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Should I panic?

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Johannesburg
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231 posts
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Should I panic?

My son is flying from Johannesburg to Dallas-Fort Worth via LHR. Is 3 hours enough time to clear customs at T5, claim baggage, find his way to T3, queue at American Airlines check in, go through security, and board the next flight?

I guess mothers are made to panic but this seems very little time for a 16 yr old to negotiate all the above...and what if the first flight is delayed??Pls be honest! Thanx

Portsmouth, United...
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1. Re: Should I panic?

who is he flying into LHR with? AA?

scarpenter4
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2. Re: Should I panic?

I cannot offer you advise but would suggest that you post the time of day or night that he arrives at LHR.

Also is the trip on 1 or 2 tickets?

I think its impossible to make a judgement call without knowing this first

Portsmouth, United...
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3. Re: Should I panic?

from term 5 to term 3 there is a dedicated bus that takes you to your departure terminal. They are free and depart every 6 minutes.

Buckinghamshire
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4. Re: Should I panic?

If he's coming into Terminal 5, then he must be arriving on a British Airways flight.

BA and AA are both part of the oneworld alliance, though, so I imagine the whole journey could still be on one ticket?

Amsterdam, The...
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5. Re: Should I panic?

So he is flying into T5 (must be with BA) then out of T3 with AA who codeshare with BA. Won't his bags be transferred automatically as he will be a transfer pax so he should not have to check in for his next flight.Probably they will give him both his boarding passes in J'burg. DON'T PANIC.

Unless (unlikely) that you booked 2 seperate tickets the airline should take responsibility for the minimum connection time. If the flight is delayed they should also take care of him especially as he is only 16.

Connecticut
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6. Re: Should I panic?

Relax, Mom. You're letting him go from Johannesburg to DFW alone so you obviously have some confidence in him. Pretend that he misses his connection and work up a scenario of what to do. From the information provided here, give him a card to keep in his pocket with the advice you've received on making the connection as quickly as possible.

I expect to hear that he made the connection without a problem.

Barbara

Johannesburg
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231 posts
13 reviews
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7. Re: Should I panic?

Thanx for the comments so far. Let me clarify a few points. He is going to Philmont courtesy of Boy Scouts America. They booked the ticket. He flies BA to LHR and AA to Dallas-Fort Worth. BA have told me that because it is 2 different airlines even tho they are partners he has to go through the procedure as described above. I initially thought it would be like normal transit - baggage checked right through etc. He arrives at LHR at 7.20am and departs from there at 10.25am. I am not concerned about the return trip as he will have 9 hours to sort himself out!

London, United...
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8. Re: Should I panic?

I'm with Barbara. It's a big adventure for a 16yo, and just needs to be destressed for him.

So, there are only two likely outcomes to consider - he does make the connection, or he doesn't (all other outcomes are either unlikely or will provide their own resolutions).

So, work out what the plan is if he DOESN'T make the connection, and have him understand that's it's just a fork in the road, not a calamity. He isn't going to die or be harmed as a result of missing the connection.

Rothesay, United...
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9. Re: Should I panic?

I'm amazed about the BA comment on luggage. We booked with AA; flew Manchester to London on BA; London to NY on AA; NY to Puerto Rico on AA. Never saw the luggage between Manchester and PR.

On return, flew PR to NY on AA; NY overnight to MAN with BA; luggage right through.

OneWorld with one ticket should mean "seamless" transfers; that's meant to be the point.

One thought, as he's Boy Scout, is it worth contacting them in UK/London? They may be able to have someone meet him, greet him, assist if connection missed? Heathrow is virtually a town in its own right; there's a good chance an Association member will work there somewhere.

Johannesburg
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231 posts
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10. Re: Should I panic?

You are correct - it is a great experience for him and believe me, he is not the type to stress outwardly - that is what mom is for!! We will just have to ensure that he knows what to do one way or the other and hope for the best this end. I guess I will be watching my cell phone next Wednesday for a message that says "Hi Family. All is well. Sitting on the plane off to DFW!" Lucky boy.