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Gunny Apr 2nd, 2008 02:06 AM

Heathrow - time between planes and luggage
I'm flying into LHR in a week. I arrive at Terminal 1 (UA) at 12:15 p.m. and leave for Belfast at 2:50 p.m. from terminal 3 (BMI). Is that enough time? Yes, I can and will move quickly through the airport. My flight originates in Gillette Wyoming. Can I check my luggage all the way through to Belfast or will I have to pick up my bags and take them with me, then recheck them to Belfast?

Thanks for your help. This is my first trip by myself and it's a little spooky. :~) Kathie

flanneruk Apr 2nd, 2008 02:20 AM

You're arriving at T3 and departing from T1. There are no flights to London from Wyoming, so you're changing planes somewhere in America first: only you can know whether the US domestic leg will allow through-checking

From Chicago or wherever, your bags will be checked to Belfast, which is where you'll first see them. You just follow the signs for the Flight Connection Centre at Heathrow, where you go through UK immigration.

The overwhelming likelihood is you'll make this connection. If the incoming flight's late, the connection's legal, and you'll be rebooked on the next available bmi flight to Belfast. Your luggage should go on that flight too.

Odin Apr 2nd, 2008 03:31 AM

Is it UA from GCC/Denver then DENLHR on UA and BD from LHRBHD (codeshare with UA). Should be tagged all the way to Belfast then but you will know for sure when you check in at Gillette.

sandy_b Apr 2nd, 2008 05:38 AM

We just flew from Dallas/Ft Worth to Chicago to London Heathrow to Berlin. We could have checked our bags all the way through but with that many changes, we decided to play safe and carry on.

We also changed from Term 1 to 3 at Heathrow. There, the gates don't open until about 30 min before flight time. Everyone is held in the a main waiting area (with many restaurants/duty-free shopping opportunities) and you watch the boards for your gate/opening.

Some gates are VERY far away, the sign says 20 min. walking! Some, only 10 min. When your time comes up on the screen, you'd better take off quickly to get to your gate, don't dilly/dally . . . it will be a good walk.

Oh . . . our flights were booked on American but the LHR-Berlin leg was on British Air. We could not get our boarding passes (for that leg) in Dallas and had to stand in a long line at LHR to get them.

You have less than 3 hrs, you might be running.

Good luck,
Sandy (in Denton)

WillTravel Apr 2nd, 2008 06:26 AM

I'm a bit confused, because we recently flew United with a layover in Heathrow, and we landed at Terminal 3. BMI was in Terminal 1, although we took Lufthansa in Terminal 2.

Is it possible you mixed the terminals up in your original post, or has everything changed again?

Anyway, with everything going quite smoothly, we effected the Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 air-side transfer, involving a lot of walking, a bus, and a security check, in less than one hour.

flanneruk Apr 2nd, 2008 06:39 AM

Both Gunny and Sandy B are getting their journeys the wrong way round.

For the next few weeks, United flights arrive use T3: bmi uses T1

United is due to move to T1 (which bmi won't leave, as it's being turned into Heathrow's Star hub) in June. AA has always used T3 and will stay there, since it'll turn into Heathrow's hub for non-BA One World airlines

closer52 Apr 2nd, 2008 06:51 AM

We just flew BA from chicago to London to Lisbon. We had less time than you do to connect at a different terminal (1 to 4)and did have to hurry. Our bags were checked to our final destination. We did make our connection. Our bags to Lisbon did not make the connection but were delivered to our hotel a day problem. So I think you have time to make your connection and the luggage should be fine also. Just my thought on seeing how things worked rcently.

traveller1959 Apr 2nd, 2008 12:27 PM

From recent experiences I would say you should allow two weeks for the baggage. (When you arrive in LHR they send your baggage to Milan, Italy, to get it sorted. From there, they send it to Belfast. This no joke.)

sandy_b Apr 2nd, 2008 04:04 PM


You are correct . . . I wrote before I looked at my notes . . . we landed at T-3 and flew out of T-1, I was confused. But, wouldn't the process still be the same?

There was a lot to do and a long way to the gates . . . less than 3 hours is pushing it (IMHO).

Sandy (in Denton)

W9London Apr 3rd, 2008 03:47 AM

Answering OP's question, since both UA and BMI are in Star Alliance, s/he should be able to check luggage all the way through. S/he may need to show the ticket (increasingly e-ticket/email these days) when checking in at Gillette. (I'm assuming all segments are booked under one ticket.)

UA should still be using Terminal 3, and BMI departure is from Terminal 1. If you can through-check luggage, you stay on the airside (ie no need to go through passport control and cutoms). You just follow signs for flight connection. You'll need to go through security and get a boarding pass to the BMI flight (if not issued) at Flight Connection Centre.

Ptolly Apr 10th, 2008 04:34 AM

Does anyone have any opinions regarding checking luggage through from Edinburgh to Nive via Heathrow? We land at the notorious Terminal 5 and leave from Terminal 1 should we take a chance and check luggage straight through? or collect it and recheck it? What is the transfer like between terminals? We travel in August - will it be ironed out by then or will it always be difficult?

Ptolly Apr 10th, 2008 04:35 AM

Sorry - that should read Edinburgh to NICE!!

Ramblero Apr 14th, 2008 02:16 PM

We just flew American from SF to Chicago to Heathrow (I can't remember which terminal) and then had to bus to terminal 4 to take British Air to Geneva. (For all I know...we flew American into terminal 4, got on a bus, drove in a huge circle, and returned to terminal 4.) We checked all of our luggage in SF through to Geneva except 2 carry-ons...without a problem. I think we had about 2 1/2 or 3 hours between flights. The only major problem was British Air (OK, ok...we also had problems in SF and Chicago...but that's another story)...whose entire computer system went down in terminal 4 (this was 2 weeks before the current new terminal 5 luggage fiasco). Compound this with the fact that terminal 4, a very long in-line building, only has two arrival/departure displays and BA only posts gate assignments about 20 minutes before take-off. (Which they would change about every 10 minutes to new gates.) Needless to say there was much milling about, confusion, groups of people running into each other going in opposite directions, screaming and shouting. Several women were near-faint. Small children shrieking in panic. A rather large Italian family got into a huge argument. Fortunately I know very little Italian. One man screaming a litany of obscenties, who we initally thought had Tourette's Syndrome, turned out to be a senior BA pilot. The whole experience was somewhat "Airplane!" like. It goes without saying....we enjoyed the experience and had a wonderful time.

Ask me some time about our bus-ride from Geneva to Albertville (Les Trois Vallées). hysterical.

yk Apr 14th, 2008 02:33 PM

< We just flew American from SF to Chicago to Heathrow (I can't remember which terminal) and then had to bus to terminal 4 to take British Air to Geneva. (For all I know...we flew American into terminal 4, got on a bus, drove in a huge circle, and returned to terminal 4.) >

No. AA uses Terminal 3, which is quite some distance from Terminal 4.

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