JetBlue to Skip the Check-in Process

JetBlue has announced its plans to scrap the check-in process.

From Business Week:

“The idea of asking customers to jump an additional hurdle before their flight is an increasingly antiquated concept,†Blair Koch, a JetBlue vice president, said in announcing the new process. “By having the right systems in place, we can remove this step and even help identify and prevent issues that can hinder customers from fully enjoying their travel experience.â€

jetblueOverall, this seems like a cool idea.

The check-in process used to seem like a way of saying “Hey! I’m at the airport!” to me.  Since you were checked it, staff knew to page you at the end of boarding, just to make sure.

Now that you can check in ahead of time online, that point is moot and I’ve rarely heard gate agents paging individuals late for their flights.

What do you think?  Has the check-in process become completely irrelevant?


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. The only problem is, at what point can gate agents now drop your seat due to flights being oversold? Not sure if JetBlue does that, but you need some window for the gate agents to be able to handle the flight and give out seats to passengers standing in front of them.

  2. Actually, this is a potential problem. Sometimes, I have to change my flight at the last minute. If you’re not checked in, this is easy to do on jet blue’s website. If you are checked in, it can’t be done on the website; you have to call their 800 number, and the front-line agents usually have to put you on hold to get in touch with supervisory agents who have the knowhow/authority to uncheck you in. Only at that point, can you make the change.

  3. Yeah, no. For starters, it’s a very clear way for the airlines to see who has actively engaged in their flight record 24 hours out, signaling whether they intend to fly or not.

    I would think the airlines don’t necessarily want check-in to go away in many cases as it’s a potential lost opportunity to increase revenue.

    In the case of JetBlue, forcing a guest to go through some sort of acknowledgment process you are forcing them to think about preferring seating and whether they want priority boarding.

    If everyone just got a notification email with their boarding pass they’re missing an opportunity to sell.

    There’s also a process to manage seats that are released by airport control as well as the process mentioned above where the gate agents take back seats. No check-in means a new set of rules and procedures.

    I’m all about innovation. Uber is great.

    This just sounds like a solution looking for a problem.

  4. FWIW, I think they could institute an option where you could “opt-in” to being checked in when you buy your ticket, explicitly acknowledging you’re okay with your seating assignment, etc. Not sure how valuable any of these options is, but they’re pretty low cost to implement other than customer strife from improper implementation

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