On Sunday, in between the Miami Gobal Entry debacle and the Atlanta phantom TSA Pre-Check, The Rapid Traveler flew American Airlines for the first time in several years. He is a lifetime Northwest now Delta flyer but only American had a late night connection to get him to Atlanta and his morning flight to Mexico City. The flight and service was totally unremarkable as the major US carriers are essentially interchangeable in their domestic economy product, but kiosk check-in was very different from his familiar Delta.
There were no less than three up-sell screens, from priority boarding to Admirals Club access, that deceptively put the charge in the upper left, and in the opposite, bottom right corner a green ‘continue’ button beckons. Each time, ‘continue’ signified acquiescence with the new charge. The blue ‘decline offer’ button to the left was required (along with good facility in English) to avoid the up-sell. Presumably errant ‘continue’ pressers are given a chance to confirm or reject the charge, but still, it seems slimy and time-consuming to go through all that, needing to pay careful attention, and go back to undo mistakes.
Delta has it warts no doubt, but unless the kiosk experience is totally different for medallion and non-medallion passengers, then at least they do not treat every passenger at check-in as if they sauntered into a car dealership. That comes for the in-flight experience where internationally they never cease with loud duty-free announcements and, recently, have begun aggressively hawking the Delta American Express card on many flights.
It has been even longer since The Rapid Traveler has flown any other US airlines, are any as egregiously beguiling as American at check-in?