Arriving from US at Heathrow

Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 11:44 AM
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Arriving from US at Heathrow

How much time should I budget when planning a connecting flight to Edinburgh when I arrive from the US to London Heathrow? How much time does it take to clear customs, find your way around the airport, etc.

(I am flying United Airlines and planning on a connecting flight on either British Airways or BMI)
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Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 12:09 PM
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sandi
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One time over a week-end (arriving Sat am) it took almost an hour to transfer between Customs and our connecting flight.

However, another time mid-week also arriving in the am I was off the arriving plane, down for the bus to Customs, and thru to my next plane in 17 minutes.

Check with the airline for the amount of time you need. There is a minimum time connection chart that details what you need between Int'l to Domestic, Domestic to Domestic, etc. With few exceptions at certain small airports, they usualy suggest 1-1/2 hrs. at major International airports, but United should be able to give you a better answer, considering added security these days.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 01:09 PM
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ira
 
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Hi lemon,

1 1/2 hrs is a good idea, even though the airlines might tell you one hr is enough.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 01:14 PM
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Assume you are booking the two segments separately. If so, I suggest you enquire when booking, or definitely at check-in, if the two airlines you are using have reciprocal "luggage agreements." If they do, you should be able to check your luggage all the way through even if you are on separate tickets. Definitely ask about this at the initial check-in..might save you some time on arrival in London.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 02:09 PM
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To add to the last poster, it's not only reciprocal "luggage agreements" --- which by itself is VERY convenient and time saving, but I would rather have the two flights booked in one set of tickets. Then, the travel agent should know the minimum time needed, but ALSO, if your first flight arrives late (last month, on BA, we were circling Heathrow for ONE HOUR 'cause they didn't have a gate for us, then finally we landed in the middle of the filed, taken by busses to the terminal -- terminal 4 -- and we were lucky only because our next BA flight was leaving from the SAME terminal...).

Yes, also check from which terminal your Edinburgh flight leaves. Probably NOT from terminal 4 to which US flights arrive.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 06:30 PM
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My experience is not vast, but that was going to be my question... Assuming you arrive Terminal 4, but which terminal does you connecting flight leave from?? (mine's been Terminal 1 ongoing for Amsterdam, or Geneva.

So I would at least partly make my time allotment on 1-whether you have to claim luggage therefore go thru customs (or can it check thru avoiding customs at London), plus 2-the change of terminals by shuttle bus.
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 03:59 AM
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Thanks all for your advice. Our flight arrives at 8:15 am on a Sunday morning and there is a BA or BMI flight to Edinburgh around 10:40 am, so I'm thinking this will be enough time (I was being overambitious and trying to see if I could get a flight at 9 am- forget it!).

The luggage reciprocity thing is a good thing to find out. I know that BA has ties with American, but I'm not sure about United. I'm going to give them a call.

Thanks again!
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 04:40 AM
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This has been covered in several threads. Search LHR Connections.
Basically you arrive in Terminal 4 (US Arrivials) and will have to connect to either terminal 1,2,0r 3. This will necessitate: Following the directions to Flight connections Terminal ?. You will take a bus to the flight connections center, go thru security, then off to whatever terminal you need to go to (walking).
Assuming you can check luggage to final destination, this is not difficult and, depending on the queue at security will take about 30-45min. If you have to retrieve your luggage, that requires an order of magnitude more difficult. You go thru immigration, get luggage, go thru customs, then recheck luggage with the onward carrier.
The bottom line is you have plenty of time, but it won't be liesurely.
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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 09:48 AM
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We did the same thing you were planning a month ago, arrived Heathrow from L.A. on United, got a flight 2 hours later on BMI to Edinburgh. We WERE able to check our bags through to Edinburgh, the security lines and other stuff at Heathrow still ate up most of the 2 hours. HR is not terribly organized and spread all over the place.
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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Try to have your luggage booked through to your final destination, Edinboro. It takes about 30 minutes to connect between terminals following the flight connections signs. I've done this several times between 3 and 4 at Heathrow. A bus will take you between the terminals. When you get off the bus you will go through a brief security check and then its on to duty free shopping, before checking in for your next flight. I don't find Heathrow disorganized at all. It's alot better than JFK for example.
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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 10:13 AM
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We booked a British Airways flight to Edinburgh. Since United and British Airways aren't part of the same association, do you still recommend checking in the luggage in the US? My biggest fear is that the luggage will be lost for the two days we spend in Scotland.
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Old Aug 8th, 2003, 05:40 AM
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Not being part of the same alliance has nothing to do with baggage transfers. You should be able to have your luggage checked in all the way to Edinburgh. If it does get lost it will have nothing to do with alliances, but a lot to do with having bad luck. I would not worry too much.
Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 8th, 2003, 01:44 PM
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Just a added note - United Airlines arrives at Terminal 3 of Heathrow and most domestic flights (BA & BMI) leave out of Terminal 1 -- I do know what I am talking about since I just returned 2 weeks ago from our 1st trip to England & Scotland -- We flew United from SFO to Heathrow and BMI from Edinburgh to Heathrow.
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