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Back-to-back / Immediate Turnarounds at BA Destinations

Old Aug 18, 2013, 2:36 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: LondonAndy
See also this thread:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...ing-guide.html
For details of suitable hotels for those doing a last flight/first flight turnaround, please see this thread:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...rt-hotels.html

Order: Back-to-back Transfer Landside Notes
[so Excellent for back to back usually means an easy airside transfer with few risks]
ABZ: Excellent Excellent if domestic, otherwise Reasonable Reasonable Arrivals decant into departure hall.
ACE: Reasonable if off season, there is a transfer channel just before passports Reasonable Reasonable
AGP: Excellent for Schengen, Risky if not. Schengen - immediate turnaround possible at gate area. Non-Schengen - There is a transit passageway back to airside on the left after passports, but there can be long delays at passports, achievable if you are willing to politely push in the queue.
see here.
ALC: Reasonable if off season, but you do need to go fully airside if non Schengen. Small and efficient airport. Peak time: see here.
ALG: Impractical due to visa and immigration processes. See post 2224.
AMS: Excellent Excellent Poor Arrivals decant into departure hall normally.
ANE: Good - very small airport, tarmac walk. You may want to telephone the airport to let them know since there's no OLCI facility.
ARN: Excellent Good Reasonable (arriving pax should watch for sign to gates 70-82) * see posts 593, 238 & 1298 for more details.
ATH: Reasonable but don't hang about, you need to enter Schengen immigration, then leave Schengen, and a fairly efficient security check. Distances aren't great.
BCN: Good to excellent - bit of a walk - small flight connection facility to the left of passport control, dedicated security but no passports Good if non-Schengen, Reasonable if Schengen Reasonable
BGO: Excellent Excellent Excellent, borderline foolproof though only restricted number of flights Arrivals decant into departure hall.
BHD: Excellent - use stairs upwards between gates 5 and 6, against flow Excellent if domestic, otherwise Reasonable Reasonable
BIO: Reasonable, does involve going landside but small airport, airbridge rather than bus Reasonable Reasonable
BIQ: Reasonable, involves going through passports to landside, security and passports again, but you need to be off early since passport checks are thorough.
BJV: Not really feasible, there is no online check-in or App facility, you must check in at the gate.
BOD: Reasonable but does involve going landside and back again. However it's a small airport and efficient.
BLL: Good (there is a clear transfer route after passport control to avoid a security check Good Good
BLQ: Good (small airport but you have to go landside) Reasonable Reasonable (bus gates)
BRI: Good (small airport but you have to go landside) Reasonable Reasonable
BSL: Good Good Good (Bit of a walk to landside, but it's not a huge airport. See this post for info).
BRU: Excellent on the transfer route, reasonable if not Reasonable Poor (see comments in post #246, also 64 onwards)
CAG: Reasonable, does involve going landside but small airport, airbridge rather than bus Reasonable Reasonable
CDG: Hopeless
CFU: Near impossible, no OLCI, you must present yourself at check-in. Process involves bus, passports, out to landside, short walk to departures building on right, security and bus. Security is bad on peak days.
CGN: No OLCI, but on some dates it is still possible. See this post for details.
CHQ: Near impossible despite being a small airport, no OLCI so you can only get a boarding pass at the airport, and bus to and from gates.
CMB: Easy to do airside. Arriving and departing pax are not segregated. If you have your return boarding pass, just walk directly from arrival gate to departure gate.
CMF: Generally Good, involves going landside. Best avoid Saturdays, the main changeover day, when security is stretched.
CPH: Excellent Good Reasonable Arrivals decant into departure hall.
CTA: Reasonable, there is a transfer route signed but seems obsolete. However small and efficient airport so still do-able if going via landside.
DBV: Impractical - there's no online check in here, you have to go landside and collect a boarding pass. Otherwise a very small airport.
DUB: Good (if ex-LHR), Reasonable if ex-LCY (quicker plane turnaround) Good if Common Travel Area, otherwise Reasonable Reasonable May require passing security, so Fast Track helps. See this post for a photo guide. (As of June 2017 increased risk due to pax segregation at 200 gates and ongoing building work)
DUS: Excellent Excellent if non-Schengen, Good if Schengen Good Arrivals decant into departure gate, though risk of bus to baggage hall.
EDI: Excellent Excellent if domestic, otherwise Reasonable to Poor Reasonable to Poor Arrivals decant into departure hall normally, risk of bus to baggage hall.
EGC: Impractical. Bergerac has its own check-in system and is currently not on App/OLCI, so boarding passes must be obtained in person, no later than 45 minutes before departure.
FCO: Reasonable (return shuttle to main terminal) Reasonable Reasonable
FDH: Impractical due to delays during ski season - see here.
FLR: Poor due to use of bus transfers and airport layout Poor - no transfer track Reasonable
