Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Air Travel
Reload this Page >

How early to check in for an international flight?

How early to check in for an international flight?

Aug 30th, 2004, 01:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 171
How early to check in for an international flight?

We are flying ORD-LHR. I was surprised when I was told by the BA agent that we needed to be at the airport no less than three hours before the flight. I thought it was 2 hours for an international flight and planned on being htere three hours before to check in early to try to keep our family together while flying (and hopefully get a seat with some legroom for my 6'6" husband).

Will four hours suffice for this, or should we be there any earlier?
Katharine22 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2004, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I'd bet a sterling pound that BA's check-in counter won't even open until exactly 3 hours prior to departure. There's absolutely no reason to go any earlier than that, and you will not find many people at the counter between 2-3 hours prior anyways.

As for seat assignment, I've never flown BA, but have you called to see if you can get seat assignments right now?

Also, make sure you visit seatguru.com to learn about the seating plan of your plane.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 30th, 2004, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 776
BA usually will not allow check-in more than 3 hours prior to flight time, esp if you have luggage to check.
nibblette is offline  
Aug 30th, 2004, 03:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 171
I called about the seats. The lady said to wait until we checked in to ensure that we are seated together. She said not to go on-line to pick seats. It sounded like getting seats when we arrive is the only way we can be sure that we're together. She is the one who told me to be there no later than 3 hours prior. I guess we'll shoot for the 3 hour mark, then.
Katharine22 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2004, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 182
BA doesn't seem to have many seats available online. That's right about BA not allowing people to check more than three hours before a flight. I recently got to Heathrow about 4 hours early (because I was able to get a ride that way) and check-in for my flight started exactly three hours before flight time.
jame is offline  
Aug 30th, 2004, 11:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 336
I can't speak specifically about BA, but with the other airlines I've taken on transatlantic flights I've found that checking in 20-30 minutes before that magic three hour mark makes all the difference in the world. The last time I flew with US Airways I arrived that 20 minutes early and by the time I'd finished the 10 minute process of checking in the line was way down the terminal. I asked the agent about it and she says it happens that way every time.
sardog10 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 696
shoot for three hours. We flew the ORD-LHR night flight last month and check in looked crowded. The lines move fairly well. We weren't flying coach so we didn;t have much of a delay at check in. All bags are scanned after "check in " and that process can slow things down a bit! essentially your bags are tagged and then you need to drag/roll/carry then over to the area where they're scanned and checked.
highledge is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Mar 12th, 2012 08:40 AM
Air Travel
Nov 24th, 2008 02:39 AM
Jun 13th, 2007 02:17 AM
Apr 23rd, 2002 11:50 AM
Air Travel
Dec 1st, 2000 02:14 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:35 PM.