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LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

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LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

Hi there,

I'm Canadian, travelling from Toronto, Ontario to Bologna, Italy, connecting through LHR on 2 separate flight bookings but on the same airline (British Airways). I only have 1h35m between the flights. According to the Heathrow website, I can't go through the normal flight connection procedure if I have made my own bookings. Why is this?

If I am with the same airline, would I be able to be considered as a flight connection at Heathrow? I'm worried about the time to go through immigration, go landside, and then go through security again. What can I do in this situation?

I will have no checked luggage, both flights get to and from T5. I have considered checking into both in advance.

Thank you - much appreciated!!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

If both flights are with BA you will not need to go through passport control at Heathrow.

You will be given both flights' boarding passes at Pearson. On arrival at Heathrow, follow signs for Arrivals and Flight Connections. Your flight from YYZ will probably arrive at a satellite terminal building with a bit of a walk to Flight Connections, but follow the signs and all should be well.

You will go through a security check at Flight Connections then through to Departures. You will go through immigration at BLQ then a quick walk through Customs.

The potential sticking point is that you have a separate booking for the flight to Bologna. Should your flight from YYZ be delayed you will not be protected but instead will have to buy another flight to Italy.

I strongly recommend you check in on line for all flights, especially with separate tickets.

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2. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

Thank you TravellerPlus! Is there anything I can do with BA if my first flight is delayed? Would I be able to pay a partial fee for the next trip instead of the full ticket?

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

I think that because both flights are on BA there's a good (though not 100%) chance you'll be okay.

There's word on the street (and forums) that OneWorld airlines treat separate tickets as if they're one and so will rebook you on a missed flight at no charge (as long as both tickets are on 1W airlines). The exact criteria for this isn't clear as it's never been officially publicized. But BA is a 1W carrier so if it's the case you should be okay.

BA does through check bags on separate tickets - again - as long as both tickets are on 1W carriers so you will be able to use Flight Connections.

Personally I wouldn't buy separate tickets with that short a time between flights, as what happens if one flight is rescheduled making the (not actually a real) "connection" even tighter or even impossible? And on any airlines apart from 1W you definitely won't get any protection for a missed flight. But assuming that doesn't happen you may be okay.

Good luck.

Edited: 18 October 2013, 04:21
UK
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4. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

Does the Heathrow web site really say you can't go through the normal flight connection procedure if you're on separate tickets?

If it does then this would appear to be (a) a wildly inaccurate over-generalisation and (b) something based on outdated assumptions.

You can't connect airside if you have baggage to collect and re-check .

You can't, as far as I am aware, connect airside if you don't have a boarding pass for your onward flight

Baggage doesn't come into it for the OP who is travelling with carry-on baggage only.

Not having an onward boarding pass is something that would be very rare these days (unlike a decade ago) because we can, in most cases, check in online and print our own boarding passes.

So - Connie, as long as you don't check baggage and you make sure you have your onward boarding pass (either print at home, or get it from the BA desk at YYZ) then there shouldn't be any problem.

Bingley, United...
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5. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

< Does the Heathrow web site really say you can't go through the normal flight connection procedure if you're on separate tickets? >

It does say "Minimum connection times do not apply if:

You have arranged your own flight connection; or

You need to pick up baggage at Heathrow.

In these cases you will need to follow signs for arrivals, then check in as normal for your connecting flight."

heathrowairport.com/heathrow-airport-guide/f…

Though i've never heard of anyone with hand luggage only being denied being able to use Flight Connections - and BA do not mention anything

britishairways.com/en-gb/…london-heathrow-t5

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

"Not having an onward boarding pass is something that would be very rare these days (unlike a decade ago) because we can, in most cases, check in online and print our own boarding passes."

Rare maybe, but it can and does happen. For example if traveling on a multi carrier itinerary ("interline" ticket) the first carrier cannot always issue boarding passes for the other. Yes you can usually do OLCI, but not always. Air Canada wouldn't let me do OLCI earlier this week as they don't support that for PDX (go figure that one out) and I've also had trouble with Aer Lingus before.

In such cases, a printout of the E-ticket receipt showing the onward connecting flight should work, and has worked for me.

However, in this case Connie should be able to do OLCI for both flights and have the onward boarding pass in hand. And BA should through check the bags.

Edited: 18 October 2013, 13:31
UK
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7. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

"Though i've never heard of anyone with hand luggage only being denied being able to use Flight Connections - and BA do not mention anything"

Well, if someone presents themselves with a boarding pass for their onward flight... how would anyone even know that the onward flight is not in the same booking as the flight they've just disembarked from???

So, the advice on the LHR web site is really pretty nonsensical. It should simply talk about "if you are not checked in for your onward flight". And even then, as evidenced by the post before mine, it may not be necessary to go to a landside check-in desk as long as one has a ticket print-out.

sydney australia
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8. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

Have you asked British Airways to combine the two flights onto the same PNR

That would solve all your issues

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9. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

Thanks all! You've validated a lot of what I thought re:what the Heathrow site says. Unfortunately wasn't able to get the tickets on the same PNR though BA in advance. Will let you know how it goes.

australia
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10. Re: LHR: skip immigration with 2 separate flight tickets?

heathrowairport.com/heathrow-airport-guide/f…

As you are coming and going from Terminal 5 you can see at the above link you can get to the airline desk to do your next check-in/or swap to a boarding card if you don't have your boarding pass already without going thru security customs etc

Edited: 19 October 2013, 02:18