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pzdd81 Nov 15th, 2010 07:06 PM

Possible? St Pancras to Heathrow...

During my holiday in UK and Paris, my family of 4 would be reaching St Pancras station at a scheduled timing of 5.59pm. I think I might have made a major mistake by booking this timing...

We have an internationl flight (Qantas) to catch departing Heathrow terminal 3 at 10pm Is this possible? And how big would the risk be that we would miss the flight?

As I'm considering booking another ticket the night before just to be on the safe side.


pzdd81 Nov 15th, 2010 07:17 PM

And oh,

Would checking in online at Paris greatly reduce the risks of missing the flight?

janisj Nov 15th, 2010 08:21 PM

You have a decent chance of making it (but none if your train is delayed)

The tube takes 54 minutes (depending on the terminal) to get to LHR. So assuming you catch the 6:17 or 6:32 Piccadilly trains you will be at LHR before 8PM.

You don't want to take a car service at that time of day because the traffic will be nasty.

The other main option would be taking the tube to Paddington and the Heathrow Express. This would likely be quicker but w/ more schlepping of bags complexity. The tube takes 22 mins from Kings Cross/St Pancras to Paddington, then you need to walk upstairs to the train station and wait for the next HEX which only takes 15 minutes to LHR.

So either route will get you to LHR 2 to nearly 3 hours before your flight.

I sure wouldn't risk it though - any hiccup on the Eurostar and you are totally SOL.

I'd change the Eurostar to the night before (or at latest the morning of) your flight. Or cancel it altogether and fly CDG to LHR earlier that day.

flanneruk Nov 15th, 2010 11:27 PM

DON'T choose the St P - Paddington - LHR option with luggage.

Though the transfer from the railway station to the tube at St P is painless, the transfer from the westbound Circle/Hammersmith & City line at Paddington is, with bags, the most unpleasant on the entire tube system - and at 1830-1845 takes forever and is downright physically dangerous to you and the hundreds of others on the stairs at the same time.

With hand luggage only it's merely a nuisance and in your shoes is what I'd do.

But by far the quickest way from central Paris to Heathrow T3 is by plane to T5, pausing only to through check your bags all the way to Oz at the CDG BA desk. I can't even begin to imagine why you're messing around with trains under any circumstances: at rush hour it's downright potty.

annhig Nov 15th, 2010 11:58 PM

flanner - picking up on this St. P - Paddington nightmare, we need to get from Paddington to St. P on a sat [not too bad, we have 2 hours to do it] and from st. P to Paddington on the following monday [just an hour to do that, but it's at about 7pm].

any thoughts?

pzdd - sorry to hijack your thread!

alanRow Nov 16th, 2010 03:52 AM

Could you please start your own thread as the advice for OP is going to be totally different from the advice for you.

I'd also add in the reason *why* you only have 2 hours / 1 hour to make the transfer because I suspect you are making several assumptions about what routing is possible.

As for OP, my advice is to forget about the Eurostar and fly to Heathrow from Paris. Better still book an open-jaws ticket so your flights home start in Paris.

You are going to have an awful trip from St Pancras to Heathrow by ANY means of travel. The odds are you will make the flight home but you'll be in quite a state

alanbowen Nov 18th, 2010 05:42 AM

I have to say, assuming the Eurostar is on time, you really should have nothing to worry about. Assuming you are out of customs in 15 minutes at St Pancras, you should be on the train by 1830 and at Heathrow in less than an hour. It would easier if it was Saturday or Sunday rather than a Friday when everything takes a little longer, if you can check in on line in advance even better but it's not a diaster. QF will check in until at least 1hr30 before departure,and possibly even later, I checked in 50 minutes before a flight from Terminal 3 to Miami and still got on board, although not a great seat admittedly

flanneruk Nov 18th, 2010 06:12 AM


Depends on luggage etc. I should say that my preferred option (I've rarely got more than a laptop bag) is usually to walk from Pad to Edgware Rd tube, then get the tube, and to walk back from KX to Pad (about 45 mins)

With modest luggage, it's easiest to get the Bakerloo to Oxford Circus, then the NORTHBOUND Victoria line in the Pad-KX direction (and obviousdly vv going TO Paddington: ie follow for the NORTHBOUND Bakerloo at Oxford Circuse). Still a dozen steps, but fastest and the steps at Oxford Circus are never horridly congested. Even on Sats, if you're arriving on a major intercity train, several hundred people are trying to get onto the eastbound Circle line platform with you, and it can be horrible.

If you've got a clear hour or more, with luggage, the easiest thing is to go outside into Praed St, and get the 210 bus, getting off at the British Library: there's a side entrance to St P on the Euston Rd about 50 yds east of the stop, and it's straight opposite the Eurostar checkin.

