LHR - enough time ???

Jun 6th, 2002, 09:00 AM
  #1  
fret
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LHR - enough time ???

Hi,

I'm flying into London Heathrow Terminal 1 and flying out again with a different airline from terminal 3. Unfortunately, my baggage cannot be checked through, so i have to pick it up at T1, then go to T3 to check in again. My flight in lands at 0800, the flight out departs 1200. Do I have enough time, or should I consider overnighting ?
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #2  
Kate
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I am assuming that you are arriving internationally and then flying domestically. When I worked for AA the max time to meet a legal "connection" was about 3 hours. I would not be worried.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 09:42 AM
  #3  
Gregory
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Hi,

4 hours is plenty of time in almost all cases ( you may be extremely unlucky and have a long delay on your LHR inbound flight but should be fine). I'm a bit surprised that you cannot check your baggage through even if on different airlines ( which ones are you flying with?)

Regards
Gregory
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 09:49 AM
  #4  
Kate Again
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Check with the airlines and ask if they have a baggage agreement with the connecting carrier. Did you buy separate tickets? Give us more information. Or call your airline and tell them EXACTLY how you are ticketed, so much depends on that. Good luck
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 09:50 AM
  #5  
Sarah
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As long as there is not delays you should have no problem with that layover.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 11:46 AM
  #6  
Patrick
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We arrive at Heathrow on American Airlines from Miami at 9:45 AM. We depart on British Airways to Amsterdam at 11:20. After checking both with American and with British Airways, they now both tell us that we much claim our luggage and clear customs at Heathrow. This sounds like a very tight schedule, yet both airlines have said it is no problem. I believe we arrive and depart at the same terminal, but still, this is only an hour and thirty-five minutes total.
I am not sure why we can't check our luggage through, but both airlines have said we can't.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 11:57 AM
  #7  
Gregory
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Hi Patrick,

I believe that BA amsterdam flights depart from terminal 4, not 1.
With the BA/AA connection I'm sure you can get your bags checked thorugh and possibly even get your boarding passes for the next flight ( as they are both oneworld alliance partners).
If you do not like an answer , the old saying among frequent travellers is call again.
The 1:35 connection is fine as long as you do not have a major delay on the transatlantic flight.

Regards
Gregory
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 11:59 AM
  #8  
Gregory
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Sorry Atrick , got you confused with fret.

AA arrives at Terminal 3 so you will need to transfer to T4.
Regards
Gregory
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 12:09 PM
  #9  
J T Kirk
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I think you'll have to claim your luggage, then go through customs.
Frankly, Patrick, I'm not sure if you have enough time. I have nearly been screwed a couple of times recently because of that very same problem, i e, not having enough time between flights. (I've literally had to RUN through a few airports.) I believe the original poster, who has four hours, will be in okay shape, assuming there are no lengthy delays.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 12:24 PM
  #10  
janis
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4 hours should be OK unless your inbound flight is really delayed.

But 95 minutes is very possibly not long enough. Most of the gates at LHR are a loooong way from customs/immigration. You may have a 10 to 15 minute (or longer) walk just to get to customs. The wait for luggage can be 10 minutes - but the last time I was at LHR my friend's bag took more than 50 minutes to reach the carousel. And she wasn't the last passenger waiting.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 12:55 PM
  #11  
Patrick
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I love the idea of "if you don't get the answer you want, call again", so I've just done that. I have called American twice more since posting earlier. The first time I got someone who said that the 95 minutes was considered a valid time because we don't clear customs or claim our luggage. When I told her last week I was told just the opposite, she checked with a supervisor -- a long wait. She returned to say that yes she was correct -- we will check right through.

So I hung up and called again. This time the girl told me yes we did have to claim our luggage and did have to clear customs, but that 95 minutes should be plenty of time. When I told her that less than 10 minutes before I had been told the opposite and that it had been verified with a supervisor, she also went to check. Again a long pause -- this time with a return answer that yes, the supervisor claimed we will indeed have to claim our luggage, clear customs and go from terminal 3 to terminal number 4, but that it should be no problem.

