Heathrow Transfers (Current Security)

Old Sep 8th, 2006, 08:10 AM
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nnh
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Heathrow Transfers (Current Security)

I made the ameteur mistake of booking my flights on two different tickets. I also foolishly believed the 75 minutes terminal transfer guide on ba.com.

I am using VA from JFK-LHR arriving on Saturday the 16th at 6:35 am in terminal 3 (as scheduled). I have a second flight from terminal 1 at 8:40 am on BMI.

What are my chances of getting my luggage checked through since they are codeshare airlines? Has anyone done this?

Under the current security procedures are passengers having to land and then make their connections landside?

I've got a UK student visa does Heathrow still have a visa holder line at Passport control?

I would appreciate any insight so I can make alternative plans. My second flight is domestic heading for Leeds Bradford. Should I make plans to take a train or bus?

Thanks folks.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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I can't speak to the amount of time you have between flights, but I can say that I've taken the National Express bus, several times between London (airports and Victoria Coach Station). I'm sure others will suggest the train as well. I've done both, and the train is indeed quicker, but I've never had a problem with the coach directly to Leeds.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 08:39 AM
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nnh
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Thanks. I was leaning toward National Express if only to avoid using planes trains and automobiles.

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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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First, call VA and ask if they will check your luggage through to your BMI flight.

Here is a quote from the Heathrow Web site:

Please note that all connection times below are approximate and are for passengers with through checked bags only. If you need to collect your luggage in the terminal of your arrival please allow extra time to reach your connecting flight.

Should you be concerned about making your connection within the time available, please speak to your airline at your arrival gate or in the Flight Connections Centre.

Connecting from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 International. Your connection will take approximately 55 minutes, from landing to departure gate. From Terminal 3, take a coach to the Flight Connections Centre. Pass through customs and security and visit our airline desks before making your way by foot to Terminal 1.

Connecting from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 UK & Ireland. Your connection will take approximately 60 minutes, from landing to departure gate. From Terminal 3, take a coach to the Flight Connections Centre. Pass through customs and security and visit our airline desks before showing your passport and making your way by foot to Terminal 1.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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OK I assume you mean VS (Virgin Atlantic) Don't know of any "VA" airline. But why would you look at BA's website for VS info?? So do you mean BA (British Airways)?

BA almost never interlines baggage w/ non alliance airlines.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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nnh
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I meant VS sorry for the typo. Additionally, I am aware that I was looking on the BA site and not the VS site , as they offer a very good diagram of Heathrow airport transfer procedures.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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The normal system is that Virgin WILL through check your bags, you go through immigration and security at the FCC and see your bags for the first time after checking then in at JFK when you arrive at Leeds/Bradford, where the bags are theoretically liable to Customs inspection but practically never are so much as looked at

As far as I'm aware, it's irrelevant what visa you have: you go through the foreigners queue at the FCC immigration. If someone can confirm that a longish stay visa gets you through the Euro queue, great: but I've seen pushy Americans forced to go to the back of the foreigner queue after waiting to get to the front of the Euro queue (with just a hint of mild triumph in the passport officer's eye as he did so). So I wouldn't chance it unless you knew you'd win

Your two hours should be a doddle.

Now there are frequent posters on this site who claim all LHR connections are now landside. Oddly, there hasn't been a single one of them who's actiually quoted a real example of this since about August 12 - and I can't find a single verification of what I suspect is pure alarmist fantasy on FlyerTalk, the DTI site, the BAA site or the BA site (BA being, of course, the largest operator at the airport).

If someone quotes chapter and verse about landside connection (and therefore, of course, your having to collect bags etc) then you need to start thinking about trains, coaches or later bmi flights. But so far, no-one has.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 04:05 PM
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nnh
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Flanneruk: Thank you kindly for your advise. I truly appreciate the authoritative and reassuring tone of your post.

As a first generation American who has traveled and lived abroad, I am always mindful of our reputation for being pushy, and thus make an extra effort to follow protocol and be nice.



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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 11:00 PM
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nnh, if you've traveled already and got back here safely, can you tell me how your LHR transfers went? thanks.
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Old Dec 24th, 2006, 11:31 AM
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<<< Now there are frequent posters on this site who claim all LHR connections are now landside >>>

2 cases when that is true

1) When luggage ISN'T checked through which means you have to go landside
2) It can be quicker than going through the FCC for people connecting to UK (and Ireland) Domestic flights
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