City Centre air terminals ?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  SimonS1 27 Jun 2013
at 05:42

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  • Anonymous


    Sadly watching an old episode of Minder, I recognised the old TWA terminal in “downtown” London……

    Apart from Hong Kong, I can’t think of another city that now has the facility to check-in “downtown” …. And since I stay in DB on my visits to HK I’ve never used it…sure I would if I stayed in Central or Kowloon.

    I believe Whistler also has the facility, but not certain…..

    Anyway are airports/ airlines missing a trick here?……….

    And what cities should as a matter of course have this facility “downtown” and would you check-in there ?


    Off the top of my head, other places offering this (though not always for all airlines) include:

    – Kuala Lumpur
    – Seoul Incheon
    – Vienna
    – New Delhi

    I believe that one or more of the Moscow airports also provide this service.

    In addition, there are those that provide the check-in facility from other cities: this used to (and still does?) include Brussels for Paris CDG, Cologne for Frankfurt – and in Switzerland from a large number of rail stations for flights departing Zurich and Geneva.

    I think the cost of providing the service can be prohibitive (I understand that when offered at Paddington, the cost worked out around £20-£25 per bag) and the the increasing use of online check-in and hand luggage only travel has reduced the demand.

    But I agree, would be good to see it return – and I think this is to some extent inevitable as airports get bigger and the sheer numbers mean there is a need to move some passenger processing off site.


    I think there used to be check in facilities at Paddington Station when the Heathrow Express first opened.


    Unfortunately the facilities at Paddington attracted the “wrong” sort of customer. It was intended to appeal to the First and business class passengers. However tourist quickly cottoned on to the fact that they could check out of their hotel in the morning, check in their bag at Paddington and then be tourists for the day in London. This way they weren’t limited by the 3 hour check in at the airport terminal.


    ImissConcorde….”wrong sort of customer” LOL

    That’s exactly how my mates use the HK facility…..most of our flights depart 11ish pm

    Check in early and they no longer haver to traipse bags through Kowloon and onto ferries etc…a great benefit, that befits a city that rightly claims to be ” asia’s world city” ….


    The Tokyo CAT had the added treat of the staff bowing ceremonially for each departing bus, followed by a taped announcement about not using mobile phones because “they annoy the neighbours”. The fun really is being taken out of travelling!

    Also BUA/B.Cal had the Victoria Station check-in for the “Silver Arrow” service to Paris, which BA took over for a while. And BOAC/BEA had London city terminals too.

    Ian_from_HKG provided me with some really useful information on HK city checkin 25/06/2013 at 06:25 in case of interest. (Apologies I’m on iPad and not sure that I can link/cut and paste)


    Other London check-in facilities were offered by Pam Am and British Eagle. Pam Am was near Victoria stn while British Eagle was in Knightsbridge close to Harrods.

    Does anyone remember the glory days of SAS in the Eighties when guests staying in its hotels could check-in at an SAS counter in the lobby ? That was so convenient.

    Also biz class passengers arriving on SAS and staying at an SAS hotel would have their luggage automatically transferred FOC to their hotel room.


    El Al in Tel Aviv used to have check in at the Hilton Hotel.


    There used to be in-town check-in at Manila, handily situated at one of the main business hotels (although I forget which one, now)

    Even before the Airport Express, CX had check-in facilities at their old ticketing office in Pacific Place in Hong Kong

    Happy days!

    BTW you can use the in-town check-in in Hong Kong the day before your flight – very handy if you have an early flight the next day (and can survive with your carry-on for your last night, or are a local resident) sinec it means you can leave your departure to the airport until the very last possible minute! Also, in general, at busy times of year (well, and the rest of the time for that matter) the queues at the in-town check-in are usually much shorter than at the airport, particularly for economy passengers


    FlyDubai have a couple of downtown check ins for their flights. Etihad also has a Dubai check in open 24 hours before the flight.

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