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JoeTro Feb 5th, 2017 08:09 AM

Connection time in LHR

I'm arriving from the US at 10 am at LHR on Delta and then thinking of a booking a flight to Leeds that departs 12:45 pm on BA. I realize this would be in a different terminal and in different tickets, so no obligation from US ticket to help if I miss the UK portion.

Is 2.75 hours enough time to make my connection, go through customs/immigration, get bags, go to other terminal, etc? I've flown through LHR often and seems like immigration/customs/luggage usually takes 45-60 minutes or so. Of course, it all depends on my flight being on time from US.

Another option is train, which is cheaper. However, looking at this on National Rail, it says tickets only valid for that service, so I'd be concerned if I end up missing the outbound portion, too. And, it will take about an hour to get from LHR to Kings Cross.

thursdaysd Feb 5th, 2017 08:14 AM

I would want longer for an unprotected connection, and I would be using a UK passport.

Go here to see what Heathrow thinks:

JoeTro Feb 5th, 2017 08:15 AM

Oh, I also would have suitcase I couldn't carry on, so I presume this would add even another expense on BA versus trains?

mjdh1957 Feb 5th, 2017 08:15 AM

I wouldn't risk it.

Passport control and baggage reclaim all have potential to erode your time margin even if your plane lands on time, and then you have to check in and go through security for the Leeds flight.

JoeTro Feb 5th, 2017 08:20 AM

Neat website - says 90 minutes. Looks like I would transfer terminals first via the flight connections bus and then go through customs/immigration? Does this work even if I booked totally separately?

SuttonLady Feb 5th, 2017 08:55 AM

Not worth the risk as you have no idea how long the lines at immigration will be assuming first that your Delta flight is on time. It's also best you travel with carry-on baggage only.

Also, if you take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington and then the Tube to King's Cross, you can get there in 30-40 minutes.

JoeTro Feb 5th, 2017 01:38 PM

Thanks. I'm now thinking the train. Unfortunately I'll be there for 10 days in April, so I think I need to check a bag ...

JoeTro Feb 5th, 2017 01:53 PM

What about 10 am landing and 2:35 train from Kings Cross? Better?

flanneruk Feb 6th, 2017 03:57 AM

"if you take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington and then the Tube to King's Cross, you can get there in 30-40 minutes."

Only if the HEX leaves the moment you get to its platform AND if there's an H&C tube waiting at Paddington: neither of which are at all predictable. If you arrive just as the HEX leaves and hit a bad gap between H&Cs (which often happen), the journey can take well over an hour.

Much more predictable is the straight LHR-KX tube: every 5 mins, taking 55 mins.

With checked bags, you can't take the airside bus. You HAVE to go through immigration to landside (where the queues are longer than the airside passport desks), retrieve your bags, exit the terminal for a 482 or 490 bus from T4 round the airport's external peripheral road to T5, check your bags in again and go through security.

The only way of avoiding this hassle (apart from rebooking on BA transatlantic) is the train. Problem is: an Advance ticket will be about £40, but if you miss the train that's forfeit and you'll have to buy a full-price ticket. Avoiding the risk of forefeiture requires an offpeak fare, which is £105. Any train between 1630 and 1900 will cost £119.

janisj Feb 6th, 2017 09:18 AM

>>Unfortunately I'll be there for 10 days in April, so I think I need to check a bag …<<

Why is that?

No reason a 10 day trip requires a boat load of luggage. And it would let you remain airside. There would still be security but no waiting for luggage.

>>Also, if you take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington and then the Tube to King's Cross, you can get there in 30-40 minutes.<<

I totally agree w/ flanner -- 30-40 minutes from any terminal at LHR to Kings Cross is wildly optimistic.

historytraveler Feb 6th, 2017 09:24 AM

Gods heavens, I've gone for 3+ weeks with a 22" carry on. Ten days I could almost do with a large hand bag. Well, almost. ;)

JoeTro Feb 11th, 2017 11:28 AM

Okay, well, I'll have a small checked bag, so I could do without the judgment here ... I purchased a new carry-on which is even smaller than my older one, so I just don't think I'll be able to carry-on.

JoeTro Feb 11th, 2017 11:30 AM

So it looks like the train is a better option. If I take the 2:35 pm train, does this give me enough time, landing at 10 am, for a cushion? I figure 12:30-1 pm worst case scenario (even allowing for a little delay) and then a hour journey to arrive 1:30-2 pm?

sofarsogood Feb 11th, 2017 11:43 AM

providing your flight arrives on time then a 2.35 train would be OK

Christina Feb 11th, 2017 01:37 PM

Don't let anyone tell you what size bag you must take on your vacation, I don't.

JoeTro Feb 11th, 2017 06:36 PM

I did Europe in 8 days with carry-on, but the problem with this trip is it will require boots, rain gear, heavier clothing, etc.

Anyway, let's say an hour-75 minutes for luggage and customs (arriving at 10 am hopefully not too much of a crush, but I guess one never knows), then about 15 minutes walk to Tube and an hour to Kings Cross. Is this remotely possible?

historytraveler Feb 11th, 2017 06:58 PM

I don't think I told anyone how much luggage to take; I merely stated what zip do. . In short OP gave no indication as to how large the checked bag was or why an extra bag was even necessary. From experience ai kniw many first time travelers being too much stuff.

I am baffled as to why anyone would take offense at my comments. It is difficult to communicate the emotional or attitude of a comment by posts so I ususally add an emoji so one will assume remarks should be taken with a degree of humor. Certainly there was nothing in my post to indicate I was telling OP what they should do but only what I do.

BTW and, again, don't take offense as we all travel differently, but I have made trips to Scotland with a 22" carry on plus a Osprey Porter backpack including my Hunter boots, several fleeces,turtlenecks, sweaters, warm socks and goretex rain jacket ( I wear my Burberry lt.wt. rain coat on plane; it's not waterproof ) and I bring a couple of items that I can wear to the nicest of restaurants. I do have the advantage of having a generous luggage allowance and check my 22". When flying inter- europe, I travel economy and if necessary just pay for extra luggage.

In response to your last question, if all goes well you'll be okay but personally, I'd leave more wiggle room. That amount of time is probably the quickest one could get to Kings Cross.

JoeTro Feb 11th, 2017 07:46 PM

Thank you. So, let's say 2.5-3 hours from landing to King's Cross. Could leave plenty of time for a 2:30 train if all goes well and flight is on time. Of course, if it's not ... Maybe I should aim for the 3:30?

JoeTro Feb 11th, 2017 08:02 PM

Hmmmm, and ... now I'm back to the flight, leaving at 5:30. Should be plenty of time, would be about 40 quid more including baggage, but wouldn't be too crazy expensive and at least could stay at LHR the whole time and enjoy some of the Priority Pass lounge stuff. Anyway, I think the point of this whole post has been to help me realize that I need to allot way more time than I had originally thought, so thanks for that!

historytraveler Feb 11th, 2017 08:23 PM

IMO that would be the better plan. With some 40 years of travel, I know I'd much rather have that extra time since I know I can spend it getting a coffee, a bite to eat, walking around, reading my book, etc. Much better than missing or stressed out thinking I might miss my flight or train.

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