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American Airlines to Germany through Gatewick, London

American Airlines to Germany through Gatewick, London

Dec 27th, 2001, 10:16 AM
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American Airlines to Germany through Gatewick, London

We are considering American Airlines for our trip to Munich, Germany this May. Our flight would leave from Raleigh-Durham (RDU) and arrive at Gatewick, London. We would then board British Airways to Munich.

It is my understanding that American will not check our luggage through to Munich. That means at Gatewick, we would have to claim our luggage, pass customs and then check in with British Airways.

Is this how it works? How big a hassle is it? How much time should we allow?

Appreciate any help on this.


Dec 27th, 2001, 10:25 AM
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We did a similar trip in 1998 and did not encounter this. We flew from Kansas City to Heathrow on American then on British Air to Munich. Our luggage was checked all the way through and all we had to do was make the transfer at Heathrow. We did not have to touch our checked luggage again until Munich. For return home we flew from Frankfurt so it was direct to Dallas then to KC. Now, we did not leave the international transfer lounge of Heathrow so we did not have to clear any customs etc. If you now have to retrieve your luggage and recheck that is a new procedure and not one we had to do. You might want to get some clarity from AA on this as it seems real odd to me.
Dec 27th, 2001, 11:09 AM
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I think you got wrong information. Call the airline again. BA and AA are co-operating accross the Atlantic, so I am 99.99% sure you can check your luggage through to Munich.
Dec 27th, 2001, 02:44 PM
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The information Dick got from American Airlines is correct. Upon checking their website, I found the following:

Tips, Guidelines,
The Latest News and Requirements
Updated December 27, 2001
Traveler Updates

Baggage Checked to the United Kingdom

Inter-airport baggage connection service for flights operating at London Heathrow (LHR) and London Gatwick (LGW) airports has been discontinued. Passengers connecting between American Airlines and British Airways or any other carrier will not be able to check baggage to their final destination via a connection service between these airports.

Passengers are required to claim their checked baggage upon arrival in London, clear Customs with checked and hand baggage, and proceed directly to the connecting airport.

Ground transportation is available to all passengers. Complimentary vouchers on Speedlink will be provided to our First and Business Class passengers upon arrival in London.
Dec 27th, 2001, 03:09 PM
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Am I missing something here? Betty, I believe what you are reading regarding
"inter-airport" transfers refers to arriving at Gatwick and then transfering to Heathrow and flying out or similar. I believe Dick is planning on flying into Gatwick and connecting there to fly on to Munich -- no transfer of airport. In that case he should be able to check luggage through. American just told us we can check our luggage through to Amsterdam. We are flying Miami to London on AA, arriving Heathrow and departing from there on BA to Amsterdam.
Dec 27th, 2001, 03:34 PM
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Picking up and rechecking your luggage thru another airport can be a hassle! I would rethink my route. If you run late you could miss a connection. I am alos not sure if American would be your best connection.

I would recommend a flight on United which leaves RDU at 2.55pm connecting thru Wash D.C> arriving at MUC at 7.50am. Since you are using one airline and connecting thru DC, your luggage is checked thru to MUC. P.S> The RDU-IAD flight is on United Express Regional Jet.

Delta nd USAirwqays both offer similar schedules. Delta connects thru JFK in New York, USAirways connects in Philly.

If you want to see some more info about MUC, see my websight. It has some info on Hotels, sights and restaurants.



Dec 27th, 2001, 05:00 PM
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I just checked with American Airlines and also checked the RDU to Munich schedule. Dick is not talking about switching airports and definitely can check luggage straight through from Raleigh-Durham to Munich, so that eliminates that problem. The notice that Betty listed above does indeed only apply to people who fly into one London airport, transfer, and then fly out of another -- something that normally should be avoided if at all possible, but does not apply to Dick's situation. American told me that for a very limited time right after 9/11, all luggage from incoming flights at both London airports had to be claimed and then rebooked for connecting flights, but that is no longer true.

Apparently the RDU to Gatwick flight leaves at 6:30 PM and the BA flight arrives in Munich at 12:45 PM, so yes, that United flight would save a total of about an hour and 20 minutes, but I personally would rather fly the roomier AA airline than United any day, and then take the BA flight from Gatwick to Munich. In either case you have one transfer to make.
Dec 27th, 2001, 06:24 PM
dan woodlief
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I used American from RDU connecting at Gatwick on British Airways to Venice 2 1/2 months ago. At that time, someone had told me about the restriction on luggage check-throughs, so I asked American about it. I think for a short while this was the case, according to what an American agent told me on the phone, but it was not in effect when we left. Our luggage went through with no problems.
Dec 27th, 2001, 06:39 PM
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Sorry. Patrick is right. This would only apply if you were flying into one airport and leaving from the other. Too much eggnogg I fear!
Dec 28th, 2001, 05:12 AM
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Thanks, everyone.

The original information I had was shortly after 9/ll. Apparently AA has gone back to providing thru luggage when changing airlines within the same airport. Great!

By the way, I'm considering AA because that's where most of my ff miles are. Am also considering US Airways.

Thanks again.


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