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bwage30 Mar 23rd, 2008 03:53 PM

LHR connection time
I realize there is a bit of uncertainty on this question due to the opening of terminal 5 at LHR. My question is this: My wife and I have a 2:05 hr connection time on American from Chicago to British Airways going to Vienna. What do you think of this--will we make it? thanks for the input!

cwojo99 Mar 23rd, 2008 05:21 PM

2 hours should be enough time if you go directly to your next gate.

nytraveler Mar 23rd, 2008 05:29 PM

Last week I was scheduled to have 2 hours for a change from terminal 3 to 4. The minimum legal time is 90 minutes.

Luckily I managed to get on an earlier plane (30 minutes) out of JFK - and just made the connection. I was walking up as they started boarding. If I had stayed with the later flight there's no way I would have made it.

frogoutofwater Mar 23rd, 2008 05:58 PM

Have you already booked your flight? If not, I'd budget for a longer connection. While 2 hours is ordinarily enough, a lot can go wrong and the little glitches can add up to a long connection. There are long walks in the terminal, you have to go through security again (even when your connecting flight is in the same terminal), and there are likely to be delays and problems as everyone gets used to T5. There are also often significant delays on landing at LHR due to congestion (e.g. the plane may circle or 20-30 minutes before landing, sit on the tarmac for 15-30 minutes before being able to taxi to the gate, and then there is another wait for the gate to actually come available). If you're sitting in the back of the economy class cabin, you're going to be behind a lot of other people in the line for security at Flight Connections.

I always try to have at least a 2.5 hour connection at LHR and preferably 3 hours, at least on my way to something. (I usually don't mind missed connections on my way home - either from a meeting or a vacation.)

On the other hand, there likely are at least a few flights to Vienna each day, so if you miss your connection, you should be able to get to Vienna on the same day, on the next flight (although your baggage might not arrive when you do). Make sure you that pack a change of socks, undies and a clean shirt in your carry-on. It's also a good idea to "cross-pack" a little in each other's suitcases, so if one suitcase goes missing, you've each got something to wear in the other suitcase.

bwage30 Mar 23rd, 2008 06:31 PM

Additional information: my wife and I will be carrying on luggage only. no need to head to the baggage claim areas....does this make it more feasible? thanks

flanneruk Mar 24th, 2008 12:12 AM

It's irrelevant to this connection whether you check your bags or not if this booking is on one ticket - though ESSENTIAL that, if you don't check bags, your carry on conforms to BA rules, since you won't make this connection if it doesn't. You make the same airside connection with or without checked bags. But with oversized carry on, you have to go out of the secure area to check the bags in.

Minimum T3-T5 connect time is 120 mins during the T5 introductory phase, and you don't say when you're travelling. This is a legal connection, and it's BA/AA's responsibility to rebook you if you miss it.

I'd take it, go straight to the FCC when you get off the plane and no mess about. If I were mobility impaired, or slowed down by too much carry on baggage, I wouldn't.

bwage30 Mar 24th, 2008 08:23 AM

My wife and I will only have a 21 inch roll aboard each. My wife will also have a tote bag for her personal item. As far as I can tell on the BA and AA websites, these should pass the muster for carry on requirements. Anyone know differently? We booked these tickets last July, before I knew about the opening of T5 in LHR. We travel on the 30-31 of March 2008. Think this will be enough of a connection time? Thanks again for all of the help from everyone.

nytraveler Mar 24th, 2008 09:46 AM

You just need to be sure that the 21" isn't just the label of the bag. Measure it - including the wheels and handle - or you could be in trouble. On my flight back from Zurich several people with legal US carry-ons had to gate check them - since the wheels made them too large.

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