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Consolidated "How Early Can I Check My Luggage Before a UA Flight?" Thread [Merged]

Old Aug 3, 13, 8:10 am
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How early may I check my bags before a UA flight?

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/airport/process/default.aspx says,
For flights within the U.S., as well as most international flights, baggage will generally not be accepted for check-in more than four hours before a scheduled flight departure, although this policy varies by airport and daily check-in counter hours.
There are reports in this thread of check-in agents allowing bag check in earlier than four hours prior to departure.

May bags be checked in the night before?

If it is more than four hours before scheduled departure, no, and there are no reports in this thread to the contrary.
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Consolidated "How Early Can I Check My Luggage Before a UA Flight?" Thread [Merged]

Old Mar 26, 12, 2:33 pm
  #1  
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Consolidated "How Early Can I Check My Luggage Before a UA Flight?" Thread [Merged]

We have a 6:20 AM flight out of SLC this weekend. We have a lot of bags (Ski bag, boot bag, 4 other pieces of luggage, car seat etc). We also have to return a rental car using after-hour policy at 4:00 AM.

Is there any chance we can check in our luggage the night before? This way we only have to deal with rental car return the morning of the flight? I looked everywhere for information - without any success.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 26, 12, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by pindi View Post
We have a 6:20 AM flight out of SLC this weekend. We have a lot of bags (Ski bag, boot bag, 4 other pieces of luggage, car seat etc). We also have to return a rental car using after-hour policy at 4:00 AM.

Is there any chance we can check in our luggage the night before? This way we only have to deal with rental car return the morning of the flight? I looked everywhere for information - without any success.

Thanks!
Almost zero chance. The cutoff is 4 hours. At some airports, that might be waived, but almost certainly not the night before.

Just drive everyone to the airport terminal, and have them check-in your bags for you in their name while you return the car.
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Old Mar 26, 12, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
Almost zero chance. The cutoff is 4 hours. At some airports, that might be waived, but almost certainly not the night before.

Just drive everyone to the airport terminal, and have them check-in your bags for you in their name while you return the car.
Thanks - I expected this ... going to be hard with a sleepy 4 yr old but what can one do! Hoping that curbside check-in will be open.
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Old Mar 26, 12, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by pindi View Post
Thanks - I expected this ... going to be hard with a sleepy 4 yr old but what can one do! Hoping that curbside check-in will be open.
I feel you pain, I have done a similar thing with my two young kids, but if you return the car at 4AM you should be totally fine (I haven't been through SLC in a while but check-in is unlikely to open before 4AM)
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Old Mar 26, 12, 5:23 pm
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Get a cheap hotel room at the airport for the night before. Leave all your stuff there and go return your rental car (which depending when you picked it up might save you a day's rental car charges). That way you can stay with your family and take the shuttle straight to airport in the morning and be dropped off right at departures.
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Old Mar 26, 12, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by tarheelnj View Post
Get a cheap hotel room at the airport for the night before. Leave all your stuff there and go return your rental car (which depending when you picked it up might save you a day's rental car charges). That way you can stay with your family and take the shuttle straight to airport in the morning and be dropped off right at departures.
Well, we have a 2 month car rental, and a 2 month townhouse rental - so we won't save any money by returning the car a day early... and since we are not staying with family, it is not a big incentive for us to get a hotel room and dump our stuff there. We just did not want to deal with luggae and rental car return in the morning. Thanks for trying to help!
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Old Mar 26, 12, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by pindi View Post
Well, we have a 2 month car rental, and a 2 month townhouse rental - so we won't save any money by returning the car a day early... and since we are not staying with family, it is not a big incentive for us to get a hotel room and dump our stuff there. We just did not want to deal with luggae and rental car return in the morning. Thanks for trying to help!
Ah, I see. One more idea. There are convenient options for shipping (some of) your checked luggage. Maybe that might make the load lighter?
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Old Mar 26, 12, 9:12 pm
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Salt Lake Intl Airport (SLC)
Terminal 1
776 Terminal Rd.
Salt Lake City, UT 84122
6:00 a.m. - 2:15 p.m. Sun-Fri; .5:15 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Sat
The above is from United.com.

