Heathrow-lines

Jun 14th, 2005, 06:51 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Heathrow-lines

I will arriving in London in a few weeks from LA, spending a night and then leaving the next night for Johannesburg. Can anyone tell me how bad the lines are likely to be to catch the 7:30pm SAA flight. This will be on a Thursday. Thanks
laguna92688 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 09:27 AM
  #2  
 
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I'm not sure how long the lines would be, but I would give yourself at least 2 hours to check in. Are you an elite member fro BA or SAA?
TransitBuddie is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 10:04 AM
  #3  
 
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I have never seen security and checkin lines like those a Heathrow. Flying back to the states from Heathrow a couple of years ago we arrived 2.5 hours early and were taken aback by the length of the lines and the slowness at which they moved (we made it with 1/2 hour to spare, but were quite nervous.) Security was slowing the process.

Last fall we were checked in and past security for BA in under 15 minutes. Never can tell when it'll be crazy, so you really can't arrive too early. 2 hours is a good bare minimum.
chanle51 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 10:19 AM
  #4  
 
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I was one of those people who never arrived as early as the airlines suggested. Heathrow made a believer out of me.
Marilyn is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 11:36 AM
  #5  
 
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If you're trying to plan a tight last day in London, you need to post a (more specific) message on Flyertalk, as you really aren't getting very good answers here.

Like practically everything in Britain, Heathrow queues vary widely. And it's pointless listening to someone with a beef about getting into T4 midmorning (or T1 around 0730) if you want to get into T1 AFTER the rush hour for flights to the near continent has died down (as is the case with you).

After 1900, there are only about three widebodies out of T1. And one of those - the El Al - is a LOT later and has separate security anyway. Added to which, if you're in a premium class or have certain FF privileges, there's a queuebuster system.

My experience for T1 flights after about 1830 in T1 is that queues are a doddle: last time I took SAA five minutes elapsed betwen leaving the checkin desk and settling into their airside CIP lounge. That's absolutely not the case at T3 or T4 at that time, but all experience dates and maybe the system has started to terrorist-target the T1 late-evening flights to Madrid these days.

Go to Flyertalk, explain precisely what queue-jumping assets you might have, press respondents to ensure they're talking about outbound, post 1830, T1 flights and you'll get a useful answer.

Certainly a lot more useful than random whinges about Heathrow queues.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 01:17 PM
  #6  
 
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Are you flying in economy or business? If business, there will be separate check-in desks and you can use the fast track security line.
Patty is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 06:57 PM
  #7  
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I am nothing with SAA and am flying economy so no fasttrack for me! I am elite with several airlines including star alliance, northwest but nothing with SAA unfortunately.
laguna92688 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 07:10 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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I think that you need to go early. LHR is very unpredictable. We have zoomed through in ecomony but we were also there two summers ago when it appeared like they had experienced some sort of security threat. Lots of plain clothes types who were not inconspicuous.
allanc is offline  
Jun 16th, 2005, 03:46 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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"If you're trying to plan a tight last day in London, you need to post a (more specific) message on Flyertalk, as you really aren't getting very good answers here."

I think we've found our Cliff Claven of the group. Talk about getting ones' panties in a twist.
chanle51 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2005, 05:07 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I have just been through Heathrow in June and my first time through on June 5th was a piece of cake. Second time through was a nightmare on June 13th with horrendous lines because 4 very large international flights landed all at the same time due to a "traffic flow" problem at Heathrow. Needless to say, have you ever seen hundreds of people all trying to get through customs and immigration at the same time. I thought we could have been in a line trying to buy Beatles reunion tickets! I agree it is unpredictable. Although the British are so terribly proper and polite about it all when they have a seething crowd, tired and frustated on their hands.
Elan is offline  
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