Online Check-in: My thoughts and questions

So tomorrow I’ll be flying back to China (track my flight!)

This morning, I received a notification from Delta’s FlyDelta app to check-in online for my flights, so of course, I did.
Which got me thinking.
The entire point of checking in for a flight is to make sure a passenger is there for the flight. With online check-in now, it’s lost its purpose. God forbid I oversleep and miss my flight tomorrow, I’ve already checked in for the flight, but I will never make it to the airport on time. Isn’t that the sole purpose of checking in?
Please let me know your thoughts.


Not sure where I’m going with this post but here are a few random thoughts.

We can see if you are an online check in or not when we look at your ticket record, so we expect that you may or may not be there.

Main purpose of online check in is to make it faster for you to get to the gate. If you are traveling with no bags to check its crazy fast, but even if you have a few to drop it still makes life easier.

Just my 2 cents as a Delta Employee. Thanks for flying Delta 😀


One of the reason behind online check-in is to have passengers to confirm their presence. But for passengers, it could also save times from waiting in line at the airport. For airlines, increase efficiency and save money by using QR code instead of traditional paper boarding pass, and by reducing the number of manned counters.

There are other ways to check or verify the presence of each passenger, and not all passengers will do online check-in if it’s not mandatory. Even though a passenger have checked in for the flight, either online or at the counter and passed security, it doesn’t ensure that passenger will actually be on the plane(last minute emergency, change of plan, etc).


That’s what I thought.
But I have 2 checked bags and BOS doesn’t support eBoarding Passes, which means I still have to show up at the counter, check my bags and ask them to print my boarding passes…

Online check-in makes it so when I am flying with just carry on, I go straight from curbside drop-off to the security line. No waiting in line to receive a printed ticket or standing at a kiosk.

Also with basic economy fairs these days, you can only pick your seat for free in advance once you’ve checked in a maximum of 24hrs before the flight is to depart.

Online check-in has never lost its purpose, as It was never a way for a airline to 100% make sure a passenger was going to make their flight just because they checked in a day before. Over-booking and standby are activities the airlines still practice because even if the system shows that every single passenger is inside the airport, someone, or two, is still bound to miss their flight.

I always saw it as a convenience for the passenger who does not have to check any luggage and therefore miss that line and go straight to security. Also helps the environment so not every single passenger needs a paper slip printed out for them.

KBOS does indeed support mobile boarding passes… In your case since you had 2 checked bags you would have had to go to the counter regardless.


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