LGW arrival: bag claim and immigration times?

Old Jul 13, 14, 10:08 am
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LGW arrival: bag claim and immigration times?

Flying soon DBV-LGW on a Tuesday, arriving 18:30. We are in CE and will have several bags checked. I booked an Addison Lee car to pick us up and scheduled pickup 45 min after our flight arrival. I figured this would be enough time to go thru immigration and claim our bags, but maybe it is too much? Does CE entitle us to priority bag service? Anyone have an idea how long immigration will take (US passports) at this time?
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Old Jul 13, 14, 10:42 am
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Not easy to qualify. I have been through Gatwick in 30 mins with bags, sometimes takes an hour and a half.....
Immigration can be a breeze, at other times, a Zoo.
Baggage handling has been contracted out and again can sometimes be 30 mins at others much much longer (most notably weekends and late evening, which will not impact on you.)

The best placed people will be Addison Lee as they are picking up people from Gatwick all the time.
I would just give them the flight details and see them in arrivals.
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Old Jul 13, 14, 10:56 am
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Bags took over an hour after chocks on from Jersey last week. I almost left the airport and considered reporting them as lost.
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Old Jul 13, 14, 12:02 pm
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I've waited in LGW Domestic reclaim for 1h15m a month or so ago ... 30 minutes is about the best. Can't comment on international bags, as we are always checked through to JER after a long interval.
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Old Jul 16, 14, 2:25 am
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Thanks for the replies. Looks like booking the car for 45 min after arrival seems fairly reasonable.
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Old Jul 16, 14, 2:28 am
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I've stopped flying to LGW with checked bags, it's just too awful.

OTOH, I've never had to queue more than 30s at passport control there, I've even asked them if it's usually that quiet (to which the answer is "No"). Must have been repeatedly lucky with arrival times.
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Old Jul 16, 14, 2:34 am
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Originally Posted by shorthauldad View Post
I've stopped flying to LGW with checked bags, it's just too awful.

OTOH, I've never had to queue more than 30s at passport control there, I've even asked them if it's usually that quiet (to which the answer is "No"). Must have been repeatedly lucky with arrival times.
Our recent MLA-LGW had us at the Border at 1630 - took 10 minutes to get through the queue. Worst I've encountered, but not exactly a show stopper either.
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Old Jul 16, 14, 3:00 am
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When it comes to passports at LGW you need to think about Easyjet's holiday makers, who are the predominant users of North Terminal. So mid week, middle of the day when the schools are working then you'll probably sail through. If the school holidays are nearing a conclusion and a bunch of aircraft from Spain has arrived it can build up.

However children cannot use e-passports, therefore that queue, on the far right of the hall, is a good one to use, even if the queue twists around the back. You need to hold a UK/EEA passport with a chip in it, or be on the Registered Traveller scheme. This also filters out those who travel to the UK on national ID cards. 10 minutes would also be my worst case scenario at LGW, 5 minutes is more typical. Similar at T5, though faster now that the extra machines have been brought in, and even faster at T3. And in LHR the pressure is downwards due to the new T2 set-up, over which BA and other airlines are apparently getting jealous.

Baggage has long been a very different story at LGW, though I don't have any personal experiences to add. The "service" level is or was something like 98% of bags delivered in 58 minutes. If you look at the LGW Twitter feed there are plenty of complaints there about the speed of return, albeit from the "OMG I Need To Die" generation, though at least LGW acknowledges the issue and says it's trying to improve it.
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Old Jul 16, 14, 3:00 am
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The 'Other Passports' queue at LGW North is usually quite good, although there is no fast track queue. I have often beaten a UK/EU passport holder through, typically only a few minutes wait.

Baggage will likely be the bottleneck.
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Old Aug 11, 14, 2:50 am
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The only conclusion I can conjure up is that it allowed BA to negotiate a better deal with Swissport.

However, who in BA in the first place thinks that a target of 58 minutes is acceptable to passengers? On the few times I have used LGW with checked baggage, it has taken the bags longer to get from the aircraft to the belt than it took BA to fly me there.

58 minutes is a ridiculously soft target to set in the first place. It is even more ridiculous that Swissport do not achieve it with their eyes closed.
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Old Aug 11, 14, 3:05 am
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Originally Posted by HarryHolden68 View Post

However, who in BA in the first place thinks that a target of 58 minutes is acceptable to passengers?
Its within 30 minutes on a smaller aircraft (737 and A319 etc) and 55 minutes for a large aircraft.
To be fair, by the time the doors are opened and you are off the aircraft and have made your way to arrivals, most of that 30 minutes should have passed
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Old Aug 11, 14, 3:12 am
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DBV arrival on Saturday was awful. Almost an hour. BA made an announcement apologising for Swissport.

No priority at all was given on the CE bags.
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Old Aug 11, 14, 4:21 am
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I think 45 minutes will result in a chunky waiting fee. LGW is a disgrace at present
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Old Aug 11, 14, 4:26 am
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My regular driver (ex-LGW) knows not to turn up until about 60 minutes after we have landed. We have mutually agreed to accept the inability to time it accurately, and just hope for the best for both parties
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Old Aug 11, 14, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
The "service" level is or was something like 98% of bags delivered in 58 minutes.
Originally Posted by HarryHolden68 View Post
However, who in BA in the first place thinks that a target of 58 minutes is acceptable to passengers? ...

58 minutes is a ridiculously soft target to set in the first place.
Sorry, what is wrong with "all bags off a longhaul flight must be delivered within one hour", which is basically what that target is?

I can think of plenty of occasions all round the world where I've had to wait for longer than that. This includes places that are often held up as paragons of virtue, like HKG. And one occasion at LHR when I waited about that long for all the bags to come off BA56, and then the same again for all the bags to come off BA54 (in case JNB had put my bags on that flight by accident).
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