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THERE ARE drive-in movies and drive-through restaurants. Now Virgin Atlantic Airways has come up with drive-up airport check-in.

Virgin Atlantic, which already offered complimentary chauffeur service to its business customers, now allows passengers to check in at London's Heathrow without leaving the luxury of their limo.

Boarding passes are issued electronically by the limo driver. Once at the airport, the car is met by a porter, who asks the passenger security questions and collects the luggage.

After being cleared, the passenger rides the limo up to the second floor, disembarks and crosses on a covered bridge into the terminal near the security and immigration desks.

"This was a natural evolution of service," said Richard D'Ambrosio, a spokesman for Virgin Atlantic, who noted that the airline is talking with New York officials about starting a similar service at airports in New York City.

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