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Catching a flight at Heathrow from Paddington

Catching a flight at Heathrow from Paddington

Old Jul 1st, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Catching a flight at Heathrow from Paddington

At the end of our upcoming UK trip, my husband and I will be staying at a hotel near Paddington Station on a Thursday night. We have a 7:55am flight the next morning (Friday) to the U.S. out of Heathrow Terminal 3. According to the Heathrow Express website, we can check-in for our flight at Paddington Station. Three questions:
1. Is this Paddington check-in only for those using the Heathrow Express (and not for those using the Heathrow Connect)?
2. Does the check-in at Paddington include luggage, or do we still drop off our luggage at Heathrow once we arrive there?
3. We know we are cutting it close with our 7:55am flight by staying near Paddington. Should we assume that taking the train is still OK, or should we engage a taxi earlier than 5:00am? Or should we give up on Paddington and book a hotel nearer the airport?
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 10:47 PM
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1. Anyone (including people who get the tube out to the airport) may use the checkin system at Paddington. HOWEVER: last time I loooked, it operated only for some airlines (and, though this probably doesn't affect you), it seemed to stop operating surprisingly early in the evening. You should check its applicabiity for you with your airline.

2. You can't check luggage. You go to your airline's bagdrop exactly as you would if you'd checked in online

3. I can't begin to imagine why you think getting an 0510 train is "cutting it close", though only you know what time you need to have dropped your bags off. If you don't know, it's your airline you should be asking. I also don't believe you'll get to a bagdrop any faster from an "airport" hotel (they're practically all miles away, except for one at each of T4 and T5) than from Paddington. You'll be at the T1/3 station at 0525: last time I used the HEX for a morning US flight (with luggage) I was checked in and through security 25 mins after getting on the train.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 07:25 AM
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I thought we were cutting it close because in the U.S. we need to get to the airport two hours in advance of our flights (generally, for domestic flights). American Airlines said we needed three hours in advance at Heathrow. Thanks for sharing your experience; it's reassuring!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 08:56 AM
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Last month, I tried unsuccessfully to use the boarding-pass (check-in) machines at the Paddington booth for the Heathrow Express. They seemed to show that I could get a boarding pass for United on them, but neither I nor the guy in the booth could get them to work.

The concierge at my hotel was, however, willing and able to let me check in using his computer.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 09:11 AM
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We stayed at the Hilton @ Paddington and took the Heathrow Express in the morning and just checked our luggage at the airport. No problems, we did not need more then 2 hours. (We flew BA)
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