We are travelling to St.Lucia from Dubai on Emirates flight and second connection is BA flight from Gatwick Airport (I believe same rules will be applicable as for Heathrow). Unfortunately there is no agreement between these two airlines so we will need to pick up the luggage (which means going through immigration) and check it in on the next flight ourselves.

My husband is British National so he does not need a visa to go outside of transit zone but I do (I need to get it in advance due to recently changed rules regarding transit of my nationality and we do not have time for this).

The question is can he pass through immigration, pick up the bag and check it in on BA flight if I stay in transit?

We are landing and flying out from same terminal and will print boarding passes before we start the travel.

The only worry is we have same booking reference and my husband is concerned ground staff might not let him to check in the bag (and possibly on the flight) if second passenger is not there (me).

We tried talking to BA but without much luck so if anybody here can help with the answer it will be much appreciated as otherwise we will have to travel with hand luggage and both stay in transit.

  • If you get the boarding pass in advance (online?) then I guess there will be no problem, if not then I guess he might face a problem getting your boarding without you being there. Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 6:53
  • Thank you. We will print all boarding passes online before travelling. Im just not sure what drop off bagage situation in Gatwick and if they still accept the luggage if second passenger is not present. Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 6:59
  • 1
    So how did it go?
    – user4188
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


If it helps, this once happened to me in Kazakhstan, I needed to exit through immigration to re-check my bags. However, I didn't have a visa and couldn't get one on arrival. My understanding is that this is fairly common, and an airport staff member I spoke to was VERY helpful, went out, found my bag and re-checked it for me. I picked it up again happily in Kyrgyzstan.

I figure if they can do that in Kazakhstan, Britain should be able to help too. I imagine you're not the first ever (or even that day) to run into this situation, and if your husband is able to exit with them to help identify the bag, even better.

In Manila, Phillipines I was actually taken through immigration without a visa (under armed guard) to identify my bag for them to recheck it (they claimed they do this for every Cebu airlines transit passenger?!!), so each airport has a way for this, in my experience.


Technically he is allowed to only check in his own luggage. So there is the possibility that if there is a limit on how many checked bags a person can have, he might have to pay excess baggage since all bags would be under his name.

Another issue that may effect your plan would be document verification. His documents would be verified when he drops the bags, but you would not be present which may block the check in process since it is a single booking.

But both of these are just possibilities, not etched in stone. A lot depends on who is handling check in when your husband drops off the bags.

  • If both are in the same reservation, the total allowed weight will be considered.. Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 7:17
  • If it is by weight, possibly, but not if it is by piece.
    – user13044
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 7:31
  • Hi, thank you for your reply. We are only taking 1 bag and we are in business so I guess we will be fine weightwise. If bag is checked in under his name, will it make things easier? Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 7:58
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    If he is going to claim it in London, then yes you should check it in his name for the flight from Dubai. Won't really make things easier for rechecking on BA, but just on the off chance they are matching bag tags to ids when he claims it. I haven't used BA's online check in recently, but if they let you add bags per passenger, then definitely put it under his name.
    – user13044
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 8:06

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