I have a flight booked PMI-STR-LHR. Into STR on AB which is T3 I believe and out of T1 on BA.
Can I make an airside connection here, or will we have to go landside and then back through security?
Aug 18, 12, 2:08 pm
Since STR has only a very few Non-Schengen flights, the layout is the following:
Local passengers would check in, pass security. There are 2 or 3 security checkpoints, but they all lead to a common airside area. Terminal 1 or Terminal 3 are actually a rather small common airside area, I have no clue why they give different Terminal numbers. Basically STR is one small terminal, point.
When passing security you are airside in the Schengen area. On each side of the airside area there are a few Non-Schengen Gates, which are seperated by the rest of the gates by a passport control. There is not a special security check or something like that for Non-Schengen flights (not like in Frankfurt, where in Terminal 2 i.e. Non Schengen gates are on another floor than Schengen gates).
Basically this means for you:
Once you arrive in STR you will either deboard by gangway directly to the airside departure area. From there you will walk a maximum of 5 minutes to passport control, behind passport control is your BA gate. No Security Check.
If you are bussed from the plane to the terminal, you will enter the terminal downstairs. Follow connecting signs immediately after entering the building. A stairway will bring you up one storey and from there you are airside departure and follow the 5 minutes walk to your next gate as stated earlier.
This obviously suggests AB was able to check you through (your bags will probably be fine if it's on one ticket, but I don't believe AB in PMI is able to issue BA boarding cards, even if they are both OW, but I might be wrong). Better check in online with BA for your onward flight just to be sure to have a boarding pass. STR has transfer desks for Germanwings and Airberlin, but they are usually unstaffed and there is no BA transfer desk. You may get your boarding pass at the BA gate, but this means you will need to pass passport check without proper boarding pass, which can be a problem.
But even if you need to go landside, believe me it's not far. Once you exit the bagage claim area, go up one storey and you are in one of the two check in halls, which are linked together by a few minutes walk. Then you would need to reclear security however, but STR is a breeze. Again, no matter what the Airline tells you, STR is all under one roof Terminal, and it's small. By the way, landside you have a Burger King over the LH Check in area with great views, and there is a Pizza Hut as well. just in Case you want some decent priced food. There is a McDonald's as well, but no views. Airside is more expensive and less options (basically none).
Please let me know if you have any more questions.
Aug 18, 12, 2:14 pm
Oh, and I see you are BA silver. As far as I remember BA has it's own lounge. It's airside, but before reaching the passport check in front of the non schengen gates. So you could possibly get your boarding pass there, too.
This will get you a overview:
Got to Level 3. You will see that the orange Gate area is completely interconnected, no matter if you are Terminal 1, 2 or 3....
You will also see the two check in areas in Temrinal 1 and 3 with the red coloured check in counter lines, easily to interconnect landside, too.
How much time do you have to connect?
Aug 18, 12, 2:41 pm
Many thanks for the very comprehensive explanation. I was on google earth and wondered if the airport had gone through some massive growth in the last few months!
My count seemed to be 8 gates and 4 terminals. :p
We're in business for the flight to London anyway, so thanks for the tip on the lounge and yes I'll check in online for the BA flight, too!
We only have 70 mins so let's hope for an on-time arrival.
Aug 18, 12, 2:47 pm
With 70 minutes you will be more than fine as long as you have a boarding pass. If your flight is on time you can connect easily within 30 minutes between both flights.
Some people do connect in STR to DL to ATL and to UA to EWR (i.e. they fly MUC-STR-EWR, seems odd, but it's nicer than via FRA for sure...).
Aug 18, 12, 4:13 pm
Tony, you may be aware if you are a regular PMI traveler, however just to mention this:
In PMI there is a special dedicated security checkpoint (not just a lane) for disabled passengers, Status holders, Priority Pass etc.
It's not clearly signed. To find it, just remain on the same level as the huge check in hall and it's on the left side (when coming in the terminal). It's NOT upstairs, where the regular securit check point is.
This security checkpoint is the one used for intrabalearic flights, so just follow the signs leading you to this area (believe it's B, but not sure, anyway it's the green terminal area, so the signs show a letter in a green square). No lines there, even if upstairs the regular security checkpoint is a madhouse.
Aug 19, 12, 2:03 am
Thanks for that re PMI - I was aware of it as the last couple of times we've flown out it's been in J. However I thought they always took some kind of voucher off you to get through here?
Also, there will be 5 of us, but only one with 'proper' status (the other 4 are BA Bronze which I think is OW Ruby).
Will 1 BA silver card be enough? I know the absence of queues is a great bonus!
Aug 19, 12, 4:24 am
Well I always flew Eco there and even Priority Pass worked. I always could take my girlfriend, too, which has no status.
When you arrive there they check that and make a note on a list, so at the end of the day they know how many passengers use this checkpoint for which reason. So this seems legit. No invitation is needed.
As long as you don't have to walk back the whole building just to reach that checkpoint I would just give it a try.
Aug 28, 12, 11:18 am
OK, so here's what happened. My pre assigned seats in row 2 of the A330 morphed into row 42. Couldn't change this at on line checkin as it was a BA ticket. Call centre couldn't help as seat map was now under airport control. Check in at PMI couldn't help either, but the gate staff managed to work some magic and we were back in rows 2 and 3.
Flight however took off late and wandered up over the alps to avoid some storms. Landed about 15 mins behind schedule and could see the BA flight on stand already.
My heart sank when I realised we were off to a remote gate. Hustled off the plane and managed to get on the first bus. When we got off, a small-ish door on the left was marked "connecting passengers". By the time we'd got back upstairs they were calling the BA flight. No time for the lounge but we were then off through passport control to the improbably numbered gate "343".
On arrival there found that we'd been un-checked from the flight as they wanted to shuffle seats. Efficient/bored lady at the club class check in line then had to check us in and reprint BPs.
We were sat down on the BA flight about 30 mins after wheels down of the Air Berlin flight.
I don't think STR did anything wrong (aside from needing to renumber their gates from 1 to 8 like any sane airport would), but calling the alliance OneWorld still does seem to be pushing it a bit.
Oh, we did get fast rack through security at Palma and this was noted on the BPs.
Thanks again to all.
Aug 29, 12, 2:55 pm
Wow what a story and glad it worked out well. That said, STR is defninitely an easy connection. Yes, it seems that AB gets a lot of remote gates in STR, especially if these are not "business destinations".