Detroit to London to Croatia

Aug 7th, 2017, 10:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 3
Detroit to London to Croatia

Hi there and thank you for considering to help me with my confusion!

My husband and I are going to a wedding in London at the end of this month. We originally were going to spend two weeks in London but our best friends convinced us to take a Croatian vacation with them during those two weeks.

Here is our current plan:
8/25 - 8/27 stay in London
8/27 - 8/31 stay in Croatia
8/31 - 9/4 stay in London

Husband and I would like to move our flight to Dubrovnik up a day or two to explore Croatia more.

Here is the new, proposed plan:
8/25 - 6:25 am - Land in Heathrow (Delta Airlines)
Take a shuttle/uber/car to Gatwick
9:05 am - Flight from Gatwick to Dubrovnik (British Airways)

Questions:
1.) I am confused about Customs vs. Passport control... From your experience how long does this process usually take?
2.) Instead of getting our checked bags at Heathrow, can we tell Delta that our final destination is Croatia and they will send them there, on a different flight?
3.) Is uber the best/fastest way to get from airport to airport?

Thank you SO much for reading and for any insight you can provide.

-Lindsay
lindsaythomas is offline  
Aug 7th, 2017, 01:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Others will add more but you have one major problem: two and a half hours is absolutely insufficient to get off even an on-time plane and make it to Gatwick. Many sources claim four hours are necessary, and that's often cutting it close.

The drive, even in rush hour, should be allowed an hour. And lately reports say it's up to an hour to get through immigration, claim bags, customs and recheck in Heathrow. No way you can arrive Gatwick an hour early for check in..

Having said that, although there is a scheduled bus between the two London airports, you are correct that a taxi will be optimum.

Your bags will follow you on your flights, Delta will not put them on another flights. Period.

Of course, you could check with Delta and they could possibly put you and your bags in a GTW flight if you sweet talk them, although be prepared for a charge. They can only say no.

Or take a later, more reasonable flight to Croatia. Even if that's more expensive, it will still be cheaper.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Aug 7th, 2017, 03:53 PM
  #3  
 
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Posts: 2,574
You will be responsible for your bags from Heathrow to Gatwick. That second check-in procedure helps explain why the transfer is often considered to need five hours. Immigration and security can take a long time at any airport these days; customs, concerned only with what you are carrying, is usually a walk-through unless you are unlucky to be stopped for a spot check.
Have you explored the possibility of using a multi-destination search function so that your on-going flight to Croatia departs from Heathrow too? It's often more efficient to let the search function collect the possible connections than trying to do it yourself. Delta, KLM and Air France operate as practically one airline out of Detroit and so you could take KLM through Amsterdam to Zagreb or Air France through Paris to Zagreb. The key is to put all the flights on the same itinerary. Many airlines and travel agencies provide this multi-city service on their websites. Either going or coming, take some time to enjoy London, but not both ways.
Southam is offline  
Aug 7th, 2017, 04:13 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,794
Nothing about your plan will work.

>>8/25 - 6:25 am - Land in Heathrow (Delta Airlines)
Take a shuttle/uber/car to Gatwick
9:05 am - Flight from Gatwick to Dubrovnik (British Airways)<< . . . Is next to impossible (actually more like totally impossible - not 'next to' impossible).

After immigration, and collecting your bags it will be 7:30 - 8AM or possibly even later. Simply not possible to catch a 9:05 flight at LGW. In fact that would be a short connection all at LHR on separate tickets.

>>2.) . . . can we tell Delta that our final destination is Croatia and they will send them there, on a different flight?<<

Uh -- no.

>>3.) Is uber the best/fastest way to get from airport to airport?<<

A pre-booked car service like just airports would be OK . . . However that is a moot point since you do not have nearly enough time.
janisj is offline  
Aug 7th, 2017, 04:43 PM
  #5  
P_M
 
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Even if you were staying at LHR and re-checking bags there I would still say you don't have enough time. But to transfer airports as well?? Forget about it. When you have a better plan please post back and we will help if we can.
P_M is online now  
Aug 7th, 2017, 04:45 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 3
Haha. Well, that answers that! Thank you all for confirming what we felt in our gut. Excitement got the best of us and I'm glad I asked for input! Cheers!
lindsaythomas is offline  
Aug 7th, 2017, 04:49 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,794
Oh and IF we haven't convinced you yet . . . Aug 25 is the Friday of a Bank Holiday weekend. The M25 (the motorway between LHR and LGW) can be a parking lot any weekday morning -- but on that particular day that can almost be guaranteed. The drive to LGW could take 2 hours, 3 hours, or even longer.
janisj is offline  
Aug 7th, 2017, 04:50 PM
  #8  
 
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Oh we - were posting at the same time
janisj is offline  
Aug 8th, 2017, 05:54 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Apologies for saying re-check at Heathrow. My fingers apparently were on autotype.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Aug 8th, 2017, 10:15 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
So wait, are you sticking with the original plan? Because that would work. The going to Croatia on the day you land in London is a non-starter. Even if I ever considered voluntarily doing Heathrow to Gatwick, I wouldn't without at least 5-6 hours.
BigRuss is offline  
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