London Airport Heathrow
London Airport Heathrow
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There are many check-in options at the airport and you can find out more about each one below.
Online check-in Heathrow Airport.
Most airlines allow you to check your boarding pass online, choose your seat online, and have your ticket printed 24 hours before departure. You need to visit the website of your chosen airline for details. In case you did not check in your baggage, and you have already printed out your ticket, please go straight to security upon arrival at the airport.
You can also save time by using the local self-service check-in counters at the airport. Choose your seat, check in your luggage, print your boarding pass, and drop off your bags. You can ask the airline staff for help.
Specific Heathrow check-in desks and baggage drop-off areas for your airline are indicated on the electronic board in the departure hall. Once you have checked in and dropped off your baggage, proceed to the security check.
Heathrow check-in times depend on many factors, for example, you may arrive at a time when the airport is busy, so queues are guaranteed in any case. Also, among the reasons are the number of check-in counters open, and the type of your flight. It is recommended that you arrive at the airport 3 hours before your international departure and 2 hours before your domestic departure.
Heathrow fast track service provides a smoother and quicker passage through security checks, but due to quid-19 restrictions it has been closed to online sales. However, some airlines still offer it to their frequent flyer and American Express Centurion Card holders.
Fast Track service is available to First and Business Class departing passengers, as well as frequent flyer programme members of premium airlines and American Express Centurion Card holders.
Heathrow airport check-in at fast-track terminals 2, 3, and 4 is available to non-EU resident premium passengers. Entry criteria also depend on the airline, so check with a representative and the website of your airline upon arrival at the airport.
Connecting flights also allow passengers to use the Fast Track services at terminals 2, 3, and 5.
After check-in, please go to the Fast Track security area in your terminal. If you are in terminal 5, you must go to the north Fast Track security area.
The Heathrow security procedure is almost no different from other airports, but it is better to familiarise yourself with this information so that you do not get into trouble in the future.
Before you can board the plane, you need to go through all the steps of the security check in accordance with UK government standards. Checks are carried out every time, even on connecting flights or stopovers.
Heathrow Airport security requires to check through X-rays all your belongings, including:
Prams, walkers, and wheelchairs. Laptops and other large electrical items must be removed from hand luggage and checked separately.
However, a laptop bag will be considered to be the only item that you are permitted to carry in the cabin.
If you wish, you can take part (it's optional) in the innovative biometric camera check and facial recognition system.
Please note, if you are transferring from an international flight from the UK or Republic of Ireland to a flight from the UK or Republic of Ireland, a geometric facial image will be taken before you enter the departure lounge.
Heathrow security queues can take you a long time, but they are then dealt with quickly. On average, security checks can be completed in 10 minutes or less. But we recommend that you make sure you get the procedure underway in 30 minutes to avoid waiting and hassle.
Due to the UK leaving the European Union, there have been some changes to passport rules and requirements.
Passport control at Heathrow requires you to have a valid passport, visa, and other necessary documents. Please note, Heathrow passport control no longer accepts ID as a valid travel document for entry to the UK, but you can check the government website for an exception. UK and EU nationals can use the electronic gates at passport control. For tourists with a UK passport issued by Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, or Jersey, you do not need a short-term visa for many EU countries (including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland).
Passport control at Heathrow also warns that you are allowed to stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. This depends on where you are travelling to and from, as you may have to wait up to 6 months before your passport expires.
You will need at least 45 minutes to get through security and immigration when you return to the airport. Also, the Heathrow security wait times can vary depending on the number of passengers and so on.
You may need a Heathrow transit visa to travel through the UK en route to another country.
However, you do not need this visa if:
Types of transit visa at Heathrow.
Which type of visa you need depends on whether or not you will be going through border control in the UK. Please contact your airline to find out if you will be subject to border control.
If you will not go through UK border control.
In this case, you will need to apply for an Air Transit Visa, as you will be crossing UK airspace.
If you will be passing through UK border control.
In this case, apply for a transit visitor's visa if you leave the country within 48 hours after the controls.
If you are staying for more than 48 hours or need to travel frequently in the UK for more than 6 months.
Then apply for a standard visitor visa instead of a transit visitor visa.
The items that you can take through customs clearance at Heathrow depend on where you are going and from where you are coming. Please present the following documents at customs clearance:
Your luggage will also be checked for items that need to be declared.
Also, Heathrow customs clearance allows you to bring certain goods from abroad without paying taxes or duties if:
You must also declare all commercial goods, as certain exemptions apply to goods you bring for sale or business use.
Before you cross the UK border, you must tell customs officers about any (declared) goods:
If you are over the limit, you will have to pay tax and duty on all goods in that category.
It is possible to declare goods online 5 days (120 hours) before you arrive in the UK.
Heathrow Airport customs may seize certain items from you or not let you through if they are on the list of restricted items.
Some items cannot be brought for security reasons, such as firearms, explosives, and ammunition. All these items require a special export and import licence.
Certain food and plant products are also prohibited, provided that they:
If you import goods that may be suspected of infringement of property rights, for example, "pirated" copies of films or music, they may be confiscated and you may be subject to administrative penalties.
You will need to provide a permit or certificate to bring goods protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) into the UK.
Such items include certain foodstuffs, beauty products, exotic leather goods, furs, wooden musical instruments, tourist gifts, and some medicines.
You may have goods confiscated at customs that must not be brought into the UK.
Heathrow customs time on average takes from 30 minutes to 1 hour. But it is recommended that you allow 2 hours to avoid difficulties.
For assistance you can contact:
Opening hours: 10 pm to 6 am, 7 days a week (but only has a skeleton crew so there might be a little delay).