Heathrow to Gatwick Transfer

Old Aug 14th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Heathrow to Gatwick Transfer

We are arriving at Heathrow at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning and want to catch a connecting flight from Gatwick at 11 a.m. The info I can find online says you should allow at least 3 hours for the transfer. I am not clear if that is 3 hours between arrival and departure time or 3 hours between arrival and check in time for the next flight. Can anyone help? It seems like the only transfer method is by bus. Is that true? Are there no buses? I would appreciate any advice about whether we can make our connecting flight.

Thanks for the help!
romandub is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2009, 06:28 PM
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It seems like the only transfer method is by bus. Is that true? Are there no buses?

It's the National Express Coach you want to take.

When you arrive @ Heathrow, you need to go through immigration (can be a long line - taking over an hour in AM), customs, collect your luggage. Then you take the bus to Gatwick, the bus trip takes about 75 minutes.
yk is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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If you search below you will find a bunch of answers to this. I've never done this but everyone says to leave PLENTY of time.

The bus claims to take an hour - and says you should leave Heathrow 3 hours before your flight departs from Gatwick - assuming normal traffic. I think Sat may be better than a weekday am - but you're only giving yourself an hour to deplane, go through Immigration. pick up baggage and get to and on a bus to Gatwick. I think your timing is tight.
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Old Aug 14th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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romandub - are the 2 flights you're looking at on ONE itinerary, or are you booking the 2 flights separately? If booking as one itinerary, you should be okay. If you miss your flight from Gatwick, you will be put on the next flight (but check WHEN is the next flight). If you are booking the 2 flights separately, then you're SOL if you miss your 2nd flight: you will have to pay walk-up price for the next flight to your destination.

Nationalexpress.com website is down right now; otherwise you can look what the bus schedule is like for Sundays. I think it runs fairly frequently even on Sundays. Let's say you catch a bus leaving Heathrow at 8:30am; you should get to Gatwick by 9:45am, which is just enough time for your 11am flight. [Of course, that's assuming your incoming flight arrives on time and there are no traffic accidents en route to Gatwick.]
yk is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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A couple of years back my flight to LGW had mechanical problems, and we were scheduled to take off very late. The AA gate agent made a back-up booking for me on a later connecting flight, as she said I needed at least four hours for the LGW-LHR transfer. (I actually did it in a good bit less, but I was on a UK passport and had only a short wait at immigration.)
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2009, 09:20 PM
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if it is two different tickets/itineraries -- I'd personally never do this transfer w/ less than 5 or 6 hours. It doesn't take 6 hours of course, but if your arriving plane is an hour late, you are SOL. Or, if you are delayed retrieving your luggage, you are SOL. Or, if there is a delay at immigration, you are SOL. Do you see a pattern here?

(Truth be told - if I was really booking separate tix in to LHR and out of a different airport I'd probably stay over in London and fly out the next day)
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2009, 09:42 PM
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I've taken several National Express buses, and every single time, they have been way behind schedule. Since they run quite often, this may not be a problem in terms of waiting for a bus, but it indicates you cannot rely on the arrival time stated in the schedule. London traffic tends to be terrible and always unpredictable. Heathrow is the same (terrible and unpredictable, when it comes to schedules). Anyway, I'd agree with 6 hours between, not because it will take 6 hours, but because with all the possible ways one can get delayed at Heathrow, and all the ways one can get delayed in London traffic, it is only prudent.
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