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Transiting through London

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Everett, Washington
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Transiting through London

My wife and I are US Citizens with passports traveling from Seattle to Dubai via London. We have a 9 hour layover in London Heathrow Terminal 5. We were planning to take a "layover tour" of London during this time. My travel agent is informing me that it is impossible to leave the terminal without claiming my luggage (big hassle) and that I will need a Dubai visa if I leave the airport but won't need a Dubai visa if I stay in the airport. Is this true? I find some of it hard to believe. Could someone please confirm this?

thanks,

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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1. Re: Transiting through London

I find it impossible to believe - if it's booked on one ticket your luggage will be checked through, UK Border Agency don't need a Dubai visa for you to enter the UK, only proof that you aren't going to do a runner and stay in the UK

May I suggest you get a better TA or book the flights yourself

UK
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2. Re: Transiting through London

The Dubai authorities would not know if you exited the airport prior to arriving in Dubai, and more to the point, why would they care? I'd have thought either you need a visa or you don't.

Now, I suppose its theoretically possible that there is some rule that US citizens need a visa if they come from a country other than USA, but that sounds very unlikely to me. Is there a Dubai website where you can look up the visa requirements? Maybe your TA is misinterpreting a rule regards if you live in another country?

Same goes for your luggage, if its sent through, then the fact you choose to leave the airport makes no difference, the luggage doesn't know, neither does anything else in "the system", either its been checked through or it hasnt. You can sit in a cafe in Heathrow, or exit the airport - the luggage wont know !

I'd be worried about what else your TA is advising you.

Note that 9 hours "layover" only gives you about 4 hours sightseeing. And you may need to deal with your carry ons, such as store them in excess baggage whilst you trip into the city, assuming you dont want to be pulling carryons around with you.

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
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3. Re: Transiting through London

This does seem odd and what Joe and Alan say makes sense but please don't take our word for it just in case you or your TA agent have left out some information. If you turn up and are refused entry for any reason then saying that the nice folks on the Trip Advisor London Forum said it would be okay isn't going to get you very far!

Get the correct information in writing.

Everett, Washington
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4. Re: Transiting through London

Hi Joe

Thanks for your response. I tend to be skeptical, but I am certainly no travel authority. I have located the Dubai Tourism Bureau and have left them an e mail outlining my situation. I suspect they will say "no problem".

UK
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5. Re: Transiting through London

Whatever the visa issue, your TA is 100% wrong regards the luggage so a quick trip into London is very possible but please post the exact flight details including airlines and arrival and departure terminals, so you can be advised on maximising your time.

Chicago
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for Pompano Beach
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6. Re: Transiting through London

I would contact the Dubai consulate directly as well regarding the visa issue. It's better to hear it yourself from two sources; in writing is even better.

Enjoy your quick visit to London.

UK
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7. Re: Transiting through London

This seems pretty clear, no visa needed.

uae-embassy.org/visas-passports/us-citizens

"No visas are required for American citizens ( Holder of regular passports ) before arrival in the UAE and that includes US Citizens with visas or entry stamps from other countries in their passports"

(This is for stays of less than a month)

Everett, Washington
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8. Re: Transiting through London

Our flight is British Airways #48 Seattle London on April 17, 2013

We leave at 6:55 pm and arrive in London Heathrow Terminal 5 at noon on April 18, 2013. The next flight is British Airways flight 109 from London to Dubai it arrives in Dubai at 7 am on the 19th. Is this detailed enough?

The London departure is at 9 pm on the 19th of April. So the layover is just around 9 hours assuming flights are on time.

Thanks

Otto

London
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for London
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9. Re: Transiting through London

So the layover is just around 9 hours assuming flights are on time.

====================================================

Yes but as mentioned you will have to clear Immigration and baggage reclaim, find somewhere to store luggage and then allow an hour to get into Central London. For your return you need to be back at 6pm. So you have roughly from 2 or 3pm till 5pm in central London, and that assumes you land on time. Personally I don't think it's worth the hassle and expense to come into London for a couple of hours, YMMV. I'd find a lounge of even a hotel like Yotel you can book in 2 hour slots and have a nap and maybe a shower as it's between 2 long flights.

Edited: 21 February 2013, 18:25
London
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for London
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10. Re: Transiting through London

The London departure is at 9 pm on the 19th of April.

==============================================

Do you mean the 19th - the next day, or the 18th?