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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 Sep 22, 2018, 2:27 pm
  #2506  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 115
This year I have done BA B2Bs at AUH, HKG, JFK, MCT, SEZ and SYD.

With HKG and SYD, the turnarounds are several hours so there was a chance to leave the airport (in the case of SYD by doing a quick return to MEL).

SEZ was fine and there was a transfer channel available which unsurprisingly I was the only user of.

The pick of the bunch was probably AUH, where the aircraft had a 3 hour turnaround. There was plenty of time after going through a very quick security check to have a shower and drink in the lounge.

My only unsuccessful attempt was DME, when I didn’t get as far as leaving LHR, although that was done to death in another thread...






Last edited by G_CIVV; Sep 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm
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Old Sep 22, 2018, 4:14 pm
  #2507  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
Quite a lot of longhaul destinations would be OK for a B2B since the turnaround time can be 2 or 3 hours or longer, and in some cases it would be gate to gate (SIN and KUL spring to mind). In other places like HKG, BKK and much of the Middle East you would have to pass through security check but not necessarily passport control(s). All USA and Canada would involve a passport controls, at the smaller location that would still be a piece of cake in terms of timing (BNA, MSY, AUS) but though CBP are quite used to mileage running, a direct B2B may cause some raised eyebrows.... The obvious one exception would be LCY-SNN-JFK since you arrive into T7 already security cleared and ready to return on the BabyBus. You can go straight to the lounges and simply await the return. So that's more or less foolproof. Some places, like CPT, JNB (but not DUR) the turnaround is 12 plus hours so no risk there either.

So probably best if you can narrow it down a bit. Middle East seems the obvious one. CAI has its own thread (possible but not user friendly), TLV has a connections corridor but it may lead to security questioning so at your own risk. AMM and BEY are usually overnight turnarounds (so near foolproof). So perhaps BAH, DOH, MCT, AUH, DXB.
The other thing to think about with long-haul destinations is visa issues. Even at airports where you can technically stay aside and the country allows airside TWOV, you may not be allowed to board in London without a visa as returning to origin is not a transit and therefore a visa may be required.
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Old Sep 22, 2018, 4:50 pm
  #2508  
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Originally Posted by fluffymitten
Are there many long haul destinations that could be suitable for a B2B trip? I suspect that this is where it's less likely for the same aircraft to return to the originating airport so it may be more of a short connection than a true B2B.
Almost all BA routes have one end in London, so actually almost all aircraft return straight to the originating airport. The main difficulty is trying to identify which is the back-to-back flight at places where there is more than one flight a day using the same aircraft type (LHR-JFK, I'm looking at you). But if it's somewhere like HKG, where there's one 380 and one 777, you can easily identify the back-to-back flight.
Originally Posted by fluffymitten
The fare rules for the sale requires either a Saturday stay or min nights so I'm going to have to get creative on nesting flights
This one's often very easy. The typical Saturday night stay rule is something like "TRAVEL FROM LAST INTERNATIONAL STOPOVER MUST COMMENCE NO EARLIER THAN THE FIRST SUN AFTER DEPARTURE OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL SECTOR."

So if you fly from LHR to HKG on Saturday night, the first qualifying flight is a HKG-LHR flight on Sunday night ... just a few hours after the Saturday night LHR-HKG arrives in HKG.
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Old Sep 26, 2018, 2:49 am
  #2509  
 
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Despite expert advice on here that GOT is an easy b2b, it's certainly not just now. Remote gate 9, bus to non Schengen at gate 20, up some stairs, through immigration and then a walk all the way down to gate 11 to await another bus. You will certainly be in danger of missing your flight if any delays as you make your way through the airport.
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Old Sep 26, 2018, 3:06 am
  #2510  
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Originally Posted by BERbound
Despite expert advice on here that GOT is an easy b2b, it's certainly not just now. Remote gate 9, bus to non Schengen at gate 20, up some stairs, through immigration and then a walk all the way down to gate 11 to await another bus. You will certainly be in danger of missing your flight if any delays as you make your way through the airport.
I have seen other reports of occasionally a bus used at GOT. It seems you are brought to an entrance near gate 21. Sometimes you will then board from gate 21A/B on to a bus so that's easy you just walk across and don't go through immigration. It seems boarding from gate 11 is also possible which is at the other end of the terminal so as you say it involves going through immigration, walking the length of the building to gate 11. and then going through immigration there again. I don't think the terminal is that big so I would imagine the only issue is really whether there are any queues at immigration both in the gate 20/21 area and in the gate 11 area?

