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Gatwick->Heathrow: fastest and most dependable transportation?

Gatwick->Heathrow: fastest and most dependable transportation?

Feb 15th, 2004, 06:06 AM
  #1  
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Gatwick->Heathrow: fastest and most dependable transportation?

I've read numerous posts on the ways to get from Gatwick to Heathrow and find many different opinions. From what I can gather, the Speedlink coach option is definitely to be considered though I suspect that a hired car service (Ray Skinner or Swiss Cottage Cars) might be quicker, though more expensive. I have three and a half hours in between flights (no possibility of rescheduling, either) and will do whatever ever it takes to get to Heathrow in the shortest possible. FYI, we arrive at Gatwick at 4:45 p.m. All suggestions greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
nrwayne is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 06:09 AM
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I'd advise a private car, try Aircars2000 (www.aircars2000.com) for excellent all round service.
m_kingdom is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 06:12 AM
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What day of the week are you doing this?

The reason for asking is that you will be travelling during rush-hour if it's a Monday through Friday with the inevitable extra traffic that brings, particularly around the M25 Lonfon orbital motorway.
Dave_ is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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A private car would only be a little faster, if at all, than the coach. They have to take the same roads and face the same traffic jams.

Who made these plans for you? 3.5 hours will work ONLY if everything goes like clockwork and not a single glitch pops up.

Just getting off the plane at LHR, waiting for your luggage and clearing immigration can easily take an hour or more. Remember - touchdown is not when you are actually in the terminal - there is usually a fair amount of taxy time and unloading a jumbo (unless you are in First/business) takes a while too.

Even assuming you are on the bus or in the car 60 minutes after touchdown you will have a pretty difficult time getting to LGW in time for check-in and security.

You will help your chances a LOT if you don't check any luggage . . . . .
janis is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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Meant to add -- Dave_ is correct. the time of day/day of week makes a HUGE difference.
janis is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 04:04 PM
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The day of the week is Thursday and scheduled arrival time is 4:45 p.m. and we are arriving in Gatwick, not Heathrow. We will be coming from Krakow on a 737, not a jumbo, so that may help a bit. Even so, I'm thinking we'll need a half hour to 45 minutes to get out of Gatwick and an hour and a half (to 1:45) to get to Heathrow using a car service. That would get us to Heathrow by 7:15 for an 8:05 flight. Definitely not a lot of time. American Airlines made these reservations for us and seems to think the connection is doable.
nrwayne is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 09:28 PM
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Sorry - I flipped your itinerary to LHR > LGW. That will make it a little easier since LGW is smaller and easier to navigate. But the concept is the same. I don't think you'll make it - but you might be very lucky. Evening rush hour on the M25 must be seen to be believed and security at LHR can take a very long time OR can take no time at all.

Good luck

janis is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 09:31 PM
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Meant to add - 30 minutes from touchdown through luggage/customs/immigration, even at Gatwick, is being VERY optimistic.
janis is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 10:05 PM
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Maybe the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station and then the Underground to Heathrow? Comments?
GSteed is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 10:18 PM
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GSteed: That would be even worse - a 30+ minute train ride and a 50 minute tube ride with a line change. Since you'd have to wait at least a few minutes to catch the Gatwick train and both tube trains, plus walk a fairly long way w/ luggage at Victoria, S. Kens., and LHR the total journey could easily take 2 hours.
janis is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 02:09 AM
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I'd beg and plead with American Airlines that this is not reasonable (unless they've agreed to hold the flight for you, which I somehow doubt).
WillTravel is online now  
Feb 16th, 2004, 03:34 AM
  #12  
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Plan A is to have a car meet us curbside at Gatwick and then en route to Heathrow pray that the traffic will be no worse than normal.
Plan B is to get to Heathrow late, arrange for an early flight the next day and stay at a hotel nearby.
nrwayne is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 03:58 AM
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I thought there where Bus /Taxi lanes on the M25 to and from the airports .
Italiano is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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I presume you arrive into LGW and are connecting to a flight at LHR. If this is the case I would not bother getting a car. Your airline is not going to hail a black cab to take your checked luggager over to LHR so why should you? The bus will be just as quick (potentially quicker as you will catch it by following the transfers signs) as you won't need to exit LGW. If you have two separate flights though you may well be screwed unless you have particularly good insurance.
wealthy_backpacker is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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We have to take our baggage with us so the car will probably give us the best chance of making the LHR flight along with our baggage. The agent who made the reservations certainly was not aware of the time needed to make the transfer during weekday rush hour. By my calculations, we're 55 minutes short of what we need. Even so, I'm thinking that if we get to Heathrow an hour or more before departure we have a reasonable chance of making the flight. The tickets are all frequest flyer awards and AA has told us that there will be no additional charge if we have to change to a flight the next day. Shouldn't be since that change would be the result of their error.
nrwayne is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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nrwayne, we had just done LHR to Gatwick recently. I went through what you did with the airlines and they all had the standard answer--you should make it.

What I did was to go through National Express (Speedlink), and pre-purchased my tickets. When we were held in the air for 1 hour because LHR did not assign a gate to our plane, then sat on the runway for another hour because icy runways had slowed everyone down, we missed our flight. See my post in the Italy forum for further details, but the National Express people were able to exchange the ticket for a later one. The trip wasn't the fastest--there was traffic on the road and we probably went 30-40 mph--at 3:30 p.m.

I would also purchase flight insurance if you hadn't already done so because that will guarantee that you will get on the next flight if you did miss the one you needed to take.

Good luck!

Lil
lilleyl2 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 06:16 AM
  #17  
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I called American Airlines to learn their response to the likelihood that we would not be able to check in two hours before flight time. The agent said it's two hours, period, and then offered to switch, at no extra charge, to a flight the next morning. We made the switch and expect to have a noticeably more relaxed ride from Gatwick. Thanks to all for your very helpful suggestions.
nrwayne is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 06:27 AM
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Ok - to confuse you more - If you are staying overnight in London I would not travel from LGW to LHR and stay near the airport unless your flight is very early in the morning.

You can take the Gatwick Express into London, do some sightseeing, have a nice dinner, and stay in a hotel near either Victoria (convebient for the trip in from LGW) or Paddington (convenient for the trip out to LHR).

If your flight is really early - you can travel over to LHR and check into a hotel near the airport and then go into London for a few hours.
janis is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 06:37 AM
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This is weird - my post "took" @ 10:27 a.m. but the thread didn't top.

I noticed this sort of thing a few times months ago but not recently . . . .
janis is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 06:46 AM
  #20  
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It's an 8:30 a.m. flight, so we will be staying close to Heathrow. Rather than going to London for the evening, which will involve even more to and fro, we'll probably have dinner, and then turn in early since we have to be at Heathrow at 6:30 a.m. for check in. I'm sure there's a bit of flexibility on that. We've been to London many times previously, so we don't feel the need to make a special trip in for such a short time.
nrwayne is offline  

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