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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 27, 2015, 6:52 am
  #436  
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Originally Posted by nbevan
I assume you mean after the bags are offloaded for a no-show (a bit antisocial).
No, you can (and should) request the bags prior to loading.
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Old Jun 27, 2015, 6:54 am
  #437  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA
No, you can (and should) request the bags prior to loading.
So with bags checked LAX-LHR-DUB, how would you do that?
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Old Jun 27, 2015, 7:12 am
  #438  
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Originally Posted by nbevan
So with bags checked LAX-LHR-DUB, how would you do that?
The bags are stored in the T5 bag store until a few minutes before departure. So unless you only say "I'm not going" when boarding is already underway, you should be okay.
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Old Jun 27, 2015, 7:24 am
  #439  
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Originally Posted by nbevan
So with bags checked LAX-LHR-DUB, how would you do that?
Actually, at T5 at least, if you don't conform to Ready To Fly then your bags aren't going anywhere from the automated warehouse, so in a way it's a uniquely good place to be doing this. So in this scenario, simply going to baggage enquiries in T5 via the UK Border without passing Flight Connections will get your bags returned to you in due course.

Originally Posted by nbevan
For future reference booking the final leg to DUB for the next day would provide a plausible excuse for requesting short-checking the bags?
There are reports that an overnight stay is one reason for allowing short checking, but you can't count on it working. But if you don't fly, your bags won't (or rather shouldn't) get loaded on to that same flight. Again consider HBO as a way around this.
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Old Jun 27, 2015, 7:52 am
  #440  
 
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Originally Posted by nbevan
I assume you mean after the bags are offloaded for a no-show (a bit antisocial).

For future reference booking the final leg to DUB for the next day would provide a plausible excuse for requesting short-checking the bags?
Or, far better is to book the final leg from LCY or LGW, which gives no other option but the short-check.
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Old Jun 28, 2015, 2:42 am
  #441  
 
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Back-to-back / Immediate Turnarounds at BA Destinations

Quick note to highlight how easy Dusseldorf is for a B2B, even when arriving on a remote stand. I was off the plane first, one of the first into the terminal, had a very slow queue through priority security (no one checked my boarding pass to make sure I was eligible), and got back to Gate B42 well before they started boarding. I didn't need to rush either.
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Old Jun 28, 2015, 2:46 am
  #442  
 
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Originally Posted by linzbh
Hi all,

My RTN feeder flight for my ex-DUB TP run has been cancelled and BA have rebooked me on the last flight of the night which means 3+hrs in DUB. So i want to know if I can get rebooked on the immediate turn around flight back to LHR, but im new to this and before I do that I thought I would ask here first

Will in LAX they check my luggage LAX-LHR-DUB-LHR if I show them my ticket for DUB-LHR, so I can transfer back to back in DUB without having to recheck luggage?
I can help. I just did this recently (LAX-JFK-LHR-DUB-LHR).

AA didn't allow me to short check my bags to LHR or tag it back to LHR with a B2B (was flying AA LAX-JFK-LHR and BA LHR-DUB).

I had slightly over 2.5 hours connection in LHR and rushed over to T5 where I spoke to a wonderful check-in agent. Told her that I am doing a turnaround in DUB (she seems to be aware of that term and people have done it) and showed her my DUB-LHR BP.

She called baggage handling and put a "do not load" comment on my bags. I had to go to the baggage enquires on the ground floor where I was escorted back into the baggage claim area in T5 (note that you undergo the same security check as though on a departing flight - so no liquids).

After waiting for about 20-30 minutes, my bags was delivered to me in LHR baggage hall where I stored it at left luggage. All this and I even had time to had brekkie at the GFL. ^

Last edited by nov11; Jun 28, 2015 at 2:52 am
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Old Jun 29, 2015, 4:02 pm
  #443  
 
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Originally Posted by Calchas
Why will it make it worse for back to backs?

The point of the central security is to eliminate unnecessary security checks from those coming from trusted countries such as the UK.

You are dropped directly into the departures area free to turn around and get back on the plane.
Yes, I see what you mean - and experienced it when arriving there today, my first time to AMS on BA since the central security switch-over.

I hadn't fully thought out that the UK would be a trusted country and so it would be even better for back-to-back than it was before since you avoid security no matter which gate you arrive at.

It just underscores how regressive the UK security rules are, preventing LHR from doing the same.
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Old Jun 30, 2015, 6:38 am
  #444  
 
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Can I just re-confirm that HEL is safe for a B2B, even in being if bussed in ?
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Old Jun 30, 2015, 7:02 am
  #445  
 
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Originally Posted by Frequentflyer99
Can I just re-confirm that HEL is safe for a B2B, even in being if bussed in ?
It certainly should be. When you enter the terminal off the bus, the passport check is straight ahead. Ignore that, and just loop straight back around to the departure area and onto the gates. I think BA use the gates between 32-38.

