Big news from Delta: passengers using the airline's app will no longer need to check in to their flights.
"What's 'checking in'?" the youngest fliers amongst us may ask. And it's a reasonable question, given that the smartphone-enabled check-in has, for many fliers, replace the practice of standing in line at the airport (or, in seriously olden days, called the airline) to check in. This is similar to how grandparents nationwide will draw, you know, a phone if asked to draw a phone, while the average seven-year-old will draw a black rectangle.
For many fliers, the "checking in" process has become nothing more than downloading the boarding pass (which of course, phone-style, isn't a "pass" anymore, but a scannable image). Delta's new tool will further streamline that practice.
So — how'll it work? Boarding passes will simply appear in-app 24 hours before departure, allowing fliers to present it to flight crew (or scanner). Seats will be assigned automatically, either in line with your request at the time of ticket purchase or with your general preferences (such as aisle or window).
This process doesn't promise to be entirely free of hassle: flight changes are often more difficult to make once “check in” occurs, so it's unclear how thing will work if check-in is automatic, and 24 hours in advance of departure, considerably sooner than many flight changes are made. The upgrade process, too, will surely take some refinement. For now, we'll see how it goes ... or at least if those of using an iPhone will.
Once again, Android users will have to twiddle their thumbs — and continue to check themselves in — until their version is ready.