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Back-to-back / Immediate Turnarounds at BA Destinations

Old Aug 18, 2013, 2:36 pm
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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 Nov 21, 2018, 7:02 am
  #2596  
 
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Originally Posted by TeflonMan
Apologies if this has been mentioned before. We almost missed our return flight in GOT (normally foolproof) today. Arrived at a remote stand, bussed to near gates 19 / 20, but return boarding at 11A. Two sets of passport checks and a walk almost the length of the terminal meant the bus door closed as soon as we were on board.

Hearing your name over the PA system does not make for a relaxing experience ...

​​​Not sure whether this was due to construction work (where we were let off the inbound bus looked like a temporary structure) or a Turkish plane taking up the usual BA gate.
Was this the early afternoon flight from LHR? I did a b2b off this flight last week and we parked near Gate 11 and were bussed to Gate 20/21 through the construction work. Luckily boarding for the return was back to the bus from Gate 21 so I had no problem. I think a Turkish plane was at Gate 19 at the time. It all seems a bit random.
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Old Nov 21, 2018, 7:12 am
  #2597  
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Originally Posted by NickB
... and I also know what I wrote. I was also there at the time when it was written.

f you don't understand why I wrote what I wrote, consider the following: "You are normally expected to have an ESTA or a US visa to board a BA flight to New York because BA treats New York as being in the US" versus "You are normally expected to have an ESTA or a US visa to board a BA flight to New York because New York is in the US". Can't you see why the former sounds a little odd and might attract a similar comment to the one I made above?
the US/ESTA situation is in not analogous. TWOV is far more “grey” and I phrased my comment in that way because of it. Only a year ago i happens to do a b2b on BA under TWOV because at the time G4S did the visa checks and had a different interpretation. Now BA do their own they no longer allow it.

At this stage you are no longer trying to help the OP and I am afraid you seem to be intent on trolling my clear and correct post this afternoon so I shall bow out. I don’t think this discussion is helping anyone.
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Old Nov 21, 2018, 8:43 am
  #2598  
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Originally Posted by KARFA
TWOV is far more “grey”and I phrased my comment in that way because of it.
This was precisely my point. TWOV is NOT grey. A b2b is simply NOT a transit,. Where there is grey is not in the concept but in its enforcement. Your phrasing is ambiguous because it suggests that it is a matter of opinion whether a b2b falls within twov or not. The answer to this is that it does not even though you might get away with it when the restriction is not fully enforced.

I think that it needs to be said that there is always a risk of being turned back if relying on twov on a b2b so it is never a safe option even if some people have managed it to some destinations in the past.
At this stage you are no longer trying to help the OP and I am afraid you seem to be intent on trolling my clear and correct post this afternoon so I shall bow out. I don’t think this discussion is helping anyone.
Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Did your last 3 posts (2592 and after) help the OP at all either? You thought that your post was "clear and correct". I did not think that it was entirely accurate for the reasons I mentioned above. You could have left it at that. You did not have to reply to post 2591. You share an equal share of responsibility for pursuing the discussion.
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Old Nov 21, 2018, 1:56 pm
  #2599  
 
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Originally Posted by NickB
This was precisely my point. TWOV is NOT grey. A b2b is simply NOT a transit,. Where there is grey is not in the concept but in its enforcement. Your phrasing is ambiguous because it suggests that it is a matter of opinion whether a b2b falls within twov or not. The answer to this is that it does not even though you might get away with it when the restriction is not fully enforced.
It all depends how a country defines the TWOV - for some (e.g. China) it's simple transfer to a third country, for others (e.g. Russia) it's just an onward ticket out. While G4S took a risk allowing people to do b2b and most been successful, BA takes a more conservative approach and does not allow to do b2b in Russia.

You say b2b is not a transit - but when? I have a b2b booked in Thailand on a single itinerary - that's b2b and I'll transfer in Thailand, I'll be there for 1h10 (according to the schedule) returning on the same aircraft.
On the other hand, in the past I did TWOV in China on separate bookings... so clearly not a transfer, but no one really cared as long as I could prove I was departing to a third country.

So your statement, to me, is invalid and misleading.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 1:35 am
  #2600  
 
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Originally Posted by megaloman
It all depends how a country defines the TWOV - for some (e.g. China) it's simple transfer to a third country, for others (e.g. Russia) it's just an onward ticket out. While G4S took a risk allowing people to do b2b and most been successful, BA takes a more conservative approach and does not allow to do b2b in Russia.

You say b2b is not a transit - but when? I have a b2b booked in Thailand on a single itinerary - that's b2b and I'll transfer in Thailand, I'll be there for 1h10 (according to the schedule) returning on the same aircraft.
On the other hand, in the past I did TWOV in China on separate bookings... so clearly not a transfer, but no one really cared as long as I could prove I was departing to a third country.

So your statement, to me, is invalid and misleading.
And there's no reason they should care as all the Chinese authorities require is a "confirmed onward flight ticket" to a 3rd country/area (HKG among others counts as one of these).

