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changing planes in Heathrow

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changing planes in Heathrow

Has anyone had any trouble changing planes to a connecting flight in Heathrow? I recently had to change palnes in Paris CDG, and it was a nightmare. Is Heathrow ok, or should it be avoided? I have about 2 hours between flights.

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

The short answer is it depends.

If you're going from one flight to another in the same terminal building, then it's a matter of going from flight A to the Flight Connections Centre, passing through Security, then being dispensed into the Departures lounge for flight B.

If you've got to go from one terminal building to another without collecting bags, then you'll alight from flight A, head downstairs to the bus stop, take a short bus ride to another terminal building, head upstairs, through Security, then again be dispensed into the Departures lounge.

Where things get tricky is if you have to claim your bags and re-check them. Passport control queues can be substantial, and depending on the airline, the terminal buliding at which you land, the time of day and day of the week, you may have to wait for your bags to appear on the belt, or you may find them waiting for you after you go downstairs from passport control.

You can take the free Heathrow Express shuttle from T1, 2 or 3 to T4; to get from T1 to 2 or 3 you can walk, as there are subways (whcih may have working travelators if you're lucky).

So it's not a yes or no question, you see. When are you travelling, with what airline(s), and what are your origin and destination cities?

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2. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

I would be flying from Washington DC on a United Airlines flight and transferring to a British Midland flight to Edinburgh, Scotland. Supposed to arrive at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, and the BM flight to EDI leaves at 8:30 a.m. I don't know what terminals I would fly into or out of. I'm hoping that I could check my luggage all the way from U.S. to Ediburgh without having to claim them at Heathrow. Do you know? Is it worht paying extra money and just fly nonstop from Newrak to Ediburgh, or will the Heathrow connection be ok?

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

wimmyjeil,

My vote would be any direct flight is worth a few baubies to miss LHR.

It does depend on how much extra of course.

Given your Itinerary you will have to face Immigration at LHR, your port of entry, so 2 hours is a bit tight these days. Being off peak may help but.....

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

Hi wimmy - last week we flew from Melbourne to Heathrow with Qantas landing in terminal one and then from LHR to Dublin leaving from terminal 4. Our flight from Melbourne was delayed by about an hour and half a so we had only 50 mins to transfer. We made it (just) running all the way to our gate.

BUT we were fairly lucky as the queues through security were fairly short and the transit bus came along fairly quickly and also we didnt have to pick up our luggage as it had been checked right thru (or so we thought )- it was actually missing but that's another story.

As long as your flight is on time you should be OK with 2 hours.

Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

Hi Nozzie,

You were lucky. Dublin is not UK so you could avoid Immigration and stay airside. Quantas leaving your luggage in Melbourne was no doubt of further assistance.

But London is where wimmy will have to enter UK Immigration so add 30 minutes for that treat.

6.30 am is quieter except for longhauls coming in but a July Saturday is holidays.

Fly direct.

Bingley, United...
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6. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

<<< You were lucky. Dublin is not UK so you could avoid Immigration and stay airside. >>>

May have been able to stay airside BUT will have had to go through immigration as Ireland & UK are in a common travel area

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

Yes Alan is right - but i think we were lucky in that the queues were short and also we were off the flight very quickly and at the front of the first queue . However our flight to Dublin was from gate 84 or 88 in terminal 4 and it was a long long way to run and on a rather warm day too - however we did make it in 50 mins and wimmy can probably make it in 2 hours especially if he/she doesnt have to collect their luggage at LHR.

Isle of Man, United...
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8. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

Alan, Nozzie,

I would guess that as Eire is common travel area then LHR is point of entry and if Immigration is done at LHR then the Luggage will also be handled there. Much as in USA.

I have no direct experience of this.

tm
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9. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

I have an hour stop over in Salt Lake City from Mexico going to Seattle. Do you think I will have enough time to get our bags and go through customs ? They changed our flight when I booked it we had two hours but I am a little worried about the one hour. We are in the middle of the plane so it will take a little longer to get off!!!

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: changing planes in Heathrow

For the OP, I would take the rather pleasant CO flight non-stop from EWR if it wasn't too much more (although it is flown on a 757, I believe). The whole LHR experience is one to avoided if possible, especially as you will have to change terminals from 3 to 1.