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1 hour long enough for Heathrow layover?

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Apr 13th, 2010, 07:49 AM
  #1
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1 hour long enough for Heathrow layover?

I am traveling with British Airways from Paris to Miami. I have a one-hour layover in Heathrow, so I will have to get my bags, go through security, etc.

Has anyone ever done this before? Am I going to have enough time? Is it worth it to change my flight? I don't have to change terminals.

Thank you!
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Apr 13th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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No, I doubt that 1-hour is enough time to tranfer flights at Heathrow. I'm surprised that is a legal connection on BA.

But are you sure you have to get your bags? Won't they be checked thru to Miami?
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Apr 13th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Yes, I'm upset that they sold me this ticket. I am not an experienced international flyer - so I was unaware.

I have been told that when I make an international layover, I will have to get my bags and go through customs with my bags.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 08:39 AM
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No, florigander, you do NOT need to get your bags and go through security. If you are flying entirely on BA and transferring to another flight in Terminal 5, I think there's quite a good chance you'll make that flight. You're bags will definitely be checked all the way through to Miami (one NEVER has to pick up bags in Europe when flying on the same airline until the final destination).

Now, I'm no expert on Terminal 5, but there are people on this forum who are, and they can give you specific advice.

Here's what I believe to be the case. Because you are traveling within the Schengen area, you will not go through immigration control in London (Paris to London is, in effect, a "domestic" flight), and if you are entirely within Terminal 5, you just have extra security at the gate and may not have to go through the whole security rigamarole again. You just walk off one plane, get to your next gate, and get on the flight, just as if you were transferring planes anywhere in the U.S.

Please, verify this for me. But I think this is not a lose-lose situation necessarily.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Either you misunderstood what you were told, or you were given bad information. When flying from Paris to Miami and changing planes in London, you do not need to collect your luggage.

If both flights are on British Airways, you are ok. You will not have to change terminals.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 09:10 AM
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Oh, ok. Phew. So, it's essentially like a domestic flight for Paris to London? That seems much more reasonable. I guess I was given bad info on the baggage from a friend. I did look up the terminals - I arrive in 5 and then depart from 5, so I think that everything that you guys are saying is true. Thanks, that makes me feel much better.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 10:01 AM
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When you arrive in London, follow the signs to the Flight Connections Centre for flights leaving from Terminal 5. You'll go through security at the Flight Connection Centre. Once through security, head directly to your departure gate. To minimize the chance of missing the flight, try to get a seat on the Paris-London flight that's as far forward as possible.

The Paris-London flight is considered to be an international flight, because the UK is not one of the Schengen countries. (It's part of the European Union, but not a Schengen country.) As a result, you will go through immigration and get a passport stamp in Paris, but not in London.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Did the ticket take into consideration the time difference between Paris & London? Paris is 1 hour ahead of London time.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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Normally I would not accept anything less than 2 hours for any London airport (or any international connection flight), but it seems that from the above, you are safe.

I am usually concerned with flight delays - just one hour can really crimp style, and it's happened to me often enough.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Same airline, same terminal, with bags checked thru, that's very different and not quite so bad. Unless your 1st flight is delayed arriving or deplaning you should be OK.

Your friend didn't know what they're talking about (fortunately in this case!) as far as claiming bags.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 01:58 PM
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No, florigander, you do NOT need to get your bags and go through security.

Half right. You will not go through UK immigration or customs, but you will go through ordinary pre-flight security - passport/ID check, hand baggage x-ray, metal detector etc.

Because you are traveling within the Schengen area, you will not go through immigration control in London (Paris to London is, in effect, a "domestic" flight)...

The UK is not in the Schengen area. The OP will be an international transit passenger (aka "sterile" transit.)

FYI 60 min. is the minimum connection time (MCT) for T5 <> T5 published by BAA.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 02:08 PM
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Thanks for that FYI & clarification Gradyloo. I wondered about the 'legality' of the 60 mins.
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Apr 13th, 2010, 11:51 PM
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The Heathrow Airport website has copious information on connecting flights - this is the T5 to T5 international to international connection information for example - http://preview.tinyurl.com/4tv9d3
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Apr 14th, 2010, 01:31 AM
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For an all-T5 connection, this will be a bit harried, but I think you can make it. On my last couple of connections through LHR, I have clocked in at roughly 15 to 20 minutes from airplane to the other side of security. Barring major delays on the inbound, you should be okay. You will want to pick up the pace, but I don't think you will need to break out the running shoes.

I would also note that there should be plenty of later flights to Paris to help accomodate you if you miss the connection.
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Apr 14th, 2010, 06:10 AM
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Thanks, everyone for clarifying the security situation at Terminal 5. Travelgourmet, the OP has a tight connection going from Paris TO Miami, not from Miami to Paris. If it were the other way around, you'd have a good point. Not a big deal with flights probably every hour. But there aren't that many flights from Heathrow to Miami, which is the problem.

What I wonder about is BA's position on standing by for an earlier flight from Paris to Heathrow. If the OP could go just an hour earlier, it would take all of the worry and concern away. Though since this is considered a legal connection, I don't know if BA would do that.
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Apr 15th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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In my opinion, if all goes well, you can do it, but if you have a 'glitch' then maybe not. Heathrow is a huge place, several termnals, long walks or escalator paths between, and lots of people. Can you reschedule. BA is notorious for messing up the baggage (6 of us went to Scotland thru Heathrow last year and they lost 4 of the six bags--ours only got through cause we spied them and picked them up personally out of a lost pile, and then rechecked them)...try for more time...
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Apr 17th, 2010, 06:36 AM
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I was recently booked with a 75 minute connection time in Heathrow, which involved a change in terminals -- in on American, out on TAP. We had pretty much resigned ourselves to missing the connection, especially after the plane landed 10 minutes late and then the pilot got on and told everyone we had to sit at the gate until the local police came on and took care of "an incident." (Turns out a young American couple had bought a lot of duty free and drank it on the flight, and the guy got abusive -- handcuffed by a marshall and all that -- but that's another story). That added about 15-20 minutes to our delay.

Anyway, the miracle ending of this story is that we made our connection -- timing for the bus was right, we got pushed to the front of the security line, and the TAP ticket counter called the gate to tell them to wait. Our bags made it too, presumably because they started unloading baggage while we were waiting for the police to let us off the plane.

So, keep your fingers crossed -- miracles do happen.
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Apr 17th, 2010, 01:07 PM
  #18
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Different airport but bear with me.

About a month ago my flight from Houston to Paris was delayed so I had 20 minutes to change terminals and make a connection for my Venice flight. Aside from running like a mad woman, I went to the front of every line, with permission of the airport personnel of course. If you find yourself in that situation tell the airport workers how little time you have and they will probably allow you to do that. If you still miss your connection the airline will rebook you on a later flight at no charge. Been there, done that too.
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 04:47 PM
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I am traveling to Munich via Heathrow in June, I have 1 hour and 35 minutes to make my connection. Virgin Atlantic and Air Berlin, will I be going through customs in London and will I have enough time to do so? Does anyone know if my bags be checked through or will I have to get them?
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Apr 9th, 2012, 01:04 PM
  #20
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If you bought this as one ticket then Virgin and Air Berlin surely have an agreement for bag checking so your luggage will go all the way through. Even if you didn't buy it as one ticket it's very likely they have such an agreement so you can check it through to Munich.
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