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Old Jul 5, 06, 10:54 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 49
how early can you check in at Heathrow?

My wife is flying AA Saturday night Chicago-Heathrow, arriving 11:30 AM Sunday. Then after layover, departs 10:30 pm on BA Heathrow-Tel Aviv.

Question: How early is she allowed to check in for her BA flight? Ideally she's wants to check in for BA flight right away and take a train into London for a while so she can get rid of her bags.

Thank you!
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Old Jul 5, 06, 11:04 am   #2
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf63
My wife is flying AA Saturday night Chicago-Heathrow, arriving 11:30 AM Sunday. Then after layover, departs 10:30 pm on BA Heathrow-Tel Aviv.

Question: How early is she allowed to check in for her BA flight? Ideally she's wants to check in for BA flight right away and take a train into London for a while so she can get rid of her bags.

Thank you!
Ask AA if they'll interline her bags directly from ORD to TLV. They should do it if it's one ticket and might do it if it's two tickets.
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Old Jul 5, 06, 12:05 pm   #3
 
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AA might even be able to issue a boarding pass for the TLV flight. (At BOM 24+ hours out, Swiss has issued me a BP for a separately booked flight LAX-LAS.)
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Old Jul 5, 06, 6:14 pm   #4
 
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The destination may be an issue (security levels) .. but in general AA > BA interline luggage is fine.

I arrived LHR at like 10am on AA and had an 8pm departure on BA .. checked luggage thru and entered the UK (they look a bit funny at immigration when you say you are coming there for the day) took the HEX train to town .. had lunch .. took the train back to LHR .. had a shower in the BA lounge and took my flight. YUP the luggage made the long connection all right.
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Old Jul 5, 06, 6:35 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGR01
took the HEX train to town
Don't forget to apply for a BAA worldpoints card so that you can get the bonus points for signing up which will allow you to redeem two half price tickets on the Heathrow Express.

(If anyone wants to do this and feels like thanking me for the tip, then please PM me as I can get a referral bonus and I think you get an extra bonus also for doing this....)
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Old Jul 5, 06, 6:44 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
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Interline is definitely the way to go. If your wife cannot get them to interline it will be a bit more of a fuss, but not too bad.

Officially, BA will not let her check the bags in until 3 hours before the flight. However when flying in premium cabins, or as an elite travelling in coach, I have had them take my bag much earlier than that, so if she is an elite or booked at the good end of the plane it's worth a try.

If they won't take the bag, there is a secure luggage store in Heathrow Terminal 4 (which is the terminal the Tel Aviv flight leaves from). They charge 6 pounds per bag per day (or part thereof), so quite reasonable.
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Old Jul 6, 06, 6:38 am   #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Piccadilly Line

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf63
Ideally she's wants to check in for BA flight right away and take a train into London for a while so she can get rid of her bags.
Although the Piccadilly Underground line is slower, its a more convenient (and cheaper) way to get to many parts of London by public transport.
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Old Jul 6, 06, 1:26 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbevan
Although the Piccadilly Underground line is slower, its a more convenient (and cheaper) way to get to many parts of London by public transport.
Yes, but with the HEX discount you can get from the Worldpoints joining bonus the HEX becomes GBP7 each way rather than GBP14 which is much more compelling. Now if only the early check-in at Paddington still existed....
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Old Jul 6, 06, 2:10 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbevan
Although the Piccadilly Underground line is slower, its a more convenient (and cheaper) way to get to many parts of London by public transport.
but then getting back to T4 would be unpleasant as the station is closed until September.
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Old Jul 6, 06, 3:26 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin33
but then getting back to T4 would be unpleasant as the station is closed until September.
Not really too difficult or unpleasant. There is a bus every few minutes from outside T4 Arrivals direct non-stop to Hatton Cross Subway/Underground, as its Sunday they will not be busy, and you can buy an all day all zones Pass for buses/subway and some local trains for just over $10, you even get a discount on the River Boat services.
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Old Jul 9, 06, 11:49 am   #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chicago, IL USA
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the result

Thank you everyone for all of your useful comments. In the end, my wife DID get to check her bags all the way through to Tel Aviv when she checked in at ORD. She is not an elite, so I was slightly surprised!
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Old Jul 9, 06, 12:46 pm   #12
ejm
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Another alternative would have been to check the bags at the booth right outside of the customs exit - it is over on the left as you exit

- there is a fee but it can be very convenient - even for carry ons that you dont want to lug into town for the day. Cannot recall the name of the place but have used it often on long layovers when I can get into town.
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