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Heathrow to Gatwick connection in 3 hrs?

Old Jun 14th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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Posts: 185
Heathrow to Gatwick connection in 3 hrs?

Our flight schedule was changed and now we have just over 3 hrs. (Saturday am) to connect from Heathrow to our next flight out of Gatwick? I'm nervous about making this connection. Any experiences (hopefully, success stories)? Many thanks.
sha is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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There is a pretty good chance you won't make it. Are both flight on the same ticket or did you book them separately?

about and hour or more for the LHR arrival end (plane getting to a gate, disembarking, walking to arrivals, immigration, collecting bags, etc) Could be less - or could be more - especially if the immigration queues are long or there are delays at baggage claim

about 1.5 hours for the coach (includes wait time at the LHR end and disembarking at the LGW end)

advance check in at LGW.

You can make it but everything has to work like clockwork. But if both flights are on the same ticket they will get you on the next available flight.

Your one positive is it is on a Sat AM so there shouldn't be much in the way of traffic delay on the road to LGW.
janisj is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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Unless your flights are on the same ticket, do not attempt to make this connection! While you probably won't experience traffic delays on a Saturday, either a late arrival at Heathrow or a delay in getting through immigration/passport control will guarantee your being out of luck. I'd be a lot more comfortable with a five-hour margin.
TimS is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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when I said you can make it, I meant it is possible - just not likely.
janisj is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Your meaning was clear. I simply wanted to emphasize what you said by adding some "worst case" scenarios.
TimS is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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Thank you for your time and imput. My feelings are the same as yours. We're flying with American and then connecting with their partner BA. Yes, it's on the same ticket and AA claims it's a legal connection. Unfortunately, there's only one BA flight to Dubrovnik each day
sha is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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AA flights arrive at T3 & BA flight to Dubronik depart from North Terminal.

The good news is that you have a slightly better chance of making the connection than you would if the onward flight went from South Terminal

According to National Express, the travel time between T3 & North Terminal is anything from 1h5m to 1h20m. Assuming a fairly typical check-in / fast bag drop close of 40 minutes before the flight that means you have an hour to get off the plane / go through immigration / collect luggage / find Central Bus Station / Get bus, which - even on a Saturday - seems like a tall order.

So the question has to be - do you fancy a day in London?

alanRow is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Two things, what happens if you miss the connection? As a "Legal" connection, does that mean they will put you up and pay for cost if you can't make the connection? Second thing, what about the two hour check in requirement? Me, I would opt out unless the airlines covers your expense if you miss it. Sorry, but I wouldn't even try to do it, however, I do will you luck!
rogeruktm is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 03:44 PM
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Because AA deems this a legal connection, they will not make amends if we miss our second flight. When we made our reservation last year there was a 5 hr. time connection time. BA changed their schedule. There's only 1 flight per day. My only hope is that they would arrange for other connecting flights. Also, we're flying business class and can at least deplane more rapidly! The pleasures of travel!!!

I thank you all for your consideration.
sha is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 07:28 PM
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1) Since you're flying Business Class, you should receive a Fast Track pass on your flight to LHR. If you don't get one, ask the FAs for it. The Fast Track will get you thru the immigration line much faster than the regular line.

2) It'll help A LOT if you don't have checked luggage, but carry-on only.

3) Familiarize yourselves with where you're supposed to pick up the National Express bus. That will save you whatever precious time you have. Also have a bus schedule handy.
yk is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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I know it would be expensive, but would a taxi be quicker?
crckwc1 is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2008, 08:58 PM
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We had the same situation when we traveled on AA and BA to Dubrovnik in May. We had 3 hours to get from Heathrow to Gatwick on a Friday morning and we just made it!! Because we were concerned about time, we decided to take a limo instead of the bus. The plane arrived a half hour late but I thought we would be fine since we only had carry on and we were in first class so we were able to get through immigration quickly. The problem we had was with the limo company. Our driver was not there when we came through customs. We called the company immediately, but it took another 30 minutes for the driver to show up. At this point, we were really getting upset. It was now 8:05 am, less than 2 hours before our Gatwick flight to Dubrovnik. It was pouring rain, the traffic around Heathrow was terrible and the limo driver seemed to be driving "in slow motion". We were sure we would miss the only flight that day to Dubrovnik, but we got lucky. The rain stopped, the traffic cleared and we arrived at 9:25 for our 10:00 am flight. If our driver had met us on time, we would not have been racing to catch our plane and it would have been a much better way to start our trip. We used a service I found on this site - Ray at Even though we didn't have a good experience with this company, I still think that a limo may be worth considering. (cost about 62 british pounds) Enjoy your trip. You will love Croatia.
welovetravel is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2008, 02:13 AM
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This company might help you:
Londonres is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2008, 08:10 AM
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You would have a better chance of making it if you take a taxi. You could pick one up directly outside the terminal and with luck pull up outside Gatwick 30-40 minutes later.

Because a taxi can travel in the outside (fast) lane of the motorways it will be quite a bit faster than the coach, not to mention easier and quicker to load and unload your bags.

I googled 'cost of taxi Heathrow to Gatwick' and there are many companies offering this service, from £65-£98. Here's the cheapest one...

Good luck, have a great time in Dubrovnik, and let us know what you decide to do and how it works out.
julia_t is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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I thank you all so much. Unfortunately, just before I saw Julia's response, I booked a National Express bus from Heathrow to Gatwick North terminal.I figured this would save us time at the bus station.
Previously, I had read that taxis weren't any quicker!

I tried again to change our ticket connections but nothing is available. I just pray that all will be on time and if not, we'll just roll with the punches and hope it works out for the best.

Again, your imput is much appreciated.
sha is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2008, 12:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I wouldn't waste too much time worrying about not getting a taxi.

They may be a few - very few - minutes faster, but unless you fork out for a black taxi off a rank (and that's going to cost you over £100), they can't operate from T3: you need to walk to the multistorey car park.

With buses every 15 mins, the Customs exit to checkin difference between a taxi and the bus is at most 10 minutes. Your problem is stuff like the flight being late, holdups at immigration and the like.

Good luck.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2008, 01:56 AM
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If you're on Biz class on AA & have to check bags, don't worry. In 16 trips traveling the same way to LHR my bag was always waiting for me after I got through the Fast Track.
Carrybean is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2008, 05:04 AM
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Thanks for the encouraging info.
sha is offline  
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