This is more of a hypothetical enquiry, as I am not planning to fly in the near future (unfortunately!), but I am wondering and figured you experts would be able to shed some light on this.
I can see the advantages of OLCI, especially when flying without checked baggage, and/or when flying with a LCC who charges for printing boarding passes at the airport. However, I for some reason feel rather "insecure" when thinking about OLCI.
I've always viewed checking in as a way for the airline to know you are at the airport, which can be useful information, no? While they won't hold the flight for you, I'm thinking of the airlines calling the names of people who are late for the flight, you know "Mr. Smith, please go to gate XX for boarding", etc. So if you've done OLCI (and didn't have any luggage to check), the airline wouldn't know that you are in the airport, and could be wasting their time/breath calling you? Not that this has any significance in the long run, just wondering.
Also, I'm thinking back on a previous flying experience, when I checked-in at the airport, and wondering what would've happened if I'd done OLCI instead (and let's imagine for the purposes of this post that I didn't have any luggage to check-in). I was flying United Airlines, YQB-EWR-TXL. When we arrived for check-in at the airport (3 hours in advance as any good international traveler should) we found out at the check-in counter that our YQB-EWR flight was delayed by about 5 hours, which would consequently make us miss our EWR-TXL flight. The check-in agent then proceeded to book us on other flights to get us to TXL. (For the record, I've already posted my happy review of United for this, contrary to all the angry rants against United: tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k5774161-… ) Now, if I had done OLCI, didn't have any luggage to check-in, what do you suppose would've happened? I would've gone through security, and proceeded to my gate, without any knowledge of the delay (again, assuming I didn't look at any of the departure screens before security). When/how would this have been addressed, then? Maybe then I would've experienced that infamous "horrible" service from UA?
Any insights from you expert travelers who always use OLCI? I'm not saying OLCI is bad, I've just never used it (yet) and I'm wondering what would happen in such situations. This way, on my next flight with OLCI if something "bad" happens I don't come back here with an angry rant! :-) (I don't think I'd ever actually post an angry rant, but well, who knows, right?)