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Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

Concord...
posts: 8
reviews: 1
Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

Flying BA from BOS to LHR round trip. Then on separate ticket, still w/ BA & terminal 5 from LHR to VCE. We will not leave the terminal between flights. Wondering how much time we should allow to collect luggage & go thru customs between flights in both directions?

UK
posts: 40,745
reviews: 85
1. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

If you allow 3 there is a good chance BA will check your luggage all the way through and you won't need to go through immigration or collect luggage or go through customs or checkin again. Is the first flight an award ticket or similar? Why not book all the way through in one go!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 46,261
reviews: 14
2. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

'Wondering how much time we should allow to collect luggage & go thru customs between flights in both directions?'

If you make an airside connection you will go through neither immigration nor customs nor will you collect bags. If for some reason you do have to make a landside connection, immigration could take five minutes or 45 minutes, depending on the time of day and day of the week you'll travel. Baggage collection shouldn't take more than five minutes and customs will be a 10 second walk through the Nothing to Declare channel. You will then need to take the lift up to Departures for bag drop and Security.

In either case I'd allow at least two and a half hours (and probably three) between flights.

Danville California
posts: 8
reviews: 7
3. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

We just went through LHR on July 14th, and then on to Barcelona, with both flights on British Airways. They checked our bags through to BCN. I booked our flights at one time (i.e. SFO to BCN with a transfer at Heathrow). We had a 2 hr 15 min layover and had no problem, but our first flight was on time. You do have to go through security again at Terminal 5, even though you don't change terminals, because you must go through the European Union screening. We didn't go through customs at all in Barcelona for our EU flight from LHR, so our only real "customs" experience was at Heathrow security. Two years ago we flew from Rome to SFO through LHR and also had to go through security again at Heathrow, despite both flights using Terminal 5.

UK
posts: 40,745
reviews: 85
4. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

We didn't go through customs at all in Barcelona for our EU flight from LHR,

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Oh I'm sure you did, you just didn't notice it.

Danville California
posts: 8
reviews: 7
5. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

Yeah, come to think of it, we went through something very minor (no lines) in Barcelona, I think before baggage claim. Sorry for the error.

UK
posts: 40,745
reviews: 85
6. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

Yeah, come to think of it, we went through something very minor (no lines) in Barcelona, I think before baggage claim. Sorry for the error.

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If you went through customs before luggage, I'm thinking there's a hole in customs procedures at that airport that might need to be looked at immediately :-)

"no officer, as you can see, I have provably have absolutely nothing to declare, no baggage at all, now, if you'll excuse me I need to go and pick up my heavy suitcases from the luggage carousel filled up with, errm, white flour, yes thats it, flour for my cakes I plan to bake, and be on my way".

Loughborough...
posts: 1,409
7. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

That's immigration. You will have gone through customs AFTER baggage reclaim but noticed it even less.

I know in the US they are usually lumped together but in Europe it is possible to have flights from, say, Barcelona to Zurich where you go through customs but not immigration (because both countries are in the Schengen Area for immigration but Switzerland is not in the EU for customs), or Barcelona to Dublin where you go through immigration but not customs (because Ireland isn't in the Schengen area but is in the EU)

People arriving in EU countries who have arrived from outside the EU have white baggage tags, if both ends of the journey are in the EU the tags have green edges, this is how customs officer know which bags might need inspection - but transfer bags are rarely inspected unless they think there's something inside that is illegal or ought to be declared. (and this is usually because scanner operators at the airport you transferred at spotted something interesting, or your starting country supplied a tipoff)

UK
posts: 40,745
reviews: 85
8. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

... and the OP, traveling from London to Barcelona, will have gone through both. In a daze obviously :-)

In the US they insist you notice them both by making you queue up several hours for them.

Concord...
posts: 8
reviews: 1
9. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

Hi joe in the uk, Thought i going to get an email when replied to. BOS to LHR is with award miles and couldn't find a flight into and out of LHR to VCE w/ the miles, would have had to switch airports. Paying for the LHR to VCE. Actually, going 1st class w/ miles and want to visit the lounge at LHR (Gallery, I think). Would be nice not having to collect luggage. Arrive at 6:25 A.M. & depart to VCE at 9:15 A.M.; coming home arrive at LHR at 14:50 & leave at 19:30. Do you think we could get the flight out of LHR at 18:00? Very excited about the trip:-)

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 46,261
reviews: 14
10. Re: Wondering how much time to allow at LHR?

If you're flying with BA from BOS to LHR T5 (award travel in First, yes?) then another BA flight from LHR T5 to VCE then ground agents at BOS should check your bags through to VCE. If you've booked EuroTraveller tickets to VCE then hang on to the F boarding passes as you will need them for same day Galleries access.

You won't have a great deal of time for a visit to Galleries First (at the south end of the main terminal building) but should be able to nip in there for a bit of breakfast. If you are flying in First back from LHR to BOS then I would keep the departure at 1930 as you will be able to use the Concorde Room - also in the south Galleries complex - which just adds a bit more to the entire experience.