I am assuming you are flying on Saturday? If so, why are you planning in getting to the airport fot 4:00am? The check in counter will not be open until 5:15am.

What is your car rental company's off-hours return policy? Are they on or off property?

As far as early baggage check goes. Despite the 4 hour rule, one should be able to check bags at any point during the "business day" of departure.
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Old Mar 28, 12, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by kwildnj View Post
The above is from United.com.

I am assuming you are flying on Saturday? If so, why are you planning in getting to the airport fot 4:00am? The check in counter will not be open until 5:15am.

What is your car rental company's off-hours return policy? Are they on or off property?

As far as early baggage check goes. Despite the 4 hour rule, one should be able to check bags at any point during the "business day" of departure.
Hmmm, interesting. My flight leaves at 6:20 - how can they open the counter at 5:15 AM for a flight leaving at 6:20? No way can they get the flight off on time if they do that. Thanks for pointing this out htough - I'll call the airport and see what they say.

Car rental is on property - so that is a saving grace. Their counters close at midnight and do not open till 7:00 AM. We have to use the after-hour return service.

PS I tried to find a number for UA offices at SLC - no luck. Does anyone know how to get in touch with them without having to drive up there? Thanks!

Last edited by pindi; Mar 28, 12 at 10:47 am
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Old Mar 28, 12, 11:44 am
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A few weeks ago, I was able to check bags 9 hours before departure from IAD, but at least it was on the same day, so perhaps the same business day rule applied.
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Old Jun 4, 12, 7:24 pm
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Along these same lines, I am taking the evening p.s. flight LAX-JFK, but have to check-out of my Santa Barbara hotel at noon. If I shuttle to LAX around noon, can I check my bag then (10 hours or so early)? It will be the same day with no baggage left overnight. I know that the supposed cutoff is 4 hours, but if it is same-day, would they let you do that at LAX for 10+ hours??
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Old Jun 4, 12, 8:03 pm
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Originally Posted by theblakefish View Post
Along these same lines, I am taking the evening p.s. flight LAX-JFK, but have to check-out of my Santa Barbara hotel at noon. If I shuttle to LAX around noon, can I check my bag then (10 hours or so early)? It will be the same day with no baggage left overnight. I know that the supposed cutoff is 4 hours, but if it is same-day, would they let you do that at LAX for 10+ hours??
Unofficially, you should be okay. When you check bags 'early' they basically go into a conveyor parking lot and go round and round (non-stop) until their flight calls for them and at the next scan they get redirected back into the sorting platform.

As long as flights are still going, checking early typically isn't an issue unless the parking lot gets full--which typically doesn't happen unless of major IRROPS or no more flights are scheduled for the night and they shutdown the parking conveyor for the night at which most airports want the belt empty and jettison out any baggage to baggage services.
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Old Jun 4, 12, 8:10 pm
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Occasionally, a CSR will list you standby for an earlier flight and be able to take your bags. YMMV. I would only recommend getting creative if you can afford extra time on the backside of the trip.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 10:41 am
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Consolidated "How Early Can I Check My Luggage Before a UA Flight?" Thread [Merged]

I will have an early departure at around 5 am in SIN (SIN-HKG). Since the *G lounge opens 24 hours, I am thinking of staying a fews hours in the lounge or in the air-side transit hotel.

Question: can one give the luggage to UA the day before? Say, 8 PM in the evening before the departing day.

As I remembered, the security check at sIN is at the spot near the gate. Can I just take the luggage with me in the lounge the day before and check it on the day of departure?
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Old Jun 25, 12, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by mike_L View Post
I will have an early departure at around 5 am in SIN (SIN-HKG). Since the *G lounge opens 24 hours, I am thinking of staying a fews hours in the lounge or in the air-side transit hotel.

Question: can one give the luggage to UA the day before? Say, 8 PM in the evening before the departing day.

As I remembered, the security check at sIN is at the spot near the gate. Can I just take the luggage with me in the lounge the day before and check it on the day of departure?
I believe the UA counter opens 3 hours prior to departure and I am pretty sure you can't unless their Premier check in (SATS Premier not UA) area allows prior night check in. Never done that check-in area before. You can drop bags off day before if flying SQ.
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