Tip for checking in on the Alaska Air kiosk

I was browsing dennis cheung’s blog and came across his “Tip for checking in on the Alaska Air kiosk”

he notes you can make a mistake on the unmemorable booking number, and get prompted for name and flight number (much more memorable). Nice hack!

I wonder why don’t they just expose that interface in the first place? It is of course less efficient: if we all enter a 5-digit ID, the entry process will be quick (type 5 with choices of 9, versus type perhaps 20 characters, each chosen from a set of 30 odd). And then they don’t have a hashed index: and instead do a more computationally demanding search.

Anyhow: nice idea: I’ll try it next time I fly with BMI or United (the two ways i mostly get out of Edinburgh.

Additional factoids: One thing I’ve noticed is that carrying the machine printed seating ticket makes you more likely to be randomly chosen for the additional search stuff: this happened to me twice at Albuquerque.

More odd: Another thing I’ve noticed is that cues for human log in are invariably longer than self-service cues. Why is that? I think people are just frightened to try something new: probably a good measure of Openness, while kvetching about being disallowed boarding due to late arrival is probably a measure of low A and low C.


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