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citationjet
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Tue May 17, 2022 3:39 pm

kalvado wrote:
citationjet wrote:

If you cancel your flight before departure, your ticket retains value as a voucher for future travel.
If you don’t cancel before departure, your ticket has lost all value.

I don't think I had a ticket like that in many years. Most fares are use it or loose it, at least before covid hit.


This policy has existed before Covid. If you have purchased a ticket, and cancel your trip (either round trip or just one way of a round trip ticket)before departure, the ticket retains value. This does NOT apply to basic economy fares (where you don’t have a seat assignment, and can’t have carryon, and board last).
You must retain your ticket number to reuse your original ticket for future travel. The airline does not track this for you.

My wife owns a corporate incentive travel agency. Just since Covid hit, she has cancelled dozens of trips for her clients, and used the original ticket value for a new reservation. They have to pay any fare difference, but there is no longer a change fee since Covid.
Tickets are valid for one year from date of original ISSUANCE, not date of initial travel.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Tue May 17, 2022 4:04 pm

AFAIK, for business travellers there are even special tickets that allow them to take any flight back, provided it is on the same airline. It can be useful when a meeting has taken a much longer (or a much shorter) time. Only after checking in, the airline knows anything about his changed travel plans.
 
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Ruddman
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Re: Why do we

Tue May 17, 2022 6:59 pm

zeke wrote:
Ruddman wrote:
Are you sure?


Yes, QF for example does not sell standby fares however they have a number of different waitlist/standby options


I think that’s kinda rare though isn’t it? I’ve never known the other airlines, VB/VA, Jetstar, Tiger etc offer them or have ever seen anyone lining up waiting for a standby seat.
 
kalvado
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Re: Why do we

Tue May 17, 2022 7:58 pm

Ruddman wrote:
zeke wrote:
Ruddman wrote:
Are you sure?


Yes, QF for example does not sell standby fares however they have a number of different waitlist/standby options


I think that’s kinda rare though isn’t it? I’ve never known the other airlines, VB/VA, Jetstar, Tiger etc offer them or have ever seen anyone lining up waiting for a standby seat.

There is nonrev travel on QF, according to google search - so at least some level of standby availability is there. I am not sure if crew commuting to the base is the thing outside of US, so there may be fewer such travellers...
I don't think there is a way to buy standby-only ticket in US. Any connecting passenger missing their connection is sort of standby, though, regardless of airline.
 
citationjet
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Re: Why do we

Tue May 17, 2022 9:24 pm

kalvado wrote:
There is nonrev travel on QF, according to google search - so at least some level of standby availability is there. I am not sure if crew commuting to the base is the thing outside of US, so there may be fewer such travellers...
I don't think there is a way to buy standby-only ticket in US. Any connecting passenger missing their connection is sort of standby, though, regardless of airline.


I agree, I don’t think that standby fares exist, especially in the US.

The term standby can be heard by the gate agent for various other reasons:
Connecting passenger who missed their earlier flight would be a “revenue standby”.
Airline employee traveling Space Available would be a “non-rev” standby.
A frequent flyer trying to upgrade to business or First would be on another standby list that sometimes is shown on the screen at the gate.
None of these examples involve a standby fare basis.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Tue May 17, 2022 11:23 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
AFAIK, for business travellers there are even special tickets that allow them to take any flight back, provided it is on the same airline. It can be useful when a meeting has taken a much longer (or a much shorter) time. Only after checking in, the airline knows anything about his changed travel plans.


Customers with high status at the airline can often also bump mere mortals off. For example, if you're AA Executive Platinum and you book 24 or more hours in advance, you're guaranteed a seat even if the flight is full. (Or at least that was the rule some years ago.)
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Wed May 18, 2022 12:46 am

Starlionblue wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
AFAIK, for business travellers there are even special tickets that allow them to take any flight back, provided it is on the same airline. It can be useful when a meeting has taken a much longer (or a much shorter) time. Only after checking in, the airline knows anything about his changed travel plans.


Customers with high status at the airline can often also bump mere mortals off. For example, if you're AA Executive Platinum and you book 24 or more hours in advance, you're guaranteed a seat even if the flight is full. (Or at least that was the rule some years ago.)


