JFK check-in for flight to LHR

Old Apr 10, 15, 8:08 pm
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JFK check-in for flight to LHR

The last time I flew BA JFK-LHR (quite some time ago), the weren't happy that I used boarding passes printed online and didn't check in at the desk. They had a check-in person come to the BA lounge to examine our passports. Flying in J.

Is that still the case? Do I have to stop at the check-in desk or can I just use the BPs we've printed?
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Old Apr 10, 15, 8:46 pm
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They will want to do a document check if you don't show your passport etc when checking-in in person or dropping your bags. I've never flown J with BA so whenever I've OLCI and not dropped any bags I've always been paged to the customer service desk for a document check sometime prior to boarding.
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Old Apr 10, 15, 8:55 pm
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Not exactly unique to BA. Are there any airlines that do not have a policy of checking immigration documents in advance before an international flight?
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Old Apr 10, 15, 8:58 pm
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In that case, I'll use the check-in desk unless there's a long line.

Is the customer service desk near the gates or is it before security?
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Old Apr 10, 15, 9:01 pm
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Originally Posted by wanderingtheearth View Post
Not exactly unique to BA. Are there any airlines that do not have a policy of checking immigration documents in advance before an international flight?
I usually fly AA and I believe they just have the gate agent glance at the passport when boarding. For the return, LHR-JFK, there's more of an examination, including putting a sticker on the passport.

I just noticed the BP includes "we ask that you see an agent at the gate for a brief documentation check". That was my real question - gate agent or somewhere else. It seems the answer is somewhere else.
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Old Apr 10, 15, 9:13 pm
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2 weeks ago they checked and scanned documents at lounge entry.
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Old Apr 10, 15, 9:18 pm
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Originally Posted by wanderingtheearth View Post
Not exactly unique to BA. Are there any airlines that do not have a policy of checking immigration documents in advance before an international flight?
Nope. The airlines are subject to massive fines if they let a pax board an international flight without confirming documentation is in order.
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Old Apr 10, 15, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
2 weeks ago they checked and scanned documents at lounge entry.
That would be good. If premium security (or whatever they call the security on the left) is open and they can scan docs at the lounge, then I'd be happy.
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Old Apr 10, 15, 11:06 pm
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My recollection is that they can check the passport at lounge entry, yes. They'll probably ask to do it when they're looking at your bp for eligibility.

I believe checking in at an automated kiosk with your passport also counts, so you don't have to stand in line to talk to a person.
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Old Apr 11, 15, 1:52 am
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I have never seen more than a minute line at either the CW or F desks at JFK. Another reason not to OLCI in my book. The most important being the inability to change seats and difficulty rescheduling during IRROPs once checked in.
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Old Apr 11, 15, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
They will want to do a document check if you don't show your passport etc when checking-in in person or dropping your bags. I've never flown J with BA so whenever I've OLCI and not dropped any bags I've always been paged to the customer service desk for a document check sometime prior to boarding.
This can also happen if you have a domestic flight into JFK, even with luggage. As they want to check you documents prior to boarding.

The boarding checks are really just to make sure that your passport and BP match, so that they are sure they are letting the right person onto the flight. The passport checks at check-in or the extra ones here are to check that you are allowed to go to the UK and your documents are valid. Even with a UK passport details entered during check-in they will check this first.
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Old Apr 11, 15, 3:31 am
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Originally Posted by wanderingtheearth View Post
Not exactly unique to BA. Are there any airlines that do not have a policy of checking immigration documents in advance before an international flight?
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Nope. The airlines are subject to massive fines if they let a pax board an international flight without confirming documentation is in order.
Not exactly, they will be fined if they bring a passenger to a country, the documentation is not in order (visas etc), and the passenger is rejected entry. Within the Schengen-area there are no document-check.

There are two reasons for the document-check when leaving the US for UK:

1) Leaving US: Make sure the passenger is registered as leaving US, so passport must be swiped either at checkin or the lounge (OLCI does not count). Just the same they do the other way. They could technically do this in the gate (some airlines do). Gate-swipe would slow the boarding process and also complicate things if there is an issue with offloading pax.

2) Traveling to UK: UK require information about the passenger, just like US does (APIS), and they have (as stated above) high fines. But it might be more complicated, because the passenger might be in transit in UK, so they will have to check the documents according to final destination (e.g. a valid Schengen visa).

Doing the document check before boarding saves boarding-time and also saves the gate-staff from knowing all the different rules. At boarding-time it will be sufficient just to check the picture-page on the passport (not visas, expiration-date etc) to see that there is a match.
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Old Apr 11, 15, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
The last time I flew BA JFK-LHR (quite some time ago), the weren't happy that I used boarding passes printed online and didn't check in at the desk. They had a check-in person come to the BA lounge to examine our passports. Flying in J.

Is that still the case? Do I have to stop at the check-in desk or can I just use the BPs we've printed?
If this was say 6 years ago or more, when Apps and Print Your Own Boarding Pass were a bit of a novelty, then yes I can relate to that. I was an early adopter to PYOBP as well as being HBO, and in the early days it used to be an issue if you turned up at the gate to board and you hadn't done the document control before. Some airports in the USA wanted your boarding pass stamped before security (IAH for example). On one occasion, with KLM, I was offloaded. They only reloaded me when they saw my vast chain of onward connections to Australia and realised the hassle they would have rebooking me, but my remaining sectors had to be reinstated when transiting at AMS.

Things have moved on a lot now, it's expected that people will use Apps, PYOBP and be HBO. So I wouldn't go to any trouble other than avoiding being among the last to board. In your case, JFK and J, then they will do the work for this at the Galleries lounges reception area, and it takes under 5 seconds. If they don't ask for it, I would query "do you need to scan my passport", the agent may not be paying attention. If you do it at the gate just as boarding, that's not a problem any more. I wouldn't do it at check-in unless you pass an agent doing nothing as you walk past.

Some airports, Toronto springs to mind, they will track you down or page you if haven't had your passport scanned about 40 minutes before departure.
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Old Apr 11, 15, 4:24 am
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The documents check is performed on all passengers leaving / entering the UK to any destination I believe. It is BA's responsibility to verify correct visa's / passports are in date and valid, so as above, I wouldn't go out of my way to bring this to their attention if HBO or you are already checked in......they will catch up with you at some point as part of the process. It generally should be the first person that you should come into contact with on arrival in the airport that should perform these checks. In many cases, it is the lounge host who enters the docs on check, as passengers have not encountered the check in, bag drop etc prior to lounge entrance. If these are missed at any stage for various reasons, a gate comment is added so that a big flashing "doc check" appears as the boarding pass is scanned on boarding, so the info can be captured then. The more organised stations will of course tannoy people's names at the gate/lounge etc., rather than just waiting until boarding to to this.

Also, if you happen to have a domestic connection on the same PNR, the check should be performed at the domestic station. Only in rare circumstances will people be allowed to board even the domestic segment without providing the onward documentation for verification.
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Old Apr 12, 15, 8:27 am
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JFK check-in for flight to LHR

Most airlines just do it at the gate. BA seems to go to a lot of trouble to avoid doing it at the gate. I suppose if there was any chance it would be a problem for me I would rather deal with it earlier and not when there are minutes left for departure. But when I know it's fine and it only requires a quick glance at the nationality it seems like an extra hassle this way.

fwiw I have been on another airline where the gate staff couldn't do the doc check. I'm not sure if they still do it but on UA at LHR they had a special desk set up near the gate at old T2. If you did OLCI and were hand baggage only then when you arrived to board without a sticker they sent you over to the desk to be checked.
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