– Why do airlines let passengers check-in online 24 hours beforehand? By checking in, shouldn’t they confirm a passenger is actually at the airport?

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– Why do airlines let passengers check-in online 24 hours beforehand? By checking in, shouldn’t they confirm a passenger is actually at the airport?

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24 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Some airline mobile apps you allow to track your location will identify that you have indeed made it to the airport.

They let you check in early to get an understanding that you are alive and have the intention to make the flight. If people don’t check in they check can start to speculate on seats that might be available as its gets closer to the flight time.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

I might be wrong about this as a layperson, but I think 24hr online check in does 3 things.

1. Checking in online is a ok proxy for missing a flight. If you don’t check in because you forgot about it and/or are super disorganized, there’s a better chance you aren’t going to make it.
2. Making everyone check in online the day before helps more people make their flights. It’s forcing people to think about it and make a plan, which reduces how much rescheduling the airline has to deal with.
3. As reward/benefits programs and upgrades have grown to a large portion of their business, it’s another time when the airline can try to upsell and separate customers based on their willingness to pay. Want to get a guaranteed seat before check in? pay more earlier. Unhappy with the seats available at check in? pay more to upgrade.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Airlines reduced staffing at ticketing desks. Allowing online checkin reduces lines at the airport. If all you have is online bags, there’s no need to queue at a checkin agent/kiosk.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you check in but don’t board by the cutoff, they can still give your seat to a standby passenger. The likelihood of you missing if checked in is less than if you didn’t but your seat can still be forfeited if you’re not there by “door close” time. It’s also why standby flying can be so crazy. There might not be any seats or it oversold by 5 but if 10 don’t show you can get on the flight at the last min

Anonymous 0 Comments

Checking in before you arrive at the airport is a convenience. The benefit though, is all for the airlines. If you check in, the airline knows that you intend to board the flight. That’s helpful for them to know, as they manage overbooked flights or customers changing flights, or standby status. You used to signal that intention by waiting in line and checking in at the airline counter at the airport, but as that has become not necessary with technology, you can check in from anywhere 24 hrs ahead.

I always wait to check in until I’m at the airport. Checking in is committing to taking that flight and if you don’t get on that plane…it’s over, if you still want to go to the that destination…you need to buy a ticket for a flight to get there. If you don’t check in and miss it, you can standby for the next flight, or pay a change fee for a guaranteed seat. (Or if the gate agent really feels bad for you because you were so late you had to go standby for the flight you were ticketed on, like one Northwest agent did one time, they might just print you a first class boarding pass for the next flight)

I learned these rules of the game from flying a lot at one time and also having bad time management(ADHD). I’ve missed a flight in every way possible.

I have yet to figure out what benefit I get from checking in ahead of time. (I don’t fly southwest if at all possible!)

Anonymous 0 Comments

It saves time. You used to have to wait in one line to check-in, one line the clear security, and one line to board the plane. Now you check-in digitally to confirm you intend on flying, TSA verifies your ID matches a flight ticket when you clear security, and you show your ticket to board the plane. It saves time for everyone and the only people who need to physically check in are checking their bags.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Check is mostly for the benefit of the airlines. It’s to upsell you services and to give them more data. Real life examples how they use that data include:

1. Delta now will suggest checking in your carry on before you hit security because the flight will be full. If people bring their carry-ons all the way to the gate, they are more reluctant to check their carry on.

2. Standby passengers (non-rev, etc). Internal systems at most airlines, as well as some apps let employees and passengers flying standby to estimate how many free seats there are, and how many people are checked in on standby who may be ahead of you.

3. Request to bids for taking another flight if this flight is full.

There are many more benefits, but checking in is relatively completely unnecessary. It was a byproduct of what you had to do before we had online check in systems. The easiest way to prove this is the existence of auto checkin systems that some airlines provide.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depends on the flights. 

The extreme example is NZ regional flights that don’t have airport security to get on the plane (small turboprop planes only – the major routes with jets have security checks so you usually need more like 30 min) 

I can check in ahead of time, reserve my seat and rock up to the airport 15 min before takeoff and be at the front of the line to board. 

This works fine at smaller towns where there’s minimal chance of traffic delay but is a bit riskier in a major city. 

Combine this with a flexi ticket and you can move to the next flight in the app if you’re running late and it makes things really easy for business travellers doing day trips or overnights with carry on only