Yes, that's still the case. AA Executive Platinum also allows the passenger to change to a different flight (but same route & same airline) on the same day, with no surcharge. They also get top priority when standing by for an earlier or later flight. Well... looking at these frequent flyer programs I understand now why some people are travelling with 700 lbs golf bags... they can check-in so much additional baggage. :weightlifter:
 
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zeke
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Re: Why do we

Wed May 18, 2022 1:50 am

Ruddman wrote:

I think that’s kinda rare though isn’t it? I’ve never known the other airlines, VB/VA, Jetstar, Tiger etc offer them or have ever seen anyone lining up waiting for a standby seat.


I don’t know about the other airlines, on the QF citi flyer routes it is very common for passengers to request to be put on an earlier flight if they are already at the airport. I have done this a number of times when my inbound international flight was early.

I even remember hearing announcements asking passengers if the want to travel earlier to present themselves to the customer service desk.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Why do we

Wed May 18, 2022 2:34 am

zeke wrote:
Ruddman wrote:

I think that’s kinda rare though isn’t it? I’ve never known the other airlines, VB/VA, Jetstar, Tiger etc offer them or have ever seen anyone lining up waiting for a standby seat.


I don’t know about the other airlines, on the QF citi flyer routes it is very common for passengers to request to be put on an earlier flight if they are already at the airport. I have done this a number of times when my inbound international flight was early.

I even remember hearing announcements asking passengers if the want to travel earlier to present themselves to the customer service desk.


Same on SK. If you check with the automated kiosk and you're early, it will automatically ask you if you want to go on an earlier flight.
 
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Ruddman
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Re: Why do we

Wed May 18, 2022 5:47 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
zeke wrote:
Ruddman wrote:

I think that’s kinda rare though isn’t it? I’ve never known the other airlines, VB/VA, Jetstar, Tiger etc offer them or have ever seen anyone lining up waiting for a standby seat.


I don’t know about the other airlines, on the QF citi flyer routes it is very common for passengers to request to be put on an earlier flight if they are already at the airport. I have done this a number of times when my inbound international flight was early.

I even remember hearing announcements asking passengers if the want to travel earlier to present themselves to the customer service desk.


Same on SK. If you check with the automated kiosk and you're early, it will automatically ask you if you want to go on an earlier flight.


I've flown plenty in Australia and have never ever been asked if we want to go on an earlier flight. I've never heard anyone else being offered that.

Qantas?
https://help.qantas.com/support/s/artic ... ndby-fares
Qantas does not offer standby fares.
 
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zeke
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Re: Why do we

Wed May 18, 2022 11:55 pm

Ruddman wrote:
I've flown plenty in Australia and have never ever been asked if we want to go on an earlier flight. I've never heard anyone else being offered that.

Qantas?
https://help.qantas.com/support/s/artic ... ndby-fares
Qantas does not offer standby fares.


I posted above in reply 44 that QF do not sell standby fares, QF do place passengers on standby and waitlist for flights if requested.

If you buy the ultra cheap tickets like red-edeals they will not normally offer you to go on an earlier flight as they allow no changes (they can if they foresee disruptions), it’s offered to those who have flexible fares, and generally the higher your FF status the better you are accommodated.

Article on moving to earlier flight with Qantas and Virgin https://www.executivetraveller.com/meet ... gin-flight
 
QF93
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Re: Why do we

Fri May 20, 2022 6:12 pm

zeke wrote:
I posted above in reply 44 that QF do not sell standby fares, QF do place passengers on standby and waitlist for flights if requested.

If you buy the ultra cheap tickets like red-edeals they will not normally offer you to go on an earlier flight as they allow no changes (they can if they foresee disruptions), it’s offered to those who have flexible fares, and generally the higher your FF status the better you are accommodated.

Article on moving to earlier flight with Qantas and Virgin https://www.executivetraveller.com/meet ... gin-flight


I agree with Zeke. I used to see it particularly in the mid/late afternoon SYD - MEL shuttles, where QF staff might try to get passengers on earlier flights ahead potential weather disruptions or peak hour congestion. It just means one less passenger for the gate agents to manage or otherwise have clogging up the terminal in peak periods. I’ve not travelled domestically post-COVID though so I don’t know if this is still happening.
 
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WildcatYXU
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Mon May 23, 2022 4:03 am

flyingturtle wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
AFAIK, for business travellers there are even special tickets that allow them to take any flight back, provided it is on the same airline. It can be useful when a meeting has taken a much longer (or a much shorter) time. Only after checking in, the airline knows anything about his changed travel plans.


Customers with high status at the airline can often also bump mere mortals off. For example, if you're AA Executive Platinum and you book 24 or more hours in advance, you're guaranteed a seat even if the flight is full. (Or at least that was the rule some years ago.)


