

  • These containers must be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm (limited to one bag per person).

  • Take your liquids bag out of your hand luggage, ready to pop it in a tray.

  • Check government hand luggage restrictions at UK airports for further details, medical and dietary exceptions.

  • Remove all large electrical items (laptops, tablets, e-readers, hair straighteners etc.) from your hand luggage. You'll need to get ready to place them flat in a separate tray ensuring they're not covered or on top of each other. Make sure they're charged, too.

While UK airports are installing new scanners to prepare for changes in security restrictions, at this time you should still follow current guidelines as not all airports have changed* and destination airports still have these restrictions in place for your flight home. Check government hand luggage restrictions at UK airports and at Irish airports for more details about medical and dietary exceptions.

*Check your departure airport website for their most up-to-date security advice.

How do I check in online?

If your flight has a TOM or BY flight number, use Manage My Booking or the TUI app to check in.

If you’ve upgraded to Premium, Extra Legroom seats or Extra Space seats, or chosen the Select Your Seat option, online check-in will open 14 days prior to your departure. If not, it’ll open 48 hours prior to your departure. Just so you know, in either case, you’ll need to check in for your outbound and inbound flights separately. Online check-in closes six hours before your flight departure time. If you’d like to select or upgrade your seat after you’ve booked, please visit Manage My Booking.

If you’re flying with one of our TUI partner airlines or a non-TUI airline, you can find out more about checking in at our FAQ page.

What if I’m flying with a different airline?

In peak times and in the summer season, we hire extra aircraft from our partner airlines to make sure that everyone can travel with TUI. So we can offer you more choice of destinations and travel times, we sell our holidays with flights offered by other airlines, too. We call these our non-TUI airlines.

TUI partner airlines

Most flights booked with us will be operated by TUI Airways. However, on occasions, we may lease aircraft from other airlines so we can run more smoothly in busy periods. When this happens, you’ll see the name of the airline when you book your holiday. Our TUI partner airlines include Albastar, Aegean, BA CityFlyer and Freebird.

Most of these flights will operate with TUI cabin crew and offer full TUI service. Where the TUI partner operates with their own cabin crew, they’ll provide an equivalent service to our own.

Our TUI partner airlines are carefully selected to make sure you receive the same high TUI standards of service, and they all meet strict Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards. Should we need to change your aircraft to a TUI partner airline after you’ve booked, we’ll let you know as soon as possible. For more information on our TUI partner airlines, please see our partner airline page.

Non-TUI airlines

So that we can offer you more choice of destinations and travel times, we also offer flights from other non-TUI airlines. If you fly with one of our non-TUI airlines, your flight will be operated by another airline. The cabin crew and service are in the hands of this company, meaning that when you add your passenger information, check in or add extras to your flight, you’ll need to manage this through the partner airline’s website or app. You can find out more on our partner airlines page.

What food and drink will be available on my flight?

Short-haul flights

If you're going on one of our shorter flights, you'll be able to choose from our Café range – available to buy onboard. There’s a range of hot and cold savoury snacks and treats to choose from, as well as a full bar service and lots of other goodies.

Long-haul flights

Going on a flight that’s more than seven hours long? You’ll get a main meal and a light refreshment offered before landing, both included in the price. You can select which type of meal you need when you’re booking your holiday. We don’t provide in-flight meals for under-twos, but you can bring your own liquid baby foods or baby milk on board, plus there are themed kids’ snack boxes on the menu.

There’s a complimentary bar service, plus a range of snacks you can purchase.

How will I find out if my flight is delayed?

The vast majority of our flights depart on time. If we know your flight is delayed, we’ll let you know as soon as we can. Keep an eye out for text and email updates, and you can check your flight on our live departures and arrivals status page. Please check in as normal unless you've been notified otherwise.

I've been informed about a change to my flight - will I get the same seats?

Please log into Manage My Booking to reselect your seats. Please note, this applies to changes to your flight that we’ve let you know about before your departure day. If your flight has been changed on the day of your departure, we’ll do our best to allocate your chosen seats.

If my flight is delayed, how will TUI look after us?

If your flight is delayed for more than three hours, we’ll provide vouchers for refreshments at the airport. The amount of support we provide depends on the length of any delay. If you're denied boarding, or your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, please speak to staff at the check-in desk or boarding gate to see information that states what your rights are when it comes to things like compensation or assistance.

Just so you know, we always do everything we can to limit flight delays. Delays can happen from time to time for various operational reasons, however the vast majority of our flights depart on time.

Do I need to call to cancel or change my holiday?

If you booked online, you can change or cancel your holiday online through Manage My Booking.

If you booked through a TUI Store, you can visit your nearest store.

If you booked over the phone, you can call 0203 451 2688.

If you booked a holiday that includes a non-TUI Airways flight, you can call 0203 451 2688.

Will I have to pay any fees to cancel my holiday?

If you want to cancel your booking, or part of it, you should contact us as soon as possible.

If you booked online, you can do some of this yourself through Manage My Booking, otherwise please contact us. Once your booking has been cancelled, you can expect to receive a cancellation invoice within 14 days. If you don't, please contact us.

How much it costs to cancel your holiday, or to remove passengers from the booking, varies depending on how much time there is before you're due to travel and which airline you're flying with. Our cancellation charges cover the cost of processing your cancellation and to compensate us for the risk that we may not be able to resell your travel arrangements.

If you're travelling on a TUI flight as part of package, here are our cancellation charges.

  • 70 days or more before travel: Loss of full deposit

  • 69 - 63 days before travel: 30% of total booking price

  • 62 - 49 days before travel: 50% of total booking price

  • 48 - 29 days before travel: 70% of total booking price

  • 28 - 15 days before travel: 90% of total booking price

  • 14 - 0 days before travel: 100% of total booking price

Just so you know, removing a passenger from your booking might mean that your overall holiday cost goes up.

Your deposit is non-refundable, even if the cancellation charge calculated is lower than the deposit amount paid. Where extra facilities or transport options are non-refundable, in part or in full, the cost of these will be added to the cancellation charge you have to pay.

If you booked using a Low Deposit Offer, the full deposit amount stated on your confirmation invoice will need to be paid upon cancellation.

The cancellation charge may be higher for certain travel arrangements, such as coach tours or scheduled airfares. Please ask for details of cancellation charges when you book and check your insurance policy to see if you'd be covered for the cost of any cancellation charges.

Please read through our terms and conditions for more details of the charges.

If you purchased TUI Flex with your booking, your terms and conditions are different.

If TUI has cancelled your holiday:

If we've cancelled your booking – for example due to a hotel closing or a flight cancellation – we’ll refund you in full.

Only booked a flight or hotel?

If you've only booked a flight or just a hotel, the cancellation charges are different. You'll find details of these in our booking conditions.