Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Air Travel
Reload this Page >

Help! What happens if I miss a connecting flight?!

Help! What happens if I miss a connecting flight?!

Jun 27th, 2007, 12:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 124
Help! What happens if I miss a connecting flight?!

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and hope you can help me. I will be flying into London Heathrow from Manchester, UK, with BA at 8:25am. Having watched the arrivals at LHR online, I realise that this flight is invariably late arriving.

I'll be transferring from T1 domestic to T3 international and by all accounts this will take forever. As a result, I'll only be taking hand luggage.

What do I do if I miss my 11:00am connecting flight to SFO with Virgin Atlantic?
How can I get on the next flight out?
Will I be able to seek compensation from Virgin/BA?
Sorry to sound so frazzled, but feeling quite stressed about what should be the highlight of my holiday!

SandyBlandy is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5

If you have booked a full trip from Manchester to your final destination, it is the company's responsilbility to get you in the next available flight, which may even be from another company. It has happened to me before, with Lufthansa and Air France, and I always got in the next flight. In one of the cases, I ended up flying BA as they had places on the following flight which was only 40 minutes after we got there. In the other case, since we had a little longer to wait, they invited us to the lounge to rest and get something to eat (I do think that it is not usual, but both my husband and I are Lufthansa "very" frequent fliers). Unfortunately I do not know what happens if you have bought the flight in "two legs". I have done that many times before, but I never had any problems (yet). I have had to run in the airports, but I do not remember ever missing a flight...
Soninha is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,136
First, sit down and take a deep breath.

Most of the moans about T3 are coming from people arriving there and going through immigration. None of that applies to you.

You'll get off the plane with your bag, walk to the end of the pier, go into the underpass and take about 8 minutes, unless you're mobility impaired, to get to the Virgin checkin at T3.

Does Virgin do online checkin? If so, you'll have checked in already, and presumably you've already filed your Advance Passenger Information with them. With hand luggage you might (but see the Virgin website) still need to go to a Virgin desk, but instructions about that'll be on the boarding pass.

Even if the incoming flight's an hour late, you'll still be at T3 at 0945.

Now this is where it gets tricky. At 0825 a few weeks ago, I got from the BA checkin desk at T3 to the Servisair lounge after security in 11 minutes. As usual, I was travelling cattle class.

Sometimes, it's claimed (oddly, this never happens when Mrs F or I use Heathrow, but then we only do that every couple of weeks, so what do we know compared to the sophisticated people who use the place - oh, at least once a decade) you have to queue for hours to get through security.

My universal experience of BAA security queues has been that when you are in danger of missing a flight, you can queue jump.

If, however, there are enormous queues, or you really are late, the consequences are a matter between you and the airline. If you're through checked on one ticket, Virgin might rebook you. If they're separate tickets, and the Virgin one is a "no changes" discount, they'll be within their rights to just dump you: you MIGHT, if the incoming flight's very late, qualify for some compensation from BA under EU rules, but that compensation is trivial compared to what it'd cost you if Virgin forced you to buy a new ticket.

There are a million possibilities, and you need to ask Virgin.

But, much more importantly, you need to calm down. It's irrelevant what might or might not have happened to other people at the Flight Connection Cemtre. What really matters is that you check in online and, if you're unfamiliar with the airport, know the route from T1 domestic to the Virgin T3 desk - and whether you need to check in anyway.

Incidentally, the day I got through security at a normal speed: it took 33 minutes from getting off a connecting train at Paddington to get out to Heathrow, check in at the BA bag drop, have a brief chat to the BA person about how good their service was, get through security and pour myself out a cup of tea.

The likelihood is, it'll be a lot quicker from T1 domestic.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 05:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 124
Thanks for the advice - guess a mixture of nerves and excitement are causing my imagination to run away!

I suppose I should keep reminding myself that this holiday is an adventure!

SandyBlandy is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 06:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
You'll need to check the rules on carry on luggage. Heathrow has different restrictions than every other airport (only 1 bag, restricted size). I don't know if this applies if you are just flying through the airport, but you should check.
hills27 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 776
Sandy is already traveling thru a UK airport. So MAN and LHR have the same restrictions. All UK airports restrict passengers to ONE and ONLY piece of hand luggage.

If you are already checked in to Virgin, you should have enough time even if the first flight is a bit late.
nibblette is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,136
Hreathrow does NOT have different carry-on rules from other airports.

Where on earth did the previous poster pick up this fatuous myth?

Heathrow's rules about carry-on are identical to every other airport in Britain - including Manchester, where Sandy starts the journey.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 09:49 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Actually that's not strictly true - Stansted has different hand luggage rules to all other UK airports
alanRow is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
No difference when traveling through STN than LGW late last year. Same one-piece rule.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 11:34 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Stansted - 1 bag 55x40x20cm
Other UK airports - 1 bag 56x45x25cm

May not look a lot but that difference reduces the size of bag allowed by one third.
alanRow is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
Sorry, seemed to have missed that she was traveling from within the UK.
hills27 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 12:59 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
The one bag rules apply even if you are only transitting the UK
alanRow is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:42 PM.