FNC: Reasonable due to small airport and long turnarounds. You do need to go landside and return to airside. Note high risk of weather related diversions. Bus from aircraft, passports, security, passports, walk to aircraft.
FRA: Reasonable to Poor Poor (particularly if coming off Schengen) Reasonable
FSC: Uncertain - if boarding passes can be issued in advance then it will be an easy landside transfer in a tiny airport. If boarding passes can only be collected in FSC then it's impossible.
FUE: Reasonable if out of the peak season, airbridges used. Have to go via passports landside and security, behind check in. Try Canaries+Families security if desperate.
GIB: Good Good Good Must go landside, bearing right and back up through security. Turnaround can be long. Leave the aircraft early so as to beat the queue at passport arrivals.
GLA: Excellent Excellent if domestic, otherwise Reasonable Reasonable Arrivals decant into departure hall normally.
GNB: Good Good Good: Walk to/from aircraft. Must go landside, outside and right back into departures. Long turnaround times make this feasible though Saturdays busy.
GOA: Reasonable Reasonable Reasonable
GOT: Excellent Excellent Excellent Borderline foolproof. Arrivals decant into departure hall.
GVA: Excellent Good Good (but can be poor during ski season) Turn left in arrival lane to go back up to departures area.
HAJ: Excellent Excellent if non-Schengen, Good if Schengen Good Arrivals decant into departure gate. See posts 1670 and 1671 below.
HAM: Excellent Excellent if non-Schengen, Good if Schengen Reasonable Arrivals decant into departure hall, though sometimes bus to baggage hall.
HEL: Good Good Reasonable Incoming passengers can reverse direction just before Schengen passports. If a bus from gate, you will need to rush.
HER: Infeasible. There is no online or App check in, it's a bus transfer and arrivals / departures are in separate buildings.
INN: Good Good Good - you have to go landside, and there is a bus transfer to/from the aircraft, but the airport is very small and highly efficient.
INV: Good to Excellent Good Good - you have to go landside and through security. See here for more info.
IOM: Good Good Good (no flight connections but small airport)
IST: Good (visa not required) Good Poor (also note you may need to buy a visa as a result of going landside). More details in this post.
JER: Excellent Excellent if domestic, otherwise Good Good Arrivals decant into departure hall, sometimes you need to double back to the BA lounge.
JMK: Nearly impossible due to clunky arrival processing and use of buses.
JTR: Impossible: bus transfer, slow passports.
KEF: Excellent Excellent if non Schengen, Good otherwise Good BA flights tip arriving passengers into the departure gate. Foolproof. NB LCY flights pax use a bus from a remote stand, still easy as dropped off less than 100M from the departure gate.
KLX: Moderately risky due to boarding passes only being issued at check-in. No buses used normally, walk off plane straight into very small building.
LBA: Good Good Good have to go landside for any connection or b2b but small airport, see here for further details
LCA: Good Good Reasonable There is a "Connecting Flights" channel on the left of the arrivals corridor, half way along, well before passports.
LEI: Moderate to risky: you have to go via landside, and you need the return boarding pass before travel. But it's a small and efficient airport. No buses are used, it's similar to LCY in operation.
LHR T3: Good Good Reasonable Follow connecting flights route, which can be as quick as 11 mins from disembark to through security. No conformance unlike T5.
see here.
LIG: Good to Excellent Good Reasonable See this post for more information
LIS: Good Good Reasonable There is a security check to the right, immediately before and avoiding the passport desks. Risk of bus gates, but still OK.
LIN: Good Good Reasonable to Poor (bus gates)
LPA: Possibly OK if off peak. Some flights are bus gates, but it's a relatively small and efficient airport. OLCI and App check in both work.
LUX: Very Good Good Good Borderline excellent, no known fatalities. Landside route is described here: Airside transfer door described here.
MAD: Very good Good to Reasonable depending on arriving terminal Reasonable See this post for full details.
MAH: Good to excellent, see post number 563.
MAN: Reasonable to Poor Reasonable to Poor Reasonable to Poor
MCT: Excellent - direct transfer route [ ] [ ].
MJV: Good Good Good provided you avoid a peak time More information here.
MLA: Good Good Good This this post and linked blog for details.
MRS: Good Good Good There is a transfer and security point just before going down to passports. Use the phone on the post to ask for it to be opened it for you; however, there is no guarantee that it will and you may have to exit to landside and re-enter through departures security.
MUC: Very good Good but note 2 terminals Good Transfer point after passport, details in this post
MXP: Good - bit of walk to Transfer facility Good Good Thread links here.
NCE: Reasonable Poor Good [There is a direct transfer route by turning into the door way on the right before the slope up to passports]
NCL: Excellent Excellent if domestic, otherwise Good Good Arrivals decant into departure hall.
NTE: Good Good Good see this post.
NUE: Impractical unfortunately due to no OLCI, all check in done at the airport