Transfer or separate tickets, doesn't matter
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 2:43 am
  #2601  
 
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I posted this in the Tier Point run thread, but it may be more appropriate here;

I am looking to do a OSL > LHR > XXX > SFO, SFO > XXX > LHR > OSL for work in J as it is way cheaper than W direct. And will help towards gold. Now my issue is, as I am going for 2 weeks, i will need a hold luggage, how do you recommend doing this? As i believe BA does not check bags through and also B2B the bags won't make it? Any advice? Thanks
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 2:52 am
  #2602  
 
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Originally Posted by PrivatePilotDR40
I posted this in the Tier Point run thread, but it may be more appropriate here;

I am looking to do a OSL > LHR > XXX > SFO, SFO > XXX > LHR > OSL for work in J as it is way cheaper than W direct. And will help towards gold. Now my issue is, as I am going for 2 weeks, i will need a hold luggage, how do you recommend doing this? As i believe BA does not check bags through and also B2B the bags won't make it? Any advice? Thanks
Fly the night before, book through AA with last leg operated by SAS 😉 ideally the next day.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 2:58 am
  #2603  
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Originally Posted by PrivatePilotDR40
I am looking to do a OSL > LHR > XXX > SFO, SFO > XXX > LHR > OSL for work in J as it is way cheaper than W direct. And will help towards gold. Now my issue is, as I am going for 2 weeks, i will need a hold luggage, how do you recommend doing this? As i believe BA does not check bags through and also B2B the bags won't make it? Any advice? Thanks
If it is Oslo, then you best stay the night before on (say) London to OSL and book a Plus fare for OSL-LHR on the return. If you mean XXX then it depends on which airport is XXX. Some USA airport have a 12 hour rule, some have a 10 hour rule, but in any event you clear baggage at the first USA entry point.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 3:04 am
  #2604  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
If it is Oslo, then you best stay the night before on (say) London to OSL and book a Plus fare for OSL-LHR on the return. If you mean XXX then it depends on which airport is XXX. Some USA airport have a 12 hour rule, some have a 10 hour rule, but in any event you clear baggage at the first USA entry point.
Thanks CWS, There are some options outbound, LAX being the one that is pricing up the best. With a 3 hour-ish connection in LAX. Or I could go OSL > LHR > DUB > SFO which could be simpler, Aer Lingus leg is ticketed by BA in I class so assume i get TP and Avios?
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 3:13 am
  #2605  
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Originally Posted by PrivatePilotDR40
Thanks CWS, There are some options outbound, LAX being the one that is pricing up the best. With a 3 hour-ish connection in LAX. Or I could go OSL > LHR > DUB > SFO which could be simpler, Aer Lingus leg is ticketed by BA in I class so assume i get TP and Avios?
I would be OK with LAX, if an A380 or 787. DUB-SFO gives preclearance, and a reasonable connection experience in DUB. I have Global Entry so preclearance is not so good for me, so I'd probably bias to LAX. In the case of LAX you would have to reclear your bags but it's very straightforward there, you just move the bags a very short distance and it's slickly done. DUB is handled electronically, but given the extra time you need at DUB for the connection it is in the wash in my view. And talking of washing, 2 weeks HBO is easy. 2 months HBO needs a bit of planning!

You get TPs and Avios on Aer Lingus if it is a BA codeshare as booked, so if bought on BA.com. Aer Lingus' service is good, crew not as good as BA and the IFE content is somewhat twee, but still I would not hesitate to book them, it's a good product.

It's a good dilemma to have, both options are good.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 3:18 am
  #2606  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
I would be OK with LAX, if an A380 or 787. DUB-SFO gives preclearance, and a reasonable connection experience in DUB. I have Global Entry so preclearance is not so good for me, so I'd probably bias to LAX. In the case of LAX you would have to reclear your bags but it's very straightforward there, you just move the bags a very short distance and it's slickly done. DUB is handled electronically, but given the extra time you need at DUB for the connection it is in the wash in my view. And talking of washing, 2 weeks HBO is easy. 2 months HBO needs a bit of planning!

You get TPs and Avios on Aer Lingus if it is a BA codeshare as booked, so if bought on BA.com. Aer Lingus' service is good, crew not as good as BA and the IFE content is somewhat twee, but still I would not hesitate to book them, it's a good product.

