Elaborating on this thread, I'd like to ask: why airlines separate booking and checking-in in the first place? I recently travelled by bus between two major British cities and I only booked/paid my tickets online, no need for some second confirmation step.

The existence of two separate steps makes no sense to me, but since all airlines apply this there must be a very practical reason for it. What is it?

  • Some airlines use automatic check-in (e.g. Swiss). – JonathanReez Aug 20 '15 at 15:06
  • You might want to change your ticket/fly some other time. Once you check-in I'm not sure you can modify your booking. – JoErNanO Aug 20 '15 at 15:08
  • Increasingly, they are. But I thought we already had a question about that. – Relaxed Aug 20 '15 at 15:09
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    Ticketing, and Check-in are usually different systems (IT-wise).. this is one of the reasons. – Nean Der Thal Aug 20 '15 at 15:09
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    @drake035 Exactly. And examples like Easyjet show that you don't really need it if you give up offering flexible fares and other niceties but other airlines can't/won't do that for commercial reasons. So they need overbooking to fill the plane and check-in to handle overbooked passengers. – Relaxed Aug 20 '15 at 21:26

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