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Travel Tip: Automatic Airport Check-In

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It seems every other week there’s a new automated kiosk at the airport. And along came another automated service that doesn’t even require your presence: automated check-in. The latest trend with the airlines is to check you into your flight, automatically. You don’t have to sign in online, or go anywhere near a kiosk at the airport.

Air France and KLM started this a while back—you just check a box when booking your ticket with your seat preference and whether you want to receive your boarding pass by email or on your smartphone. Then between 24 and 30 hours before your flight, you’ll automatically get the boarding pass sent to you.

When you check in for your outbound flight on United Airlines, you get the option for automatic check-in on the way back, or for remaining flight segments. It’s not a bad idea—if you’re someone who forgets to check in ahead of time, they’ll just email or text you the boarding pass without any work on your part.

And Southwest has automatic check-in if you purchase its Early Bird Check-In, which also gets to a better boarding position. And on Southwest, that means better seats and access to those overhead bins.

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Image credit Wikimedia: user Mtcv

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