Help with connection times at Heathrow

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ozchic

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Hi all, hope someone can give me a bit of advice. I am flying in and out of Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic. I need to book a domestic flight to Scotland. I am unsure of how long to allow between connections as unfortunately I will have to collect my luggage at Heathrow and rebook it through to Scotland. Same going the other way. Have never had to collect luggage etc., before at Heathrow so any advice on how long to allow between flights or any general advice would be greatly apppreciated as this seems like a very daunting task to me!
 

NM

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VS flight will arrive into LHR Terminal 3. The domestic flight (either BA or BD being the main options) will depart from the domestic gates at Terminal 1.

Will you be on a single ticket or are you going to purchase the LHR-Scotland ticket separately? In the past when I have connected through LHR to other UK domestic destinations (NCL mostly), there has not been a requirement to collect bags at LHR, just to clear immigration processing and proceed to Terminal 1 domestic gates. However, its been a few years since I last did that and perhaps the new security measures may have changed that process.

If needing to collect bags at T3 and re-check at T1, then I would be allowing a minimum of 3.5 hours. I say this because I have had to queue for up to an hour for immigration processing at LHR (was T4 but can happen at any terminal there) and you really need to checkin for the domestic flight about 90 mins before departure to allow time for the "enhanced" security screening etc.

But if on separate tickets, I would be considering even longer since a late arrival of your VS flight may mean you miss the connection and the airlines will not protect you.
 

ozchic

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Thank you for the advice - much appreciated. I will be on a separate ticket as it will be purchased separately - Virgin do not fly to Scotland from Heathrow unfortunately and that is why I have to collect luggage. I did ask Virgin about connection time and they said standard two hours but I did not think that would be long enough. I will certainly allow a lot more time going on your suggestion.
 

stryker

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Also depends on what passport you are using.

If UK or EU, then 2 hours would be fine.
 

ozchic

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Travelling on Australian Passport so getting prepared for lengthy delays at Heathrow!
 

Kiwi Flyer

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stryker said:
Also depends on what passport you are using.

If UK or EU, then 2 hours would be fine.

On separate tickets that is still a big risk IMHO. The arriving flight could easily be an hour late. How often have you arrived on time at LHR? My experience is often arrive late or very late.

If you are flying VS upper class don't forget to ask for the fast track voucher (or you may even find someone on FT who can give you one) to speed up the immigration process.
 

Evan

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So you clear immigration when you leave T4 ? but i assume if you then go to T1 for example to fly out again your treated as a transit ?

I have managed to avoid LHR as a through point for years but my next flight i transit there this time. Atleast i have 4.5 hours to kill.

E
 
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NM

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Evan said:
So you clear immigration when you leave T4 ? but i assume if you then go to T1 for example to fly out again your treated as a transit ?

I have managed to avoid LHR as a through point for years but my next flight i transit there this time. Atleast i have 4.5 hours to kill.

E
If the airlines will inter-line your bags, then you follow the signs to Flight Connections Centre for Terminal 1 departures. There you will be security screened and follow the signs to T1 Domestic (UK and Ireland) departures where you will go through Immigration and Customs.

You bags can be through-checked to the final destination.

If the airlines will not interline your bags, then you need to clear immigration at the arriving terminal, collect bags and exit through customs. Then make your own way to the departure terminal to check you bags with the next airline.
 

ozchic

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Hi again made a mistake with my first post actually flying in with Malaysian Airlines and out with Virgin Atlantic - don't suppose that makes any difference.
 

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NM said:
If the airlines will inter-line your bags, then you follow the signs to Flight Connections Centre for Terminal 1 departures. There you will be security screened and follow the signs to T1 Domestic (UK and Ireland) departures where you will go through Immigration and Customs.

Given the FCC queues it can be quicker to clear immigration, transfer landside and back through security.
 

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Given the FCC queues it can be quicker to clear immigration, transfer landside and back through security.
indeed I have done that. But it depends on the queues on the day and you never know until you get beyond the decision point. So its a gamble either way.

I once had a very tight T1->T4 transfer following a delayed FRA-LHR flight to connect to QF10 departing LHR. Qantas assumed I would miss the QF10 and had off-loaded me from their flight. But I cleared immigration at T1, took the HEX and arrived through security at T4 and the departure gate about half way through boarding. When my BP was rejected by the scanner, they could not figure how I made it from my arriving FRA flight to T4 before they closed the doors. My seat was reinstated and I make it home on time.
 

