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Airports’ Best Feature You May Be Missing

By Author: Unknown Member
Total Articles: 213

While almost everyone knows the importance of cheap travel options, such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages, it is surprising how many travelers do not even consider curbside check-in when arriving at an airport.

Many people think of curbside check in as a throwback to a time when checked bags were free and fliers typically traveled with excess luggage.
Interesting though most airlines still offer curbside check in and demands remains high, particularly during summer and holiday periods.

Savvy travelers sometimes regard curbside check in as a time saver that can usually be used both to check in with the airline and check bags. Others check in online and drop their bags at the curb before heading into the airport. Universally, the biggest perk of curb side check in is to not have to wait in line more than a few minutes, if at all.

People who tend to use curbside check in tend to have one of the following characteristics:

• Traveling with kids, particularly young children

• Traveling with a lot of bags

• Anyone who is in a hurry, including the chronically late, frequent travelers who try to minimize transit time

• Anyone who had to deal with traffic delays on the way to the airport

• Mobility issues of select travelers who value the fact that the distance between car and bag drop is often no more than a couple of feet.

Another benefit people have observed with curbside check in is that frequently there they tend to interact with airline employees who are in relatively good moods. Whether it is the fresh air, or the chance to earn a tip with each interaction, skycaps appear to be more positive when dealing with customers than their inside counterparts.

The only downside of curbside check in tends to be that it can be a little more expensive. While some airlines continue to offer free curbside check in, others charge $2 per bag, in addition to their standard baggage fees. The transaction becomes more expensive given that tipping is an expected part of a skycap exchange.

The following are the curbside policies of a variety of airlines:

• American offers such check in at almost 30 airports, of which a few airports only offer seasonal curbside check in and Cincinnati that does not allow curbside check in for international travel. There are no fees to check luggage curbside, though tipping is encouraged.

• Delta offers curbside check in at about 100 airports. Again no additional fees are charged but gratuities are appreciated for outstanding service.

• JetBlue offers curbside check in at 24 U.S. airports, and charges $2 per bag checked at curbside, with the exception of Washington Dulles, Washington Regan, and Westchester County White Plains airports where there is no charge to check bags.

• United offers curbside check in for no additional cost at about 40 airports.

• Virgin America offers free curbside baggage drop off at San Francisco, Los Angeles (LAX), and Dallas Love Field airports for its passengers who have already checked in online and are in possession of their printed or mobile boarding passes.

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