OLB: Excellent Excellent Excellent Arriving into Olbia is via jetty to the departure gate, no passports or security. Note no OLCI via the App, more info here.
ORK: Good, do need to clear passports and security but very small and efficient airport.
ORY: No recommended due to fast turnarounds on LCY services. You have to go fully landside and back in again, via 2 passport checks and a security check.
OPO: Excellent [Look for grey escalator going up] Good (reasonable if Schengen) Reasonable
OTP: Excellent as at April 2019. Poor as of 29 Dec 18, see post #2660 https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30586858-post2660.html.
Excellent - See post #1919 https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29017017-post1919.htmlGood - look for Connection facility on right after leaving aircraft Reasonable Poor (can be Good if all everything works)
OSL: Good on the whole Reasonable Reasonable (See experiences in this post, this post, this post and this post.)
OVD: Not really suitable. This is really an Iberia Express route but leaves T5 under BA code. The aircraft is based in OVD not LHR. Small efficient airport though.
PFO: Good on the whole, but you do need to go landside. However it is a small airport. May not be so good on a busy Saturday during school holidays. Note bus transfers however.
PMO: Airport is currently being rebuilt. Once completed potentially a good option due to airbridge. Departure security is two floors above arrivals (use lift)
PMI: Excellent Excellent Excellent borderline foolproof - you are landed direct into boarding area.
PRG: Excellent ?? ?? For back-to-back the LHR-PRG arrival dumps you right into the main corridor of that pier; walk 100 ft. to security check for the BA boarding lounge and you'll be good to go.
PSA: Reasonable Reasonable Reasonable (not the best location since there are a lot of LCC and you have to reclear security from landside). (August 2018 review and comment)
PUY: Unrealistic, due to the bus transfer process followed by passport control.
RAK: Terrible Unknown See post #1353 below
RHO: Infeasible - no OLCI or App check in, bus transfers from gates. Also airport very busy on Saturday PM and Sunday AM.
RTM: Good Good Good (Reasonable during morning/evening peaks)
SEZ: Excellent, use the Transit desk at the right side of the immigration hall, opposite end to passport control, see this post.
SKG: Reasonable Reasonable Reasonable but note bus transfers on apron.
SOF: Excellent Excellent Reasonable arrivals decant into departure area.
SPU: Reasonable but there is a bus transfer and then landside Reasonable but transfer routes seems to be from Star Alliance Reasonable
STR: Reasonable - stairs from baggage hall back to security. Can't avoid security/passports Reasonable Reasonable Report here.
SVG: Excellent Excellent Excellent borderline foolproof, though only restricted number of flights
SVQ: Reasonable but need to exit landside and go up through departures, security. and passports is by the gate. Compact airport, fast security even if queuing.
SZG: Reasonable Reasonable Reasonable no transfer channel and note bus transfers, but small airport.
TFS: Reasonable but in all cases involves going landside. May be tricky to reclear security in peak holiday season.
TIA: Probably impractical. There is a bus transfer process and passport checks/stamps takes a while (Albania isn't in the EU).
TLL: Very good Good Reasonable see this post.
TLV: At your own risk. There is a transfer route with security on the way to passport control just after the rotunda.
TNG: No transfer or B2B route. Have to pass immigration, customs and security again. Airport is tiny (think 10 flights a day) and B2B is perfectly doable provided no problems at immigration.
TRN: Reasonable to Good Good Reasonable No short cuts to avoid going landside via passports x2 and security, apart from Fast Track security, but a small and efficient airport.
TXL: Good - security takes place in limited area by arriving gate Good Good Security is at gates, if using A gates. NB: Currently, this usually includes LCY flights, which now mostly use A gates like LHR flights.
UIP: Good - very small airport, tarmac walk.
VCE: Very good Good at offpeak times Reasonable See this post for details
VIE: Excellent (BEWARE see: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29579878-post2190.html ) Good Reasonable
VLC: Good Good Reasonable there's no transfer route so you have to go via landside. Departures is straight up from the arrival point. Disagree with the previous two sentences. For me, a direct turnaround from gates 12-14 was possible without going landside. Took less than a minute.
VNO: Excellent Good Reasonable arriving passengers enter departing passenger area. [BA have codeshare and also has TP Run options via AY]
VRN: Good Good Reasonable there's no transfer route so you have to go landside but it's a very small airport and there is Fast Track.
WAW: Good - small connection facility on left after airbridge Good Reasonable
ZAG: Very good Good Reasonable ask to use the International Transfer channel on the left side of the passport hall, you need a boarding pass/App. NOTE: New terminal just opened, so this info needs updating.
ZRH: Generally good but see this post and the replies for more information.
ZTH: Infeasible due to buses and no online check-in possibilities. Somewhat unfortunate given the small airport. No transfer route, you must enter Schengen and go to landside.