Yes, that's still the case. AA Executive Platinum also allows the passenger to change to a different flight (but same route & same airline) on the same day, with no surcharge. They also get top priority when standing by for an earlier or later flight. Well... looking at these frequent flyer programs I understand now why some people are travelling with 700 lbs golf bags... they can check-in so much additional baggage. :weightlifter:


Is it any seat with AA or only Y seats? AC has this perk too. However, it is limited to Y seats and one has to buy a full Y fare (not cheap). It is available To AC's 2 highest tiers (E75K, SE100K). I'm afraid I used it earlier this year. Not knowingly. I booked a seat on a flight where all booking class letters were showing zero availability. It sucks to know that because of me someone doesn't travel. But work is work.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Mon May 23, 2022 4:10 am

WildcatYXU wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

Customers with high status at the airline can often also bump mere mortals off. For example, if you're AA Executive Platinum and you book 24 or more hours in advance, you're guaranteed a seat even if the flight is full. (Or at least that was the rule some years ago.)


Yes, that's still the case. AA Executive Platinum also allows the passenger to change to a different flight (but same route & same airline) on the same day, with no surcharge. They also get top priority when standing by for an earlier or later flight. Well... looking at these frequent flyer programs I understand now why some people are travelling with 700 lbs golf bags... they can check-in so much additional baggage. :weightlifter:


Is it any seat with AA or only Y seats? AC has this perk too. However, it is limited to Y seats and one has to buy a full Y fare (not cheap). It is available To AC's 2 highest tiers (E75K, SE100K). I'm afraid I used it earlier this year. Not knowingly. I booked a seat on a flight where all booking class letters were showing zero availability. It sucks to know that because of me someone doesn't travel. But work is work.


If you fly the cheapest fares, you're always at risk of being offloaded, even without people using their status. It's just one of those things that happen.
 
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ehbowen
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Mon May 23, 2022 5:12 am

Airliners and trains are very different animals; I'm quite familiar with both (see avatar). Airlines are mostly point-to-point, with comparatively long intervals for boarding and an army of ground support personnel (compared to trains). They can process incoming passengers, see who is and isn't on the manifest, assign unsold seats to standby passengers, and so forth before the flight is ready for boarding. When the flight does arrive there is often enroute servicing conducted, even on a multi-city itinerary flight. When the passengers do board, they must all be in assign seats and buckled in before the plane can take off, or even taxi away from the gate.

Trains are a whole 'nother kind of critter. Many train stations are completely unstaffed; in fact at a few (flag stops) the train does a 'rolling stop' and you have to be prepared to flag it down if by some chance you're not on the manifest. While most long-distance Amtrak routes supposedly require reservations, there are still some unreserved trains where you can just walk on board and purchase your ticket from the conductor (at a penalty). And even on the trains which are supposedly all-reserved, the policy is that the train must be prepared to stop at any station on the schedule just in case a prospective passenger was accidentally left off due to a computer glitch or similar. Enroute stops are, for the most part, "git 'er done!"; it's not unusual for the train to actually be stopped at an intermediate station for two minutes or less; in many cases you climb aboard, find a vacant seat, and then the conductor comes by and takes your ticket once the door is shut and the train is already in motion. What? No ticket? The train conductor has the legal authority to stop the train and put you off at "any inhabited point". If it's not a regular station, good luck at continuing your trip, you'll need it (Try that on an airliner!).

More than once (when I had a sleeping car reservation) I've boarded the train, handed my ticket to the sleeping car attendant, and made my way directly to the dining car for dinner; when the conductor came by to collect tickets the car attendant gave it to him while I was eating. Another time (due to a holiday blackout on reward travel) I technically changed tickets in the middle of the night (my train from Houston arrived San Antonio after midnight, then continued west to L.A. after the blackout had passed); I slept through the changeover. So train travel is a whole different ball game. And, for both trains and planes, "We've Always Done It This Way Before!"
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Mon May 23, 2022 9:59 am

ehbowen wrote:
And even on the trains which are supposedly all-reserved, the policy is that the train must be prepared to stop at any station on the schedule just in case a prospective passenger was accidentally left off due to a computer glitch or similar. Enroute stops are, for the most part, "git 'er done!"; it's not unusual for the train to actually be stopped at an intermediate station for two minutes or less; in many cases you climb aboard, find a vacant seat, and then the conductor comes by and takes your ticket once the door is shut and the train is already in motion. What? No ticket? The train conductor has the legal authority to stop the train and put you off at "any inhabited point".


