American Airlines has suspended curbside check-in at all of its airports worldwide, except for two: Maui and Miami. This change went into effect on Tuesday.
The airline acknowledges it as a cost-saving measure. Curbside check-in isn’t being widely used. At Maui, though, it doesn’t cost the airline anything. And in Miami it’s being performed by wholly-owned American Eagle carrier Envoy, though it’s unclear why they decided to keep it. It always did seem more popular with baggage-heavy Latin flights.
One of the early cuts that US Airways management made after taking over American was eliminating curbside check-in across 38 airports. There was a lot of pushback against this.
While people do increasingly use technology, prepay their bags, opt for touchless solutions, being able to drop bags at the curb is incredibly helpful for families with more bags than children, and students flying to school with a year’s worth of belongings.
Ironically about the only time I ever needed curbside check-in is when US Airways management botched the reservation system integration with America West, online and kiosk check-in was down, and agents didn’t know how to use their system. People working outside for tips sure did – and $5 got me a boarding pass rather than a 45 minute wait in the first class check-in line.