2 hours in between flights enough time?

Apr 2nd, 2004, 04:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 16
2 hours in between flights enough time?

Please help as I'm trying to book our flights now. We will be flying into LHR and then leaving to fly to Milan. They are two separate flights so I'm wondering if 2 hours in between is enough time? I'm just nervous I guess, b/c what if our flight into LHR is late, then we'll miss our flight to Milan. Any advice would help a great deal.
Prill1717 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 04:41 PM
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With 2 separate flights (non-partners), 2 hours will NOT be enough time. Non-affiliated airlines will NOT check luggage through nor can the first airline give you boarding passes for the second flight.
Retrieving checked bags will take 1+ hrs, going through immigration will take 30+ minutes, then you will have to check back in with the other airline to get boarding passes (30-60+ minutes) and then security (20 minutes). You won't make it.
If you have a very restricted ticket, you may be out of luck (and money) if you miss you flight to Italy. Better make it 4 hours in between.
nibblette is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 04:09 AM
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ira is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 05:44 AM
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Nibblette is absolutely correct. Even if all goes on schedule, you will not make the next flight. Keep in mind that if your first flight is delayed or cancelled, the airline flying you to Milan has no obligation to rebook you without fees, in fact, you might have to buy a new ticket. Unless you are saving a huge amount of money, I recommend using partner airlines. This way you will not have to go through the lengthy process nibblette told you about, and if there's a delay they will put you on the next plane without fees.

Please read the thread in the Airlines section called "Miserable Customer Service Experience with BA." The person who wrote this seems to think BA had an obligation to rebook them at no charge when their non-partner flight was delayed, causing them to miss their BA flight.

(I tried to attach a link, I couldn't get it to work. Could someone please help me out and tell me how to do this?)
P_M is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 07:19 AM
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I don't know, I think I'd book 3 hrs if you can, but am not as pessimistic as these others IF the other flight is leaving from LHR also.

I just transferred last week with only 3 hrs and I had to change airports from LHR to Gatwick and I made it. That bus took up the most time, none of the other things took as much time as mentioned above by nibblette. Bags maybe 20 min, immigration maybe 15 min, checkin at BA at Gatwick maybe 15 min but I'll admit they let me jump the line because the bus was so late that my flight was the next to leave. Security again did take about 15 min.

So, I think you could probably make it IF your first flight isn't late, but if you can book one a little later, why not.
Christina is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 07:47 AM
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prill..I responded to your post on the Airlines board.however, you have received some incorrect information and I feel compelled to respond."non affiliated" airlines, I'm guessing the poster means 2 airlines who are not part of the same "alliance"......This status has nothing to do with the airlines ability to "transfer" your luggage.When you check in for your flight in Chicago, your bags will be checked all the way thru to Milan.This is because the 2 airlines transporting you there have an interline baggage aggreement.That agreement has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount you paid for your tickets.These agreements are by and large in place in and between the major airlines.NOT between the low cost carriers but you are not flying a low cost carrier.These agreements have been in place since the beginning of air travel and are in place to facility the transfer of your luggage.It is the airlines themselves who set the "miminum connecting time" at each and every airport.The maximum "minimu connecting time" for ANY combination of flight, carrier and destination, from one iunternational flight to another is 90 minutes.Therefore, theoretically, you have plenty of time.The airlines do not set minimum connecting times that they themselves cannot meet and abide by.As we all know, there are times a traveller will not make a connection for a plethora of reasons.You might have to hustle and do a little shuffling.And yes there are plenty of horror stories of NOT making a transfer smooth at LHR, myself included.But IMHO, I think you are fine.
BeachBoi is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 07:50 AM
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prill....got interrupted..what I meant by the 90 minute minimum connecting time being the maximum, is applicable to LHR only.It was not a blanket statement about all international flights, just specific to Heathrow and your situation.Apolgize for the inconvenience.
BeachBoi is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 05:05 PM
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I still don't think it's a great idea due to possible flight delays, but Beach Boi brings up some interesting points, so here's what I would do: 1. Ask if you can check your bags all the way through. This will be a huge time saver. 2. Ask the airline you are taking to Milan what will happen if your first flight is delayed. If it's not a huge penalty, then it might not be a big loss if it happens at all. Maybe I'm more a more risk-averse traveller because I have had the misfortune more than once of arriving late so I missed my connecting flights. When it happened to me, it set off a terrible domino effect and I lost a full day of my trip. But since I booked it all as one ticket, I did not have to pay any rebooking fees.

OK, Beach Boi, I must now eat some crow. Normally I book with only one alliance, but for my next trip I have my reasons (long story) for doing things differently. Here's my situation: I will be flying Continental Airlines from Austin to Houston, then I'm flying BA from Houston/LGW/Geneva. I thought that 2 airlines from different alliances would not check each other's bags through, so I had planned to collect my bags in Houston and wait in line to check in w/BA. I just called Continental and they said they will check the bags through to Geneva, and all I have to do is see a BA agent at the gate. I still advise Prill to ask this question, as I'm not sure if all airlines will do this for each other, but thanks for setting me straight. You have helped me to avoid this hassle, and I appreciate it.
P_M is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 08:46 PM
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We went thru Heathrow Hell last spring and there is one very important rule to remember::::::!!!
If you have to change airlines (companies) you probably have to change terminals.There are about 5 with a
new ones opening (if they are not opened now)
It can take up to 1 hour to transfer to another terminal,then customs again!Then there are the Milanese! Italy strikes for sport!
Heathrow= at least 2 hours for connections for any European destination. Plan accordingly. If you get to your destination sooner, say a prayer of gratitude!!!
Deloris is offline  
Apr 4th, 2004, 07:44 AM
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P_M...You are welcome.....I had a chanceto speak with my TA after I posted...He has a lot of clients who travel internationally on a regular basis.So fare , he has had no clients reporting difficulty with checking thru their luggage.However, he did point out that "officially" the interline agreements exist to be part and parcel of interline ticketing.So If you are indeed travelling on 2 seperate tickets,your chances of getting your luggage checked thru are lessened.The airlines are in fact not obligated to do so but some do as a courtesy and as we see.some do not.As progress is made in the arena of interline electronic ticketing, we should see this situation normalize.That may take a long time.
BeachBoi is offline  
Apr 4th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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For anyone using deloris' advice...don't.

Heathrow has 4 terminals. T5 will open in 2008. No others are planned, or even likely, in many posters' lifetime.

ALL international transfers take place airside, without going through Immigration, UNLESS your bags are checked to Heathrow as a final destination. If you are unfortunate enough to have to exit the secure area and re-enter for a transfer, the UK has no outgoing passport or customs control. No-one, therefore, ever has "customs again", though everyone arriving at Heathrow, from anywhere, must go through security again before taking another flight.

If you walk from T4 to the other terminals, it might take an hour, though you'd die of carbon monoxide poisoning first. Otherwise, it's impossible to take an hour to transfer terminals. It probably will, however, take an hour from gate to gate if you have to exit the secure area.

Transferring planes at Heathrow is tricky enough, without inventing complications that don't exist

The universal solution to relatively painless transferring at Heathrow is to have your whole journey on one ticket. Otherwise, the world's airlines, in their ceaseless quest to punish us for using them, will make you collect your bags at Heathrow en route from NYC to Jo'burg. And that's where the pain starts.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 03:48 PM
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It's possible to have two separate tickets and still have your luggage checked through to your final destination. The only problem I can see is if your inbound flight to LHR is delayed, will the airline that's flying you to Milan allow you to standby for a later flight without penalty? That's what you really need to find out.
Patty is offline  

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