help! Problem with flight

Old Jul 27th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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help! Problem with flight

My fiance booked our plane tixx to Italy for our honeymoon. On the way back, we have a layover in London, and we have to switch from one airport to another. He didn't realize how expensive/problematic it would be to do this. We arrive in Heathrow at 1:05 PM and fly out of Gatwick at 4:15. Is it possible time-wise to do this? Do we have to get our luggage and go through customs at the arrival airport and do it again at the departure one? What's the cheapest and fastest way to get from one airport to another? Thanks in advance!
~A very annoyed bride-to-be
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Yes, since you will actually e in England you will have to go through customs and immigartion at Heathrow and then security again at Gatwick.

Your time between airports is close - but OK if your inbound flight is on time. If its substantially late you will not make the Gatwick flight.

Taxi is the fastest way between the two - but willnot be cheap.

Have you considred changing the flight back to a Heathrow departure - if its not too much more, eliminating the angst may well be worth it.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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You should look into justairpports.com. Their prices were very reasonable as compared to other car services and a taxi (from heathrow to So. Kens in our case). They meet you at a designated place near the luggage area. I'm sure they transport between the 2 airports.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 09:54 AM
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Hi bride-

Congrats on your upcoming marriage!

HOwever, the bad news is, NO, you will not make your flight out of Gatwick. Where are you flying from Gatwick to? If I assume you are from the US, and you are flying from Gatwick to the US, you'll have to be at Gatwick at least 2hrs before your flight, ie, you have to be at Gatwick by 2:15pm.

There is no way you can arrive in Heathrow at 1:05p and get to Gatwick by 2:15pm. Have your fiance change the ticket.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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If you are flying BA you can use an online check-in for the second flight, which means you can arrive as late as half an hour before boarding.

Use www.aircars2000.com for a fast transfer. That said, if there is a delay with your luggage and/or traffic and/or queues at the other end then you might have problems.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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I went into Heathrow on July 10 and out of Heathrow on July 25. Our plane on July 10 arrived on time, but we had to sit on the tarmac for 85 minutes while the airport organized shuttle buses to take us to the terminal. Then we walked onto the tarmac and onto buses. This was blamed on construction. Many, many people lost connections.

Our flight leaving LHR on July 25 was delayed for almost 3 hours due to "congestion".

In short, I would expect the worst from a flight landing at Heathrow.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:00 AM
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But is online checkin available for an international flight? I don't mean to doubt, but it seems unlikely (the return via Heathrow is presumably back to the US).
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Did the airline book the ticket this way, or did you purchase two separate tickets?

If the airline booked it this way my understanding is that it's their responsibility to take care of you if you miss the Gatwick flight. But you may or may not have good luck when you interact with the agent.

If you booked two separate tickets, definitely change either the earlier or later one.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:16 AM
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I think it may be pushing it but in theory I think you can make the connection - there is a bus link between the two airports info at the following link :-http://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/heathrow_gatwick_transfer.htm

this gives a journey time of 60-70 mins but says to allow longer although you could also get a taxi which may be a bit quicker but more expensive. The British Automobile Association website gives the journey time by car as around 45 mins but I should warn you that the motorway between the two airports is a notorious route for traffic jams. I guess you will stand more chance if you research the exact terminal you will be using at Heathrow and find a map of the airport so you can see where the bus/ taxi goes from.

Hope this helps
matt
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:17 AM
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111op:

Of course online checkin is available for international flights. Since there are only about 2 domestic flights a year in Britain, it'd be pretty pointless if it wasn't. But you do have to be a registered customer or FF member

The issue though isn't checkin times. It's dropping off your bags and getting to the gate - through Gatwick security - before the flight closes.

The only way this can be possibly done is by having hand baggage and having a car waiting for you at LHR.

And even then you're going to have the worry hanging over you all honeymoon. 15 mins delay in the incomer getting to the LHR gate and you're snookered.

Find a way out of the problem now. And don't believe any assurances from airline staff.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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The on-line check-in thing looks useful. Don't know if it would help enough in Bride's case, but it might work for us in Jan, when we have 4-hours between flights. There is a "dry-run" of the process at the BA site:

https://www.britishairways.com/check...ages/blank.gif
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:21 AM
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Wow, interesting -- thanks flanner! I'm surprised -- doesn't someone need to check passports or whatever?

I'm in the US and asked the question to an American carrier (forget which one) who told me that I couldn't check in online for an international flight.


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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:21 AM
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This month we stood in line nearly an hour and a half at passport control. You get stuck in a line like that and there's no way you'll make the connection. I would definitely re-do those flight arrangements. But it's not worth being VERY annoyed about.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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As someone has already said, if both tickets are with the same airline, the airline is responsible for getting you from one flight to the other and for checking your baggage through to your final destination. You should not have to go through customs, but you will have to go through immmigration. When it happened to me with BA -- but the other way around, from Heathrow to Gatwick -- they also gave me a free ticket for the shuttle that connects the two airports.

In my experience, there are also agents at Heathrow at the longer line-ups who move you to the front of the line if you are pressed for time.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 10:46 AM
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Thanks, all. Our flight coming into Heathrow is from Pisa, and going out of Gatwick it's to Boston. Both flights are on BA. I'll call them and see what they suggest. We booked through Priceline.

Grasshopper, I just went to the gym, which is always a stress reducer, so I'm now wratching down my annoyance level to just annoyed, not very annoyed.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 11:35 AM
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Priceline?? Let me guess, not a through routing, but two separate PL purchases? Gordon Bennett...

First, are you sure you're flying into Heathrow and out from Gatwick and not the other way around? I don't see any BA flights from PSA to LHR, whereas there are three a day to LGW. And, there are no BA nonstops from LGW to BOS, but there is one leaving at 4:15PM from LHR. So your airport switcheroo is in the other direction. Bad news is, that's harder.

Call either/both PL and BA and have them shift you to the BA flight leaving LHR to BOS at 7:30 PM. That will give you time to enjoy the rail, bus, and/or surface transfer options available.

As a worst case, you might think about flying on Ryanair from Florence to London Stansted (STN) the night before. Not cheap, and getting from STN to LHR is no picnic, but it's better than having to buy one-way transatlantic tickets.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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Gardyloo,
You're right, I switched our to and from when I typed. I will ask BA about getting on the later flight. We booked on Priceline all at once, not 2 seperate purchases.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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OUCH~ I noticed this possibiliy on BA booking for August (an fortunateyl was able to get a Heathrow/ongoing Heathrow). When you book on the Brisith Air website they use all 3 airport kind of interchangeably now. You would have to pay attention to airport code to realize what was up. As for the airline being responsible, there is a big disclaimer on the Heathrow/Gatwick connections about person is responsible for their own transport between or some verbage like that.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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Not to be the bearer of bad news, but when it comes to Priceline, you don't have much choice and they won't change your tickets, they are completely nonrefundable. It's always worth calling just to make sure, but I would be very surprised if they did anything with it. Basically when you book online like that, you take your chances, thus they provide the cheaper fares. For sure British Air won't touch this as they did not book it, so your only hope is Priceline, but you might not have many options. Someone else suggested taking a cheap flight right into Heathrow and then take your BA flight back to Boston, DON'T do it, if you don't show up for the flight to Gatwick, they'll automatically cancel the Heathrow-Boston portion.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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It's possible that if you show up at the airport early on the day you are leaving that the BA agent will just allow you to check in for the earlier flight. No guarantees, and perhaps the odds are against it.
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