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I booked a flight from Vueling recently, and attempted to check-in online. However, I got the following message:

The nationality entered is not on the list of countries that allow online check-in. Please go to the check-in desk in good time to get your boarding pass.

I can't seem to find this list anywhere on the Vueling website. Where can I find the policy list for Vueling's online check-in (or more generally, for any airline).

I'm Chinese. I can do this, but I don't understand why I'm not permitted to check in online. It isn't anywhere on the website.

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    Maybe Vueling does not publish this list. I could imagine a bunch of reasons for not publishing, e.g. to avoid contradictory information on the website and in the check-in tool, but it's only guesswork, so just a comment, not an answer.
    – Sabine
    Jun 1, 2022 at 14:43
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    I have not heard about Vuelings list but at least one other airline does not allow people who need visa to check in online.
    – Willeke
    Jun 1, 2022 at 14:55
  • @Willeke if such list exist, I wouldn't be surprised if it is common over all IAG airlines Jun 1, 2022 at 16:09
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    I've seen airlines not allow online check-in when visa check is required.
    – littleadv
    Jun 1, 2022 at 17:32
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    "Online check-in not permitted due to my nationality?" -> "The nationality entered is not on the list of countries that allow online check-in." ...sounds like yes...
    – Matte.Car
    Jun 5, 2022 at 18:34

2 Answers 2

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Several airlines have published that people who need visa have to check in at the airport in person with all pertinent paperwork. Others who come from the same countries and might have permanent residencies are often also forced to show the paperwork in the airport before checking in.
Not sure if your airline follows those rules but it seems like that your nationality would make it needed for the airlines that follow the rules.

For people who can not check in online, paying extra to chose their seats might be more important, if you care about which seat(s) you end up in, but it seems that the extra money for buying seats is not the driving force, as checking in at the airport usually cost at the airline I know about, but in this case it is free for those who can not check in online.

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  • I’d also note that picking a different (EU) nationality to check in online and skip the counter might work, depending on the airline. They’d be annoyed at the gate but most of the time it should work. Though I would only try this as an advanced traveler with a backup plan in case I can’t make it on the flight.
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 6, 2022 at 9:23
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    @JonathanReez, that is more likely to work with a common nationality, like USA. Less likely with Chinese.
    – Willeke
    Jun 6, 2022 at 9:34
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The Spanish airline Vueling have a list of required travel documentation on their website under "Prepare your trip", that seems to be based on IATA guidelines among other things.

They do state:

If you're flying within the Schengen area, you won't have to go through any documentation checks.

so I assume that you're flying from or to a non-Schengen country, and I'd guess that most people would have to do a document check, and that the message is a bit misleading and doesn't have much to do with "nationality". It'd more likely be an exception when someone didn't have to do a document check for those flights.

But, under "citizens of other countries" they say this about Schengen flights:

Passport* + valid visa for destination country if required.

Passport* + Valid residency card issued by a Schengen state.

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  • I don't think this is accurate. Like Ryanair, I would assume Vueling require certain nationalities (possibly non-EU/EEA/UK citizens) to do a 'document check'. This has nothing to do with whether the flight is extra-Schengen.
    – MJeffryes
    Jan 3, 2023 at 16:41
  • @MJeffryes they say "no checks within schengen" and at the same time "citizens of other countries: + valid visa". I'm just quoting their own page. Jan 3, 2023 at 16:56
  • Sure, but what I'm saying is the 'documentation check' mentioned on that page is not specific. Of course, for an extra-Schengen flight everyone will have their documents checked. However, it seems certain non EU nationals, including OP, must do this before passing security, which means they're not able check in online. While EU citizens presumably would be able to check in online, having their documents checked only at the gate.
    – MJeffryes
    Jan 3, 2023 at 17:04
  • @MJeffryes I still don't understand what you want me to change in the answer. Feel free to edit it. Jan 3, 2023 at 18:24
  • I'm saying it's fundamentally wrong. I'm saying the message is a bit misleading and doesn't have much to do with "nationality". is incorrect, and that if OP was eg a Belgium citizen, they wouldn't be getting this message.
    – MJeffryes
    Jan 4, 2023 at 12:27

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