Wow, this is a thing? I'm so used to the European train system... wow.

If the strain stops according to the schedule, it stops. No flagging a train (not even trams). No unscheduled stops, except for emergencies. On actual high-speed routes (e.g. Germany, France, with speeds in excess of 250 kph) and with strict fire protection and evacuation rules (those up to 53 km long tunnels in Switzerland), every passenger must be seated, and unseated passengers will be offloaded before. Ticket controls have become sparse after covid-19, but are usually $100 fine + full fare + you'll end up in a database if you're get caught. And nobody pays for a reserved seat, except mostly people who really need to pop out their laptops for work. Otherwise, people are glad to sit or lie on the floor during the craziest hours (mostly Friday evenings in Germany, when students return home for the weekend).

An important point not mentioned is...

- A typical rail coach weights 40 tons and has about 86 2nd class seats. Maintenance requirements are much lower. Railways rather have the problem of high fixed costs.
- Security issues - it's rather pointless to hijack a train.
 
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ehbowen
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Mon May 23, 2022 11:49 am

Wow, this is a thing? I'm so used to the European train system... wow.

If the strain stops according to the schedule, it stops. No flagging a train (not even trams). No unscheduled stops, except for emergencies. On actual high-speed routes (e.g. Germany, France, with speeds in excess of 250 kph) and with strict fire protection and evacuation rules (those up to 53 km long tunnels in Switzerland), every passenger must be seated, and unseated passengers will be offloaded before. Ticket controls have become sparse after covid-19, but are usually $100 fine + full fare + you'll end up in a database if you're get caught. And nobody pays for a reserved seat, except mostly people who really need to pop out their laptops for work. Otherwise, people are glad to sit or lie on the floor during the craziest hours (mostly Friday evenings in Germany, when students return home for the weekend).


Last I checked the schedules Amtrak had technically eliminated 'flag stops'...but, if there's no passenger listed on the manifest for an intermediate stop, and no one comes running when the train slows down, it may "stop" for about two seconds before releasing brakes and continuing on. [Edit To Clarify: This is if the train is on or behind schedule. Amtrak trains never leave before the timepoint listed in the timetable, except at a bare handful of stations designated "L" (for may Leave early). Even at a 'flag stop', if the train is ahead of schedule it will 'wait for time' at the station before proceeding.]

On Amtrak there's no additional charge for a reservation; it's built into the cost of the ticket. You're supposed to pre-purchase your ticket from the web site or telephone reservation desk if there's no ticket agent at your boarding station; while tickets can (supposedly) still be bought on board there's a stiff penalty and it will get you disliked (conductors don't like to handle cash!). Amtrak doesn't have any true high-speed routes by European standards, although the Acela Express between Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Boston (several intermediate stops) comes close. Standard practice on Amtrak (Nota bene: I haven't traveled since pre-COVID, and the last time I took Amtrak Coach was 2012...I've been spoiled by sleeper cars!) is that you board, take a seat (at busy stations the train crew will pre-assign you to a seat, but it's done on-the-fly and not centrally by computer in advance), and then wait there until the train crew comes through to check your ticket. These days it's normally handled by scanning a QR code with the conductor's PDA, but there are still a few 'paper value tickets' which need to be physically punched and collected. At that point the conductor or his assistant will write out a 'seat check' (strip of paper about 1 inch by 3 inches with a 3-letter code for your destination) to post above your seat which marks it as taken and informs relief crews (which change every 6-8 hours) of your final destination so they know when to wake you up in the middle of the night if necessary. Once you have your seat check you are free to move about the train and visit the lounge car or cafe.

Sleeping cars on Amtrak work similarly, although sleeper space is always pre-reserved. One used to be able to upgrade from coach to unsold sleeper space on board by paying the conductor, but these days they'll tell you to call the toll-free number from your cell phone and purchase an upgrade from the central reservation desk with a credit card. One perk of sleeper space on Amtrak is that your dining car meals are inclusive with your ticket; on the Western long-distance trains which still have real kitchens and cook on board this can be very nice but on trains east of the Mississippi where they've gone to prepackaged "flex dining" much less so. Long-distance trains also have a counter-service cafe serving microwave burgers and pizza and similar fare; the nicest thing which can be said about it is that you're unlikely to starve. Although the "Track Packs" which they used to sell out of Chicago when I was new at this were worth buying; they were built around a huge fresh sweet apple with enough packaged crackers, cheese, and similar for you to nibble on for hours. Haven't seen them recently, though.

