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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:
For details of suitable hotels for those doing a last flight/first flight turnaround, please see this thread:

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 Apr 11, 2013, 6:43 am
Original Poster
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Back-to-back / Immediate Turnarounds at BA Destinations

Hi All,

I was wondering about immediate turnarounds on the same aircraft at BA destinations and where this was easy to do and where it should be avoided. We all have weird and wonderful reasons for wanting to do these so I thought others may find a more general discussion useful without the usual “why are you doing that?” type comments when someone asks

From what I’ve seen posted in various FT threads and a couple from my own experience the following are airports that don’t spit you out into arrivals and allow an immediate turn without having to re-clear central security:


I’d like to know which other BA destinations allow for immediate turnarounds on the same aircraft without the risk of missing the flight and which should be avoided?

I’d also be interested in hearing experiences of crew reaction to seeing you again so soon (or if they even noticed!)

So, what do you know …
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 6:53 am
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HAM is normally on the Good list, similar to CPH.

MAD is on the Good list.

EDI - if bus - can leave you the wrong side of main security.

FRA - you don't avoid main security and that can be painful. Tight turnaround times too.

MXP there is a security scan but it's so lightweight. They only get about 6 transfer passengers a day they almost are shocked if someone uses it. The turnaround time in MXP is also generous.

WAW is similar, but they have a thing about wires. But the dedicated security is just a hop above the main departure level.

TXL - on the Good list, because the security is at the BA gate, and though it can be deathly slow, if you are in the queue they won't leave without you.

IST - there is a transfer path which is relatively quick. On the medium list since you will have a gate security scan and some long walks, on the other hand the BA lounge is next to the transfer escalator.

GIB - I don't think you avoid the security scan but again no danger of missing the flight since it's a smallish airport.

IOM - same as GIB.

To avoid: FRA (definitely), and BRU (peak periods, though it's not too bad).

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Apr 11, 2013 at 7:03 am
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 6:59 am
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Madrid should be fine, as long as you're sure it's the same plane. BA use T4S, Iberia use T4, so make sure you don't actually have to do the dash between the too! (If you do, you'll need to clear immigration, head down several floors, catch the train, go up, go out to the end of the terminal, exit through immigration)

Assuming a BA back-to-back at Madrid T4S, you come straight out into the terminal at the gate, and then grab a seat and wait for boarding. Or, it's a 4-5 minute walk to the lounge if there's time!
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 7:08 am
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Should be theoretically possible at ABZ, though I'm sure the ground staff there wouldn't know what to do with a transfer passenger, when you arrive, you walk right through departures, so you could just stop there and wait at gate 5 for he BA flight.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 7:14 am
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GLA would definitely be one of the easiest to do this.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 7:22 am
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Not that I've done it, but HEL springs to mind.

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Old Apr 11, 2013, 7:23 am
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I did this for a TP run LHR-MAN-LHR-MAN-LHR.

Great fun and camaraderie. At MAN for the first time, I asked and showed my boarding pass for the return, and after a brief chat, was allowed into departures without having to go around.

Cabin Crew was very surprised when I reboarded and sat in the same seat. The Purser suggested they see this a lot and kept calling me George (Clooney) - for my looks obviously.

After 2 hours in LHR, I reboarded for the second trip. The cabin crew going off duty from the first trip had forewarned the crew on the second trip who, captain included were waiting for me. Much laughing and discussing the implications of failing to achieve the magical number of TP's ensued.

Back at MAN, there was a possy of about 8 people come to look at the madman. One guy on his break sat with me in the lounge and I think I did eventually manage to convince him I was not completely bonkers.

A fun way to spend a morning.

Wife left me though.... (almost)
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 7:26 am
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What about DUB which can be a good place to start a trip on BA?
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 7:41 am
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GVA can be added to the list too. Just need to go back up the escalator to gate B32 (usual gate for BA to LHR). A 10 second walk and no security involved.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 7:43 am
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Thanks for the replies so far, this is very useful.

Does anyone know the situation at NCE? I actually went there last year but the flight was delayed and it was late and I wasn’t paying any attention on arrival so can’t recall if we were spat out in the non-Schengen gate area or into an arrivals path…

Also any more interesting experiences with cabin crew when doing this?
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by quitecontrary
What about DUB which can be a good place to start a trip on BA?
Decants into arrivals, passport control is fastish but you need to go out from the 300 gates to baggage collection (3 minutes) then take a right and go up the stairs by baggage belt 2 to get to transfer security. Then it's a saunter back to the gate area (1-2 minutes). Normally doesn't take too long but fate reserves the right to kick you in the teeth if you attempt a back-to-back, as you can't get to the fast track from the transfer entrance.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 1:10 pm
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GOT should be possible as the passport control is virtually next to the gate
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 1:21 pm
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I've done this twice at JER, the first time it worked fine (arrival treated as "Domestic" ie turn right for lounge and waited for boarding). The second time, a month later, we were basically treated as an "International" but with no-one checking passports. No route through to Departures, locked doors, unhelpful staff. So, rapid sprint through baggage reclaim, past customs, out into the car park, across to the landside Departures bit, back inside, wave BP, very slow and methodical security scan, through the shopping mall, down the corridor, and back to the other side of the glass door I had been at 20 mins previously. 5 mins in the lounge and we boarded again. Won't be doing that again!
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 3:02 pm
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Surely VIE would be one of the easiest ever possible? With no segregation of arriving and departing pax, one could literally arrive and within about 5 metres rejoin the departing queue at same gate at the baggage scan belt.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by quitecontrary
What about DUB which can be a good place to start a trip on BA?
BA usually use the B-pier as was (now the 300s) which has segregated arrivals. You will also have to clear Irish immigration, though I've never had any more than a 30s queue here. From baggage reclaim, there is a transfer route up to security, or you could use fast track if eligible. Fast track is usually very fast, but regular security can be brutal in DUB.

Sometimes BA use the old pier A which does allow a same plane turn (non segregated).

The main thing at DUB is the lengthy turnaround time in the schedule, though this is all a bit academic given BA's punctuality performance on the Irish routes!

As for BHD, it should be possible to stay airside, though the airport isn't set up for it and I can't imagine anyone has ever done it. You could jump the roped off access from the jetty into the lounge, but you'd need someone to open the doors into the lounge. Most of the time the access from door B and C into the departure gates is open and unmanned so you could always nip up that way. If not, it's a small airport and security can be super quick (but equally super slow -record 15 mins to clear with no actual queue!)
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