What are my options for checking in for British Airways flights?
To make your check-in fast and easy, British Airways provides you with a few options for checking in:
- Online Check-in.
- Mobile Check-in.
- Kiosk Check-in.
- British Airways Desk Check-in.
What are the minimum check-in times when traveling with British Airways?
Minimum check-in times vary, and if you do not complete the check-in process (i.e., receive a boarding pass for your flight) by the check-in deadline for your booking, British Airways may decide to cancel your reservation. British Airways may inform you of the check-in deadline for your first flight with British Airways. You can also find the check-in deadline for your flight in the “At the airport” section of Manage My Booking. Make sure that you check in with enough time in advance to allow yourself to pass through security and arrive at the boarding gate on time.
The deadline for Online and Mobile Check-in is 1 hour before the scheduled departure. Check-in desks close:
- 20 minutes before departure at London City.
- 45 minutes before departure for short-haul flights at London Stansted & Heathrow, Paris Orly (British and Iberia flights), and the other UK and European airports (exceptions: 60 minutes at Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan (Linate and Malpensa).
- 60 minutes before departure for short-haul flights at London Gatwick and for all long-haul flights at London Gatwick & Heathrow and other international airports (exception: 90 minutes at Jeddah).
Online Check-in gives you the possibility to check in from 24 hours before your flight up to 1 hour before departure. Online Check-in is available for up to 9 people on the same booking. To get started, you need your British Airways booking reference. During Online Check-in, you can add Advance Passenger Information (most countries require it, but if you do not see this step, your details may already be in the booking or you are traveling to/from a country that doesn’t require API), select the numbers of bags that you want to take with you free of charge, and confirm or change your seats at no charge.
Once Online Check-in is complete, you have the following options to obtain your boarding pass:
- Print or fax the boarding pass.
- Save or email the boarding pass.
- Download the Mobile Boarding Passes on your mobile device.
- Collect the boarding at the airport (kiosk or desk).
Before starting Online Check-in, you might want to take advantage of the following options (available through Manage My Booking only before you check in) offered by British Airways:
- Reserve your seat in advance (a charge may apply).
- Pay for extra baggage (online discount applies).
Mobile Check-in is available through the British Airways mobile app available for Android and iPhone devices. The app offers you the option to manage your booking, choose seats and check in for bookings with more than one person for departure or return flights. When using Mobile Check-in you can:
- Download your Mobile Boarding Pass to your phone and access it any time, even if you’re not online.
- E-mail the boarding pass for later printing.
- Send your boarding pass to a fax machine.
- Log on to Online Check-in from a computer to print your boarding pass..
- Get your boarding pass at the airport (kiosk or desk).
Mobile Boarding Pass
If you travel on one of the available routes (e.g. flights from the UK, except London City to New York, from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Brussels, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, etc.), you can download and store your Mobile Boarding Pass onto your mobile phone and use it in the same way as the paper version.
Multiple boarding passes for up to 8 people (no infant) traveling on the same booking may be downloaded to one device. Also, the mobile app for Android devices allows you to download the boarding passes for all your flights, including return and connecting flights.
Available at selected airports, check-in kiosks allow passengers to check in for their flight within minutes. To get started, you need your booking reference, credit/debit card (if you made your reservation directly with British Airways), Executive Club card or passport and your flight number.
Kiosk Check-in is available for:
- Passengers checking in for British Airways flights, including flights operated by franchise partners.
- Adults, children, and infants (not available if children are traveling alone).
Kiosk Check-in is not available if the first flight of the itinerary is operated by another airline, including codeshare flights operated by oneworld alliance partners.
The interactive touch screen will show you the following options:
- Select the passengers to check-in.
- Check bags.
- Check in for your return or connecting flight (up to 2 connecting flights) if the flight is scheduled for departure within the next 24 hours.
- Change seat allocation.
- Add frequent flyer details.
- Provide Advance Passenger Information and other additional information, if required.
- Print your boarding pass and, if required, a copy of the itinerary.
Check-in desks are available at the airport, for British Airways customer service staff to help you check in. Children traveling alone and passengers with a disability traveling with a guide/assistance dog must check in at an airport desk.
Passengers traveling on intercontinental flights (including Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kyiv) from London Heathrow, Terminal 3 or 5, are required to have their passport and visa checked before going through security at one of the passport and visa check desks, or at a Bag Drop or customer service desk (if they have baggage to check).
You should take into consideration that increased security at most airports means that the screening of hand baggage and body checks can take longer and that British Airways may decide not to carry you if you fail to arrive at the boarding gate on time. You should allow yourself plenty of time to go through airport security checks and be present at the boarding gate before the deadline indicated to you at the time of check-in. You will not be able to board if you arrive at the boarding gate after the gate has closed. At the boarding gate, have your boarding pass, passport and any other travel documents readily available. Generally, passengers need to be at the gate no later than 30 minutes before departure.
British Airways introduced new boarding procedures to minimize contact when passengers take their seats. At the gate, have your boarding pass ready to scan it yourself and your passport open so that a British Airways employee can check it. Priority boarding is available only for families and customers who may need additional time to board. First Class passengers board first from the first row to the back row of the cabin. The rest of the passengers board the aircraft from the rear to the front.