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Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

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San Mateo...
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Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

Hello,

My husband and I are US citizens, traveling to Barcelona. We will have a 7.5 hour layover at LON, and we were wondering if we can leave the airport to see his aunt (she would come pick us up and show us around a bit). We are traveling Virgin Atlantic from SFO-LON, then British Airways from LON-BCN. I'm planning that the luggage should be checked all the way through to BCN in SFO.

The plan in LON is to just go through immigration as if we were staying longer with just our carryons, see the sights, then get back a few hours before the next flight. I've read that some people have been told that Virign Atlantic says you can't leave the transit area? Has anyone done this recently (within the last year)?

Thanks!

warrensburg,MO
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1. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

LHR or LGW are probably the airport codes you are thinking of. Probably not any of the other airports associated with London.

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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2. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

Have you booked separate tickets or a through ticket from SFO to BCN? Did you book the flights yourself or with a travel agent or third party website?

BA and VS are not best mates, and will not check bags through if you have separate tickets; even if you have through tickets you would be wise to ensure the bags are tagged through to BCN before leaving the counter at SFO.

In any event, yes, you may leave the airport for a visit with your rellies. You will need to go through immigration - write In Transit on the landing cards and tell the agent you're going to spend time with the family before making your way to your flight to Spain.

You must be checked in, bags dropped and through Security no later than 35 minutes prior to scheduled departure time for your flight from T5. Not doing so will mean you will be offloaded from your flight to BCN, so please keep an eye on the time and consider the time needed to complete the check in process at T5.

UK
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3. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

There is no such airport as "LON". Itsa generic code meaning any of 5 or 6 London area airports.

You will be flying into one of LHR (Heathrow) or LGW (Gatwick) and then flying out of LGW or LHR or LCY (London City).

You want to hope its the same , eg LHR-LHR, or LGW-LGW, because if its not you have a coach trip (or train to LCY) e (with your luggage) which you need to collect.

On which topic, flying Virgin and then BA is a poor combination, since they normally wont transfer luggage, so you will need to go through immigration, collect baggage, make your way to the other terminal or airport, checkin / bagdrop , go through security.

So, with all that, even if you don't need to change airports, you still do not have enough time for a "look around" because by the time you got to London, you'd then have to go back again straight away.

I do suggest you look very carefully at your documentation and check which actual airports you are flying into and out of.

Edited: 19 August 2013, 23:48
San Mateo...
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4. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

Ah yes, I did mean LHR - I've been making flight reservations for various trips for various people all day and just wrote the wrong thing. And my husband's aunt would be meeting us at LHR, so I'm not too worried about actually getting to London, just seeing her.

San Mateo...
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5. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

Yes, I did mean LHR, thank you.

I booked the tickets through a 3rd party website and I will keep an eye on the luggage to make sure it is checked through to BCN before trying anything fancy.

Thank you for your response.

East Sussex, United...
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6. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

<< I booked the tickets through a 3rd party website >>

Not good, especially when booking what I would imagine are seperate tickets with two airlines who have a deep and long held loathing of each other.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London
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7. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

Here is some info on what to do between flights at Heathrow.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186338-c170832/Londo…

Panjim, India
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8. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

Hello,

I have a EU passport, Portugal, and have a 8 hr layover at Heathrow during my flight from Lisbon to Basel. I was wondering whether I could walk out of the airport, have my relatives pick me up for a few hours to go around a bit and come back,? Do I need to go through immigration for this?

Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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9. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

Lilypondflowers,

Yes you can do that. Just make sure you're back at the departing terminal two hours before your onward flight and in line at security 90 minutes before departure.

You will need to clear UK immigration and customs, but with a passport from an EU country you can use the EU immigration line.

Ashburn, Virginia
3 posts
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10. Re: Can you leave LON airport during a long layover?

I am in the same boat. Want to meet my long time friend outside the airport for an hour and then come back. I am a usa citizen and I wonder can we do this