I'll be flying from the LAX airport and I need to visit the check-in counter to receive my boarding passes (for the first and then all the connecting flights) and check in my baggage. When searching where I can find these counters in LAX, I didn't find anything, but I found rows of what seem to be called "Ticketing counters". Is that what I'm looking for? Or do I need to search somewhere entirely else?


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    Note that it is usually recommended you don't wait until you get to the airport to perform your check-in. As much as possible, you should do it online or via the airline's mobile app as early as possible (usually 24 or 30 hours before departure). This usually gives you the best choices of seats if you haven't already selected them earlier, and helps in case the flight is overbooked. Some airlines actually require you to do it online. – jcaron Aug 22 '18 at 22:09
  • Ticket desks are where you can buy and modify air tickets; the check in desk is where you can check in for a flight you already booked. Ticket-trained staff are much rarer. A major airline at LAX might have ten or twenty check in desks and one small ticket desk off to the side somewhere. Sometimes there is just one ticket counter for several airlines. If you are seeing rows and rows of desks, they are probably check in desks. Ticket desks often cannot accept luggage (although they might be able to complete other check in formalities if the check in desk is not yet open). – Calchas Aug 22 '18 at 22:54
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    @jcaron the thing is that I'm flying from LAX to LHR with Air New Zealand, but I'm continuing from LHR with British Airways, and I'm not certain if I'll receive both of my tickets via online check in or if my checked baggage will be transported to the correct airport. Since I'm really worried about this, I'd prefer asking the airline agents about it and making sure that everything is okay – Michal Kučera Aug 23 '18 at 0:06
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    As you will need to drop your luggage, you will see agents anyway, but that does not prevent you from doing online check-in before that (online check-in may start at different times for the different flights). When dropping your luggage, you will be asked to confirm your final destination. If all flights are on the same ticket, then they should be able to check your luggage through to your final destination. If not, you will probably have to claim and re-check your luggage at some point, which will take (a lot) more time, and may require you to have a visa for the connecting airport's country. – jcaron Aug 23 '18 at 0:19
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    @Calchas, that was my impression. In some airports / for some airlines (e.g. Air France at CDG), ticket counters are actually completely separate, more like separate shops rather than just counters. But the TBIT map calls all the check-in counters "ticketing counters" for some weird reason. – jcaron Aug 23 '18 at 0:21

That's what you're looking for, yes.

Once upon a time, ticket sales at the airport were more common, so some counters were designated for buying tickets and others for check-in. Now, there may be one counter set aside for purchasing tickets somewhere, but all the others are for check-in. The terminology is vague though: check-in, ticketing, bag drop, etc... all refer to the area where tickets and checked bags are handled.

When you arrive at the airport, the check-in counters are pretty much the first thing you see in the departure area/level. If you're unsure where to go, there's usually lots of airline staff in front of the counters, who can direct you to the correct place. Large airports will usually have signs or TV monitors that list the airlines and the areas where their counters can be found.

Note that some airlines have a separate bag-drop line (located among the check-in counters, they're not usually a separate area) for people who have already checked in online. Using this may result in a faster wait, and you may be able to pick seats sooner (depending on the airline and ticket). If you're not sure though or have problems, don't worry about it.

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  • Lovely, that's precisely what I needed to know. Thank you! – Michal Kučera Aug 22 '18 at 21:08
  • Note that in terminals that are shared by multiple airlines, each airline may have distinct counters, and in some cases, there may be different counters for a single airline based on destination or class of travel. You'll usually find screens showing all departing flights and the corresponding check-in counters. – jcaron Aug 22 '18 at 22:07

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