Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Why is checking in for a flight required?

Why is checking in for a flight required?

Old Mar 26, 2023, 5:36 pm
  #1  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,094
Why is checking in for a flight required?

Why do airlines require you to check in?

I could see why years ago, when you had paper tickets and airlines didn’t know if you were actually going until you showed up at the airport.

But these days, when everything is online, and airlines have great systems for managing oversold flights: what’s the point?

Amtrak doesn’t require you to check in.
florin likes this.
WeekendTraveler is offline  
Old Mar 26, 2023, 5:54 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: PDX, OGG or between the two
Programs: AS 75K
Posts: 2,819
I think it just results in a better success rate of getting people to show up. People make reservations months in advance and could easily forget. It's kind of like the 24-hour appointment reminder that doctors offices, etc. send out but they want you to actually confirm you got it.
Davvidd and Loren Pechtel like this.
mtofell is offline  
Old Mar 26, 2023, 6:04 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Programs: FB Silver going for Gold
Posts: 21,723
[QUOTE=WeekendTraveler;35118792]
I could see why years ago, when you had paper tickets and airlines didn’t know if you were actually going until you showed up at the airport.
[/quote

You used to have to call to reconfirm your flights, even onward connections. Was even required (and I got caught out in such) well into the first decade of the 2000s.

But these days, when everything is online, and airlines have great systems for managing oversold flights: what’s the point?
Probably assume that advance check-in ill yield a more accurate number of passengers who will actually show up.

Amtrak doesn’t require you to check in.
May not have assigned seating requirement, of perhaps even enough seats for all pax (maybe not now but a couple of decades ago)..
YVR Cockroach is offline  
Old Mar 28, 2023, 10:13 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 33
"You used to have to call to reconfirm your flights, even onward connections" Remember it well. Last day of trip and you have to find a phone and have right currency to use public phone.
polinka is offline  
Old Mar 28, 2023, 12:35 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: GLA
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 2,936
Originally Posted by mtofell
I think it just results in a better success rate of getting people to show up. People make reservations months in advance and could easily forget. It's kind of like the 24-hour appointment reminder that doctors offices, etc. send out but they want you to actually confirm you got it.
Perhaps, though I might check in as soon as it opens, 30 days in advance in some cases, and change my mind / forget in the intervening month.
Scots_Al is offline  
Old Mar 28, 2023, 12:43 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: EVA Air , * G, QR Privilege Club S
Posts: 4,910
Originally Posted by polinka
"You used to have to call to reconfirm your flights, even onward connections" Remember it well. Last day of trip and you have to find a phone and have right currency to use public phone.
I remember in some of the smaller tourist destinations the queue lining for the reconfirmation of the return flights. These places may not even have SITA and use normal telex for sending information. That reconfirmed stamp on your ticket is proof that you flight has been reconfirmed and that your name should be on the passenger manifest. In one incident in India, a long time back `I was on a flight and when `I went to check in, the counter agent could not find my name. I. saw that my name was on the 5th on the list and told him so but he was adamant that it was not my name. I had to get back to the Captain( I know him well from the industry) and he had to giver the station manager a blast before I was able to check in. These things used to happen a lot in those days.
Davvidd is offline  
Old Mar 28, 2023, 1:08 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,715
Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler
Amtrak doesn’t require you to check in.
What exactly do you mean here by check in?

At WAS, NYP and PHL Amtrak requires you to show your ticket on the concourse and then again on the train. For the auto train you definitely have to check in.
CDTraveler is offline  
Old Mar 29, 2023, 3:44 pm
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 52,420
Originally Posted by CDTraveler
What exactly do you mean here by check in?

At WAS, NYP and PHL Amtrak requires you to show your ticket on the concourse and then again on the train. For the auto train you definitely have to check in.
That's been my experience on the KC to/from Chicago route. You had to check in in the station, then get in a queue, and then walk single-file to the platform.

Boggles my mind why it has to be done this way. Why can't we have assigned seats, go directly to them with no queueing, and show a QR code to the conductor?
pinniped is offline  
Old Mar 29, 2023, 10:44 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MEL
Programs: DL, QF, QR Gold, MR Lifetime Gold
Posts: 6,976
Agreed - the idea of checking in for a flight is antiquated. We get electronic BPs, so no need to queue up for the paper one. Maybe it's just telling the airline that you do intend to fly and maybe haven't made it through security yet... but then again, that doesn't really change the outcome because if you are late the flight leaves anyway. Maybe you can just scan your BP once you're airside to let them know that you're in the area, if they really want to know. They would definitely be aware if you've checked bags.
WeekendTraveler likes this.
florin is offline  
Old Mar 30, 2023, 1:21 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TOA
Programs: HH Diamond, Marriott LTPP/Platinum Premier, Hyatt Lame-ist, UA !K
Posts: 20,061
Why?
  1. To remind passengers of specific things such as not to bring prohibited items onboard
  2. To ascertain how much checked luggage and how much money they'll make from that source
  3. To define valid sizes for carryon and personal items so that they could, should they choose to enforce, how to require passengers to gate check items
  4. To upsell passengers with lesser fare class tickets to higher class tickets and add ons such as club/lounge access, premium economy, first/business class, etc.
  5. To sell more stuff such as credit cards, rental car reservations, hotel bookings, etc.
  6. To annoy more well traveled persons such as those who frequent FlyerTalk
David
DELee is offline  
Old Mar 30, 2023, 8:08 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 9,242
Document check for passport/visa etc.

They don't want fined for taking you where you're not allowed. The next opportunity could well be at the gate which is much busier, so they want to get it done before then.
WeekendTraveler likes this.
ft101 is offline  
Old Mar 30, 2023, 12:34 pm
  #12  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 52,420
One other reason for Southwest: catching people who don't check in at precisely T-24 hours and then sell them A boarding for $40.
WeekendTraveler and SPN Lifer like this.
pinniped is offline  
Old Mar 31, 2023, 5:37 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 102,103
Some airlines offer an auto-check-in option. I tend to not want to use it.

Part of the reason for having a check-in process that isn't automated for all ticketed passengers is so that the passenger manifests can be more easily/quickly checked and reconciled with who is on the flights and also for ticket settlement/reconciliation purposes. It probably also reduces the number of people that would otherwise get marked as having flown and lose ticket value despite not having flown on the flight as originally ticketed.
WeekendTraveler and SPN Lifer like this.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Apr 1, 2023, 12:28 pm
  #14  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,094
Originally Posted by CDTraveler
What exactly do you mean here by check in?

At WAS, NYP and PHL Amtrak requires you to show your ticket on the concourse and then again on the train. For the auto train you definitely have to check in.
On Amtrak, you don’t have to check in before boarding and be issued a boarding pass.

Showing your ticket on the concourse is like scanning your boarding pass before walking down the jetway to board a plane.

Some larger Amtrak stations do require you to check in with a staff member but that’s just make-work and if you just go straight to the train nothing stops you.
WeekendTraveler is offline  
Old Apr 1, 2023, 12:30 pm
  #15  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,094
Originally Posted by pinniped
That's been my experience on the KC to/from Chicago route. You had to check in in the station, then get in a queue, and then walk single-file to the platform.

Boggles my mind why it has to be done this way. Why can't we have assigned seats, go directly to them with no queueing, and show a QR code to the conductor?
It’s just make-work, designed to give an employee something to do. If you can find a way to avoid it (perhaps via another entrance to the platform), nothing will prevent you from boarding.
WeekendTraveler is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.