Kudos to Continental! Travelers may now check in for their departing and return flights at the same time. Up until now, you had to either get access to a computer within 24 hours of your return flight to check in, or you had to arrive early at an airport kiosk. Now, you can request that your boarding pass be forwarded to you by email. Passes can also be made ready for printing at a terminal kiosk.
Or, if you don't have a printer handy, you can have the pass forwarded by fax to your hotel for free. (Note: Some hotels may charge you for the receipt of a fax.)
It is expected that the government will soon allow Continental to make the process even easier. Soon, you'll be able to have your pass stored on your Blackberry or iPhone and wave the image of the bar code to a scanner at the airport gate, skipping the kiosk entirely. Right now, this service is available at Boston (Logan), Newark, and D.C. (Reagan National), with testing in Austin.
For details, see Continental.com.
[UPDATE Aug. 26, 9:24 a.m.: My better half has fact-checked me, pointing out that Continental has been offering this service on its website throughout the summer. And a Continental spokesperson confirms that, too. What's more, the New York Times reported it last Friday. Sigh.]