One of the more time consuming parts of the whole airport experience is check-in. You arrive at the airport and then have to stand in a line of people, patiently waiting for your turn to be seen.

Once you arrive at the desk, a friendly person brings up your booking, takes your Passport and asks about your bags. You pop those onto the scales, they get tagged, you’re handed a boarding pass and off you go. That’s the traditional method anyway!

Modern Check-In Methods

The next innovation for the whole check-in experience was the kiosk. These machines allow you to get your boarding pass using a touch screen, bypassing the need to actually see a human being. You print your bag tags here also and then drop them off.

It’s 2023 and virtually everyone has a smart phone, so a lot of people are using their mobile phone to check-in. It is especially handy when you have no baggage, as you can do this the night before and waltz on through the airport straight to security screening.

The Future of Check-In

Alaska Airlines are investing upgrading the way people do things, with the aim of getting people through in under five minutes. You will need to check-in using your phone, which should be no problem.

Those with baggage will then proceed to the new bag tag terminals. There you can pay for your baggage if required, print the tag and drop it off. All this self-service does baffle some people, so there will still be roaming staff members there to help out.

Overall Thoughts

It begs the question, how do you prefer to check-in? I have to say I am not a great big fan of having to print off a bag tag and attach it to my luggage myself. What if I don’t stick on the sticker correctly and it ends up falling off the bag? I’ve had my baggage go AWOL before and that was with the tag still attached. It would be horrible to think of what would happen if it came off.

What would make me happier would be the permanent bag tags, like the cute ones Qantas in Australia offer people. These use radio frequency identification (RFID) to track the bags. Of course, the major ports in Australia have been switched over to use this tech, so it works down under. It would be a major undertaking to get all airports doing this, so it’s a pipedream right now.

Personally, I mix it up. When I am flying with hand baggage only, I’ll check-in on my phone and add my mobile boarding pass to my Apple Wallet. I’m completely used to boarding flights this way. However, when I am travelling with checked luggage, I like to go to a desk and hand it over to an agent. I’m not really a fan of printing the tags and putting them on myself, only for fear of screwing it up.

What say you? Are you someone who likes to do it all themselves? Do you mix it up like I do? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

Like planes? See my “Does anyone remember” series.
Flight reviews your thing? Mine are all indexed here.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.