Excellent generally means you will leave the aircraft and find yourself in the boarding area for departure. Good suggests that you may have to clear either security and / or passports before reboarding, but it should still be possible.

Two caveats:
A) Sometimes things don't go to plan. E.g. EDI sometimes uses buses, which puts passengers landside and thus needing to reclear security. Ditto HAM.
B) The above needs to be combined with the turnaround time. MXP often has a generous back-to-back time, for example.

.
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Back-to-back / Immediate Turnarounds at BA Destinations

Old Jun 18, 2018, 3:00 pm
  #2356  
 
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Yikes. Annoyingly, it's to finish off an ex-MAN booking to SFO earlier that week so the LHR-MAN segment is booked. Not wanting to dop the last leg etc... I think it'll be a night in Manchester! Cheers... not sure it's worth the risk!
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Old Jun 18, 2018, 3:30 pm
  #2357  
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Gate 141 in MAN does essentially force you landside, though I suspect you might be able to talk to an agent while crossing the departures stream saying you have a connection?
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Old Jun 19, 2018, 5:43 am
  #2358  
 
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Originally Posted by BA6501
Gate 141 in MAN does essentially force you landside, though I suspect you might be able to talk to an agent while crossing the departures stream saying you have a connection?
With some of the (T3) security queues at MAN taking a good 2hrs at present, might not be a good place to do a B2B unless fast track is working, you factor in a decent layover or you get lucky with a flight connection.
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Old Jun 19, 2018, 5:47 am
  #2359  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser
Read that but not sure if that option is only available for the early flight? Looking at the late 8/9pm sort of one and security sometimes winds down well before that in places.

There's actually 1 day in September where LUX-LHR is 11, or at least there was the other day.
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Old Jun 19, 2018, 6:01 am
  #2360  
 
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Originally Posted by xenole
With some of the (T3) security queues at MAN taking a good 2hrs at present, might not be a good place to do a B2B unless fast track is working, you factor in a decent layover or you get lucky with a flight connection.
OMG really ?

