Planning your journey - Speedy traveller

If you’re the kind of traveller who likes to turn up at the airport, jump on your flight and go, we’ve got some great tips to make your experience at Birmingham Airport as quick and seamless as can be. Plan your journey in advance so you can speed through without any last-minute panicking.

When do I need to be at the airport?

If you want minimal time at the airport, it’s handy to know when your check-in and departure gates open and close.

Generally, check-in for long haul flights (between 6-12 hours) will open approximately 4 hours before departure.  For short haul services (between 2-6 hours), desks will normally open 2 to 3 hours before departure. Your airline can confirm precise check-in opening times.

Where should I park?

Car Parks 1, 2 & 3 are a 2-minute walk from the terminal building, so perfect for those in a rush. Pre-book online to guarantee your space and get from your car to the plane as quickly as possible. For an even faster transition, why not take advantage of our valet parking? Visit our parking page for more options.

What should I eat?

If you want to grab something to eat before you board the plane, there are plenty of great options at the airport.

  • Nothing screams fast food louder than Burger King, so if a quick burger and chips tickles your taste buds, head to one of the chain restaurant’s two locations – before security and within the departure lounge.
  • A Costa, Café Nero and Pret a Manger mean you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to coffee and ‘food-to-go’ options.
  • Grab a meal deal from Boots or WHSmith to tuck into on the flight and don’t forget the plane sweets.

If you know your time at the airport is going to be tight, you can now pre-order food from Giraffe or Frankie & Benny’s via the Grab app. Simply download the app and choose your dish, which will be ready for pick up at each restaurant when you arrive. Meals can be taken on board so there’s no need to rush.

Helpful Tips

These top tips will ensure your trip through the airport is a speedy one!

  • Use FlightSmartGet real time flight updates to your Twitter account with our FlightSmart service. Simply tweet your flight number to @flyBHX on the day of travel to see gate numbers, check-in opening times and live updates about any cancellations or delays.
  • Check in online - If you check in online before you arrive at the airport and have your boarding pass ready, all you’ll need to do is drop off any checked bags at the relevant airline ‘bag-drop’ area. Then you’re ready to go through to the departure lounge!
  • Have your documents ready - Don’t be that person fumbling around for your ID, credit card and boarding pass at the check-in desk. Organise your essential documents before you leave for the airport and keep them in a plastic wallet or compartment in your bag.
  • Use our Express Lane - We try to make Airport Security as hassle-free as possible, but if you want to get through even faster – you can with the Express Lane. You can pre-book online or pay at the entrance. Once your booking has been confirmed, simply show your barcode confirmation at the entry to the Express Lane to fast track your way through security.
  • Pre-pack your hand luggage liquids - For an even more seamless Airport Security experience, organise your liquids into a plastic bag before you get to the airport. This means you don’t have to spend time fishing through your handbag to find your liquids when you’re there.
  • Remove your crown jewels - We all know that intrusive feeling of being patted down at airport security; it makes the security process longer and invades your personal space. To avoid it, make sure you remove your jewellery in advance, as well as putting your hand luggage, keys, belts, mobile phone, laptop, etc. through the scanner.
  • Wear matching socks - OK, so this one won’t get you anywhere quicker but if you have to take your shoes off at security, you’ll want your favourite pair of matching socks on!
  • Pre-order World Duty Free itemsIf you want to enjoy the offers at duty free, you can shop online before you travel and reserve duty free items to collect in store before departure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access the Airport by bus or coach?

Information on how to access the Airport by bus or coach can be found here.

How do I travel between the Airport and Birmingham International station?

Birmingham Airport is directly connected to Birmingham International station by a free 'Air-Rail Link' system. The entrance can be found on the first floor of the terminal, between Frankie & Benny’s and Burger King, before you enter security.

Can I cancel or amend my Security Express Lane booking?

You cannot cancel or amend your Express Lane booking, but all vouchers are valid for single use entry at any time up to 6 months from the date of purchase.

Can I take food such as sandwiches, crisps, chocolates and biscuits through security in my hand baggage?

Foods or powders should be packed into hold baggage where possible. Although these items are permitted in hand luggage, they can obstruct images on the x-ray machine, or may be mistaken for suspicious items, so putting them in the hold will help reduce the need for additional checks.  

Which check-in desk do I go to for my flight?

Sign posts outside the terminal building direct you to check in via doors A, B or C depending on your airline. Check-in desk numbers are displayed on the information screens. There are also several automated check-in kiosks available.

Can I print off my boarding pass at the airline desk/check- in?

Some airlines allow you to print off your boarding pass at the airline desk, but not all. You may check in/reprint/print your boarding cards at the Common User Self Service machines in the check-in areas of the airport if you are travelling with:

Air France / FlyBe / KLM UK / Aer Lingus / Brussels Airlines / Lufthansa / Turkish Airlines / Aegean.

Please contact your airline directly before travelling to confirm, as some airlines charge for printing a boarding pass or checking in at the airport.

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