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How much time needed at Heathrow to change planes?

How much time needed at Heathrow to change planes?

Mar 29th, 2018, 11:09 AM
  #1  
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How much time needed at Heathrow to change planes?

I'm planning a trip flying from NYC to Chennai and returning from Mumbai to NYC. We'll be flying on British Airways, with stopovers in Heathrow both ways. I have a choice on the return flight of a 1 1/2 hour stopover at Heathrow or a 4 hour stopover. Since we will be traveling internationally on both flights, I believe we will be in the same terminal but not sure. Will I have enough time with the 1 1/2 hours to change planes? Since it will be on one ticket, it shouldn't be an issue if we do miss the flight, but just wondering what's better to do here. I'd prefer the shorter stopover if it makes sense. Since we are flying internationally in AND out, do we go through passport control?

Many thanks!

Last edited by progol; Mar 29th, 2018 at 11:11 AM.
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Mar 29th, 2018, 11:26 AM
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Check with the airlines, progol. Perhaps they can help expedite things for you.

When I landed in London in 2014 (no plane to catch), I was over 1.5 hours in passport control/immigration. Others can give you more info.
TDudette is online now  
Mar 29th, 2018, 11:29 AM
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Thanks, TDudette. That seems like a good reason to take the extra time!!
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Mar 29th, 2018, 11:55 AM
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I'm no expert but (have been thru Heathrow a few times) I would not be comfortable with that short a connection. It's a world-class airport with great people watching, restaurants, shopping, etc. I'd much rather have a couple hours to have drinks or a meal, than having a heart-attack trying to rush through an airport that huge in a potentially too tight time frame.
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Mar 29th, 2018, 12:42 PM
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Go to the Heathrow Airport website (www.heathrow.com) and click on the "Connections" link. You can enter the info for the flights you are considering and you'll get step by step directions, including estimated minimum time requirements, for making that particular connection. You'll get the best answers to your questions there.
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Mar 29th, 2018, 12:59 PM
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suze,
Thanks for your thoughts. Having had tight connections in huge airports in the past, I’m leaning toward the longer stopover. The hassle of the wait seems to be less onerous than the headache of a tight connection!
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Mar 29th, 2018, 01:04 PM
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RoamsAround,
Thank you for the suggestion. It’s considered a “minimum”mid changing terminals, so technically doable - but doable sometimes ends up being a very tight connection, if there are delays at any point. I think I’m coming to,the conclusion that the longer stopover might make more sense.
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Mar 29th, 2018, 01:11 PM
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On BA you will almost certainly be using T-5 for all your flights. I'd book the shorter connection tion and IF you mis your connection, BA wIll put you on the next flight. I would normally NEVER recommend that short a connection at LHR, but in this case it would be OK.

then IF you do miss the connection, T-5 is good for shopping and food.

IF are flying business/first I might pick the longer connection though. Then you can use be BA lounge which is quite good.
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Mar 29th, 2018, 01:20 PM
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Thanks janis,
Hmm, your certainly making my decision-making a little harder! Were flying Premium Economy, and Im pretty sure the lounge isnt available on BA.

If we arrive on time, wed be fine, but if we get placed on another flight, what happens to our decent seating? Now Im not so sure I want to chance it. The shopping is tempting me for the longer stop, too, 😏
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Mar 29th, 2018, 02:32 PM
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There is even a Gordon Ramsay restaurant . T-5 is essentially and upscale shopping mall. https://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/terminal-5

>> . . . Premium Economy, and I’m pretty sure the lounge isn’t available on BA. <<

You are correct.

>> what happens to our decent seating?<< You'll lose those seats.
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Mar 29th, 2018, 03:04 PM
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Thanks, Janis. Now I'm as undecided as ever. Am I a risk-taker these days or am I needing security? To be continued.....
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Mar 30th, 2018, 05:24 AM
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Unless your LHR-JFK flight is a codeshare operated by American Airlines (it would have a BA flight number with 4 numbers, such as BA 1516) your Mumbai flight will arrive at Terminal 5, and your JFK flight will depart from T5 too.

In that case, unless you're traveling on an Indian passport, I'd definitely go with the shorter connection time. You won't go through passport control, you'll just go through a typical security screening. While the queues can sometimes be aggravating at the T5 security points, 90 minutes should be fine. You'll need to be observant regarding which gate your JFK flight will leave from; sometimes the trek to one of the satellite gates can take some time.

If you're traveling on Indian passports you'll need UK "airside transit visas" in which case the longer connection time would definitely be a good idea.
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Mar 30th, 2018, 07:54 AM
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Thanks, Gardyloo, I appreciate the clarification. We are US citizens and the flights are booked through on BA.

I found a stopover with 2 hours and 50 mins, which gave me a little bit more wiggle room and eased my comfort level. While I agree that the shorter stopover would most likely be fine, we’ve had enough close calls on those types of tickets that a little padding on the time is reassuring. And the tickets are purchased!
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Mar 30th, 2018, 10:32 AM
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>>and the flights are booked through on BA<<

'Booked through' BA does not necessarily mean on a British Airways plane. If it is a code share on AA for example you would need to get to Terminal 3. This is a slog. So verify if the flight is operated by BA, not just booked by them. If it is all BA metal -- then any of those connections would be OK.
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