It's a good dilemma to have, both options are good.
This is great info, thanks. I am leaning towards LAX, and i am also thinking thanks to a suggestion from another FTyer, of sending my luggage via Baggage courier as 30KG is £99 and would save me the worry and hassle.
I like to pack double what i need when i travel.... never pack light.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 4:00 am
  #2607  
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Originally Posted by megaloman
It all depends how a country defines the TWOV - for some (e.g. China) it's simple transfer to a third country, for others (e.g. Russia) it's just an onward ticket out.
I do not think that this is correct and this was precisely my point. A transit always means continuing onwards to a different destination from your origin. This is true in Russia as well as anywhere else. So, in order to benefit from a TWOV, you must be continuing onwards to somewhere else than your origin. My understanding of what happens in Russia is not that transit is defined differently but rather that the authorities have been more lenient in the application of their rules and do not enforce them strictly so that, as long as you do not leave the airside area of your arrival airport, they will let you go on even if you are not transiting but instead returning to origin. But since it is a tolerance/non-enforcement practice rather than a rule, you are always at risk of a change in practice and you are always at risk of the airline adopting a stricter approach to compliance with the rules than immigration and airport agents at the destination airport.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 5:01 am
  #2608  
 
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Originally Posted by NickB
I do not think that this is correct and this was precisely my point. A transit always means continuing onwards to a different destination from your origin. This is true in Russia as well as anywhere else. So, in order to benefit from a TWOV, you must be continuing onwards to somewhere else than your origin. My understanding of what happens in Russia is not that transit is defined differently but rather that the authorities have been more lenient in the application of their rules and do not enforce them strictly so that, as long as you do not leave the airside area of your arrival airport, they will let you go on even if you are not transiting but instead returning to origin. But since it is a tolerance/non-enforcement practice rather than a rule, you are always at risk of a change in practice and you are always at risk of the airline adopting a stricter approach to compliance with the rules than immigration and airport agents at the destination airport.
I respectfully disagree. Transfer = direct international transfer (some airports/countries allow it, others not - e.g. all of the US airports). TWOV = clear immigration and transfer without visa when visa would normally be required - useful to re-check bags, change airports, overnight at the hotel (e.g. China - you would need a visa to stay, but you don't need a visa to transfer to a third country).
If you ever transfer through PEK (China), you'll have two options:
1) direct international transfer - you need to be in possesion of the onward boarding pass and there are transfer desks nearby to get you one, if needed - in this scenario no one checks your original ticket and there's no immigration to pass - you only get document check that you're OK to go to the next country;
2) TWOV - technically clear immigration and either cantinue back to departures or land and stay for a few hours/days - this requires an onward ticket to a third country. From memory, only PEK allows direct international transfer, all other airports in China require you to go through immigration to get TWOV.

I've never connected through Russia, but my understanding is you don't clear immigration in Moscow when connecting from international flight to international departure - so that's direct international transfer, not TWOV.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 7:04 am
  #2609  
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Originally Posted by megaloman
I respectfully disagree. Transfer = direct international transfer (some airports/countries allow it, others not - e.g. all of the US airports). TWOV = clear immigration and transfer without visa when visa would normally be required - useful to re-check bags, change airports, overnight at the hotel (e.g. China - you would need a visa to stay, but you don't need a visa to transfer to a third country)..
I am afraid that your terminology is inaccurate. What you describe as a "direct international transfer" is still a transit and, if no visa is required for that transit, it will be a TWOV.

Some countries require some individuals to have a visa for all transits via an airport on their territory, even if the passenger stays airside and never goes through immigration. The UK, for instance, has a list of 50 or so nationalities (Afganistan, Albania, Algeria, etc...) where a transit visa is required if you want to transit via a UK airport such as LHR, even if you stay airside and never clear immigration. This is not in British immigration parlance as a direct air transit visa (DATV).

Many countries, however, have a "transit without visa" (TWOV) scheme for visitors who stay airside at the airport while in transit without clearing immigration. The UK would also be an example of this for all nationalities not listed as requiring a DATV. Russia is another example of that.

A smaller number of countries (China being the country with the most sophisticated version of this) allow for transit without visa (TWOV) even where one clears immigration and subject to certain conditions.

If you rely on a TWOV in a situation where you are not in transit but returning to origin, it might work but you should be aware that there is always a risk that you will be turned away. Not having contingency plans to deal with that would not be very prudent.
Originally Posted by megaloman
I've never connected through Russia, but my understanding is you don't clear immigration in Moscow when connecting from international flight to international departure - so that's direct international transfer, not TWOV.
I have at SVO. You do not go through immigration but you have to go through a counter where your paperwork is checked. Interestingly, I was asked where I came from and to show my boarding pass for that flight and not just the onward flight. I was surprised and it took me half a minute to understand what they wanted (they did not speak English) but I was on a genuine transit rather than a b2b, though.

Last edited by NickB; Nov 22, 2018 at 7:12 am
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 7:24 am
  #2610  
 
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Originally Posted by NickB
I am afraid that your terminology is inaccurate. What you describe as a "direct international transfer" is still a transit and, if no visa is required for that transit, it will be a TWOV.
Ok, fair enough, direct international transfer is still TWOV, but how is TWOV defined? that's up to the country. It's clearly defined for China, where it specifically states a third country, other countries don't mention the third party requirement, just an onward/return ticket. I'm going to transfer through CMB soon, they only specify onward/return ticket requirement - no mention of needing to transfer to a third country. I also happen to have a back-2-back booked for Thailand, on a single ticket - are you implying that I'm attempting to do an illegal thing?
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