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Video:How to Use a Smart Phone to Check In

with Omar Saad

Using a smart phone to check in for your flight can be a convenient tool if you know what you're doing. Here are some tips on how to use a smart phone to check in so that your next flight is a breeze.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use a Smart Phone to Check In

Hi, this is Omar Saad here for About.com, and today we're going to take a look at how to check in for a flight using your smart phone.

In just a few years, smart phones have gone from a device used exclusively for business, to a useful, if not necessary, tool of everyday life. Therefore, it might not surprise you that you can now check in for a flight using your smart phone -- let's take a closer look.

Confirm that Airline and Airport Use Smart Phones to Check In

If you're hoping to use your smart phone to check in for a flight, the first thing you should do is confirm that your carrier offers this feature. The push to make travel a less obtrusive exercise has more and more airlines offering the mobile check-in option; however, some still do not. The best thing to do is either go to your carrier's website and see if mobile check-in is a feature they offer, or simply call the airline directly to find out.

Since mobile check-in requires that airport security can accept a mobile boarding pass, you'll need to confirm that the airports you'll be traveling through are set up to do so. This can easily be done by visiting the TSA website and reviewing a list of the many U.S. airports that currently accept this feature.

Airline-Specific Apps Help When Using Smart Phones to Check In

Assuming that your airline and airport allow smart phone check-in, the easiest way to manage all aspects of your mobile check in is by using an airline-specific smart phone app. Most airlines that allow for mobile check in will also have a smart phone specific app, free for download. Simply visit your carrier's website or login to your smart phone's app site to search for and download a carrier-specific app.

From here you can search for and book flights, as well as manage your mobile check-ins. You'll also be able to receive and display your mobile boarding pass through most airline apps. The mobile boarding pass is a barcode that is displayed on your cell phone and can be used in lieu of traditional paper boarding passes.

While some airlines will allow you to check in with your smart phone but still require you to print a boarding pass through an airport kiosk, a growing number are now providing travelers with a mobile boarding pass upon smart phone check-in.

Battery Life Extremely Important When Using Smart Phones to Check In

Just a tip: Rarely has your cell phone battery been more important than when using a mobile check-in feature. Your phone must have enough battery to display your boarding pass at security checkpoints, along with your boarding gate. Make sure to power down when not in use or plug in to an outlet when you're waiting to board.

With so many things to carry around and even more to remember, traveling can sometimes be a stressful experience. Fortunately, as technology advances, checking in for a flight and receiving your boarding pass have never been easier. Just do a bit of homework up front and your passage through the airport should be a breeze.

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