Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways will let you check in luggage on the Heathrow Express airport platforms

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

British Airways is launching a new bag drop service on Monday, in association with Airportr.

Long-term readers will know that Airportr offers a home baggage collection and delivery service – they will come to your home, take your suitcases off you, take them to the airport and check them in on your behalf. You don’t see your luggage again until your arrive at your destination. We reviewed Airportr here.

The new service is a little confusing. I can’t decide if it genunely offers something useful. Make up your own mind.

Airportr British Airways Terminal 5 partnership

From Monday, if you take the Heathrow Express train to Terminal 5 (which immediately eliminates over 90% of passengers), you can check in your baggage on the Heathrow Express platform at the airport.

The service is only available between 5am and 10am.

It is also only available to passengers who are able to check in online. This knocks out even more potential users, since online check-in is not offered to any destination which requires travellers to show covid test documentation on arrival.

That said, British Airways passengers flying to Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, can now upload their negative Covid-19 test result and other documentation directly into ba.com for verification before travel.

I’m not sure if passengers using the VeriFLY service can check-in online although, outbound, this is only valid to the US, Canada and France anyway.

How does the Airportr bag drop service work?

You will be handing your luggage over to Airportr staff, not British Airways employees. Airportr will be responsible for checking it in and dropping it into the Heathrow baggage system. Airportr staff will “seal and secure” your luggage, which may also be an issue if you would actually prefer your luggage not to be sealed up.

You will be able to track the progress of your suitcase via an app.

The only benefit appears to be that you can avoid any queues at the bag drop desks. BA says that you can “move through the airport without the hassle of carrying luggage” but there are multiple lifts from the Heathrow Express platforms to the departure hall.

Is there a market for this?

The market for this new service is a very limited one:

  • Heathrow Express passengers
  • … travelling between 5am and 10am
  • … who are flying on one of the routes which currently allow online check-in

You also need to be happy to hand over your luggage to a third party when you could simply hop in the lift and drop it yourself at a desk.

Most usefully, remember that British Airways offers their ‘twilight’ baggage drop service the night before travel from Heathrow Terminal 5. You can drop your bags off between 4pm and 9pm on the day before you travel.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (79)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • JK says:

    “ British Airways passengers flying to Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, can now upload their negative Covid-19 test result and other documentation directly into ba.com for verification before travel.”

    Where do you find this? I’ve got a family tripped for Friday to Spain. I don’t see an option to upload our NHS vaccination certificates or anything?

    • Travel Strong says:

      Verifly app

      • JK says:

        I tried that… I selected “Add a trip to Spain” but it only let’s me choose AA as airline, not BA… Really odd, and still stumped…

        • babyg_wc says:

          It’s on BA.com in your actual booking, verfly is different..

        • Damian says:

          I used it to fly to Santorini last week. A week before it only showed AA flights and not the BA flight I was on. The BA flight appeared about two days before the flight in the app. I was able to check in online but still had to show the Covid documents at the check in desk as the airline get fined if they are incorrect.

    • Baggies Surrey says:

      You need to download the NHS app (not the NHS COVID app).
      You will lose the will, so allow some quiet time. You can download to print or/and save a copy of your vaccination record with barcode. Did this for Goodwood last week as was a requirement for entry but nobody scanned.

    • Simon says:

      BA emailed us direct a couple of days before with a link when we flew to Madeira last week. It speeds up the process at the airport immensely. It took them about 20 hours to verify.

  • ChrisBCN says:

    So, although it may sound pointless, there are the skycaps in the US which are literally outside airports – never used them myself, but presumably there is a market

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Have used them before. Checked in mins before closing the flight 😉 with 0 hassle after exiting the taxi and I think it was $10 each.

  • Mike says:

    Is there a cost to this ? It is clear there is no benefit to this. Does cost = zero and Benefit = zero

  • Richie says:

    BA should be offering a service to help with bags for Avis/ Budget/Zipcar flex drop off customers.

    • Dubious says:

      This would be good. I remember trying to shelp a combination of 5 bags and boxes from T2 to T4 using the Heather Express – which might sound easy except that they dont let you take trolleys onto the platform…had to try shuttle one at a time from the barriers and then from platform to train before the doors closed (and again to get off).

      Can’t recall exactly why I ended up in that situation though.

      The second occasion I parked the rental car in the short stay car park, checked-in then drove the car round to the rental depot and took the rental shuttle back. All a bit of a faff really.

  • Marc says:

    I’m also confused about the press photo. This is T5 arrivals isn’t it?

  • David S says:

    Virgin used to let you check in for flights back from MCO at Disney World and Tui used to let you check in at the hotel and drop your luggage off for all those who booked via their Platinum brochure. The world has gone backwards since.

    • Rob says:

      There used to be a beach check-in in Barbados at one point too I think.

    • FatherOfFour says:

      Jet2 have a pretty nifty resort bag-drop too. In our case, our flights were fairly early anyway, but it saves them having to load multiple cases onto transfer coaches and means that customers can enjoy the last hours of their holiday luggage free.

  • Henry Young says:

    Does this increase of decrease the risk of your luggage being mishandled, damaged or even lost ??? Hmmm – let me think – adding an extra optional step relying on good ole super reliable British workers ??? Draw your own conclusion 😉

    • Prins Polo says:

      Reminds me of “curb check-in” in the US – great idea but adds another, highly manual step in the process and increases the risk of mishandling your luggage

  • @mkcol says:

    “you can check in your baggage on the Heathrow Express platform at the airport” further congesting the platform.
    Surprised this has been cleared from the safety perspective of people/bags congregating & possibly falling onto the platform.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I doubt it’s on the platform. It’ll be the platform level. There’s a wide space between the two platforms and they could easily fit a stand there

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.