Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Help! We leave Sunday for Italy-will we have time to see our son in London with a 3 1/2 hr layover in London?

Help! We leave Sunday for Italy-will we have time to see our son in London with a 3 1/2 hr layover in London?

May 21st, 2004, 02:19 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 33
Help! We leave Sunday for Italy-will we have time to see our son in London with a 3 1/2 hr layover in London?

We have a 3 1/2 hr layover with British Airways in London at Gatwick, on our way to Naples & then Positano. Would 3 1/2 hrs be long enough to see our son who lives in London? He'd be at the airport. I called BA & they said we'd have to go thru customs and then back thru security to get to our gate. Is this possible to do in a timely manner? Will that leave us time to get to our gate 30 mins ahead of boarding? We've never been to Gatwick so I don't know the layout of the airport. I know it depends on how long the lines are but just wondering if we should try this. Our son will be home in June for a visit but he's been gone 9 mos & we'd love to see him. Thanks for your help.
PattyB is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 03:38 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
If your plane lands on time you should be OK. If its substantially late you may not.
nytraveler is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 06:21 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 316
I think that you will be fine, as long as you land on time. It should not take more than 1/2 hr to deplane and clear customs as long as you have nothing to declare. Add 45 min on the other side and you should be good for a 2 hour visit.
allanc is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 09:24 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,144
Forget about Customs: you've presumably checked your bags through, and you'll have your onward boarding pass before leaving the US. You will queue for Immigration. Everything you're going to do will happen inside the same building, the North Terminal. Last time I was there you had to be at the gate 15 mins before take off.

Unless something catastrophic happens, you'll do all this easily, BUT:

Allow 5-10 mins to get from the Customs exit to the entrance to Security for departures a floor and a half above. The queues at this gate are often awful: on a Saturday morning in holiday time, they can be up to 45 mins long. For peace of mind you might want to recce the length of these queues before siting down in a coffee place for a chat.

If you miscalculate, you won't be the only one. It's routine to jump the security queue: indeed there are usually BA staff patrolling the queue calling for passengers on flights close to closing. But you won't make yourself popular with others in the queue for doing so.
flanneruk is offline  
May 22nd, 2004, 03:43 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 33
Thanks everyone--I really appreciate your help. If our plane isn't delayed we're going to give it a try.
PattyB is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:45 PM.