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Redmond, OR to SEA to LHR - Probably a dumb question, but I don't know the answer

We are using a positioning flight from Oregon to reach Seattle. We have a 'free' Companion Flight on BA to London which leaves from Seattle around 7 pm. We weren't able to add a flight to Seattle to the BA itinerary, so we must make our own way there with a positioning flight. Once we arrive in Seattle, how do we check in with BA and let it know we have arrived at the airport? We don't want to have to go back through security! Thank you.

Posted by
61 posts

I would call the BA 800 number, just to confirm you are confirmed with seats and ask if you can just go straight to the gate in SEA, since you're arriving from another US city. If you booked through a 3rd party (like Expedia, etc) lots of time they will not assign you a seat, despite your request. Is it a BA aircraft or codeshare on another carrier?

Are you checking bags? Make sure the agent in RDM tags your bags all the way to LHR. They should be able to add your BA flight in their system for bag info only. If they are tagged only to SEA, you will have to pick up and recheck in at the ticket counter, along with going back through security.

Good luck!

Posted by
5561 posts

You are not going to like this answer.........
You will need to leave the secure zone and check in through British Airways.

If you have precheck, that shouldn't be too big of an issue. If you don't, Seattle has a special program called spot-saver that is free and allows you to make an appointment for the security line and skip most of the standing in line. You are fast tracked up to the TSA agent that checks your ID/boarding pass. Then you stand in line like everyone for going through the machines.
https://www.portseattle.org/SEAspotsaver

Posted by
39 posts

We are NOT checking bags, so no worry there. I will (reluctantly) call BA and ask the agent if we truly need to go back through Security or if we can simply check-in on-line. I was hoping someone would have the answer (that I want) and I could skip this step....by the way, Terri, we are in Redmond.

Posted by
5770 posts

You MIGHT be able to check-in online for your BA flight before you leave home. You can't count on that (at least you can't count on it until you try), but it MIGHT save you having to exit the secure area and re-clear security. But it depends...

What's the timing of your positioning flight?

Are you doing carry-on only?

Posted by
889 posts

Going back through security is a hassle, but given that you'd be wise to leave loads of time between the unprotected connection, you'd at least have plenty of time for it.

Posted by
39 posts

We anticipate being at SEA about 5 hours before our flight, just in case of overwhelming crowds. Taking carry-on only, as usual. Fortunately SEA has one of our fav wine bars to hang out in once we resolve the security issue.

Posted by
16941 posts

Seems to me that you should fly to Seattle the day before your flight to London. What will you do if they cancel your puddle jumper to Seattle? With a spare day, you can always hop in your car and drive to Seattle.

Posted by
359 posts

If your flight from Redmond is with Alaska or Horizon which are members of One World with BA you may be able to stay airside using the Alaska transfer desk. I have done this, with different airlines/airport, pre-Covid but who knows now.

Posted by
5648 posts

If you’re flying BA’s World Traveler economy class, you will be able to check in online and choose/accept your seats 24 hours before the scheduled Seattle departure. Carrying-on baggage will benefit you in severe ways, but BA could hopefully confirm what experience in Seattle you should expect. Not having to endure Security again in Seattle would be wonderful - if you were connecting in London, you couldn’t skip a security screening there.

BA tickets don’t qualify us for TSA pre-check in Denver, even having Global Entry certification, so the special Seattle reservation system sounds nice. How much elbow room do you get for meeting the reservation time, I wonder?

Good for you having a complimentary Companion ticket! Is that from spending the necessary amount on a Chase BA Visa card? If so, when did you get the Companion qualification acknowledgment? The month you hit your $30k spending, or your anniversary month, or when, and how were you notified of your qualification?

Posted by
13225 posts

If you can check-in online 24 hours in advance and print your boarding passes for the London flight, you “might” be able to stay airside between your flights. But honestly I doubt it. We have flown with BA on that London flight nearly every year from 2010 to 2019, and the last few years we have always had to stop at the check-in desk to show our passports. This is even though we have entered all our API in advance, and we are well-established members of their loyalty club.

Since you are flying on separate tickets, the Alaska agent in Redmond can’t do anything regarding your BA flight. And calling BA to ask about this will be an exercise in futility. Even if you can get through on the phone (which is very difficult these days), the person you talk to will not be able to help you with check-in procedures in Seattle.

I really think you should plan on leaving the secured area and going to the BA check-in desk to confirm that everything is in order. You do not want to be sent away from the gate during the boarding process to do this. It is better to be cautious and not try to cut corners.

Cyn, with regard to the BA companion voucher, the last time we received one was in 2021, in time to use it for the trip we are taking this September. I got it within a week or so after the posting date for my Chase card for the month I completed the required spend. That is, I reached the amount with expenses in July, 2021, the credit card closing date was August 5, and I found the voucher in my BA Executive account shortly after that. Who know what they are doing this year. But in any case it has nothing to do with your anniversary date. It is tied to the date you compete the spend and it appears on your credit card statement.

If you haven’t used one before, there are some tricks I might be able to help you with, especially if you are wanting to book Business Class at a popular time.

Posted by
1 posts

This may or may not be relevant but I took this flight in May. The BA website wouldn't upload my covid documents and directed me to provide them at the airport. Out of an excess of caution (appropriate nowadays) I got to the airport hours early. Outcome? I stood in front of the BA counter for longer than I care to admit. They didn't open check-in until roughly three hours before departure. There was no one around who could even answer questions. In the end, all was well, but the experience was a bad start for an ultimately great tour.

Posted by
8869 posts

I would book a flight from RDM-SEA that has at least one later flight that will get you to SEA in time ( e.g. the Horizon 1039AM

Being bored in SEA is better than being frantic/panicked in RDM

Posted by
118 posts

We fly out of Redmond, too. Unfortunately, it costs a lot more to have a single ticket from Redmond to Europe, if you can even get one. I’m sorry but going through security again, be it Seattle or San Francisco is part of the process. Hopefully you have TSA Pre-check which speeds it up.

Posted by
39 posts

Thanks so much everyone for your thoughts. After reading them all, I think we will fly to Seattle the day before our trip and then go through Security at SEA along with everyone else. We have Global Entry and TSA pre-check and we are flying Business Class.

We are long-time members of BA's Executive Club and have used the Companion Fares numerous times. We still have 3 CF in our account to use within 2 years. The CF tends to only be economically feasible to use for Business Class or First Class since you must fly into LHR and those darn taxes/fees for doing so (LHR has the highest airport taxes/fees in the world, it seems) just doesn't pencil out, according to The Points Guy. We flew First Class once (boy, did I feel out of place!) and those lucky folks have their own check in area/screening area at LHR and I think Seattle, but I don't recall clearly. I wouldn't fly FC again as as I said I felt so out of place and since I'm 5'1" tall, my legs couldn't even reach the foot rest!

Thanks!
Deb

Posted by
5561 posts

I'm glad you found a solution that you are comfortable with! This will be one less thing for you to have to stress over in a summer of unusual things happening with travel on a daily basis.