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Help --Travelocity has booked an illegal connection

Help --Travelocity has booked an illegal connection

Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:40 PM
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Help --Travelocity has booked an illegal connection

I'm sure that someone on this site must have been through this before so I'm hoping you might have some advise. A good friend of mine booked her Italy flights on Travelocity. I believe her return flight from Rome has an illegal connection through London. They only have 1 hour and 20 minutes and need to change terminals.

On April 23 they depart Rome on Alitalia FL200, at 7:45am and the flight arrives London Heathrow at 9:35am in Terminal 2. Their connecting flight is on American which is in Terminal 3 and that departs at 10:55am for Boston.

I know American and Alitala aren't partners so I can't imagine Alitalia checking their bags all the way through to Boston. Even if they did, they'll still have to get through Immigration then change terminals, go through security again, etc. in order to make their flight. Even if they're the first people off the plane, getting through Immigration can take a long time!

I suspect they got two one way rates-- FCO to LHR on Alitaia and then a one way rate from LHR to BOS. The next non stop flight on AA doesn't leave till 6:05pm. Her family might be able to get on that flight if they miss their scheduled flight but still, they'd be spending all day in an aiport.

I'm just curious, I see all these commericals for Travelocity saying "they'll make it right" but I wondered if you had any advice before the call is placed. I know they're non refundable tickets so do you have any suggestions?

Thanks so much!!
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Are you sure its illegal? I am flying American to Brussels and SN from Brussels to Rome in a few weeks and my layover is a little over an hour.

tcreath is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Even if AA and Alitalia aren't "partners" that doesn't mean they don't have a luggage agreement. If these flights are on the same itinerary then I don't see any reason why the bags cannot be checked all the way through but others may have more factual information.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Are you sure there's immigration in London? Wouldn't the person be in transit?

I once flew AMS -> LHR -> JFK. I forgot what happened in that case. I don't recall going through immigration in LHR though, but could be wrong.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:58 PM
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I can't help you on dealing with Travelocity. But you shouldn't jump to the conclusion this connection is illegal. Or - what matters more - impossible.

Heathrow is geared to accept baggage transfers between any airlines, partners or not. The notorious complication is that BA - but not necessarily other airlines - make a fuss about non-partners on separate tickets. I've been through-checking, via LHR, on non-partners for most of the past 30 years

If the FCO-BOS bags are checked through, your friend doesn't go through immigration at LHR: even without an AA boarding pass (and surely she can check in for AA online anyway?) she walks to the FCC, goes through security and gets the bus to T3, whence she walks to the gate.

On a good day, this whole thing takes 15 minutes. Not all days are good - but, as long as the bags are through checked, she won't have a problem.

If she can't through-check, it gets messier. But immigration queues at T2 are rarely that bad, especially for non-Europeans. I mean especially: normally when travelling with a non-EU colleague through T2, they're waiting for me. Non-EU queues are a problem only if flighrs from Russia, Romania and Uzbekistan arrive at the same time: in fact at T2, non-EU citizens are usually in a tiny minority, and waltz through.

I don't think I've ever waited there more than 5-10 mins after passport control for a bag and it's a 7 minute walk (no need to wait, frustrated, for a bus) to T3.

Check Alitalia's policy. If there IS a problem, hassle Travelocity. But if they stand firm, don't panic.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:01 PM
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I'm almost positive that you don't need to go through immigration. However, getting around LHR is the model of inefficiency - only two speeds - slow & slower. 1 Hr 20 is probably not illegal, but I would try to change it.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:05 PM
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They won't go through immigration, because they are connecting on. And like the others said, she can check her bags all the way through. It is still a really tight connection though. But I don't think it is illegal.

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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Illegal. Illegal. Illegal. SUE THEM!!
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:17 PM
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I'm not an expert on Heathrow, I've never connected there from other cities in Europe so that's why I was hoping for some expertise on the topic.

I'm making an assumption that when you change terminals, you would HAVE to exit the building. Terminal 2 and 3 are on opposite sides of the airport. If they were entering and leaving out of the same terminal, this would be a non-issue. When I've traveled to Europe if I needed to exit a terminal I HAD to go through Immigration prior to doing so butyou're right, maybe that won't be so bad for non Europeans.

I am coincidently flying through LHR on a flight my husband and I are taking later this year and when I booked our tickets using miles the agent said there was a minimum of 1 1/2 hours to connect in LHR. Maybe other carriers are different but that's what setoff the red flag.

Here's my concern, I dont' know what schematics travel sites such as Orbitz, Expedia, & Travelocity use to get the really cheap fares they sometimes offer but, they often use multiple carriers. Sometimes I know that 2 one way legs can be less expensive than flying round trip on an airline so if I'm right, I wonder if Alitalia even knows about the AA portion of the trip. Maybe to them it's simply Rome to London. Having previously flown Alitalia, I know they're not the most helpful airline out there!
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:19 PM
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Hi IL,

1:20 hr at the same airport is not "illegal".

Air France constantly books 55 min connections at CDG. (That should be illegal. )

ira is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:22 PM
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OK - where did you get the idea terminals 2 and 3 were on opposite sides of the airport?

1, 2 and 3 are situated right next to each other. terminal 4 is the remote "other side of the airport" one.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:24 PM
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I've a very vague memory of my LHR connection even though if it just opened last year. If I remember right, a bus shuttled us from one terminal to another. It wasn't a question of going through immigration and handling it that way.

There could be a security clearance before or after, but I can't remember exactly how it worked.

LHR handles these sorts of transfers all the time, I think, so that process is quick. However LHR is also notorious for flight delays.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:29 PM
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From the Heathrow website:
Connecting from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3
Your connection will take approximately 60 minutes, from landing to departure gate. On arrival, head for the Flight Connections Centre, go through customs and security and pass by our airline desks. Take a coach to Terminal 3 and your departure gate.
[End of Heathrow website quotation.]

That's only 10 minutes longer than they estimate for connections within Terminal 2. Since the luggage should be checked through, customs is a non-issue. No immigration, because you're airside all the way. Even though there's a bus between terminals, access is controlled.

Yes, the connection is tight (especially considering the chaos that can arise in Heathrow), but that doesn't mean it's illegal.
KT is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:32 PM
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Ah, KT, sounds exactly like what I did.
111op is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:30 PM
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Just because you're going from one terminal to another doesn;t always mean you have to go through immigration. At some airports it;s possible to do it "air side"via shuttle bus - that is you never legally enter the country you're in - rather than "land side".
nytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:43 PM
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I do hope your "good friend" is listening to all of this.
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 12:57 AM
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We flew Bristish last year, SF/Heathrow/Athens and return. We had only 50 min to make the change to Athens ( a regular, daily schedule), but at least it was in the same terminal. We did not go through immigration at Heathrow on either trip, but did have to go through security-very long line. The time was tight, and we told the guards at security of our situation. They let us through a special line, and we made the connection without trouble. I believe that you will go through immigration in Boston only. Ask the security guards if they can help you make the connection. Never hurts to ask foe assistance.
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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Your friends has a perfectly legal connection. And there is no need to go thru immigration since your friend is just transiting. He/she will have to go thru security again. And may have to get the AA boarding passes after going thru security (Heathrow is set up for this). Or can do on-line check-in
The baggage should be thru-checked since you are all on one ticket. Most legacy airlines will do this. The budget ones NEVER do this even if you are continuing on thier flights.
nibblette is offline  
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