Heathrow horror?

 
Old Jan 22, 08, 6:47 pm
  #1  
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Heathrow horror?

I've finally managed to use my AA miles to make a reservation to fly Dallas-Europe in J. The routing takes us through Heathrow both ways. My wife has been reading horror stories about Heathrow and now doesn't want to go if we have to change there. How can I convince her that it isn't that bad?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 22, 08, 6:50 pm
  #2  
brp
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I just went through there yesterday...quite unexpectedly (my FCO-ORD was canceled and I made it into a FCO-LHR-ORD). From the time the aircraft was on the blocks in T1 to the time that we were in the CX lounge in T3 was about 20 minutes. Transit in Chicago, meanwhile, was about twice as long.

That, and they now allow two bags, as noted previously- a regular bag and a personal item. Mine was a fair-sized backpack, and they didn't even bat an eye.

Cheers.
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Old Jan 22, 08, 7:00 pm
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I'd much rather go to a party, but an AA- ? connection at Heathrow is perfectly survivable. If that's how the award is routed, it won't be a huge hardship as she fears - just do some preparatory planning (assure sufficient connection time, look at the LHR website an plan your connection, be sure baggage is clearly marked - preferably an itinerary in a pocket or in an itinerary tag and another inside - etc.)
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Old Jan 22, 08, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
I'd much rather go to a party, but an AA- ? connection at Heathrow is perfectly survivable. If that's how the award is routed, it won't be a huge hardship as she fears - just do some preparatory planning (assure sufficient connection time, look at the LHR website an plan your connection, be sure baggage is clearly marked - preferably an itinerary in a pocket or in an itinerary tag and another inside - etc.)
It's AA-BA on the way there and BA-BA on the way back; we're coming back via Toronto so we can fly BA Club World on the way back.
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Old Jan 22, 08, 7:12 pm
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lhr is one of the worst major airports in the world. taxes, fees, lost luggage, long walks, crowded, dirty, etc., but i would not cancel my trip just because i was connecting through it. millions of passengers go through it daily and survive and so will you.

if given a choice of connection i will stay away from lhr/lgw but if i don't have a choice, as in next month, connecting twice through there, i just accept it. no biggie.

enjoy your trip!
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Old Jan 22, 08, 8:22 pm
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I have not experienced the "horror." Flew through LHR in Sep/07. LAX-ORD-LHR-BCN (AA-AA-BA), then BCN-LHR-LAX (BA-AA) on the return. All was good. T3 to T1 took about 20 minutes in each direction and my bags made it fine. The one bag restriction was in place at the time, but I hear they have gone to the TSA two-bag carry on rule now. I was a bit concerned about my checked bags on the outbound, 3 segment leg, but no problems whatsoever.

As was posted before, just do some advance planning/research and you and the wife should be fine.
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Old Jan 22, 08, 8:33 pm
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My 2 cents ... I've had more than a few problems connecting thru LHR but have noticed a significant improvement in the past year. Have no idea if i'm lucky or if things have changed.

I went thru LHR about 10 times last year- usually in the middle of the week. The lines were always long and the walk from AA to the connecting terminal thru customs is usually long. But getting checked thru has been quick and if UR not in coach, it will go even quicker. NO NEED TO CANCEL A TRIP out of fear of LHR.
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Old Jan 22, 08, 10:12 pm
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on sunday, i flew ba fco-lhr to connect to an aa flight to ord. i had booked a 2 1/2 connection but due to the confusion from the crash landing on friday things were still backed up at heathrow. we took a 50 minute air traffic ground hold in rome and then waited 30 minutes for a gate at lhr. that left me an hour and 10 minutes to make my connection. i did jog to the flight connection center but when i arrived there were only a handful of people ahead of me for security. waited about 5 minutes for the bus and was able to make the fl lounge within 30 minutes of exiting the plane. the absolutely amazing thing occurred at ord baggage claim where they paged those people whose bags did not make the flight and told them when they would be in. shockingly to me, mine made it.
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Old Jan 22, 08, 10:15 pm
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Went thru LHR to/from FRA in December. I won't say it was the smoothest transit ever, but definitely didn't qualify as an experience to make me stay home rather than take the trip at all ... surely what lies at the end of your journey is worth any small inconvenience you might face transiting LHR.

Go. Roll with whatever comes your way. Find some humor in the absurdity of it all. Collect some funny stories to share.

Hope y'all go and have a great trip!

cheers!
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Old Jan 22, 08, 10:19 pm
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absolutely no need to cancel; I flew through there a couple weeks ago and the security was the most efficient I've seen in a long time: they now allow two bags, no stupid shoes off, and a world-first no-need-to-take-your-laptop-out-Sir. I flew through LHR at least 8-10 times last year and true, it was annoying, but the lounge made up for it; I'm sure with the security improvement and T5 coming up in a couple months, it's all getting better


dv
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Old Jan 22, 08, 10:26 pm
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LHR can be a fickle mistress. I've been from jetway to Southbank hotel door in 40 minutes and I've had less pleasant experiences, but if you've read enough to think there might be trouble, you've probably also read enough advice to be forewarned and forearmed.
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Old Jan 22, 08, 11:22 pm
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As the OP has mention DFW via LHR this would indicate a Post 23 March departure, so no FCC on Outward just a T3-T5 Bus and T5 Security. As return is T5-T5 then if opening goes as planned no problem there.

Any Int-Int Transfer at LHR is still light years ahead of any Int-Int Transfer in USA and if no stopover in UK no taxes. Unlike a RT Int-Int via Florida which adds $70 in USA Taxes to the price.
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Old Jan 23, 08, 12:29 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by UncleDude View Post
As the OP h

Any Int-Int Transfer at LHR is still light years ahead of any Int-Int Transfer in USA
And, as I mentioned above, it can significantly beat even an Int-Dom transfer in the US (ORD, anyway )

Cheers.
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Old Jan 23, 08, 1:12 am
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
I just went through there yesterday...quite unexpectedly (my FCO-ORD was canceled and I made it into a FCO-LHR-ORD). From the time the aircraft was on the blocks in T1 to the time that we were in the CX lounge in T3 was about 20 minutes. Transit in Chicago, meanwhile, was about twice as long.

That, and they now allow two bags, as noted previously- a regular bag and a personal item. Mine was a fair-sized backpack, and they didn't even bat an eye.
brp,

I'm amazed you made it from gate arrival to lounge in 20 minutes--surely folks in the back of the bus were still deplaning at that time! And it sounds like there have been some improvements in FCC and the bus connection between terminals. In years past, I've waited up to 15-20 minutes for the bus to arrive, forget the walking time to get to and then through FCC.

Separately, is it correct you were using your "fair-sized backpack" as your personal item in addition to a regular carry-on bag?

-Hayden
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Old Jan 23, 08, 1:32 am
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I always look forward to and enjoy LHR, especially the various OneWorld lounges. As OP is flying in J, he will get lounge access.
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