I'm arriving at London Heathrow at 2:05PM, and then my next flight leaves at 3:50PM, which gives me 1h45m to switch terminals, which is fine, generally. Both are international flights. However, the second airline has written: "Last Check In Time: 2:50PM".

Does this mean that I need to arrive at the second airline's counter by 2:50PM to get my boarding pass, even though I do not have to check in any luggage? (I'll have checked it in with the previous airline and I don't have to pick it up at London, only at my final destination). My seat is already reserved. The second airline's counter will be at the terminal I'm departing from, so 45 minutes to get there is too short.

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    Are both flights on the same PNR? (That's the 6 digit letter/number code) If it's all ticketed on the same reservation you will be issued with a boarding pass for your second flight when you first check-in, or failing that there'll be a place to get a boarding pass whilst transiting in LHR, without having to go out and come back in via an airline counter. – imoatama Aug 11 '14 at 5:46
  • @imoatama They're the same PNR (assuming the PNR is the same as booking ref. - which is also 6 digit/letters). However, I won't be issued a boarding pass when I first check in, I'll have to get it in LHR. This is what happened to me on the first trip (same airlines as now - I checked in for the first flight, got my first boarding pass, and was told to get the second in LHR - even though they're on the same ticket. I did not have to go out to get my baggage then go back in). – Jimmy Aug 11 '14 at 7:10
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    WaiWai's answer is correct then - you are checked in for all flights when you first check your luggage, if you don't receive an onwards boarding pass then (and there's no reason why you shouldn't) then you will be able to get one at the transit desk air-side in LHR upon landing, and don't need to worry about the check-in deadline. – imoatama Aug 11 '14 at 7:19
  • Yes, I felt it was weird that I didn't get both boarding passes the first time. (At the time I was going MEA - United, now its United - MEA. MEA didn't give me the United boarding pass, I had to get that one from United's desk at LHR from the departing terminal.) I don't know if this time United will give me both boarding passes, though, but it's the same ticket as before, so I'm just assuming the same thing will happen and I'll have to pick up the MEA boarding pass from the departing terminal in LHR. – Jimmy Aug 11 '14 at 7:30

As your luggage is being checked through, I am going to assume both flights are on the same ticket. In this event, when you check in for your first flight, you will be checked in for all connecting flights, and receive your boarding passes then. You can proceed directly to your gate when you deplane.

If for some reason your first airline cannot check you in (or you are on separate tickets), most airlines will allow you to check in online 24 hours before you depart, and if you do so, it will not be necessary for you to go to the check-in counter for your second flight.

  • The two flights are on the same ticket, which is why I don't need to pick up my luggage in London. However, I previously traveled through London (with 3 hours layover) and since the two flights are different airlines, I had to pick up my second boarding pass in London (they didn't give it to me when I got on the first plane) and the same thing is going to happen this time. I'll get my first boarding pass, but not the second. Does this still mean I'm checked in for both flights, and just need to pick up the second boarding pass whenever I get to the second airline's counter? – Jimmy Aug 11 '14 at 7:07
  • That's exactly right, yes. Might be helpful to others if you specified which two airlines are involved here btw. – imoatama Aug 11 '14 at 7:19
  • The first is United, and the second is MEA. Thanks! – Jimmy Aug 11 '14 at 7:28
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    @Jimmy Yes, you will be able to collect your boarding pass at Heathrow (but at all times, follow the "Flight Connections" signs; your airline will have a desk airside that you will pass if you follow these signs—going landside will very likely make you late). Also, don't worry too much about missing your flight—since you're on one ticket, the airline will get you to your final destination if your first flight gets in late and you can't transit in time. – waiwai933 Aug 11 '14 at 8:51
  • @waiwai933 Yes, the airline's desk is at the terminal the flight is departing from, so I just need to get to that terminal and pass security, get the boarding pass, and go to my gate. It's simple, and I did it last time, but I was just worried that I might have to get the boarding pass an hour before the departure time, which I see now is not the case. Thanks. – Jimmy Aug 11 '14 at 17:37

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