ABU DHABI // With the end of Ramadan just days away, Etihad Airways is bracing itself for the start of the peak summer season as thousands of travellers jet off for the Eid Al Fitr holidays from this weekend.
Also coinciding with the end of the Holy Month is the end of the school year and the start of the traditional summer season.
The airline is expecting it to be particularly busy from June 22 to August 24 with an estimated 3.3 million passengers flying from Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Etihad is urging customers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their scheduled flight.
Economy check-in for non-US flights opens three hours before departure and closes one hour before departure.
People travelling to the US must check in two hours before departure and present themselves at the US Customs and Border Protection facility no later than 60 minutes before departure, said Etihad.
"Once at the airport, those with an electronic or printed boarding pass can use the dedicated bag drop desks in Terminal 3 and proceed to immigration more quickly than ever," said Etihad.
"Smart Travel e-gates are available for registered UAE nationals and residents."
Electronic devices larger than a smartphone should be packed into checked luggage for US-bound flights.
Those wishing to carry their devices to the airport will be guided to a re-packing point before screening at the airport’s US immigration area, where the items will be placed into secure cases, for collection on arrival in the US.
On select mornings in Terminal 3 between June 21 and 24, a specially dedicated ‘Family Check-in’ area will be available for guests travelling with young children and infants.
All Etihad Airways flights to India have moved from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3, with flights to Morocco moving from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1.
Customers travelling in The Residence, First or Business Class, and Etihad Guest Platinum and Gold members can use the premium check-in facility at Terminal 3, regardless of destination.
And extra airline staff will be available to provide assistance at the airport along with and additional signage.
The airline is offering special rewards for those using the ‘moonlight check-in’ service, which is available until July 5 at Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 3.
It allows passengers for all non-US flights to check in four to eight hours before their scheduled departure at specially marked moonlight counters in Terminal 3, between 4am and 6am, and 4pm and 6pm.
Those using this limited-time service will get an additional 5kg of checked baggage, 2,500 Etihad Guest Miles, and vouchers for select Duty Free and food and beverage outlets.
Early check-in is also available in Dubai Travel Mall, and at the Al Ain and Abu Dhabi City Terminals and there are self-service kiosks in Terminals 1 and 3.
Passengers can also check in 49 hours before departure with the Etihad Airways mobile app or online at etihad.com.