I am due to fly from MAN for the first time ever this Sunday (BA1395 MAN-LHR, leaving at 14:10). For various reasons, I can't physically get to the airport until about 13:00 so a 2hr queue would screw me royally

I see MAN has Fast Track so presumably that would help a little ?

EDIT: As I'm actually not in a hurry, I have changed my booking to the BA1399 at 15:55. So if I get through Security in 2 minutes, it's no big deal to hang around; if it's 2 hours then I should still make it

Last edited by Fitch; Jun 19, 2018 at 6:06 am
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Old Jun 19, 2018, 6:03 am
  #2361  
 
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Originally Posted by Fitch
OMG really ?

I am due to fly from MAN for the first time ever this Sunday (BA1395 MAN-LHR, leaving at 14:10). For various reasons, I can't physically get to the airport until about 13:00 so a 2hr queue would screw me royally

I see MAN has Fast Track so presumably that would help a little ?
Staffing issues at present so they've had 3/7 machines running. Not sure about fast track though.
Queues at some points have been up to the Air France desk and wrapped around the front of some of the Ryanair desks.

Make allowances for inevitable train delays and cancellations, the M62 etc. being shut for an accident and the messy road system at the airport at present.
Might be an ATC strike in France or Italy this weekend as well.
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Old Jun 21, 2018, 3:29 am
  #2362  
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Data point: LUX flight connections is currently closed, meaning you have to go through passport control, through baggage reclaim and customs, upstairs to departures and re-clear security, back through passport control to the gate. N.B. the lounge is prior passport control in the schengen area.

Total time for me was ~15 mins with queues for passport control ~10 deep and security ~25 deep, arrived on a weekday early rotation.
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Old Jun 21, 2018, 9:02 am
  #2363  
 
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Just as a data point, I did my first B2B today - chose GOT for both price and the advice on this thread as 'virtually foolproof' - which it still is, but on arrival at GOT we were parked some way from the terminal - the other side of building works, and bussed.

I wasn't expecting that and anxiety levels rose a little - my main concern being that the buses would dump us at some other point in the airport, rather than the non-Schengen gate area, but happily it took us to the stairs at the bottom of Gate 21 where the return flight was. I arrived about 90 seconds before it was called, but had I missed the first of two busses from the jet, I still think it would have been fine as the second bus back out was quite a bit after the first one.

Nearly got caught out at LHR in the morning as well, as I was just picking up my toast in the Galleries lounge at 6.40, when I checked the board to see my 7.25 was departing from the B gates - cue a bit of a sprint and was one of the last to board the second bus to a remote stand beyond the C gates.

Back home now between legs (LAX tomorrow) and feeling grateful for the wisdom on here that prepared me, and for the little bits of experience picked up today...

The picture is taken from the return bus, at the base of Gate 21 GOT looking across the apron works to the BA jet.



BA790/791
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Old Jun 23, 2018, 8:47 am
  #2364  
 
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IBZ isn't in the guide, anyone know how is it for B2B?
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Old Jun 23, 2018, 9:11 am
  #2365  
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Originally Posted by bisonrav
IBZ isn't in the guide, anyone know how is it for B2B?
Off season do-able, but during the summer risky particularly around the weekend. You have to landside, it is quite a big airport, round and up to departures, and the sticking point is security, which can be very busy with all the kids down for the DJ events. PMI or BCN would be better ideas.
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Old Jun 24, 2018, 5:41 am
  #2366  
 
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Just making an LHR-INV-LHR back to back.


From disembarking 1028, waiting mins for the KLM flight to board, a short delay at security I was in the departure are and managed a wee drink in the lounge before boarding.

From disembarking to the departure are was maybe 20mins with the longest delay at security.
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Old Jun 28, 2018, 4:57 am
  #2367  
 
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Just an update on RTM for b2b's.

