Automatic Airport Check-In Is Patented?
from the but-why? dept
I've been flying a lot over the past few years, and it's become pretty standard for airlines to now have self-serve kiosks where you can check in and print out a boarding pass. If you have a bag to check, you then take it to a "bag drop" station. There are fewer and fewer places where this isn't the norm -- but apparently Alaska Airlines owns a patent on the process. The company says it got the patent to "reward the employees" who came up with the idea, but that doesn't make much sense. As William Stepp points out in the link above, wouldn't Alaska Airlines have been better off not spending all that money filing a patent. In fact, if they wanted to reward the employees who came up with the idea, why not just give the money wasted on the patent filing to the employees?