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How much time to leave between flights at Heathrow?

How much time to leave between flights at Heathrow?

Old Jan 16th, 2007, 12:34 AM
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How much time to leave between flights at Heathrow?

We got some great advice last year and are hoping for more. Four of us (2 adults, a 7 yr old and 10 yr old) will be traveling from the U.S. to Paris and London in June. Looks like the best flight prices are to go to Heathrow and transfer to a flight to CDG. (we will probably take the Eurostar back to London). How much time do you think we should leave between our Heathrow arrival and our departure on our way to Paris? Does taking the same airline company on both legs of our trip to Paris help (perhaps the same terminal makes for less transfer time)? We are looking at kayak for rates. Thanks. Any other advice on transport for this loop is welcome!
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 12:55 AM
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It's not likely to be the same terminal as flights from US don't come into the same terminal as departing EU flights (eg BA would arrive T4 and leave T1... I think) However, it would be quicker to use the same airline as you wouldn't have to collect your baggage and join a new check-in queue, you would just transfer yourself and your family to the new terminal. If you used two different airlines, you would probably wait half an hour for bags to arrive, another half an hour at least, for transfer, and you would have to be at the ticket desk for check in an hour before the flight leaves. Also, if you are with the same airline, (ie you have a through ticket) and you miss your connection because the arriving plane is late, it's the responsibility of the airline to find you a new flight. (I think)
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 02:29 AM
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There are only three airlines fly LHR-CDG. Taking the same airline on the same ticket (only possible with BA)ensures your bags will be through-checked.

BA offers a same-terminal connection (T4 to T4) for most flights from North America and Australasia, but not for flights from California or HK. A California-Paris connection requires a relatively painless connection, without going through immigration or baggage collection, but you need to allow 90 mins min. Check the BA website in detail about this.

However, if it IS the same airline on one ticket, they'll just put you on the next Paris flight if you miss your cconnection. You'll have to hang round T4 a bit, but there's lots to pass the time.

Any other connection involves at best code-sharing, which in every case I can think of involves changing terminals. If it's on one ticket, most obvious codeshares from (I'm assuming, though you'd get far more helpful answers if you asked less vague questions) North America are Virgin, UA or Air NZ to bmi (T3 to T1), AA to BA (T3 to T4) and DL to AF (T3 to T2). These connections - on one ticket - will get your luggage transferred, your ongoing connection guaranteed (ie, if you miss it, they'll put you on the next) and you'll be able to do all this airside (ie without going throungh baggage collection or immigration). You really don't need to worry very much about the timings: if they issue the ticket, the airline carries the can if you miss things, but allow 90 mins-2 hrs.

Any other connection, or any of these on two tickets, and there's a high risk you'll have to go through immigration, collect your bags and check in again. All bets are off, you may have to buy a new ticket if you miss the connection, and I'd allow a minimum of 6 hrs for any such connection.
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 04:36 AM
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Watch out, taking the Eurostar one way is frequently anything but a cheap deal. Best prices are for round-trip, and this often goes for flights to Paris as well.
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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90 minutes if your baggage is checked through. Go to Heathrow's web site. They have all the info you need.
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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I'm no expert, but always allow 3 hours for a connection thru Heathrow.
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Suz12 - have you investigated buying an open jaw ticket flying into London and out of Paris - surely must be more cost effective than having to travel back to London on the Eurostar which can cost you over $100 apart from making life much easier for you
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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W/o the details flanner mentions (where you are arriving from, which airline(s) etc.) any info you get will just be blind guesses - so tell us more.

A couple of things to consider - If you do open jaw into Paris and out of London you probably will pay nearly the same w/o the LHR connection.

Eurostar s great - but one way tix are usually very expensive. Leisure returns (round trip) are cheaper and you can toss the return ticket.

(You probably know this but just in case - Don't book something like round trip BA to/from Paris transiting through LHR, unless you plan on flying back to London. If you don't fly back to LHR you won't get on the flight home. They will void your return ticket if you don't fly the preceding leg(s) This is different than tossing the train ticket since that would be at the end of the itinerary and they wouldn't come after you for the difference.)
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions (including good suggestions on how to post a question better!). We are going from SFO to Paris, then to London and then back to SFO. I don't really want to go back through an airport between Paris and London (and we like trains), so that's why we are thinking of the Euarostar. Looks like it is just shy of $300 for the 4 of us presently. Given your advice, I went back to kayak and querried in a different way and looks like we might take Air Canada through Montreal to Paris (never would have thought of that on my own!), then eurostar, then Virgin or another airline back form London. Anyone have problems with Air Canada? Or Virgin? or Bristish Airways? Thanks all!
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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suz12 - I may be wrong (and I'm probably missing something), but I think what janisj was suggesting was to fly non-stop SFO - CDG, then take Eurostar to London (which BTW we think is by far the best way between the two cities), then fly back non-stop to SFO from LHR/LGW. The round-trip portion of your Eurostar ticket gets tossed. Not sure why you want/need to go through, for ex., Montreal which requires more change of planes. You have several options on non-stops from SFO to/from CDG & LHR/LGW. Again, sorry if I missed something.
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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dfr4848 - Thanks - I don't want to go through montreal ...but last time i checked kayak, having one stop (instead of nonstop) made it cheaper. If I can find a direct flight from SFO to CDG and then another form LHR/LGW that is a competetive price, we'll take it. Then again, I keep gorgetting to look at what airlines can help me build my frequent flyer miles on Alaska Air...so that's my next project. (Also, to others - I found that thread on Air France vs. Air Canada, so I don't need any input on those two.) Thanks!
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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suz12 - You can earn AS miles on many airlines. Information here:

http://www.alaskaair.com/as/mileagep...rs_Airline.asp

Keep in mind two things:

1. Not all partner flights give you MVP elite-qualifying miles. If you think you may qualify for elite for the year, you may want to choose one that gives you qualify miles. You earn over 10,000 for a roundtrip to Europe from SFO.

2. Check the fare class requirement carefully for some airlines. For example, many fares on British Airways only give you 25% miles. And if I remember correctly, it isn't easy to find out the exact fare class on BA's website.
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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thanks rkkwan - good info to work with the rest of this afternoon.
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