Keep in mind, also, that unlike in Europe where if you miss a train another will be along in an hour or two, outside of a few "corridors" with more frequent service Amtrak long-distance trains are 'one a day' at best...there are still a couple of routes which are tri-weekly each way, and during COVID almost the entire network outside of the corridors was reduced to every other day at best. And long-distance bus service in this country is in the process of fading away as well in many places. So if you miss, best be prepared to call an Uber...or a hotel!
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Mon May 23, 2022 1:28 pm

ehbowen wrote:
chooo-chooo


That was an amazing text, on so many levels. Thank you, ehbowen!
 
xl0hr
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:40 pm

Ryanair (and other European (U)LCCs afaik) allow online check in weeks before the flight. Actually kind of push you to do it as on site check in is ridiculously expensive.

This makes check in utterly meaningless for actual prediction of who shows up and who doesn't. Bag drop / security scan of boarding passes conveys that info I guess.

So it stands to reason you could just drop the act of checking in separately and directly issue the ticket. (Except Ryanair couldn't charge you 40€ or whatever if you didn't do it online)
 
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SAAFNAV
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Tue Jun 21, 2022 5:58 am

xl0hr wrote:
Ryanair (and other European (U)LCCs afaik) allow online check in weeks before the flight. Actually kind of push you to do it as on site check in is ridiculously expensive.

This makes check in utterly meaningless for actual prediction of who shows up and who doesn't. Bag drop / security scan of boarding passes conveys that info I guess.

So it stands to reason you could just drop the act of checking in separately and directly issue the ticket. (Except Ryanair couldn't charge you 40€ or whatever if you didn't do it online)


I wish I could understand the logic of having to check-in on your phone, at pain of €60 if you don't.
But when you get to the airport, you have to stand in the same queue, because there is no baggage drop. And even if there was, you still need to present yourself to an agent for a document check.

And let's not even go to the priority boarding... Most people have priority because a check-in bag will get you that by default. But when half the plane takes bag and stand in the priority queue with only one agent for 100+ pax, vs 3 or 4 agents to check-in the plebs, your system is broken.
 
xl0hr
Posts: 88
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:05 am

SAAFNAV wrote:

I wish I could understand the logic of having to check-in on your phone, at pain of €60 if you don't.
But when you get to the airport, you have to stand in the same queue, because there is no baggage drop. And even if there was, you still need to present yourself to an agent for a document check.


I think this is one of the policies that comes disguised as an ultra efficient move to lower costs but it actually is just one (of many) traps to generate revenue from less than perfectly savvy costumers.

I don't mind cutting service, selling the base product ("a chair. In the sky!") and charging for everything else. However when the product gets designed in a way to generate mistakes that cause 60€ penalties, I get slightly upset :mad:
 
chimborazo
Posts: 464
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:09 pm

xl0hr wrote:
SAAFNAV wrote:

I wish I could understand the logic of having to check-in on your phone, at pain of €60 if you don't.
But when you get to the airport, you have to stand in the same queue, because there is no baggage drop. And even if there was, you still need to present yourself to an agent for a document check.


I think this is one of the policies that comes disguised as an ultra efficient move to lower costs but it actually is just one (of many) traps to generate revenue from less than perfectly savvy costumers.

I don't mind cutting service, selling the base product ("a chair. In the sky!") and charging for everything else. However when the product gets designed in a way to generate mistakes that cause 60€ penalties, I get slightly upset :mad:


Is suspect it’s also that once you’ve checked in - even weeks before your flight - you have acknowledged you will actually be on it so can’t then change/cancel without extortionate fees. (simile to the “standard ish” 24h in advance if many airlines. I don’t know for sure because, although I’ve been on maybe a hundred plus Ryanair flights, I’ve been lucky never to experience any problems/travel changes/major delays (I think the longest actual delay I’ve had was two hours departing - mostly waiting on tarmac for a take-off slot out of Stansted when weather in Europe central was playing up. They pushed us back to “get in the queue”. Well… probably to get their in tune departure!). Not so bothered about departure delays… it’s arrival time that counts and as I recall have never been late in any impactful way except the weather delay. I digress…
 
IFlyVeryLittle
Topic Author
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Re: Why do we "check in?"

Tue Jun 21, 2022 8:01 pm

Yet sometimes, you are denied online check in, which frequently leads to the dreaded SSSSSSS paper boarding pass.

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