Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   roughly 2 hour to get from Heathrow to Gatwick, enough time?? (

azzurribaggio Aug 4th, 2007 02:28 AM

roughly 2 hour to get from Heathrow to Gatwick, enough time??
Please see the below itinerary, British Airways told me this should be enough time but now after reading all the post on here I'm very worried! Will hiring a private car help at all???


From: John F Kennedy (New York) Terminal 7
To: Heathrow (London) Terminal 4
Depart: Mon 17 Sep 2007, 19:30
Arrive: Tue 18 Sep 2007, 07:40

Gatwick (London) Terminal N - Naples (Italy), Tue 18 Sep 2007, 10:45
From: Gatwick (London) Terminal N
To: Naples (Italy)
Depart: Tue 18 Sep 2007, 10:45
Arrive: Tue 18 Sep 2007, 14:35

bilboburgler Aug 4th, 2007 05:24 AM

Seems very unlikely. Are BA providing the transport and warranty?

Kay2 Aug 4th, 2007 06:31 AM

As you say, British Airways says 3 hours is the minimum, but posters on this board don't like to rely on the minimum as it does not leave room for incoming plane delays, lines, unfamiliarity with the airports, traffic jams, etc. How many later flights does the airline have to accommodate you on to Naples and what is their policy about putting you on them if you miss the connection?

British Airways' position:
The minimum connecting time between Heathrow and Gatwick is 3 hours.
This includes a coach journey of between 1hour and 1hour 30mins.

Full information on the National Express Airport coach service can be found if you click here .

Please note: British Airways do not subsidise customer costs for this coach journey. The coach fare is payable by the customer.

Please also note: Customer carrying large/bulky baggage, such as surfboards and bicycles,are unable to be accepted for travel on the National Express Airport coaches.

rkkwan Aug 4th, 2007 07:03 AM

BA has a later flight LGW-NAP, departing around 5:30p. Chances are you'll not makethe 10:45, and you'll be put on that one 7 hours later.

BlueSea Aug 4th, 2007 08:05 AM

Seeing that you are arriving on a Tuesday morning, I would think it's may be pretty impossible. The M25 is so bottle-necked at that time of the day (been there, done that, so we now book to arrive on a Saturday or Sunday).

willit Aug 4th, 2007 08:39 AM

Not a chance. You may not even have cleared Immigration/baggage retrieval and Customs at Heathrow by 8:45 (Which is roughly when you need to be checking in at Gatwick).

You then need to get from one airport to another using possibly the busiest road in Europe at peak time. I think the National Express page recommends a minimum of 5 hours between arrival and departure if needing to transfer between airports.

alanRow Aug 4th, 2007 08:52 AM

BA say that 3 hours is possible - but generally you'd be lucky to have arrived at Gatwick in 3 hours let alone checked in, gone through security and be sitting on an aircraft

Have a word with them, get BOOKED on the later flight and go to Gatwick via the centre of London and see a little bit of London

alanRow Aug 4th, 2007 08:55 AM

BTW BMI have a flight LHR to NAP at 11:15 - but BA won't check you through, it's up to you to make the connection & for some strange reason it's £300 cheaper if you book it as a Lufthansa codeshare

nytraveler Aug 4th, 2007 10:38 AM

You could probably do it if you hire a helicopter.

I would go back to BA and ask them to fix this now - based on the fact that it's simply not realistic. They can put you on the later flight (IF there's room) - if not you're left waiting. (Check the # of seats left on the later flight before you talk to them.)

annhig Aug 4th, 2007 10:50 AM


my suggestion would be to junk the same day connection completely, spend the day/night in london, then get an earlyish train from Victoria to Gatwick.

that way, you avoid the M25 [not known as the world's largest car park for nothing] altogether, and get the day in london.

regards, ann

IdyllicItaly Aug 4th, 2007 11:58 AM

Does British Air have an earlier flight from NYC that they could put you on? If you were to arrive at London Heathrow by 5:30-6 am, you would have a comfortable margin to make your scheduled flight to Naples. That would be my preference.