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Took me ages to get from T4 to T1 today !
45mins and it was really quiet, dragons made everybody remove shoes and all at the checkpoints.

Evan
 

turbo

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after a bit of advice for my first intl flight (only to NZ) was originally SYD - ZQN direct and back via AKL but will now probably have to start and fly MEL - SYD first (cheaper than changing the NZ flight as well). all with QF.

Question: QF website states min check in time for intl is 60 mins (flight dep at 0900 from SYD T1 and first flight MEL - SYD arrives at T3 at 0720. Will this leave enought time to transfer terminals and do whatever admin we have to do with passports / customs etc?

When i check in at MEL for the MEL - SYD leg am i also able to check in for the SYD - ZQN flight even though they are separate bookings and will baggage be checked through to ZQN from MEL or do i have to collect and recheck in SYD?

As a QC but only FF Bronze do i still get priority check in and baggage etc for intl flights to NZ? Cheers
 

serfty

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turbo said:
Question: QF website states min check in time for intl is 60 mins (flight dep at 0900 from SYD T1 and first flight MEL - SYD arrives at T3 at 0720. Will this leave enought time to transfer terminals and do whatever admin we have to do with passports / customs etc? ...
100 minutes would easily be within MCT. A couple of tips; at least a day before you travel (ASAP is better), contact Qantas (armed with both booking references) and ask for "Information Sectors" be put into both bookings referring to the connecting flights. i.e. For you SYD-ZQN booking get the MEL-SYD inserted and for your MEL-SYD booking, get the SYD-ZQN booking added. This will enable check-in agents to see your connecting flights when looking up you booking.

(These segments will show up on the QF web site under MMB if done correctly.)

turbo said:
When i check in at MEL for the MEL - SYD leg am i also able to check in for the SYD - ZQN flight even though they are separate bookings and will baggage be checked through to ZQN from MEL or do i have to collect and recheck in SYD?
Yes, just ask when checking in in MEL; bring printouts of both e-tickets. (If you already have the information segments inserted, they'll probably do this anyway.)


turbo said:
As a QC but only FF Bronze do i still get priority check in and baggage etc for intl flights to NZ? Cheers
Yep!
 

turbo

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Cheers for your advice, thats great. When i ring the QF line to get an agent to link these bookings are they able to pre allocate me specific seats if i ask for them this far in advance (trip in July) or will i just have to take my chances with my QC Profile?
 

serfty

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Ring now and request seating for your SYD-ZQN flight; can't do it for MEL-SYD.

You can check your seating on www.checkmytrip.com; as a QP member you probably already have seats pre-allocated for your international flights. You may wish to change them.
 

JohnK

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While we are on connection times at Heathrow....

Is 2 hours enough for a BA international connection on separate tickets? eg OSL-LHR and then LHR-ARN.

What about a BA to IB connection on the same ticket? Flights leave from the same terminals?
 

serfty

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JohnK said:
While we are on connection times at Heathrow....

Is 2 hours enough for a BA international connection on separate tickets? eg OSL-LHR and then LHR-ARN.

What about a BA to IB connection on the same ticket? Flights leave from the same terminals?
2 Hours? LHR? Sperate PNR's?

It may be within MCT; but I would not risk it! 4 hours minimum for me ...

Read NM's post #2 example.

As you probably would be flying out on oneWORLD you have lounge access; if you end up having a couple of hours to spare you can simply kick back and relax. :cool:

Certainly better than what might happen otherwise ... :shock: :(
 

Kiwi Flyer

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serfty said:
2 Hours? LHR? Sperate PNR's?

It may be within MCT; but I would not risk it! 4 hours minimum for me ...

Read NM's post #2 example.

As you probably would be flying out on oneWORLD you have lounge access; if you end up having a couple of hours to spare you can simply kick back and relax. :cool:

Certainly better than what might happen otherwise ... :shock: :(

Agree. Same tickets 2 hour connection is risky (especially if different terminals involved). Separate tickets is asking for trouble, especially if don't have fast-track access at FCC or immigration (ie not arriving in first or business). Even with fast-track I've had connections take 2 hours just to get to my departing terminal.

But really depends on time of day arriving, which terminal and what departing terminal. It is possible to connect in an hour - at the best times.
 

NM

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with separate tickets there is no safe MCT. Your initial flight could be delayed by 24 hours or more (does happen sometimes) and you are still not protected.
 
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