How to check in for your flight at Heathrow – where to go and what to do, when.

Where to go

Where to find check-in

  • Terminal 2: Top floor
  • Terminal 3: Ground floor (departures building)
  • Terminal 4: First floor
  • Terminal 5: Top floor.

Finding your check-in zone

You’ll find your check-in zone listed on the information screens near the departures entrance (the zones themselves are marked by illuminated yellow cubes).

Terminal 2 only

Economy class passengers: please use a self-service check-in machine to print your boarding pass and baggage tags before going to bag drop. Assistance will be available if you need it.

Premium class passengers: please follow the signs to the Premium Check-in area.

How early to arrive

You should have received check-in instructions with your booking. If you can’t find them, your airline or travel agent will be able to help.

However, as a general guide you should plan to be at check-in / bag drop:

  • Long-haul and El Al: three hours before scheduled departure
  • UK and European flights: two hours before scheduled departure.

If you have already checked in online, and don’t have bags to drop, please follow your airline’s advice on timings; you should still aim to be at security control by the times above.

Online and mobile check-in

Use online check-in to select seats and print boarding passes before you get to the airport. Then when you arrive, just drop your baggage at the bag-drop kiosk and you’re ready.

Some airlines also offer mobile check-in, where boarding cards are sent directly to compatible mobile devices. All you have to do is drop your baggage at the bag-drop kiosk and go straight to security.

To find out if you can use this service, please check with your airline.

Please note that passengers who have checked in on their mobile phones or online still need to arrive in good time for their flight. Please pay close attention to the times given by your airline for dropping bags, collecting boarding cards and arriving at the gate.

Self-service check-in

Many airlines offer self-service check-in kiosks where you can choose your seat and print your boarding card, then take your baggage to the bag-drop facility. Airline staff will be on hand if you need help.


At check-in or bag drop

To save time, have your tickets and passport ready, and ensure your hand baggage contains only valuables and items you will need during the journey.

Once your hold luggage is checked in and your boarding card has been issued you should proceed to security control.