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-   -   Belfast --Need George Best Belfast City Airport Advice (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/belfast-need-george-best-belfast-city-airport-advice-1667483/)

AlessandraZoe May 25th, 2019 04:59 AM

Belfast --Need George Best Belfast City Airport Advice
 
Hi all,
We have an 8:45am flight from Belfast City (BHD) with Aer Lingus to Heathrow in a couple of weeks. Obviously, a glitch or two could cause us to miss that flight, so I've been preparing myself for pitfalls. I've been reading conflicting information. Yes, I have gathered that things have generally been running more smoothly at Belfast City than at Belfast International, but there's nothing like getting the REAL information from people on this board.

Here are our circumstances:
  • We, US Citizens, are returning to England to fly out of Heathrow back to the US much later that day.
  • Our accommodations in Belfast will be in an apartment, not in a hotel, so our ability to have our boarding passes printed are limited. I'm hoping I'll be able to get something via my phone, but I'm a belt-and-suspenders type of gal.
  • In addition, even though we usually do carry-on only, for this trip, we will have to check our luggage.
Concerns:
1) Some US citizen mentioned almost getting through security only to find that some person should have stamped their passport--and no one was providing direction as to where that should be. Part of me is saying, "Well, we will have gone through immigration when we landed at Heathrow. And we only flew to Belfast. And we're returning to the UK. So is there any way we would need that stamp?"
2) The official BHD website says there are printing kiosks everywhere at the airport. Two persons on the internet were frustrated by not finding one of them.
3) Some posters report a really short security line at BHD but that they had a problem in that their airline check-in desk was not open early enough for them to drop off luggage.

So if anyone could chime in with their experiences and observations, I'd be really appreciative.
AZ
Oh, and one more question: I wonder if there is anyway to check through our luggage from BHD through Heathrow to Atlanta since we are returning via British Airways.

janisj May 25th, 2019 07:33 AM

It is a domestic flight -- same as if you were flying from Inverness to London. Not sure I understand all the angst. It is quite a small airport and not at all complicated.

Gyhtson May 26th, 2019 12:44 AM


And we only flew to Belfast. And we're returning to the UK. So is there any way we would need that stamp?"
You’re not “returning to the UK”, you’ve been in the UK all along. The clue is in the name of the country “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

This is a domestic flight. The only issue I can see is making sure you set an alarm clock to get to the airport.

Really, it is not at all complicated. Remember that no one writes a review of an airport when things go smoothly.

AlessandraZoe May 26th, 2019 03:59 AM

I need to read advice from people who have actually gone through security lines at George Best in the past few months in the morning.
RE-READ my post and you will understand that I know I have a) been in the UK in London-Cornwall, b) been in the UK in Belfast, c) returning to the UK when we fly in to Heathrow.
If you cannot be helpful, please do not reply. I can deal with silence.
AZ

janisj May 26th, 2019 06:07 AM

>> . . . c) returning to the UK when we fly in to Heathrow.<<

I guess I just don't understand -- You simply are not 'returning' to the UK. Belfast to LHR is EXACTLY the same as SFO to LAX or DFW to ORD.

As for current security lines at Belfast City, I haven't been through it in maybe 3 years -- however there are only a handful departures per hour so the lines cant be all that long. I think at the busiest time of day there are only maybe half a dozen flights per hour.

As for checking your bags through -- assuming they are separate tix (or you wouldn't have asked) it really depends on the agent at BHD. You'd think BA would 'interline itself' but not always.

Bette May 29th, 2019 08:35 AM

<<so our ability to have our boarding passes printed are limited>>

If I was concerned about printing boarding passes, I would probably stop by an internet cafe the afternoon before the flight....or a nearby library.

walkinaround May 29th, 2019 01:36 PM


Originally Posted by janisj (Post 16925193)
It is a domestic flight -- same as if you were flying from Inverness to London. Not sure I understand all the angst. It is quite a small airport and not at all complicated.

I did LHR to Belfast City about 3 weeks ago. Completely agree. Easy. Domestic flight. Northern Ireland IS the UK --- although most Britons treat it like another country when convenient to do so (so we can ignore the horrid abortion rights history and religious tribal warfare IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, etc) so you should be forgiven for your mistake.

You don't need to print a boarding pass ahead of time.

AlessandraZoe Jun 1st, 2019 05:03 AM

I hope it's not impolite that I would actually like to hear from those who recently traveled FROM Belfast City (BHD) to LHR, not LHR to George Best, especially in the early am. LHR is not the issue. And any further notes from a US respondent probably would be most helpful since some mysterious needed stamp came up as an issue.

And if you are inclined to answer (and I am grateful for concrete information) PLEASE get the drift that I know and have always known that my entire itinerary--London to Devon, Cornwall, Northern Ireland, back to London--is within the UK. In fact, that was my EXACT POINT in my original post.

I myself did not make a mistake; I could see how others could misinterpret my post and I later clarified. But when I clarified the situation, subsequent posters insist on perpetuating that I have no knowledge of the UK, and now it becomes personally frustrating and actually has become offensive to me. My grandpap and grandma were English; their immigrant siblings lived near them and us; my great-uncle Charlie, an in-law, was Ulster Irish all the way; my great-aunt Bridget, another in-law, was from Dublin. I'm pretty sure I grew up understanding where UK boundaries are; let's just say our Xmas dinners were prefaced by my grandfather's dry addition to Grace: "And Lord, let us not discuss politics until we digest our food."

