ElI5: Why do we still have to check in for flights?

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And why (at least with my experience) is it normally only allowed 24 hours in advance? Why not more, less, or even not at all with modern tech able to know where we are?

In: Engineering

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s not a technological limitation. It’s double checking that the person that bought the ticket still intends to fly, with enough heads you can adapt if there’s changes. But no so much heads up that checkin becomes invalid.

Just like how if you make plans with a friends a month out you probably double check a day or so before.

And tracking people’s location is a *big* privacy issue.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I don’t understand “still.” Checking in serves the same purpose it always has – it tells the airplane that you will be boarding the flight, and how many bags you’ll be bringing. A surprising number of passengers pull a no-show, which allows the airline to offer their seat to a standby passenger.

Please explain how you think “modern tech” would eliminate this. I don’t want American Airlines tracking my location so they know if I’m in the airport or not

Anonymous 0 Comments

>And why (at least with my experience) is it normally only allowed 24 hours in advance? Why not more, less, or even not at all with modern tech able to know where we are?   

It is allowed to check in far earlier than that (up to a month for most airlines), but that requires you to pay extra, usually by reserving a specific seat. You are allowed to check in for free 24 hours before the flight. The reason this is done is to ensure that you show up or at least make up the loss for you not showing up. Airlines hate having empty seats so they do everything in their power to make sure planes are full when they take off. That’s from a business perspective since every empty seat means less money, but they also need to know exactly how many people show up and how many bags they have for logistics. Based on that they can determine how much fuel the aircraft needs, if it’s exceeding the weight limits (that could lead to potential problems) etc.