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Advice for a 'back to back' or not out of Amsterdam...

Advice for a 'back to back' or not out of Amsterdam...

Old Dec 4, 17, 4:25 am
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Advice for a 'back to back' or not out of Amsterdam...

I've bought a flight out of Amsterdam, overnighting at Gatwick and continuing on the next day... it was a good deal so I was really pleased with it, but now I'm a bit confused on the flight to Amsterdam and the safest way to do it as I've not done this before with a same day return. My plan was to head to an airport hotel at Gatwick, leave my suitcases, do the trip to Amsterdam and back with no luggage, and then overnight.

My flight departs Amsterdam at 2.50pm to Gatwick. There is a flight from Gatwick to Amsterdam at 11.40am arriving at 2pm. Would that be the plane that returns at 2.50pm? And if so is it 'safe' to do a back to back? Do you literally walk off as if in transit, look for the 'gate' (which I assume is the same), and then get back on when they board? Is this recommended by those of you more experienced than me!

The earlier flight out of Gatwick is 7.45am which would give me a very early start and a very long layover. So I then looked at other flights and there is an 11am out of City arriving at 1pm and a 10.55am out of Heathrow arriving at 1.20pm. But I wonder if these are much 'safer' as a delay could mean I miss my return.

Sorry if this is a long winded way of asking, but I'd really appreciate some advice on the safest way to do this.

Thank you so much in advance.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 4:31 am
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This is a very common occurrence on these boards. AMS is one of the easiest airports to do a back-to-back flight.

Generally the advice is to take the 11.40 flight from LGW as this will be the plane you're coming back on. If that outbound flight is delayed, your return is also delayed.

There's a whole thread on this here: Back-to-back / Immediate Turnarounds at BA Destinations
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Old Dec 4, 17, 4:35 am
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If you haven't done a back to back before I guess it may be a somewhat unsettling way of travelling, but you don't need to worry, and what you appear to have done is a really good way to start. Once you've done a few then it will be a lot easier, but I would urge new travellers to perhaps emulate this example, since it's a particularly safe way of doing a back to back: LGW is the safest airport in terms of weather when doing a B2B to AMS, if something goes wrong there are loads of Plan Bs out there, yours in a true back to back - turn around times are usually in the 45 minute to 60 minutes area, and it's middle of the day so avoiding early and late ATC issues. And yes AMS really is as simple as it gets, just walk around to the departure gate, no security, no immigration. In particular, the idea of leaving 3 or 4 hours at AMS "to be safe" is a complete fallacy.

More, much more information in the Forum Dashboard. In particular, read the link in the wiki which explains the logic of why B2B and not "3 hours to be safe".
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Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Dec 4, 17 at 4:41 am
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Old Dec 4, 17, 4:36 am
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The 11.40 is the only back to back option.

the others may appear safer because of longer times between their arrival and your departure to LGW but are actually quite risky if anything went wrong on the day. If the flight from say LCY was delayed and meant you missed your one to LGW BA don’t have to do anything to rebook you for example and that could mean losing your entire trip.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 4:41 am
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You are all so helpful thank you! I'll read those links too so I've got a good handle on what to do.

Really appreciate it as always...
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Old Dec 4, 17, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
The 11.40 is the only back to back option.

the others may appear safer because of longer times between their arrival and your departure to LGW but are actually quite risky if anything went wrong on the day. If the flight from say LCY was delayed and meant you missed your one to LGW BA donít have to do anything to rebook you for example and that could mean losing your entire trip.
I don't want to worry jh321 at all (99% it will be fine) but I did have a true B2B (same aircraft) booked which got messed up because of a cancellation and an equipment change (the return flight AMS-LCY was operated by a substitution flown in from elsewhere, rather than the scheduled aircraft).

(Actually even in that case it turned out OK because the substitution caused its own delay to the inbound, but I was very nervous for a bit)
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Old Dec 4, 17, 5:10 am
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Originally Posted by NeverFirst View Post
I don't want to worry jh321 at all (99% it will be fine) but I did have a true B2B (same aircraft) booked which got messed up because of a cancellation and an equipment change (the return flight AMS-LCY was operated by a substitution flown in from elsewhere, rather than the scheduled aircraft).
It does illustrate that there is really never any guarantee that this sort of thing will work. If you're travelling, about the only thing that can ever be guaranteed is that sometimes something will go wrong, and sometimes in the most unpredictable way. So the best approach is to regard it all as risk reduction - and in that context, a back-to-back is less risky than a longer gap between flights.
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Old Dec 4, 17, 7:22 am
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Originally Posted by jh321 View Post

My flight departs Amsterdam at 2.50pm to Gatwick. There is a flight from Gatwick to Amsterdam at 11.40am arriving at 2pm. Would that be the plane that returns at 2.50pm? And if so is it 'safe' to do a back to back? Do you literally walk off as if in transit, look for the 'gate' (which I assume is the same), and then get back on when they board? Is this recommended by those of you more experienced than me!
You land, leave the plane and can sit at the same gate. You don't have to walk anywhere at all. AMS is quite big and walking to main part can take 10-15 minutes one way. Lounge is quite far away as well and it's not exactly worth visiting.

I did it a couple of times, as you said, just flying back and forth without any baggage or anything and then doing long haul bit next day. Have another one scheduled for January, however I do this from Heathrow as it's more convenient for me. Once did it from Gatwick and almost missed the plane due to bus delays at Long Stay Car Park.
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