JFK-MIA-LHR-JFK - one night - any AA-relatd tips?

 
Old Jan 10, 06, 1:21 pm
  #1  
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Question JFK-MIA-LHR-JFK - one night - any AA-relatd tips?

spouse and I are taking our first transAtlantic jaunt, trying to make EXP this year.
Departing JFK at noon on 1/21 via MIA, then LHR at 5PM.
Arrive LHR at 1/22 6:35AM, spend the day in London visiting old haunts, overnight at airport hotel, then LHR-JFK at 8:35AM 1/23.
We'll be connecting to afternoon flight back to SFO.

since we've never done a connecting flight via MIA, or traveled to London for only 1 night (both of us lived in London about 20 years ago) could anyone offer some AA terminal travel tips? Decent cheapo Heathrow hotel? The Novotel is coming up on Priceline at about $46US.

We are traveling paid coach, have requested sticker upgrade JFK-MIA.
MIA-LHR and LHR-JFK will be coach. JFK-SFO is miles upgraded C class.
We are both Plat, and I have AC club membership.

At JFK, can we ask for drink coupons?
When we arrive at MIA will we have time to go to the AC for a pre-flight drink? Can we get a couple of coupons there as well? Or both?
Are coupons good only at AC? Or, can they be used in Coach on the flight?
Some sort of food will be served, but is it edible? Should we bring something nice of our own? Is it possible to BYOB? Or, is that only in premium cabins?

Will we be able to get into the BA lounge at MIA? We are AA Plat/OW Emerald
At Heathrow, we will be very tired, and can't check into the hotel. What's the most comfey lounge to hang out in for a couple of hours? Any with free WiFi?
What's the situ with powerplugs - are there US plugs/adaptors at the AC? Do hotels have one US plug in the loo for shavers?

How long does it take to clear LHR customs and immigration? We have only carryon luggage.
How long to clear C&I at JFK? (Nothing to declare)
Will we have to switch terminals for the JFK-SFO flight?

Any tips/insights to make this an easy, fun trip will be much appreciated!
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Old Jan 10, 06, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by socoast
spouse and I are taking our first transAtlantic jaunt, trying to make EXP this year.
Departing JFK at noon on 1/21 via MIA, then LHR at 5PM.
Arrive LHR at 1/22 6:35AM, spend the day in London visiting old haunts, overnight at airport hotel, then LHR-JFK at 8:35AM 1/23.
We'll be connecting to afternoon flight back to SFO.

since we've never done a connecting flight via MIA, or traveled to London for only 1 night (both of us lived in London about 20 years ago) could anyone offer some AA terminal travel tips? Decent cheapo Heathrow hotel? The Novotel is coming up on Priceline at about $46US.

We are traveling paid coach, have requested sticker upgrade JFK-MIA.
MIA-LHR and LHR-JFK will be coach. JFK-SFO is miles upgraded C class.
We are both Plat, and I have AC club membership.

At JFK, can we ask for drink coupons?
When we arrive at MIA will we have time to go to the AC for a pre-flight drink? Can we get a couple of coupons there as well? Or both?
Are coupons good only at AC? Or, can they be used in Coach on the flight?
Some sort of food will be served, but is it edible? Should we bring something nice of our own? Is it possible to BYOB? Or, is that only in premium cabins?

Will we be able to get into the BA lounge at MIA? We are AA Plat/OW Emerald
At Heathrow, we will be very tired, and can't check into the hotel. What's the most comfey lounge to hang out in for a couple of hours? Any with free WiFi?
What's the situ with powerplugs - are there US plugs/adaptors at the AC? Do hotels have one US plug in the loo for shavers?

How long does it take to clear LHR customs and immigration? We have only carryon luggage.
How long to clear C&I at JFK? (Nothing to declare)
Will we have to switch terminals for the JFK-SFO flight?

Any tips/insights to make this an easy, fun trip will be much appreciated!

you guys will be very tired
you should get drink vouchers at all AC's on this trip.
price line is the way to do lhr hotels so good job
customs at lhr can me a head ache it depends on the time of day
MIA is a zoo i would avoid it at all cost
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Old Jan 10, 06, 2:27 pm
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Having just returned from JFK-LHR-ORD-MIA-LGA, I have some tips!