At 7 pm on a weekday, you're PROBABLY safe with a taxi.

Mimar Nov 18th, 2010 06:31 AM

Have you considered changing your flight to depart from Paris? I don't know what your airline would charge for the change but Eurostar tickets aren't cheap -- depending on when you buy them.

Ricardo_215 Nov 18th, 2010 06:37 AM

alanbowen, afaik customer clearance is done on eurostar before entering England.
pzdd81 What day are you traveling, and are all in your family able to walk ok?
Another thought: in 2007, I had an early eurostar booked from Paris. But we wanted to go to Basel and took a night train back to Paris, making our eurostar connection in Paris very tight. I rang eurostar & they kindly changed it to a later train at no cost. We only had economy tickets. Maybe worth a try.

annhig Nov 19th, 2010 08:08 AM

thanks, flanner.

we shouldn't have much luggage [equivalent of carry-on plus handbag] as this is a "flying" visit.

I used to whiz around the underground with aplomb but that was about 15 years ago.

flanneruk Nov 19th, 2010 11:06 PM


It's not really the Tube, or either of our ages, that's the buggeration.

It's a truly doolally mess that's cropped up at Paddington, where the number of passengers has ballooned over the past 20 years, but two serious bottlenecks have been allowed to get worse. Access to and from the direct lines to KX/St Pancras is by one, highly dangerous staircase (they've REDUCED the passenger capacity of the stairs and withdrawn the lift, while rerouting the tubes so as to increase the number of passengers): access to and from the westbound District line is also possible only by very narrow stairs. At peak hours, carrying luggage is a near-nightmare.

Meanwhile, oodles have been thrown at a near-useless Heathrow Express.

love_travel_Aus Nov 19th, 2010 11:53 PM

As the OP is catching a Qantas flight from Terminal 3 I am guessing it is not possible for them to depart on their flight to....? from Paris.

Having flown out from Terminal 3 a few weeks ago - after flying in from Berlin - I would perhaps suggest fly - not use the train.
I do however note that many contributors mention that flying out of Paris is not a good thing to have to do!

So - as the train is tempting and it seems easy - why not take one earlier in the day and reduce the stress?

annhig Nov 20th, 2010 06:14 AM

wel, that's cheered me up no end, thanks flanner!

I remember the extremely long walk that you have to do to get to the circle and district line from the main-line concourse -is the st. Pancras transfer worse than that? surely not!

in fact I just went into the london underground website and see that if i were going this weekend, I'd probably have had to walk!

which may not be the worst idea ever - how long to walk from paddington to St. Pancras?

janisj Nov 20th, 2010 01:51 PM

>>how long to walk from paddington to St. Pancras?<<

For me, nearly an hour. I've not walked the whole route in one go -- but at different times, I've walked the length of Marylebone rd and most Euston Rd and adding those bits to the maybe 1/2 mile along Praed St - you wouldn't get much change from 60 minutes. Maybe flanner can give you a better estimate though.

flanneruk Nov 20th, 2010 10:08 PM

In my post I said the walk's (Praed St till it hits Edgware Rd, then Chapel St opposite, then straight right aloing Marylebone/Euston Rds) 45 mins, but I wouldn't argue seriously with janisj's 60.

Depending on traffic, it almost always takes longer than getting the 210 bus. Don't wish to be ungallant, but I see Anne's got student children, so she or bloke may well qualify for a bus pass. Us provincials may use our passes on London buses (but not tubes) at weekends and after 0930ish on weekdays.

annhig Nov 21st, 2010 12:43 PM

good point flanner.

one of us [LOL] qualifies for the bus pass.

the 210 bus now sounds even better.

Ricardo_215 Dec 10th, 2010 03:00 PM

On Nov 29 my son bought a ticket at Chatham for train & tube from there through to Heathrow Underground, via St Pancras. We knew there was an Underground strike on, but it wasn't a complete shut-down. As they sold him the ticket at 6 am we decided it must be ok. At St. Pancras he was given conflicting information (he says), but was told to go to Euston, so he walked there, then told, no, try Euston Square. Ended up getting a bus to Paddington and Heathrow Express from there. But he had to buy new tickets, they wouldn't honour his Underground ticket. Doesn't tfl arrange for other companies to honour their tickets in case of "industrial action" (or inaction)? Fortunately he got his first train at 6:24 instead of the 7:30 he had originally planned to take - & was in time for his flight.

PatrickLondon Dec 11th, 2010 12:10 AM

Not Heathrow Express, they wouldn't. It's hardly a comparable service.

Ricardo_215 Dec 11th, 2010 01:11 PM

Yes I suppose it is a higher class of service than the tube. I think he may not have realised there were other options (well, maybe there weren't, except perhaps Heathrow Connect?) & was perhaps starting to get worried he would miss his 12:00 flight

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