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British Airways

Flying with British Airways

On August 25, 1919 the world's first scheduled flight departed from England for Paris carrying freight and one passenger. This flight represents the early days of the commission which would become British Airways. In May 2012 British Airways was responsible for flying the Olympic Torch to London for the commencement of the British relay prior to the London Summer Olympic Games. Today, the airline operates one of the world's largest and most modern fleets. Recent remodeling of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 has ensured that passengers will end their flight feeling more relaxed and refreshed. Features such as ergonomically designed chairs and and a gentle lighting system make international travel even easier on the body. British Airways' High Life entertainment system offers top quality in–flight entertainment to passengers on board long–haul flights. High Life Magazine and the High Life Shop offer additional ways for passengers to pass the time during their flight. Headquartered at London's Heathrow Airport, British Airways operates a full service flight route flying to and from centrally–located airports around the globe, transporting millions of passengers each year. From the continental United States, British Airways offers many long–haul flights to the UK through direct service and through subsidiary and connected airlines. Departure cities include Los Angeles, Newark, Dallas and Chicago.

Online Check-In

British Airways offers three options for flight check–in:

  • Online: Passengers may check in from 24 hours before their flight departs, printing their own boarding pass, saving it or emailing it to print later. Lost or forgotten boarding passes can be printed at the airport at a check–in kiosk.
  • On Smart Phone: Passengers may check in from 24 hours before their aircraft departs using the British Airways app or online. Passengers can download and save their boarding pass on their phones.
  • At the Airport: Passengers may use airport kiosks to check in and print their boarding pass. Booking reference or form of identification, such as credit/debit card, Executive Club card or passport, is required for airport check–in. If passengers prefer, they may use a check–in desk instead. Passengers traveling in a group of more than 9 people, children traveling alone or children traveling on a separate booking from their adult guardian will need to go to a check–in desk at the airport. Passengers are advised to visit the ‘Manage My Booking' section of the British Airways website to find out check–in times at the airport.

Boarding Information

Boarding times depend on the flight and passengers are advised to confirm this time upon arrival at the airport to avoid being denied access to the flight after the gate has closed. Passengers are advised that increased security measures can increase the time it takes to screen hand baggage and should therefore allow plenty of time to travel through the airport.

Details for specific airports and departure locations:

London Heathrow: Passengers departing from Terminal 1, 3 or 5 must clear security at least 35 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time.

Travelers from the USA: Even if passengers have already checked in, they must go to a security desk to have travel documents reviewed prior to clearing security. Passengers must have their boarding pass, ID, and in some cases passport and visa, ready for inspection at the boarding gate. Cabin crew will inspect passengers' boarding passes again upon entry to the aircraft.

Frequent Flyer Information – Executive Club

British Airways' frequent flyer program is called the Executive Club and offers many rewards for passengers. Joining the club is free and passengers collect Avios – the club currency – to spend on treats such as cabin upgrades and to put towards discounts on flights. Avios may be shared by linking household members' accounts. There are four tiers of the club – Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold, which offer increasing incentives and bonuses for members as they fly increasingly with British Airways. British Airways frequent flyers are also permitted additional baggage allowances. Depending on the tier of the club achieved, members are permitted both additional bags for themselves and an accompanying traveler as well as additional weight per bag. Precise baggage allowances for frequent flyers vary and should be checked on British Airways' website prior to departure.

Hand Baggage Allowance

All British Airways flights have a generous free hand baggage allowance. All passengers may take one carry–on and one personal bag into the cabin with them. Infants (under 2 years) are permitted one cabin bag that includes only items that they may require during the flight. Maximum weight per bag is up to 51 lbs, however each bag must fit into the baggage gauge at check–in. Passengers should note that any items purchased at the airport, such as duty free, count towards hand baggage allowance.

  • Cabin bag: Maximum 22 x 18 x 10in, including handles, pockets and wheels
  • Personal bag: Maximum 18 x 14 x 8in

Checked Baggage Allowance

Checked baggage allowance on British Airways depends on route and class of travel. For all travel categories, children (2–11 years) have the same allowance as adults plus one fully collapsible stroller and one car seat; infants (under 2 years) are permitted one standard–size bag, plus a stroller and car seat.

  • Economy Allowances and Premium Economy Allowances: 2 bags, maximum 51 lb each (except for passengers flying to and from Brazil who are permitted 2 bags, maximum 70 lb each)
  • Business and First Allowances: Club Europe: 2 bags, maximum 70 lb each Club World, Club World London City, Biz Bed, First: 3 bags, maximum 70 lb each

Passengers can take more baggage than the free allowance permits for an additional fee. This fee is reduced if the customer pays online in advance. Passengers in all classes and on all routes are permitted as many mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, as are needed for personal use at no additional cost.

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