Definitely use the AC in MIA. The terminal is horrible -- surly staff and almost no announcements made, but the AC makes up for it by being quiet, spacious and calming with very helpful staff.

I've never had to stay in a hotel in London, but $46 sounds amazing given the strength of the pound: cheapest youth hostel in central london I heard of five yrs ago when inquiring for a friend was 20pounds.

It's fordidden to BYOB, and the AA transatlantic coach food is nasty IMHO. Interestingly, they served the pizza snack and not the (even nastier) snack box on my LHR-ORD flight, but I'm still not a fan! I recommend you go to Selfridges Food Hall and stock up on some nice things, or even the Sainsbury's in Paddington if you're taking the Heathrow Express train (but might not be open very early AM). The LHR AC had some nice salted nuts and shortbread biscuits but not much else. And it has a free bar.

Don't forget the Park Avenue checkin for elites at LHR -- across the street from the main Terminal 3 dept, but if you're coming by the train you might find it easier to use the in-terminal 1st class desks.

Concourse D in Miami airport had nasty looking expensive food and $3 bottles of water, so bring your own from New York instead or enjoy the snacks at the AC.

You won't get LHR arrivals lounge access (and access to the T3 AC for arriving passengers is now blocked off) with a coach MIA-LHR ticket but could pay to use the arrivals lounge -- $35 I think for coach passengers. Never tried it myself.

Dunno about US plugs. I expect not -- why not buy a cheap adaptor before you travel?

Some London tips: Hampstead Heath is pretty at this time of year and good to walk off your jetlag. You could have lunch in Hampstead nearby too. Also I recommend the current Tate Modern exhitibition of Henri Rousseau if you like that sort of thing...
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Old Jan 10, 06, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by salut0
Having just returned from JFK-LHR-ORD-MIA-LGA, I have some tips!

I've never had to stay in a hotel in London, but $46 sounds amazing given the strength of the pound: cheapest youth hostel in central london I heard of five yrs ago when inquiring for a friend was 20pounds.
Thanks very much for the excellent tips!
I've booked the Crowne Plaza at Heathrow for $67 for one night.

We will probably take a cab from the hotel to the airport in the morning, since the Hoppa bus costs 6 for two and the cab is about 10 for both.

Now, any suggestions for great Indian food near the airport?
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Old Jan 10, 06, 2:50 pm
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re Indian food near the airport, Southall is your best bet. Not sure how you'd get there -- perhaps the Heathrow Connect train followed by a taxi or train from Ealing Broadway?
Not sure either of any particular restaurants though.
My favourite is Ravi Shankar on Drummond St near Euston stn, or (more expensive and not vegetarian) La Porte des Indes near Baker St IIRC.
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Old Jan 10, 06, 2:52 pm
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PS re the US plugs. Remember that UK voltage is 240 so unless you're using a laptop with a transformer box you'd better be careful not to fry the device.
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Old Jan 10, 06, 2:55 pm
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quick google search found this. no idea what it's like

http://travel.guardian.co.uk/restaur...010666,00.html
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Old Jan 10, 06, 3:20 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by salut0
re Indian food near the airport, Southall is your best bet. Not sure how you'd get there -- perhaps the Heathrow Connect train followed by a taxi or train from Ealing Broadway?
Not sure either of any particular restaurants though.
My favourite is Ravi Shankar on Drummond St near Euston stn, or (more expensive and not vegetarian) La Porte des Indes near Baker St IIRC.

http://www.heathrowconnect.com/default.aspx?pageid=56

Heathrow Connect is the stopping service, 9 minutes from LHR to Southall, every 30 minutes. 7.50 fare ! (about 5 goes to the BAA for using the tunnel into the terminal area).
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Old Jan 10, 06, 3:57 pm
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London in style on a $40 budget

Visit the JFK AC. If they don't give you a drink voucher, ask for one. Go ahead and ask for two - apiece.

At MIA, visit the BA club in A. Nicer view, better eats and drinks than any AC. You won't need drink coupons because they have an open bar. Might as well visit the new AC in D, just to say you've seen it. Ask for drink coupons if they don't give 'em to you automatically. Don't bother visiting the old AC which is outside security in E, unless you particularly want to waste some time fooling with the rudest TSA security line in the USA.