It is fine calling and getting the answer you want, but isn't the bottom line going to be when we check in at Miami and someone finally makes a decision? I'm also a little confused. Is it possible to land at terminal 3 and transfer to terminal 4 without clearing customs? And if so, can you clear customs without your baggage?

I have traveled a lot, but this is actually only the second time I've ever had a connection in Europe. The other time was arriving on American from Miami at Gatwick and transferring to British Airways to Dublin -- no problem and luggage was checked through. But that was before 9/11. Is that what all this customs confusion is about?
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 01:09 PM
  #12  
Andre
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Patrick,

One thing is for sure: this is not a security or customs issue.

It has to do with the existence or not of a "luggage interlining" agreement between AA and BA. As both carriers are part of the Oneworld alliance, you should be OK. HOWEVER, AA and BA are not allowed to codeshare on transatlantic routes due to a dispute between the US and UK goverments on additional slots at Heathrow for US carriers (you can't earn AAdvantage on BA transatlantic flights either) - so there is a possibility that this stupid dispute has even prevented bagage interlining... would be surprised though.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Andre
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 01:59 PM
  #13  
Christina
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I'm not so sure it's a codesharing thing. I just had to transfer in London, both segments were British Airways (although it really was LOT from Poland, then BA to USA) and I had to retrieve bags myself then go to Terminal 4 and checkin as if I were a new passenger. BA told me that it WAS due to security issues and that you used to be able to have the bags checked through, but now you can't. They said because there it is more likely to be "tampered with" if they check them through. Not clear if that meant by BA employes stealing stuff, or security issues, but I think the latter. It does make sense in that if the bags were checked through, someone could put something dangerous in one that they expected to go off in a certain time frame (let's be hypothetical) after being transferred to the second flight and they could just not get on that flight. Perhaps, I don't know the scenario they envision but they said it was for security. Did not make a lot of sense because it seemed to me it was more likely to be tampered with the more it was handled, rather than checked straight thru.

However, I was transferring between Gatwick and Heathrow, so I'm not sure if that makes a difference. But I was told by others on that plane who travel a lot that BA used to check bags through even when it was between those airports and now they won't.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 02:21 PM
  #14  
Andre
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Cristina,

I would be very surprised to get firsthand confirmation that BA used to transport bags between Heathrow and Gatwick - just imagine the logistics involved! They just give you a free bus ticket, that's all. The security argument doesn't make any sense (unless Warsaw is somehow viewed as an "insecure" airport).

Andre
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 04:00 PM
  #15  
Sue
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Fret, thank you for asking this question. I asked it myself last fall, since like Patrick I had tried talking to the two airlines (unrelated in my case) and got 7 different answers from 6 different people. It is not a case of not how much time does one need, but how much time will one actually get? This will depend on things beyond your control, like the occurrence or non-occurrence of delays. And as Patrick said, a lot will depend on what local staff will actually decide on the day in question.

That said, four hours should be enough time to handle any snafus. If you're still worried, consider that some cancellation insurance policies cover missed connections. The terms of the policies vary, but usually if the scheduled connect time is 3 hours or more, you will be covered. Tells you something about the insurance company thinks is a safe margin, at least.

Patrick, good luck, and do let us know what actually happened when you go.
 
Jun 7th, 2002, 12:38 AM
  #16  
fret
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thanks for all the replies, and for putting me at ease. I'm flying in with BA and out again with singapore airlines. I have checked with BA and they cannot check my luggage through. I could have flown on with British Midland who are in the star alliance with SA, unfortunately their ticket price was around $150 more than BA, so my wallet rules on this one.
 
Jun 7th, 2002, 09:43 AM
  #17  
Christina
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Well, Andre, I don't understand why you think it would be impossible logistics for BA to transfer their own bags between the airports if the passengers can do it. I don't understand why I can do it but they can't.

As for firsthand confirmation, I don't know. All I know is a British man sitting next to me on that bus going to Heathrow from Gatwick told me that and he was British and a businessman who had traveled on BA for years. Perhaps he was wrong, but I don't understand why you think that's so impossible.
 
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