Took this mornings 7.30am LCY-RTM flight and it's return which has a scheduled 30min stop-over, tight for a b2b which requires immigration and security clearance! (the afternoon flight has the same 30min turnaround time I believe)

On-stand about 10mins late, but luckily (and I had checked beforehand) we were the first arrival of the day so we parked up by the terminal and could walk into passport control. I was second off the plane and first into the terminal where they did the usual scan and then preceded to flick through the various stamps in my passport which was slightly annoying. Security is right by the exit from the baggage hall and (again having checked) I knew there was only 1 flight leaving 30mins after ours this morning, so it was empty. There are building works at the moment in the terminal which mean instead of turning immediately left towards the departure gates right after security, you walk down a long corridor (covered) back onto the ramp which has been constructed while they work on the older terminal area, down this corridor and back into the terminal building in a form of half rectangular shape , but it all adds precious time onto the journey. The non-schengen gates are at the far end of the terminal and I was the last through passport control and onto the bus before they closed up, so it was tight even being first through security.

Overall Advice:
1) Go to AMS if possible
2) If RTM is the only option, pick a flight with a longer turn around time - if I had to get a bus from the plane to the terminal upon arrival, there is no way I would have made the return in my opinion (more likely during a busy time of the day)
3) Mention the fact you are coming back on the flight to the crew - while we were waiting for the air-stairs the co-pilot came out and left the entrance into the cockpit free, so I used the opportunity to thank the Captain for a lovely outbound flight and inform him I was in 2D for the return, so if he could check if I was on-board before departing, I'd be very grateful. They won't hold the plane if you are very delayed, but it's always worth the ask and he gave me a wave while I was climbing the steps on the return (and then came out of the cockpit to ask why I was doing a b2b in the first place!)
4) As shown, it can be done, but probably worth some additional research and don't go cheap on the outbound, a few rows back could have made all the difference at passport control upon arrival

Pilot37
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Old Jun 28, 2018, 9:37 am
  #2368  
 
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I will need to do my 4 yearly BA flights in order to qualify for BA gold, and would want to do it all in one day.
Usually I will do two B2Bs from LHR to AMS. However, this time I will be starting in Paris in 2 weeks time.
I have taken a look at some of the usual locations such as AMS, JER, BRU, but they are quite expensive.
So far IOM is the cheapest option. Does the plane do a quick turnaround? looking to take BA3282 to IOM.
Are there any other locations you guys would recommend?
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Old Jun 28, 2018, 5:00 pm
  #2369  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
Ah come on, you are going to see the Or Zaruah Synagogue in Melilla aren't you? This is (as far as I know) the only European Union city that has Hebrew in its town logo!

But you have to go via landside, it's a tiny airport. There are customs and passport checks in and out of the airport, however the passport checks are fairly rudimentary for EEA+Swiss citizens. You walk from the aircraft to the baggage hall on the right of the apron, where they will do these checks. Then as you emerge landside, immediately to the left is security and passports to go airside again. Do-able certainly, but why would one?
Went to MLN today. All went smoothly but there was a really long queue at immigration as there were two flights going to AGP and one to MAD. The police stopped me as they were wondering why one would go to MLN when Morocco was right there. I could'nt stop laughing at the departure room which is a bit bigger than the CCR terrace. One cool part of MLN, they announce those with priority boarding by name. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old Jun 28, 2018, 5:47 pm
  #2370  
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Originally Posted by hakzai
I will need to do my 4 yearly BA flights in order to qualify for BA gold, and would want to do it all in one day.
Usually I will do two B2Bs from LHR to AMS. However, this time I will be starting in Paris in 2 weeks time.
I have taken a look at some of the usual locations such as AMS, JER, BRU, but they are quite expensive.
So far IOM is the cheapest option. Does the plane do a quick turnaround? looking to take BA3282 to IOM.
Are there any other locations you guys would recommend?
IOM is fairly do-able, however you do go landside and have to go via an efficient security check. I wouldn't be too concerned, and there's no passport control. I presume you are looking at a LCY routing, so EDI and GLA would be better for keeping you airside. If LHR, then LUX, GOT, CPH, HAM, NCL and ABZ should also be checked. If it's only a modest amount extra for these other places then I would certainly consider it.
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