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Heathrow Airport - Connecting flight problems

Heathrow Airport - Connecting flight problems

Old Jan 24th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Heathrow Airport - Connecting flight problems

I have a connecting flight from Heathrow to Milan and I have 1 hour to get to the other connecting flight. My question, Any travelers experienced any problem getting to their connecting flights from this airport (immigration, customs etc.)? what is the process once you arrived at this airport? I just read a thread from another site and just cannot believe the delays.
Old Jan 24th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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What terminal are you landing in and what terminal is your connecting flighg from? If they're in the same terminal you won't go thru customs - if you change terminals - terminals 1, 2 and 3 are basically in the same location but terminal 4 is on the other side of the airport - to reach it you take the free Heathrow Express train, which though it only takes a few minutes is quite a walk from terminals 1, 2 and 3. If you must pass thru Customs yes you could have long delays.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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So you fly into Heathrow, and have an hour to get your flight to Milan? Are you coming from overseas? If so, you will have to go through customs and security.

One hour is way to short for LHR. Is this connection with the same airline/same ticket? Or did you purchase the tickets separately? I ask this, because I can't imagine an airline booking so little time for you. I don't beleive that this is a "legal" connection time.

Unless you are arriving and departing from the same terminal and do not have to go through customs, you will not make this connection. Try to get it changed.

British airways has good diagrams for connecting at Heathrow - doesn't matter who you are flying with, these are useful:


click on terminal that you are arriving at in the "More about" box, then on the next page, click on the terminal that you are departing from. Then click for a "map" showing the process you will have to go through.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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If you're arriving on BA from California and travelling on with BA, you simply walk through security to the outgoing gate with no immigration or customs to worry about. It'll probably take you 10 mins max.

If you're arriving on Qantas and travelling on with Alitalia, you've probably not got an earthly. Qantas will probably refuse to check your bags through, so you'll have to go through immigration to retrieve them, collect them, go through Customs, get the train to T1, check in with bmi, go through security then curse. About 2 hours if you've got a non0-European passport and you're arriving during the early morning rush.

A United/bmi or an AA/BA combination is dodgy (you change terminals, but don't go through immigration unless you've fouled up your booking or encountered a typically dumb checkin clerk at your originating airport), but you'll probably do it.

There's more claptrap churned out on this board about connections at Europe's largest airports (mostly from people who can't get it into their heads that what happened to them is no guide to what might happen to you) even than about dress codes.

The people best able to advise you are the UK-based enquiries staff of the airline you're travelling onto Milan with. Ring them (in Britain) and describe exactly what airline you're coming in on, what bags you've got and what ticket you've got.

FWIW, I've frequently made connections at LHR that involved coming through immigration and customs, having a short meeting and going to another terminal for a flight due out 45 mins after the incoming was due to land.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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Doom and gloom v. no worries mate v. it all depends...

Without including your origin point (where you are flying from) and your carriers for both segments, there's no point in further discussion.

As a general rule, but only general and not really a rule, airlines or travel agencies including on-line agencies won't sell you a ticket that does not provide for "legal" connecting times at intermediate stops. These "minimum connecting times," or MCTs, are developed by the airlines who know their airports and logistics well.

If you bought your tickets separately, i.e., where Airline A doesn't know anything about your plans on Airline B, then you could easily be in a pickle. But not necessarily.

More detail from you will produce more accurate responses.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 03:37 PM
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We had the same connection a couple of years ago, and we had the same worry.

I assume that you bought one ticket, not two. If so, then, unless you are on a very late plane, the connection time has been figured in.

I do not remember whether we went through customs...if so, it was just a cursory walk through a gate. The long lines were at security. We did change terminals, but there were buses waiting for us and they simply whisked us over to the new terminal. Don't worry.

jtrandolph is offline  
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