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Old Sep 26, 2018, 3:13 am
  #2511  
 
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It was a combination of waiting for the guidance to be turned on, waiting for a bus, queue for the stairs up to immigration, wait for the immigration officer to finish questioning someone's movements, and then a walk from gate 20 to gate 11 , and then another wait for immigration. There appears to be apron works going on affecting the normal BA stand.
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Old Sep 28, 2018, 10:30 am
  #2512  
 
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I'm planning a LCY to Zurich back to back to end an ex eu. Figured I can land back in London, get home, drop off the luggage and nip over to LCY to not skip the last leg. A few years ago there was mention of bus gates and potential risks, is there any recent experience?
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Old Sep 29, 2018, 3:52 pm
  #2513  
 
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Quick bump. Can anyone advise on lcy to Zurich back to back feasibility?
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Old Sep 30, 2018, 11:08 am
  #2514  
 
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Originally Posted by GaxxyFlyer
Quick bump. Can anyone advise on lcy to Zurich back to back feasibility?
BACF LCY-ZRH service has been using the E Gates fairly religiously over the last few months. There is the (very) small risk of getting a bus, but this is more likely for the LHR service instead.

I would not be concerned with a B2B at ZRH personally.
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Old Sep 30, 2018, 11:18 am
  #2515  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA


at Lux there is an airside route so a separate connections channel but I donít think it is ever open. I happened to be there just this weekend and t was closed again. Tbh you are better off just going through immigration when you arrive and out via the baggage hall. Then go left, up the escalator to the floor above, and security is at the far right of the ground floor. The ba flights depart from the a gates so once through security go down and through duty free and through passport control.

LUX is fairly small and efficient so you should be back at the gate within 5-10 minutes.
Originally Posted by KARFA
I have been there on the first Saturday morning flight. It was relatively quiet at immigration and at security so I really don't think you will have an issue. I don't see there being any issue if your inbound is late, the outbound will be late too and you can easily get around before they have offloaded all outbound passengers.
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
These are back to back flights and very do-able, it's a small airport and efficiently run. There are only 2, sometimes 3, flights a day to LUX, which is one of my regular locations. I can normally jump on the city bus within 10 minutes of arrival, sometimes as little as 6 minutes after doors open, and that involves getting outside and across the road to the bus stop. Just read the instructions upthread and in the wiki.
Having done two B2Bs at LUX recently, I wanted to confirm how easy it was.

The Transfer option was closed both times (Saturday evening and Sunday morning) but we got landside, followed KARFA's directions and made our way smoothly through the airport and into the lounge for a brief refreshment.
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Old Oct 8, 2018, 10:26 am
  #2516  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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I would appreciate some advice here if there are any suggestions :

4 of us flying from AMS to CPT with a stopover in London for one night.

So AMS-LHR (BA443) (arrive 21.30), depart LHR-CPT the next day at 21.00

To get to AMS to start the journey we are on BA442 (LHR-AMS - BA442).

(To be clear - LHR-AMS (BA442), AMS-LHR (BA443), +1 day, LHR-CPT.)

Having done B2B's before at AMS, I know how easy it is - just get out of the plane and back on it again as you leave the plane into departures (if that makes sense).

My question is, (given that it's a good idea to have a Plan B), what would your advice be if on arrival in AMS, the plane is (for example) sent to a stand where we are bussed to the terminal and therefore have to go through immigration, and then back through departures and security. I'm not sure that we would have enough time to make it .

Any thoughts? Do BA allow you to take a flight the next day and continue the journey without cancelling the whole ticket?
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Old Oct 8, 2018, 10:39 am
  #2517  
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Originally Posted by marlowtech
My question is, (given that it's a good idea to have a Plan B), what would your advice be if on arrival in AMS, the plane is (for example) sent to a stand where we are bussed to the terminal and therefore have to go through immigration, and then back through departures and security. I'm not sure that we would have enough time to make it .

Any thoughts? Do BA allow you to take a flight the next day and continue the journey without cancelling the whole ticket?

If this happens you will be a no-show and at BAís mercy. Itís anyoneís guess as to the outcome, but most money would go on your entire trip being cancelled.

However, the risk of it actually coming to pass is wholly insignificant - BA uses air bridges at AMS, period.

You would also have the advantage of turnaround times being longer than most outstations, at an hour in your case and even longer in others.

Itís not something Iíd ever worry about.
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Old Oct 8, 2018, 10:55 am
  #2518  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Originally Posted by NWIFlyer
I
Itís not something Iíd ever worry about.
Thanks for this. I think it's because I'm travelling with the family that it's making me more nervous than normal.

I appreciate your quick reply.
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Old Oct 8, 2018, 10:58 am
  #2519  
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Originally Posted by marlowtech
Thanks for this. I think it's because I'm travelling with the family that it's making me more nervous than normal.

I appreciate your quick reply.
According to MyFlightpath, I have made over 100 BA landings in AMS, the actual number will be higher, and I've never had a bus arrival, nor can I recall one mentioned here. Sure, they happen with KLM's Cityhopper services but I don't think it should be on the worrywort list.
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Old Oct 8, 2018, 11:32 am
  #2520  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
According to MyFlightpath, I have made over 100 BA landings in AMS, the actual number will be higher, and I've never had a bus arrival, nor can I recall one mentioned here. Sure, they happen with KLM's Cityhopper services but I don't think it should be on the worrywort list.
Thats the sort of info that reassures me!

Thanks
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