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Layover too Short at Heathrow?

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Layover too Short at Heathrow?

I was wondering what length of layover is too short at the Heathrow airport for a flight arriving from the US, connecting on to Rome?

I made a comment about my layover being just under 2 hours for an upcoming flight to a friend, and they said that this is too short. We arrive and depart at terminal 5, flying on British Airways for both flights. I understand we have our photo taken as go through security and then it is checked again afterwards and that this could take a lot of time.

Is my layover too short?

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Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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1. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

If your flight arrives at T5 with the flight to Rome departing from T5 then the minimum connection time is 75 minutes.

I think it's a bit short, frankly, especially if your flight arrives early in the morning when T5 can be frantically busy. Two hours should be enough if all goes well, but if you can allow a bit more then it might be worth it in case anything goes skewwhiff on the day.

Having said that, if you're on a through ticket, YVR/YYZ/YYC-LHR-FCO and for any reason you miss the flight to Rome, BA will work to get you seats on the next available (very important word, that) flight.

Image capture (taking a picture) is done for domestic pax only at T5 and takes seconds. You will have to go through Security at Flight Connections, though, and the liquids and gels rule holds, so don't have filled containers larger than 100mL in your carryon bag or else they'll have to be jettisoned.

At what time does your flight arrive, and from what city, and what time are you thinking of booking to FCO?

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2. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

We booked it months ago. We depart from Seattle and arrive at Heathrow at 11:50am. We have 1hour and 55 minutes to get to our connecting flight and our baggage will be checked all the way through.

We booked both flights at the same time through the BA website.

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3. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

What's the flight number for LHR-FCO? I can only find BA560, departing LHR at 1240 and BA556 departing LHR at 1415, but nothing at 1335 - that's BA549 departing FCO for LHR.

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4. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

BA's booking system would not have allowed the issuing of the ticket if the connection was not ok.

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5. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

We're not departing from FCO, we are departing from Seattle. Its flight number BA0048 arriving at 11:50

Actually, it seems somewhat different then I thought. It looks like our flight leaving from Heathrow leaves a bit later then I had thought it did. We're on BA0556 departing at 14:15.

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6. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

Correction: BA's booking system does 'allow' things that won't work. BA has no control over the time it may take to get through Security. Depending on the lines, that can take over an hr.

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7. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

Ah. You had said an arrival at 1150 then departure one hour 55minutes later, which is why I asked what I did in post three.

You should have time for the connection, for a few reasons. Since you're on a through ticket, SEA-LHR-FCO then if for any reason the flight from SEA is late arriving at LHR the airline will work to get you seats on the next available flight to Rome. Two hours and 20 minutes is a reasonable time to connect - the extra 25 minutes will make a difference.

An arrival at1150 is past the busy morning rush at T5 so you shouldn't face long queues at Flight Connections. There is the potential, though, of your flight arriving at a remote stand (stairs down to buses on the apron for a short drive to the main terminal building) or the B satellite terminal (a bit of a hike, a short journey on the free transit train then another bit of a hike) with the remote stand arrival a slightly better option: the buses pull in nearer Flight Connections.

And as oddone123 said, BA's booking engine will allow flights to book with the minimum connection time - but it's not an amount of time I would allow between flights.

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8. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

Thanks a lot guys!

I am a pretty well seasoned traveller, but my friend who has had a connection out of Heathrow (I never had, which I find somewhat odd) totally freaked me out!

We leave in 19 sleeps, and I am amazingly excited. It will be my first time traveling with people! I am bringing my best friend to a country I have been several times, and never shut up about. Plus we get to see things I havent seen before. And this is sure to be the best 5 week vacation ever. Unless I find out I reallllllly cant travel with other people. Hopefully that is not the case!

On a side note.. My worst connection experience was in Rome, at the FCO airport. I booked on Orbitz and the connection in Rome was only 45 minutes long. We arrived late, and after busing in from the plane, I had 10 minutes to get through security and to my next flight. Not to mention that the airport in Rome is the worst airport in the world. I made it though, but I have never run so fast in my life. They actually held the plane for me. I was shocked. You should have seen the stares from fellow passengers as I walked all the way to the back of the plane, red like a tomato and barely able to catch my breath.

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Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

With a five week holiday to come, I hope everything goes well for you at Heathrow - and at FCO (whew).

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10. Re: Layover too Short at Heathrow?

<<Since you're on a through ticket,>>

Are they? The OP simply wrote "We booked both flights at the same time through the BA website." which is somewhat ambiguous. I suppose, being pedantic, you can only book two flights at the same time if it is one ticket, however they might mean they booked flight one, and then flight two, as separate tickets. In that case, BA (or any other airline) certainly would let you book flights which didn't match up - I"m sure you could book the second to leave before the first one even landed. On one ticket, they wont let you book below the MCT (but they do still offer a stupid MCT of 3hrs between LHR and LGW which is not doable).

However, even if it is two separate tickets, given its two hours, which is a reasonable time and longer than MCT, its all BA,and its all T5 I would think (hope?) that BA would put them on a subsequent flight should their incoming be late. But they wouldn't be legally obligated to, so speak carefully, calmly and pleasantly to them should the worst occur.

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Heathrow Airport
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Hounslow, UK