Perhaps someone else can clarify just to be on the safe side, but that's what I thought you could do.
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Old Jun 30, 2015, 7:15 am
  #446  
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Originally Posted by TyneTraveller
It certainly should be. When you enter the terminal off the bus, the passport check is straight ahead. Ignore that, and just loop straight back around to the departure area and onto the gates. I think BA use the gates between 32-38.

Perhaps someone else can clarify just to be on the safe side, but that's what I thought you could do.
I have heard the same for bus gates. I have arrived by bus before and was not doing a back to back but was doing BRU-HEL and then HEL-LHR so I think I just walked from arriving at the terminal to the lounges near gate 36. Didn't take long at all. In fact I am doing CPH-HEL-LHR tomorrow so if we are bused I will make sure to report back.

If you are doing a back to back and are bused your gate would be 34 (which is at the end of the terminal past the lounges and down the stairs). Obviously if you are bussed in you will be bussed out.
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Old Jun 30, 2015, 7:18 am
  #447  
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Originally Posted by TyneTraveller
It certainly should be. When you enter the terminal off the bus, the passport check is straight ahead. Ignore that, and just loop straight back around to the departure area and onto the gates. I think BA use the gates between 32-38.

Perhaps someone else can clarify just to be on the safe side, but that's what I thought you could do.
Correct. The only slight thing to be aware of, since actually it's quite intuitive, is that the signs may indicate a way out, based on your direction of travel, but if you turn around the signs take you back to the gate. Basically stop before you get to passports, if not sooner. You may well get a jetty, which is more obvious. Either way, it's not difficult and not complicated. Maybe not as easy as AMS, CPH etc, but a lot easier than DUB.
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Old Jun 30, 2015, 7:21 am
  #448  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA
I have heard the same for bus gates. I have arrived by bus before and was not doing a back to back but was doing BRU-HEL and then HEL-LHR so I think I just walked from arriving at the terminal to the lounges near gate 36. Didn't take long at all. In fact I am doing CPH-HEL-LHR tomorrow so if we are bused I will make sure to report back.

If you are doing a back to back and are bused your gate would be 34 (which is at the end of the terminal past the lounges and down the stairs). Obviously if you are bussed in you will be bussed out.
Well, I wasn't doing a B2B either but got bused in and just out of curiosity gave it a go walking to the new Finnair lounge by gate 36 uninterrupted, before returning and exiting through passports. If the bus always drops off where it did me, it looks extremely hassle free.
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Old Jun 30, 2015, 8:40 am
  #449  
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Experience at MRS

Originally Posted by Wikipost
MRS: Good | Good | Good. There is a transfer and security point just before going down to passports. Use the phone on the post to call for it to be open it for you.
My experience last night:

The transfer / correspondances channel is actually down one escalator, but before going down the second escalator to the level on which inbound immigration is.

The channel was closed, so I followed the suggestion and picked up the phone and dialled the number. I asked whether the channel could be opened. For the comedy effect, I would have liked to have been able to report that the answer was just like the only spoken word in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie: an emphatic "Non" (uttered there by Marcel Marceau). However, the reality was a polite explanation that it was not possible, and please would I go through the exit and re-enter through security.

At the time, the airport was very quiet, so I completed the entire loop (clear inbound immigration, exit through customs, find the correct hall - Hall 1 - for the BA flight, clear security, clear outbound immigration, walk to gate) in just under 10 minutes. However, if there were a couple of flights worth of passengers queueing at security, I think that this could be a little on the stressful side - particularly if, like last night, the inbound flight was a few minutes late and everyone was trying to make up the time so that the outbound could be despatched on schedule.

I don't think that the potential long queue scenario is unrealistic, because MRS also has scanners that time your progress through the security queue: one scan on entry to the snaking queue and a second scan when you reach the X-ray machine. So this is obviously something that they are monitoring.

And once again, there was value in telling the cabin crew that I was coming back with them. They were looking out for me, and the lovely CSM assured me that they would not have gone without me. Fortunately, that was all academic.
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Old Jun 30, 2015, 9:50 am
  #450  
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Originally Posted by Globaliser
My experience last night:
Thank you for posting that. The security looks a bit worrying, but were you able to use the Fast Track channel, or was that what you meant? The fast track has a corridor on the left winding away from the main security queue and then rejoining just by the security belt. (Details in the Tracking Fast Track thread).
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