Flying Through Check-in Lines

In an article on CANOE Travel, Doug English, of Sun Media, explains that you do not have to be extremely technologically saavy to take advantage of things like kiosk or online flight check-in.

He writes, “Programming the VCR is about the extent of my technological know-how. Even then I don’t always get it right. So for years I stoutly resisted using airport kiosks to check in for a flight unless someone from the airline was right beside me to help.

Most of my flights are to or through the U.S. and involve one or two plane changes. Lately I’ve been flying Northwest, through Detroit. Now that they’ve installed check-in machines at even small airports, like London’s, it’s all but impossible to avoid them.

But I’ve come to learn it’s fairly straightforward, even for a klutz. Swipe a credit card or passport and your name pops up on the screen. Follow the prompts, enter a bit of information, confirm some itinerary and identity details and, presto, the machine whirs and spits out your boarding passes.

Checking yourself in lets you bypass long lines at checkin counters. But sometimes so many travellers are using the machine it creates another line. So airlines are now enabling passengers to check in from home, via computer, before they even leave for the airport.

Air Canada customers, for example, can go to aircanada .com, click on “web checkin” and perform a number of time-saving functions. Boarding passes can be printed out for flights departing from Canada to anywhere in world as early as 12 hours before departure and as late as one to two hours, depending on your destination. You can also select your seat, check baggage, and go on standby for an earlier flight or for an upgrade, if applicable… “

It doesn’t end with airport check-in either, you can now check-in to hotels online or at self-serve kiosks, and even search for and reserve airport parking before getting to the airport. Technology sure does save us time.