Time between flights at Heathrow

Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 04:46 PM
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Time between flights at Heathrow

I am landing at Heathrow from the U.S. and taking a flight to Paris from Heathrow. Will I need to pick up my luggage and go through Passport control before checking my luggage and boarding the flight to Paris. I am trying to decide whether to take a 2:50 pm or 4:15 pm flight to Paris after landing from the U.S. at noon.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 05:34 PM
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You shouldn't have to claim bags or go through passport control. The only problem would be if your trip is on two separate tickets and the first airline doesn't check your bags through to Paris. Which airlines are involved?

In general if an airline sells you a connecting ticket, they will allow sufficient time to make any required connections.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 05:46 PM
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They are different airlines, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. I haven't booked the London to France leg yet, since I was undecided about the time to depart.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 06:00 PM
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Since your London-Paris flight will be on a different airline anyway, I suggest you consider flying BMI (www.flybmi.com). They have tickets as low as 5.00 GBP (plus tax) and they have a flight that leaves LHR at 16:00 (4:00 p.m.).
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 07:06 PM
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Virgin Atlantic usually will check your luggage thru. However,if you take BA as your onward flight, since they are on separate tickets, you may not be able to check them thru. BA is a stickler about checking thru bags that are not one world partners unless they are on one ticket.

With 2 separate tickets, BA will not allow your bags to be checked thru and you will have to go thru immigration and retrieve your bags. Then you will have to go to the departures desk to check in for flight #2 and drop off your bags. This will be tight with just under 3 hrs between. If you are insistent on taking BA, the 4:15 flight is safer.

If you take TimS's suggestion, you should be able to get your bags checked straight thru, thus avoiding having to go thru immigraiton and retrieving your bags. You will have to tell VS to do this. And always check to make sure the luggage tag reflects your final destination.
However, if VS and BMI are not partners, you will have to go to the connections desk to pick up your onward boarding pass.
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Old Aug 24th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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So, what's the final verdict: Can I through-check my luggage on a Virgin-Atlantic flight arriving in Heathrow and continuing on with British Airways to Paris? This is exactly what I am doing next month.
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Old Aug 24th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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Just call and ask the airlines involved your question about possible check-thru for baggage.
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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"Can I through-check my luggage on a Virgin-Atlantic flight arriving in Heathrow and continuing on with British Airways to Paris?"

VS to BA - most likely, yes

BA to VS - no
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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I called Virgin, but the Customer Service was not very helpful and basically blew off my request. I guess I'll just try to check through my luggage at the gate. Seems like an inefficient system if I have to go retrieve my bags and go through the mess of security at Heathrow, especially considering I'll have my BA boarding pass with me back in SF. At least I have 3 hours between my flights.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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I have been in a similar situation where I bought flights on two different airlines separate of each other. I was told that the first airline could not check my bags all the way through to my final destination because they don't have the ability to do that, and that I would have to pick up my bags and recheck them. It was a pain, but I knew that it would probably end up that way when I chose to purchase the tickets so I was prepared.

As for which flight to take, its a toss-up. My choice would be to obviously take the 2:50 flight, but as a precaution I would probably go with the 4:15. Its only about an hour and a half difference, but I don't think you would be as worried about something going wrong. I've learned, many times, to allow a nice cushion of time between flights.

Tracy
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Old Aug 30th, 2006, 12:29 AM
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We flew UA SFO to LHR connecting to BA to Budapest in June and our bags were checked through. UA and BA are not One World partners but they do have a baggage agreement. You will need to find out from Virgin if this is the case with BA.
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Old Aug 30th, 2006, 12:35 AM
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As it stands right now, because of the security alert, I believe this is still true, will almost certainly have to land in the UK that is go through passport control and re-check in because you are only allowed one carry on out of Heathrow and no liquids until you reach the departure lounge...the day I landed in London on the morning of 10 August, the day of the start of this, when my plane was allowed to go to the gate, a representative got on the plane (it was AA) and explained that all passengers would have to "land" in the UK, go through passport control and re-check in...at that time next to no hand luggage was being allowed (bug suit cases would be allowed to go to the final destination if they had been checked through)...since then the regs have been relaxed to a small degree allowing 1 small and I mean small piece of hand luggage but I believe that re-passing through Heathrow security is still required which means landing in the UK.

How long this will continue is anybody's guess so you better check on this and connection times at Heathrow, bery tight to begin with, are now very very long.
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