I don't know if this is off-topic or not, but I don't know where else to ask this other than aviation.

I'm just wondering if airlines had to pay for the check-in areas they operate with. It's a big space and it's owned by the airport, so I assume they do but I'm not sure. If a check-in agent, airline manager, airport employee or anyone else who knows the answer to this question also give me around how much it would cost that would be great.

  • 4
    I don't have first-hand knowledge of this, but I would expect that use of the check-in areas would be one item in a very long contract between an airline and an airport, and it might not be possible to separate it out as a separate cost. Aug 30, 2020 at 18:25
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    I'm not sure that this is on-topic either here or at Aviation.SE. You may have to look for a non-SE site to ask it (I know airliners.net has a lot of discussion about airline and airport business issues). Aug 30, 2020 at 19:05
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    I did find Denver International Airport's list of fees and charges. It's complicated, but my best guess is that ticket counters would be covered under 120.01.02 (B) and pay the rate for "base terminal complex" plus "tenant finishes and equipment" for the Landside Terminal, giving a total of $130-160 per square foot per year depending on whether the airline is a "signatory" (major airlines) or not. Aug 30, 2020 at 19:08
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    Some airports (e.g. Amsterdam) even have different tiers of comfort/service (there is a low-cost terminal which costs less to airlines).
    – Relaxed
    Aug 30, 2020 at 19:13
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    I’m voting to close this question because it isn’t about travelling from a traveller’s perspective.
    – Jan
    Sep 2, 2020 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


An airport makes its money from fees charged to user airlines. These fees include (but are not limited to)

  • Landing fees
  • Parking fees
  • per passenger handling fees
  • baggage handling charges
  • ...

Whether there is a specific charge for a dedicated area in the check-in hall, or a per-hour charge for the use of check-in desks, or the fees are rolled up into some other charge, will be the subject of the contract between the airline and the airport, and may differ from airline to airline and airport to airport. The exact charges levied may also be commercially sensitive.

The provision of check-in desks has to be paid for somehow, so yes, one way or another, the airlines pay.

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    There is a possibility of a massive airline or rather its holding parent also operating the airport perhaps jointly, in this case the payment is in the initial investment. Example: Lufthansa owns 40% of the company operating Terminal 2 of Munich airport.
    – chx
    Aug 31, 2020 at 1:01

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