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OK so I booked with JetBlue then saw that their historical performance for this flight is horrendous (flightstats.com). I then booked another flight an hour later with American Airlines. I thought, why not attempt to check in with JetBlue first and use American as a plan B?

Ie if there's a huge JetBlue check-in line, then go with American, etc.

Will this cause any issues at the airport with security? For what it's worth, it's the Cancun airport which is pretty disorganized.

Also—if I check in with American and go through security, but then my some miracle the JetBlue flight is on time, can I just show up at the gate and check in then and there?

Don't want to violate any contract of carriage rules, etc.

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    Just to make sure, you will have two tickets, check in for both and will fail to show up for one of the flights?
    – Willeke
    Jul 13 at 14:35
  • Are you intending to simply burn the $$ you paid for the flight you don't use? And do you have any checked luggage? Also if I was airline personal and went hunting for you for the flight you skipped, I'd be pissed that you were a deliberate no-show.
    – Peter M
    Jul 13 at 15:43
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    Yeah, exactly. The first flight is delayed by hours half the time, so I got a second one as a failsafe. I want to check in for both but if I can only check in for one of them, then I'm going to check in for the reliable one. Yes burning the money (I view it as insurance), no checked baggage. Jul 13 at 15:58
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    Why not just decide in advance to take the more reliable one, and cancel the other? Jul 13 at 15:59
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    @ChrisH-UK Can't cancel the other one. Should be able to but of course that button on the site "doesn't work" and I have to call for an estimated 300 minute wait time (classic JerBlue). Not the battle I want to fight today. Jul 13 at 16:34
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While nothing prevents you from checking in for both flights, there are several potential issues:

  • When you cross security, you have to show a boarding pass. On some airports the guard marks it and on other it gets scanned. In any case, only one of your boarding pass would have been seen by security.

  • If you are on an international flight, you also have to perform exit immigration and they sometimes scan the boarding pass or place a sticker on it to show that you went through the process.

  • Gate agents when you board the plane do not always look at all the markings but your boarding pass will definitely stand out if it's the only one with stickers or marks. They also scan the boarding pass which is another way they could notice that you did not go through the process (less likely but not impossible, it depends how connected the airline and airport systems are).

  • Most importantly, if you are checked in, the airline expects you to be on the airport on your way to your flight, so they will issue multiple calls and this may delay the flight.

What would be safer is to wait for the last minute to check-in. You can use a flight tracker to see if the plane has landed from its incoming flight and have a pretty good if it will be late. There is no guarantee though, since even if you depart from the traditionally reliable flight on-time, the plane may return or land in an unexpected location due to technical issues, staffing issues or weather (all these have happened to me multiple times) or even an unruly passenger (known to happen but not experienced that yet).

Once you know which place is already at the airport, that will be your best bet to check into and not checking to the other flight will be less trouble than checking-in and not showing up.

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