You won't have lounge access upon arrival at LHR, unless you want to pay to get into AA arrivals lounge. With only one day in London, it doesn't seem wise to spend time in one of the poorest lounges in the system. Go thou forthright into the city.

If I had just one day in London, I'd probably check out the free museums, especially the area near Trafalgar Square (National Gallery, Portrait Gallery, etc). If you're not too tired from the flight, hit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square and get half-price tickets for a show that same night. If you're slap worn out from the flight, don't bother with a show which you're likely to sleep through anyway. I find most London theatres exceptionally warm and stuffy. This puts tired people immediately to sleep. You wrote that you want to check out old haunts in London, so this entire paragraph is probably moot anyway.

On the way back, skip the Admirals Club at LHR and go to the Cathay Pacific lounge instead.
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Old Jan 17, 06, 3:59 pm
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thank you all for the great info!

We're looking forward to a great little trip.
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Old Jan 29, 06, 8:17 pm
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I know you're back, socoast, but for your next trip, here's some recommended places in Southall:

http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/01/2...pagewanted=all

Enjoy!

----

Day Out
A Real Taste of South Asia? Take the Tube to Southall
By ALAN RAPPEPORT
Published: January 29, 2006

INSIDE the Glassy Junction pub, a large framed photograph of a smiling Indian wearing a turban and aviator sunglasses looks out over tables of people snacking on naan bread, korma and kebabs. The beer selection ranges from Kingfisher to Carling, and a pint can be had for 300 rupees (about $6.95 at 43 rupees to the dollar), if you happen to be carrying currency from the subcontinent. The hypnotic rhythms of Bhangra music fill the room.

This is Southall, a suburb 10 miles west of Central London known as the city's most authentic "Little India.".................
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Old Jan 29, 06, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by salut0
... It's fordidden to BYOB...
Well, no. Notwithstanding you bring/they pour as per FAA, Mrs alien and I do this all the time with no worries if one is even reasonably surreptitious.
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Old Jan 29, 06, 9:06 pm
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Most of your questions have been answered but I have a couple of facts / opinions here.
Originally Posted by socoast
What's the most comfey lounge to hang out in for a couple of hours? Any with free WiFi?
I'm not sure which Lounge you'll be able to access on arrival. Since you're in Y, you won't be able to use the AA arrivals lounge in T3.

I've never seen free WiFi anywhere in LHR. There is T-Mobile in the AC. An hour costs 6 pounds.

Originally Posted by socoast
What's the situ with powerplugs - are there US plugs/adaptors at the AC? Do hotels have one US plug in the loo for shavers?
The AC has power adaptors... not voltage converters, just converts the plug. This will work great for Laptops, but if you have a camera or some other equipment check that 200 volts won't fry it.
Normally, they will trade you one for your boarding pass (so that you don't "forget" to turn it in). You can buy a small one of these for less than $10 before you leave (or at the Dixon's in T3).
Originally Posted by socoast
How long does it take to clear LHR customs and immigration? We have only carryon luggage.
Customs is no problem, luggage or no luggage, you just walk through the "Green Lane". The issues is Immigration. For a morning arrival I've seen lines of over an hour. There is, of course, Fast Track, but you need to fly in C or F to get a coupon.
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Old Feb 23, 06, 7:25 am
  #14  
 
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Does LHR Arrivals lounge have T-Mobile now?

Originally Posted by AAntares
I've never seen free WiFi anywhere in LHR. There is T-Mobile in the AC.
Fiancee just sent me an e-mail from LHR Arrivals lounge. She says she is connected to T-Mobile. I've never been able to use T-Mobile at Arrivals lounge.

Has anyone else been able to use T-Mobile from the AA Arrivals Lounge at LHR?

It's worth noting that in addition to the subscription price, T-Mobile now charges a few cents a minute (I think it's 18 cents) for connections while in the U.K.
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Old Feb 23, 06, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by alien
Well, no. Notwithstanding you bring/they pour as per FAA, Mrs alien and I do this all the time with no worries if one is even reasonably surreptitious.

Mr. Gal and I have also BYOB on the past 2 flights. A charming smile and please seemed to be all that was requried. I'd much prefer my sedative....er, wines over AA's pitiful selection.
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