Let me be clear again--in my original post I was questioning a traveler's reported problem and total frustration with needing some passport stamp and having to go back to the check-in area. I was pretty sure we would not need to have any kind of stamp (except for some notation on our boarding passes as we would do for any domestic flight) if we were not leaving the UK at any point until our final flight back to the US from LHR, but I wanted to make sure no other US traveler had run into such a problem*.

*In general, any potential problems I have read about BHD have much to do with BHD's being a small airport. We use two small airports in the US that are at total extremes of efficiency. One is a dream; we would drive an extra hour to use it. The other is a nightmare. But I have also read that BHD can run more smoothly than Belfast International, and hence, I booked through there.

sofarsogood Jun 1st, 2019 05:51 AM

Passports are stamped when crossing borders. We all agree that this is an internal flight within the UK, therefore no one needs to have their passport stamped. What would be the point?

I am at a loss to explain why a US traveller stated that some person should have stamped their passport. Whatever they needed (and it isn’t clear), I’m confident it doesn’t apply to you. Can you provide further context (a link perhaps) to the information you found on the internet? Sometimes a little information is worse than none at all.

The only thing I can think of is a requirement by Ryanair for non-EU citizens to have an extra document/visa check. This sometimes catches people out and causes havoc. This doesn’t apply in your case as: a) you're not flying with Ryanair; b) you're not crossing borders.

https://www.ryanair.com/gb/en/useful...-and-visas#0-0

If you're still concerned, you're best speaking to Aer Lingus on check-in.

I hope this helps.

janisj Jun 1st, 2019 07:14 AM

Apparently we can't help you -- and you seem very frustrated, but will try again . . . there will be NO passport stamp.

29FEB Jun 1st, 2019 07:58 AM

This thread seems to have frustrated all concerned, but one bright spot for me was learning quite a bit about the life of footballer George Best,
so thank you.

walkinaround Jun 2nd, 2019 12:13 AM


Originally Posted by AlessandraZoe (Post 16928731)
I hope it's not impolite that I would actually like to hear from those who recently traveled FROM Belfast City (BHD) to LHR, not LHR to George Best, especially in the early am. LHR is not the issue. And any further notes from a US respondent probably would be most helpful since some mysterious needed stamp came up as an issue.

And if you are inclined to answer (and I am grateful for concrete information) PLEASE get the drift that I know and have always known that my entire itinerary--London to Devon, Cornwall, Northern Ireland, back to London--is within the UK. In fact, that was my EXACT POINT in my original post.

I myself did not make a mistake; I could see how others could misinterpret my post and I later clarified. But when I clarified the situation, subsequent posters insist on perpetuating that I have no knowledge of the UK, and now it becomes personally frustrating and actually has become offensive to me. My grandpap and grandma were English; their immigrant siblings lived near them and us; my great-uncle Charlie, an in-law, was Ulster Irish all the way; my great-aunt Bridget, another in-law, was from Dublin. I'm pretty sure I grew up understanding where UK boundaries are; let's just say our Xmas dinners were prefaced by my grandfather's dry addition to Grace: "And Lord, let us not discuss politics until we digest our food."

Let me be clear again--in my original post I was questioning a traveler's reported problem and total frustration with needing some passport stamp and having to go back to the check-in area. I was pretty sure we would not need to have any kind of stamp (except for some notation on our boarding passes as we would do for any domestic flight) if we were not leaving the UK at any point until our final flight back to the US from LHR, but I wanted to make sure no other US traveler had run into such a problem*.

*In general, any potential problems I have read about BHD have much to do with BHD's being a small airport. We use two small airports in the US that are at total extremes of efficiency. One is a dream; we would drive an extra hour to use it. The other is a nightmare. But I have also read that BHD can run more smoothly than Belfast International, and hence, I booked through there.

I should have specified clearly that I also returned home so I did do a BHD to LHR flight. No immigration process was encountered as it was a domestic flight. No passports. No stamps. No immigration queues. No landing cards. No customs. Nothing. This is concrete, real, and recent information from less than two months ago. I have a UK passport but that's a non-issue since there was no immigration process.

You did restate 'returning to the UK' when flying into LHR from Belfast so if this was meant to be a clarification, it only made it worse. This is incorrect and it's pretty easy to see why everyone thinks you just don't get it, regardless of how you pray before dinner. If you want to avoid misunderstanding that you don't understand the UK borders then I kindly suggest that you avoid saying things like 'returning to the UK' when you're talking about traveling within the UK. Like telling the police that you discovered the burglary when you returned home but also saying that you never left home. That's confusing, illogical and makes no sense.


janisj Jun 2nd, 2019 01:06 AM

>>No passports. No stamps. No immigration queues. No landing cards. No customs. Nothing. This is concrete, real, and recent information from less than two months ago. I have a UK passport but that's a non-issue since there was no immigration process.<<

I doubt the OP will believe you . . .

>>You did restate 'returning to the UK' when flying into LHR from Belfast so if this was meant to be a clarification, it only made it worse.<<

Bingo!

Gyhtson Jun 2nd, 2019 02:16 AM

I’ve finally sussed that the OP is using the words “returning to” in an unusual way. “Returning within the UK” was presumably what she meant.

Why she decided to feel personally insulted and give us her family history is beyond me.


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