Best wishes with your plans.

BlueSea Aug 4th, 2007 01:20 PM

One thing comes to my mind ...

If BA at JFK check-in say the bags can be checked-in all the way to Naples, you must say NO! Have them checked to go to LHR only, and you pick them off the baggage claim yourself on arrival at LHR and you take them yourself to LGW.

There are plenty of horror stories about lost bags and plenty of them go missing when passengers pass thru LHR.

Go back to BA and tell them straight to their faces that LGW is NOT next door to LHR but a distance away via the bottle-necked M25, and there are long security queues to consider. They should be kind enough to change and put you on the first evening flight out of JFK.

Or put you on the later evening flight out of JFK and on the later Naples flight.

Heathrow T4 Arrivals is very very busy early morning.

We have never done transfers at LHR or LGW, let alone LHR/LGW, but we have flown into and from LHR and LGW. My dad lives west of LHR so we prefer to go to LHR, but on occasion we go to LGW. I can tell you one SHORT section of the M25 between LGW and LHR is a very very bad spot during weekday morning rush hour - I had the misfortunate of arriving at LGW on a Wednesday last year!

That section gets better when the rush hour is passed, hence my suggestion on catching the later JFK-LHR flight and early evening Naples flight.

Bottom line, 3 hours is undoable.

One other thing we have noticed ... if we are late taking off on BA, the captain doesn't always speed up to make up the lost time even transatlantic. If we take off late, we land late too. Other airlines are opposite. BA is trying to save money on fuel by not increasing the airspeed!

janisj Aug 4th, 2007 01:35 PM

skip the discussion above about whether to check bags through or not. Your bags WILL NOT be checked through. Simply not an option.

3 hours is <u>totally</u> unrealistic. You have to clear immigration, collect your bags and make your way to the bus stop. This is after taxi-ing and walking quite a long ways just to get to arrivals. You woul dbe VERY lucky to be on a coach by 0900. No way to get to LGW and through security in the time you'd have.

Make BA fix this mess since they are the ones that sold it to you. And BTW - if you do miss the flight and BA calls it a legal connection, they might not honor your onward ticket if they decide you dawdled at LHR and &quot;missed the connection due to your own actions&quot;

BlueSea Aug 4th, 2007 01:40 PM

I agree with janisj !!

rkkwan Aug 4th, 2007 01:59 PM

BlueSea - Other airlines also won't increase speed to compensate for late departures, unless there's very strong and specific reasons to. You burn a lot more fuel to gain very little.

flanneruk Aug 5th, 2007 10:32 PM

You'll this easily.

The nonsense advice you're getting from the nay-sayers - most of it downright wrong - is a classic example of why so you should never allow generalised prejudices to guide you in specific examples.

None of the moaners seem to have bothered checking your (T4 to Gatwick North) journey, or asking whether you'd get Fast Track, for example.

BUT the poster didn't mention he or she was in Business Class and therefore eligible for FastTrack.

So moral 2: state all the facts.

azzurribaggio Sep 21st, 2007 08:40 AM

Made the connection!, we did have fast-track.
Flight was delayed at Gatwick by 45 mins.

DCJones Sep 21st, 2007 04:47 PM

Glad you made it!

Kay2 Sep 22nd, 2007 12:23 PM

Glad to hear. Hope you enjoyed Italy.

Could you give us some more details so we will know for the next traveller?

Were you flying business or coach? Did you arrive as scheduled, at 07:40 or earlier? bus to terminal? only carryon or were bags at carousel quickly? About how long did it take the bus to get to Gatwick? Check in?

You did say the flight departed 45 minutes late, so 11:30, so 4 hours between the flights?

suze Sep 22nd, 2007 12:58 PM

But would you have made it... if you weren't &quot;fast track&quot; &amp; if the onward flight wasn't 45 mins. late?

To help people plan in the future, it's real helpful to give the details.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:30 AM.