WingsFan wrote:In light of recent United and other passenger experience disaster, I was wondering what the purpose of check-in process actually is?
A long time ago, check-in used to be performed at the airport a few hours before boarding a flight. I seems that this was to get an up-to-date information about the number of passengers who actually show up and to make sure all the luggage is accounted for. Other secondary benefits might be to sort out seat assignment and to help clear standby passengers if a confirmed passengers don't show up.
Now a days, check-in can be done without being at the airport and many days ( sometimes months) in advance. To me, it seems pretty useless because many things can change between check in and the actual flight. Why do airlines bother with this ritual if it does not do anything to reduce variably at the gate?
SomebodyInTLS wrote:If the airline wants to avoid no-shows, just send an e-mail/text 1 week and again 1 day beforehand reminding them of the flight details where you can confirm simply by replying. Maybe even give an incentive to reply (e.g. $10 off your next ticket) or to report if they won't make it (e.g. partial refund which they otherwise lose).
SomebodyInTLS wrote:As an engineer, I really see no need for the check in process to exist these days, except that I know it's a relic of the ancient systems and procedures that are actually still at the back of all the modern web-based processes the customers see. (All the old methods of filing paper administration are still actually going on virtually - and the systems doing it are themselves still (evolved from) steam-powered mainframes from the 1960s.)
FlyBTV wrote:SomebodyInTLS wrote:If the airline wants to avoid no-shows, just send an e-mail/text 1 week and again 1 day beforehand reminding them of the flight details where you can confirm simply by replying. Maybe even give an incentive to reply (e.g. $10 off your next ticket) or to report if they won't make it (e.g. partial refund which they otherwise lose).
In every one of these instances, it would result in holding the plane longer at the gate (rather than pushing earlier if possible), repeatedly paging the customer over the intercom system, etc. It also delays much of the work the gate agents need to do - if I know everyone who has checked in is on board, then I can start clearing the standby list, etc.
In short, check in gives the airline an early, 100% accurate count of the maximum number of customers who will arrive for a flight and allows them to identify anyone they definitely don't have to look for. Also consider that a portion of tickets aren't even booked by the traveling party and may not have accurate e-mails/phone numbers listed.
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