Online Check-In is Go. What Have We learned?

5 minutes read

What is Online Check-In?

At elina we have recently launched Online Check-In! As our elina customers start using this service, we decided to see how the early adopters are now using this exciting self-service guest webapp. Guests can do a variety of tasks before they arrive, including: collecting a picture of their identification, a selfie, an e-signature, payment and asking specific questions. Guests can then also be provided with helpful details for arrival, such as travel instructions, room guides, videos and Wifi details, or door access. All the information syncs back into elina PMS into a newly designed arrivals list.

Early Learnings

What have we learned from the first early adopters?

Works for OTAs and direct bookers

Guests who booked via, AirBnB, Expedia and directly have completed pre-arrival. accounts for 58% of the guests that have self serviced pre-arrival and check-in. This tells us that the link and the copy and paste method, is working using proxy email. This is great news. Of the total number of guests so far that have used this service, 6% were from AirBnB and 6%, from Expedia. Direct bookings, has accounted for 28% of guests using the service, with 2% from other sources. We expected direct to be high and also expect to see more OTAs channels and agency channels guests using Online Check-In as we added more customers to the service.

Turn on auto send

Once Online Check-In is set up, turning on auto send of the link and email, we find customers are surprised at the number of guests just completing the pre-arrival process without any other contact or communication. What’s more, over 90% of guests so far have complete self check-in as intended, meaning there is not much follow up required. This means they sign correctly, add an image, or ID as expected. Again, which options are requested of the guest, depends on the set up or the customer.

Sending near to arrival date brings results

For guests who have not completed the Check-In process, resending the guests the link on the day of arrival, or near to the arrival date brings good results. Monitoring samples of manual sends, we have seen more than 50% of guests sent a link on the morning of the day of arrival, submit their information and sign against the T&Cs. So a small amount of time used to re-push links to guests, saves a lot of time on arrival.

AirBnB proxy email addresses

We have seen customers that do not get AirBnB proxy emails, and some that do. This led us to research and discover this article, which states that, since 2020, AirBnB by default, is set to have no proxy email address turned on for guests. However, AirBnB they will enable it if you request via a link they provide. You can find the article and link here: Search ‘attestation form’ in the article to find the link to the form. A couple of customers have now done this and it is just a simple check box.

Magic links work well after tweaking

We adjusted the expiry time to be in line with first class public services and found that this amount of time (10 minutes), is adequate for guests to use the link to login securely, without needing to know their username or password. This makes it easy for them. We made more usability changes around 20th June 2021, meaning it is even easier for guests to use magic links in terms of on screen prompts.


Gmail typically shows down inbound emails, which can be a minute or so after send, or up to 2 minutes. This is how Gmail works. Gmail users tend to be used to emails taking longer to come through. This is obviously not always the case. The magic link is good for 10 minutes, so they can use it when it hits their inbox.

Set up

Each customer so far has a different set up, which is easy to achieve. Each customer so far, has a slightly different process pre-arrival. Online Check-In, being settings based, can accommodate for this easily. We have found that this does not appear to affect completions rates early on, but we will continue to monitor this. As the process is quick for the guest and mobile designed, even the maximum number of steps is very quick for them to do.

Keep wording short. We have seen customers edit the wording and personalise it, going for short, to the point text in online check-in. They have very good success rates.

Guests answer questions

If you use the personalise your stay option and ask some questions, from the guests completing pre-arrival, all of them answer questions such as arrival and departure time, or is it a family reservation, or do you need a cot?

Repeat bookers

It is useful for when guests stay regularly, as the arrivals list shows has many bookings they have made and you can immediately see the profile image and saved ID.

How far ahead will guests complete pre-arrival?

We have seen guests complete for December, which is 6 months ahead already.


The first feedback has been really positive and we have been collecting feedback, as we always do on excellent upgrades, or future features. These will be a part of version 2, which will be coming within 2021.

Check it out

Try an elina powered online check-in yourself. We will send you one from our demo system to try.

Watch the video below or go to read about the webapp and guest check-in tool in full here.