There’s nothing to put a real dampener on your holiday spirit like remembering you have to go via an airport first: The antisocial hours, the security queues, and the lack of legroom on board all serve to make flying an unenjoyable experience.
But now Delta airlines have taken a step to making it less painful and removed one of the most cumbersome parts of air travel – check in.
Manual check in, that either required you to visit the airline’s website or speak to an actual human at the airport, was undoubtedly an overhang from the days of paper tickets.
So the American airline decided to ditch it all together, for customers who are using the latest version of the Fly Delta mobile iPhone app (it doesn’t seem to apply to Android just yet).
Now, you will be automatically checked in, and your boarding pass sent to your phone 24 hours before you are due for take off.
So you don’t need to worry about doing anything apart from opening the app.
The change was first noted by a customer who had downloaded the iOS version of the app, but the updates seem to have taken place on the 12 October.
It is not yet clear how Delta plans to manage other administrative tasks that were sorted during the check-in process, such as seat allocation or bag check.
And of course you will still have to get to the airport well in advance for security checks (and an obligatory Duty Free supermarket sweep).
But as Delta are the first US airline to permanently make this change (Jetblue did briefly pilot something similar but scrapped it), it seems hopeful that others will follow suit.
The only airline elsewhere in the world offering a similar service is German airline Lufthansa.
Last month Delta announced that they would be offering free mobile messaging on flights as part of a “larger strategy around entertainment and giving our customers something they’ve been asking for,” according to The New York Times.
Delta said it would be the first global carrier based in the United States to offer onboard texting without charging for online access.
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