Skip to Content
Saved Flights

Your Saved Flights

No Saved Flights


Checking in at Heathrow

Keep your airport experience as smooth and hassle-free as possible by following this advice.

Before you travel

Make sure your passport is valid for the dates of your trip. Please note: Some countries ask for at least six months remaining on your passport.

You can find out if your passport is valid for travel to certain countries by checking the Travel Advice section of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Just choose the country you’re visiting, before clicking on ‘Entry requirements’ and scrolling down to ‘Passport validity’.

Depending on your destination, you may need a visa. Visit to find a country's entry requirements. 

Check your airline's baggage restrictions before you travel, including size/weight limits and which items you're not permitted to carry on board.



When to arrive

We recommend getting to the airport three hours before your flight if you're travelling internationally, or two hours if you're travelling domestically or to Europe.


Checking in

Speed up check-in by having your passport/ID card, travel documents and flight confirmation details to hand

Most airlines let you check in online, choose your seat and print your boarding pass about 24 hours before your flight. Visit your airline website for more information. If you've printed your boarding pass and aren't checking in a bag, you can go straight to security when you get to the airport. 

Self-service machines located in airline check-in areas at Heathrow save you time by helping you take control of your experience. They are incredibly straightforward to use, following these simple steps:

Step 1 - Check in and tag your bag at the kiosk 

  1. Use a machine to check in and print a boarding pass or scan your digital boarding pass if you’ve already checked in online. You can also scan your passport or another identity document using the passport reader.

  2. Print your bag tag, remove and keep the receipt. 

  3. Slide the tag face down through the side handle of your bag. 

  4. Join the red dots together and smooth the tag all the way to the bag handle. 

Step 2 - Bag drop 

  1. Have your travel documents ready for inspection. 

  2. Head over to the bag drop area. 

  3. Drop your bag and head over to security. 

There are kiosks designed for passengers who need further assistance. Some kiosks have a headphone jack and volume buttons for those with hearing difficulties. Some kiosks will also feature braille buttons so passengers with visual impairments can use them.

Airline staff will be available on hand to help if you experience any difficulties using the self-check-in machines. 

Your airline's dedicated check-in and bag drop areas will be signposted on the overhead screens in Departures. You can also find them using our interactive maps. Once you've checked in and dropped off any bags, it's time to head to security. 



Your flight

Your gate will be announced about 45 minutes before departure.