Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Changing flights at LHR, 75 minutes time

20 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

Has anyone flown STR-LHR-[a US airport] with American Airlines (or maybe as British Airways or US Airways)?

-My flight: December 20 STR 11:15am to LHR 12:05pm then LHR 13:20pm to CLT 18:20. It is booked with American Airlines but the first leg is a codeshare on a British Airways flight and the second leg is a codeshare on a US Airways flight. Connection time at LHR is 75 minutes. This was not the original connection time. When I booked my trip the LHR-CLT leg was listed as having a 14:25 departure. Still tight but doable I thought.

-Arrival to LHR at Terminal 5 and departure from Terminal 3. I'm not sure what implications this has for British immigration/customs, since I'm just transitting, not going to Britain.

 

Has anyone successfully made a 1 hour 15 minute layover/connection at Heathrow with these conditions? The Heathrow airport website indicates that this is not a legal connection time. However American offers similar connection times (75-80 minutes) for several flights (the STR-LHR flight that arrives at 12:05 connecting to a 13:15 LHR-PHL flight for example). American has not contacted me to say this is or could be a problem but I am worried about the connection time. Looking for personal experiences of what has happened, not predictions on what could happen (I've done enough of that myself).

 

Thanks!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In similar circumstances (connection becoming illegal due to timetable changes) they couldn't print the boarding card & check-in my bag for the connecting flight, and couldn't fix it so instead paid for a hotel and I flew the next day.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terminals 3 and 5 are a long way apart... you head for Flight Connections and tell them you have a short connection. I wouldn't like so little time

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8420PR: Thanks for your info. When you say "paid for a hotel and I flew the next day." who paid for the hotel: you or the airline?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had 75 minutes a couple of years back changing from T5 to T3 - I was a little concerned, but it was fine. A bus transfers passengers between the two. It was quite fast, and easier than walking between two parts of a large airport.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as your flight is on time, there shouldn't be any problem.

 

There is a transfer bus running from T5 to T3 on a regular basis, and because you remain airside, you won't have the hassle of going through security again.

 

Don't even think of walking to T3!!!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the key point here is " as soon as you flight is on time". I flew through LHR a few years back and had a 85 min connection time and for some reason the first Airport could not issue my second boarding pass because of a short connection time flag. This was during the major snow storm in Dec 2010 and my initial flight was delayed. Terminal 5 BA personnel refused to issue the boarding pass even though I showed up (from a BA flight) 35min before departure.

 

The second flight was delayed as well so I would have had plenty of time. Nevertheless I was stuck 5 days in LHR (because of the snow).

 

I haven't flown BA since.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Anyone fly STR-LHR-[uSA] with American Airlines?

Nope, because anybody with even an ounce of travel smarts knows all to well to avoid Heathrow at all costs.

Even if the price of the flight (to bypass Heathrow) costs 200 Eur more. Its still worth it.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Nope, because anybody with even an ounce of travel smarts knows all to well to avoid Heathrow at all costs.

 

The Second Law of transatlantic travel is "Never transit via London Heathrow"

 

The First Law is...

 

 

"Never transit via Paris Charles de Gaulle"

 

 

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying into Heathrow when thats the destination is OK, its just transiting (one of the few places where I lost my luggage; both flights on time, my body just made the connection). I admit that this was a few years ago.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no problem with Heathrow, even with close connections, but 75 mins for 5 to 3 on that stupid bus (there will be no immigration control) and then the additional miles of walkways in 3, PLUS security, will make it difficult. If you're willing to try and possibly fail, go for it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

8420PR: Thanks for your info. When you say "paid for a hotel and I flew the next day." who paid for the hotel: you or the airline?

 

The airline paid for the hotel, as there was no other connection possible that day. Personally, I think the 75 minutes connection time is possible but if the computer won't let you check-in then you have no chance to try!

 

My recommendation: If you need to be in USA on time, call and change your booking (it will be for free). You should first research which connection you want, and make this recommendation on the phone. there is often quite a lot of flexibility from the airline offered, so you could ask for a different day or even a refund.

 

If you are in no hurry, you could leave it and see what happens. However, flights will be busy at Christmas and you may end up stuck somewhere for a few days, or in a middle seat at the back of the plane.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. I've never flown through LHR before. When I originally booked it seemed to be the best journey option.

 

I emailed BA and they didn't give me a very clear answer on the legality of the connection time. They said, "If you have a connection within 24 hours on a British Airways or oneworld/other airline flight, on the same ticket, you will be checked through to your final destination airport, even if you are changing terminals at an airport such as London Heathrow. This means that your baggage will be labelled through to your final destination and you will have a boarding card for your next flight."

 

Thinking proactively, there are two STR-LHR-ORD-CLT options. option 1 has a 4:00 layover at LHR and 2:50 layover at ORD [LHR-ORD AA 6197 operated by BA, and CLT-ORD US Airways 759]. Option 2 has 2:20 at LHR and 4:10 at ORD [LHR-ORD AA 47, and ORD-CLT 759]. The second option involves a business-class seat to ORD and a first class seat to CLT so I don't think American is going to want to put me there (my ticket is economy). Is it better to have a longer layover at LHR or ORD? I don't know what ICE is like at ORD. For the 2:50 ORD layover I would arrive to ORD at 18:45. Is that a busy time for international flights? I will call AA. I am trying to research what I should ask them to rebook me on.

 

Thank you all so so so much for helping me.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, nevermind, changed completely: Now STR-LHR-BWI-CLT. I realllly would have preferred the LHR-CLT direct <_< but oh well. STR-LHR-BWI is all BA flights in Terminal 5. LHR-BWI leaves at 14:15 so about 2 hour layover at LHR. BWI connection time is 1:35... but BWI is one building and I don't think it has so many intl flights so hopefully it's not a problem. AA rep said AA would have to accommodate me if LHR-BWI is delayed so that I can't make connection. Worst comes to worst BWI is closer to CLT than NYC or ORD (in case I would have to drive or take the train). Each time I called I waited maximum 5 minutes to be connected to an AA customer service rep and all of the ones I talked to were very nice. Thank you American Airlines. Keep up the good work.

 

Thank you for everyone who gave me advice! Hope your holiday travels go smoothly.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

...and because you remain airside, you won't have the hassle of going through security again...

 

This isn't true. You will have to go through security again, but you do so at the terminal you are departing from. So if you travel T5 -> T3 then you will have to clear security in T3 in the transit security area.

 

I haven't done this for a few years @ T3, but last time I done it (at about the same time of day) the T3 security was very slow. But I believe that there are heathrow staff around looking for those with short connections so they will help you out and push you to the front of the queue if it is needed.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeh, I was about to say what dj_jay_smith just said. Even when arriving and departing at Terminal 5, you still need to go through security. Last time it took me a little over an hour from door of the arriving plane to gate of the departing one. I wouldn't like to have to do that, and have to change terminals at Heathrow, in 75 minutes.

 

You can get these "go through fast" cards from the airline if your connection is tight, which would help, but I still reckon it's tight.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would have been better off avoiding Stuttgart altogether and just fly FRA-CLT. Any other route makes it over 15 hours (if you are lucky) when you can fly there in 8 hours direct and take the train from Stuttgart to Frankfurt airport.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normally I take FRA-CLT but this flight was a lot cheaper than the FRA flight.

 

There's a security check if you stay in Terminal 5? Ugh, the UK is just as ridiculous as the US.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The UK has the tightest security at airports in Europe. I was there in the mid 1990s where they already had police walking around with machine guns, because of the IRA.

BTW - changing terminals at CDG can be stressful as well.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0