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BA + Check-in options

(43 Posts)
NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 10:51:01

We're flying to Canada on Saturday.

I hate hate hate airports, and like to minimise how long I spend in them. DH is slightly anxious about being late, and likes to be early.

Can we do online check-in, and then he can go out to Heathrow early, to give in the bags, and I bring the boys later to meet him? I know I have to be there to go through security etc at least an hour ahead, but this would let me stay away from the airport as long as possible. (It's not a flying phobia, I just hate crying people saying good-bye. Seriously.)

bonym Tue 26-Jul-05 11:20:37

Hi - not sure, but I think you're not able to do online check-in with children under 16. We tried when we flew to Sardinia a few weeks ago with BA.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 11:23:47

I thought that too ... but the people on the phone told me it was possible ... how far in advance can you check in online? I'll try far in advance, and then change plans if it's not possible.

dillydally Tue 26-Jul-05 11:27:06

i thought you could do online check in 12 hours ahead but not if you are taking children.

dillydally Tue 26-Jul-05 11:27:55

if you are doing heathrow, you can check in at paddington though and catch heathrow express which is nice..

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 11:42:28

On the phone they said it was ok with kids. Dunno about under-2s, though, I don't seem to be able to enter passport details for the baby, so now I'm worried about that.

You can't do check in at Paddington any more, dillydally. That was our plan, until I phoned up, and was told it doesn't exist any more. I found some references to it closing online, too.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 11:43:16

It looks like I'll be spending 6 hours at flipping Heathrow. Grrr. (I know, you only have to be 2 hours early ... DH just pads all the travel estimates, so we get to Paddington an hour earlier than we planned, and then to Heathrow 2 hours earlier.)

dillydally Tue 26-Jul-05 11:43:37

I loved checking in at Paddington? I am off to complain on the ba website right now.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 11:46:08

Apparently nobody was using it. That does sound about right - it was always nice and empty.

I'm quite miffed, too - we loved checking in there, get rid of the bags, all tidy. One year we went off to Hyde Park to play in the playground, between checking in and going to Heathrow.

bonym Tue 26-Jul-05 11:54:37

We couldn't even use the fast check-in machines at the airport - had to queue up at the desk. DD2 is only 18 wks so that could be the reason. Mind you, it had the benefit if them giving us decent seats and they even blocked off a spare one next to us to give us extra room.

SoupDragon Tue 26-Jul-05 11:56:17

I believe they've changed the BA check in so that you can now do the online thing with families (couldn't do it last Summer though and had to queue. Grrrr)

SoupDragon Tue 26-Jul-05 11:57:23

Would infants be a problem because of allocating thiings like skycots?

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 12:15:21

The phone people said I could do online check in with kids. I forgot to ask about infants.

The advance passenger information doesn't seem to have DS2's details, even though the booking information I have does.

I hate all this. Booking the flights was hard enough.

MeerkatsUnite Tue 26-Jul-05 12:17:42

Have looked into this myself as am flying with them soon.

You unfortunately cannot use online check in if children are travelling with you.

Marina Tue 26-Jul-05 12:20:19

We flew with BA this weekend and could not check in online with children.
Not an option for you alas NQC but apart from the above annoyance I can really recommend London City Airport as a good alternative to the other London airports. Quiet, friendly staff, and lack of child-magnet tat in the shops too. Ds not interested in mature Scotch or cufflinks hurrah

MeerkatsUnite Tue 26-Jul-05 12:22:40

Take from BA's website:-

Online Check-in is not available for passengers with bookings that contain children or infants as British Airways needs to ensure children and infants are seated in appropriate areas on-board the aircraft for their own safety

Please note, each passenger will be required to check in individually. (so your other option for DH to go to Heathrow first followed by your children and yourself is also out of the question).

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 12:27:16

Oh well.

I'm calling them now to check that a) DS2 will be coming with us and b) the seats we seem to already have are bulkhead seats.

Marina, we love City Airport. It's like a 15 minute ride away. You can get excellent dim sum just across the water. I did have a plan, one year, of flying Air France, doing London City->Paris->Montreal or Toronto, but I really hate changing planes. It would probably still be less work, and the kids would love the small plane. I think the price was prohibitive, though.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 12:28:40

I hate airports!

And also Expedia. They failed to request a bulkhead seat (although they did book DS2's place, at least). And phoning them to get this sorted (as BA say I have to do) appears to have confused them greatly.

Soon, in theory, DH will have a silver card, so we can use the lounge whenever we're travelling, which would be a bit of an improvement.

Marina Tue 26-Jul-05 12:34:40

We saw a hideous vignette at the airport NQC of a family whose passports/visas were clearly not in order for the new USA entry system. The poor, poor children were slumped over the luggage while an airport employee was directing the dad in the direction of the USA Visa Office in central London. He was clutching Expedia print-outs...if ever I had wished for a magic wand. They all looked distraught
I forgot how handy LCY is for you especially. We were home 25 mins after touchdown in the burbs. And ds and dd DID love the little plane. But Transit would surely undo all the pleasure
Have you resolved the Trailer Park nightmare at the other end btw?

dillydally Tue 26-Jul-05 12:37:45

I object to you publicising City airport...
I love it just as it is...
imagine if more people were to use it <shudder>
It would ruin it all.

I am specifically planning my christmas break around which destinations are available from city.

I am also hoping the new dlr link to the airport doesnt increase passenger numbers too much

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 12:39:32

Marina, luckily the Trailer Park nightmare is all about next summer. So I'm mostly just trying to forestall any argument now, so I don't argue with anyone while I'm there.

After much discussion with DH, we've decided to go for a "that's not what we're looking for, we really just want a resort" sort of email. In the hopes that something blunt and short might actually get understood.

(The conversation with my sister, in which she didn't understand why we wouldn't want to holiday in a trailer park - no insult to those who like it, but really, this is a trailer park largely for retired people, and it's in the middle of nowhere - was not a good conversation.)

Oh, and although I can see seatplans on the BA website, I can't pick bulkhead seats, coz everyone wants those. Expedia can't see seat selection right now, they think I should call BA myself to sort it. BA already told me to call Expedia. Gah.

Marina Tue 26-Jul-05 12:39:53

That's not very sharing of you dillydally!
We have a little leaflet listing all those destinations and flight times...shall I reproduce it here....bwahahahha...

dillydally Tue 26-Jul-05 12:43:21

Sorry but city is one of the few airports i enjoy flying from whereas gatwick brings me out in hives.

I also hear tales of a new airport in kent (marston?) that does cheapy continental flights and am looking to see if anyone has used that yet but obviously have no desire to hijack a NQC thread - so shall start a new thread sometime soon.

Marina Tue 26-Jul-05 12:44:48

[quick hijack] - friends in SE London REALLY rate Manston dillydally. Fly to Spain to family there often, say it is great. IMO it is a bit of a hack to get there.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 26-Jul-05 12:46:28

Oh, dillydally, I don't mind hijacks, this is hardly a desperate cry for help or whatever. Mostly just a big old whinge.

Carrying on with the whinging ... I have phoned BA three times today. I have that stupid "calming" music stuck in my head. I was already brain-dead from no sleep and travel fuss (and drafting the scary NONONONO WE ARE NOT STAYING IN A TRAILER PARK email to my mom). And I phoned Expedia once, and emailed them, and gah.

In theory I am now done. In theory, Expedia will email me back to say we have bulkhead seats.

Oh, and I will certainly be spending too long at Heathrow on Saturday. Oh boy do I hate airports.

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