Heathrow to Gatwick

May 20th, 2007, 08:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10
Heathrow to Gatwick

Any suggestions for transportation between airports? We have about 4 hours between flights... same airline (British Air) so I'm thinking that they will at least transport the luggage.. Hope this is true.
eileenfa is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,192
No they won't, and four hours is on the tight side, depending on day of week, time of day, etc.

Gardyloo is online now  
May 20th, 2007, 09:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10
Thank you for the great info!!
eileenfa is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 10:16 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
And you also pay for the transfer.

The only other thing I can say is that I hope you are through ticketed as 4 hours is VERY tight
alanRow is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,275
now that you've re-posted over here you will get lots of good info. My questions are:

You say "about 4 hours" . How long do you actually have? 4 hours is REALLY tight. 4 hrs 45 mins is a bit better. Less than 4 hours - not a chance.

Also what time of day do you land? Makes a difference - 8:00 on a weekday morning is one thing, 6:00 on a Saturday evening is entirely different.

You will be totally responsible for your luggage.
janisj is online now  
May 20th, 2007, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,601
Have you already purchased? I have found tickets on British Air for nearly the same price going into and continuing on from Heathrow. Avoiding the transfer. The Gatwick choice is often at the top of the website listing since it's a few bucks cheaper.
suze is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,157
There are a probably more myths floating round this site about Heathrow-Gatwick transfers than any other single issue.

So let's go through this bit by bit:

- If British Airways (there's no such airline as British Air, and BritAir is a French domestic airline) sell you a ticket with a four hour gap and it's all on BA, it's a legal connection and if you miss the ongoing flight they'll take care of you. They'll fight like anything to avoid doing this if you've bought the ticket through someone else, they'll be a total pain in the goolies if you've bought two separate tickets, and they may well try initially to blame you for sauntering trough Heathrow. But, since they don't want to pay for your hotel bill overninght - and really would prefer not to pay staff to argue about all this - they're not going to sell you an impossible connection. They may, of course, sell you a connection which for one reason or another you don't make. So let's look at that

- Buses between the two airports run every 10-15 minutes most of the day. Most of those buses run:
Heathrow T1/3-Heathrow T4-Gatwick North-Gatwick South.

- On a recent test run between the two at the peak of the evening rush hour, it took LONGER (55 mins combined) for the bus to do the two intra-airport legs than the 45 mins it took from Heathrow T4 to Gatwick North.

- So NO generalisation about journey times on sites like this is worth the cyberspace it's not printed on. All BA flights (except, possibly, some hokey codeshares) from Gatwick use Gatwick North: BA flights at Heathrow are split roughly 50/50 between T1 and T4.

- The road between the two airports claims to be Europe's busiest. It's also the road that's received more management innovation to secure smooth flowing than anywhere else. Apart from (very rare) catastrophic crashes, traffic DOES flow even at the busiest times. From Heathrow T4 to Gatwick North will take between 40 and 60 almost all the time: at the very height of a wet rush hour, rarely more than 80. The leg that congestion lengthens the time of most is T1/3 to T4 to the M25

- Taxis or hired cars can't go any faster than the bus from T4 to Gatwick North. Getting a taxi takes time: you can't guarantee a black taxi on the rank at Heathrow will accept the fare and they'll probably negotiate for somewhere between £100 and £150, and prebooked cars have to wait in the car parks. BUT getting a taxi, if the journey is from T1/3 during a rush hour, can knock at least 30 mins off the journey. They'll almost always be a waste of everything on a T4 to Gatwick North trip.

- Allow 15 mins from Customs exit to the bus terminal at Heathrow T1/3: 5 at T4. Allow another 5 mins for finding the bus.

- The real problem in all this isn't the airport to airport bit. It's the unpredictability of how much later than the scheduled arrival time you'll retrieve your bags. 4 hours, if you can exit Customs 10 mins later (it's possible), or even an hour later is just no sweat at all. It gets close to impossible if you exit two hours after scheduled touchdown. However, on a same-airline connection, late incoming arrivals do - most of the time - mean you get rebooked.

- Above all, The whines you hear on this site from people who've failed to get to an Easyjet checkin desk at Gatwick South when allowing 2 hours to get there from Heathrow T1 are utterly irrelevant to someone planning a T4 to Gatwick North connection with the same airline.
flanneruk is offline  

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