Connection through LHR on unlinked PNRs

Old Mar 10, 20, 1:44 pm
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Connection through LHR on unlinked PNRs

I have a round trip from PHL to LHR on AA metal with an AA flight number. I'm then buying a separate round trip from LHR to CDG on BA metal but will be on either AA flight number or BA flight number. Basically, I'm buying a nested LHR-CDG ticket inside of my PHL-LHR ticket because it is cheaper than flying on a single round trip PHL-LHR-CDG ticket. I have a few questions:

1. I will have no checked luggage. Am I correct that when I get to LHR, it would feel like a normal transit through LHR? Would I just show my boarding pass for my onward flight to get through security without having to "enter" the UK and then go to security?

2. On the way back, if my CDG-LHR flight takes a delay and I miss my connection, will I be protected and put on the next flight to PHL? Or is it just treated as a missed flight and I'm on my own?

3. If I decide to check a bag, will AA through-check my bag (PHL-LHR-CDG) so I don't need to get it and recheck it in LHR?
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Old Mar 10, 20, 1:52 pm
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3, No. BA and/or AA will not through check bags on separate itineraries.
AA Separate ticketing / PNR: AA, oneworld, through baggage & protection issues > 2016
BA BA no longer through checking baggage with separate tickets
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Old Mar 10, 20, 2:11 pm
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For question one you are correct. You would not need to clear UK immigration but would simply follow the purple "Flight Connection" signs and transit via bus from T3 to T5 and then clear security there.

For question two, AA does in theory protect against this type of event but I am not sure how it would work out in practice. I can well see it happening with AA - AA flights on separate tickets but where you have BA - AA it's a lot less clear. AA's own guidance says that the carrier responsible for the misconnect is responsible for getting you to your final destination, and so that would be BA. However, from BA's perspective their responsibility is to get you to LHR and no further. AA may treat you sympathetically but you may end up having to buy a new ticket from LHR - PHL.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 3:05 pm
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There are several reports here on FT of AA refusing to rebook no shows on AA-AA transfers as well as OW-AA. In theory it ought to work, but you will have to turn to AA as BA won't do anything at all.

For the benefit of others, if one did have checked bags, one would have to claim them in both directions at LHR and schlep them to the onwards carrier's check-in, thus requiring both immigration and customs (such as it is).
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Old Mar 10, 20, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
There are several reports here on FT of AA refusing to rebook no shows on AA-AA transfers as well as OW-AA. In theory it ought to work, but you will have to turn to AA as BA won't do anything at all.

For the benefit of others, if one did have checked bags, one would have to claim them in both directions at LHR and schlep them to the onwards carrier's check-in, thus requiring both immigration and customs (such as it is).
Additionally, it will be more difficult to avoid the departure tax at LHR on separate tickets.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by tacostuff View Post

1. I will have no checked luggage. Am I correct that when I get to LHR, it would feel like a normal transit through LHR? Would I just show my boarding pass for my onward flight to get through security without having to "enter" the UK and then go to security?
you can but as an EXP you may not want to, if you can use e-gates (which most can now) it takes seconds to enter UK then head over to First Wing for security and you're right in the FLounge. Much better/faster than Transit Security.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:26 pm
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So AA flights land T3 LHR (well, PHL does), while BA to CDG departs T5 LHR.
Without baggage following the purple signs to connections is easy, but it'll take longer than a same-terminal transit.
If you decide to drop a bag then you're in a different situation: you'd need to collect from T5, meaning you'd need to enter the UK. You can't then transfer internally, you'd have to get T5 to T3, which is possible by tube or taxi or Express train, but it's all time time time (and money in some cases).
General advice on connecting nested PNRs is to ensure a very minimum of 3hrs. You very well may not need that at all, but if I do similar nesting I'd bake in 4hrs minimum.
If your CDG-LHR is late and you miss LHR-PHL then that's on you, the airline isn't obligated to put you on the next flight for free (it can happen, though).
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by ryan182 View Post
you can but as an EXP you may not want to, if you can use e-gates (which most can now) it takes seconds to enter UK then head over to First Wing for security and you're right in the FLounge. Much better/faster than Transit Security.

I did this in January. Took the bus T3 => T5, went through the e-gates, elevator upstairs, presented my documents at the First Wing and was in the lounge in less than 20 minutes.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Additionally, it will be more difficult to avoid the departure tax at LHR on separate tickets.
The APD should be payable and was likely connected on both outbounds from LHR. It would only not be due on a connection or a conjunction ticket (and it is close to impossible for these two be conjunction tickets if purchased separately).
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Additionally, it will be more difficult to avoid the departure tax at LHR on separate tickets.
The OP has priced his tickets and that tax is already included in the ticket price, no?
It makes no difference at this point?

I had never heard of buying separate tickets (flights connecting in LHR) and then calling to remove the APD? Who knew!

Last edited by carlosdca; Mar 10, 20 at 4:57 pm
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The APD should be payable and was likely connected on both outbounds from LHR. It would only not be due on a connection or a conjunction ticket (and it is close to impossible for these two be conjunction tickets if purchased separately).
Historically, if one provided AA with the BA ticket number, AA would eliminate the APD on its LHR-USA flight. For APD purposes, the definition of "conjunction tickets" is quite liberal; if AA creates a "summary" which lists both tickets, that should satisfy the "conjunction tickets" requirement.

Whether AA is still doing this in 2020 is something I do not know.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Clark Casual View Post
I did this in January. Took the bus T3 => T5, went through the e-gates, elevator upstairs, presented my documents at the First Wing and was in the lounge in less than 20 minutes.
That's about average, sometimes it can take a bit longer depending on how fast you walk etc. Once the buses were way backed up so I exited T3 and took the HEX to T5 (free) and in that case it took about 35-40mins from aircraft door to first glass of champs in FLounge. Ever since e-gates (I had this early due to trusted traveler for UK) and the First Wing LHR went from an airport I hated transiting through to one of the best in EU.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by tacostuff View Post
I have a round trip from PHL to LHR on AA metal with an AA flight number. I'm then buying a separate round trip from LHR to CDG on BA metal but will be on either AA flight number or BA flight number. Basically, I'm buying a nested LHR-CDG ticket inside of my PHL-LHR ticket because it is cheaper than flying on a single round trip PHL-LHR-CDG ticket.
Don't assume your choices are limited to return tickets frequently in these situations the cheapest option is an open jaw and a single. And that comes with the advantage that, if you book PHl-LHR .. CDG-LHR-PHL, then you avoid the UK departure tax and you don't create the risks that would happen if CDG-LHR is delayed.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by SeattleDavid View Post
Don't assume your choices are limited to return tickets frequently in these situations the cheapest option is an open jaw and a single. And that comes with the advantage that, if you book PHl-LHR .. CDG-LHR-PHL, then you avoid the UK departure tax and you don't create the risks that would happen if CDG-LHR is delayed.
I've had great success with on a number of trips. It has the added benefit of a longer stay in London (if one wishes to have such a thing) and then avoiding APD on the return. It's really become my go-to booking method when traveling to/around Europe as I usually enjoy 1-2 days in London each time and it ends up cheaper than true R/T tickets
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Old Mar 10, 20, 7:22 pm
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I've had luck with this on award travel to europe. I do usually leave several hours between flights.

AA US-LHR in business on AA miles with a separate BA LHR-EU ticket on avios often comes out less than US-LHR-EU, and T3-T5 is an easy connection.
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