BEY Beirut to Heathrow gate time

Reply

Old Oct 7, 18, 9:16 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 142
BEY Beirut to Heathrow gate time

I'm flying BA148 from Beirut (BEY) to Heathrow tomorrow at 8am. I've just received a text from BA saying I should arrive at the gate two hours prior due to the additional checks. I'd already planned the earlier three hour bag drop time (being the cautious person I am) but never had a similar gate statement at Cairo or Istanbul where (at the time) similar checks were in place. Given I'm going straight to the London office after an already early start I'd prefer to maximize sleep / lounge time if I can!


Searching doesn't reveal much info about BEY airport, so any previous knowledge from the folk here as to whether I really do need to go (almost) straight to the gate?
stevebintley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 9:35 am
  #2  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 38,124
This has come up before:
Email/SMS telling CW pax to be at checkin/gate 2/3 hours before takeoff for LHR-BEY

There is a fairly serious search for electronics at the gate just before departure (as well as a search between the main airside hall and the gates. Both have queues, the one at the BA gate being far longer). Since that earlier thread, I've turned up at BEY at 65 minutes to departure, had 15 minutes in the lounge and joined the end of the queues roughly 30 minutes before departure. Departure was on time, I probably spent 15 to 20 minutes in those queues, but if you really, really love queuing (and many FTers do, it seems) then by all means go down the gate at the first opportunity. That said I don't think they advertise the gate before 90 minutes, though the socking big BA aircraft outside the gate tends to give a clue where the gate is.

In summary, I don't think it's any worse than IST (though the Lebanon still has the electronics ban) and there is no point getting too early to BEY, the only open the check-in at 3 hours (or about 15 minutes thereafter). 90 minutes with checked in baggage is more than fine. It's quite a small airport really and despite everything reasonably efficient.
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 9:38 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 142
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
This has come up before:
Email/SMS telling CW pax to be at checkin/gate 2/3 hours before takeoff for LHR-BEY

There is a fairly serious search for electronics at the gate just before departure (as well as a search between the main airside hall and the gates. Both have queues, the one at the BA gate being far longer). Since that earlier thread, I've turned up at BEY at 65 minutes to departure, had 15 minutes in the lounge and joined the end of the queues roughly 30 minutes before departure. Departure was on time, I probably spent 15 to 20 minutes in those queues, but if you really, really love queuing (and many FTers do, it seems) then by all means go down the gate at the first opportunity. That said I don't think they advertise the gate before 90 minutes, though the socking big BA aircraft outside the gate tends to give a clue where the gate is.

In summary, I don't think it's any worse than IST (though the Lebanon still has the electronics ban) and there is no point getting too early to BEY, the only open the check-in at 3 hours (or about 15 minutes thereafter). 90 minutes with checked in baggage is more than fine. It's quite a small airport really and despite everything reasonably efficient.
Apologies I failed to find that previous thread in my search terms. Thanks for the advice though, I'll prepare for some standing around whatever happens at the gate!
stevebintley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 10:27 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Programs: BA Exec Club - Silver | Aegean Miles & Bonus - Silver | IHG - Gold
Posts: 35
I travelled BEY-LHR around mid June 2018 and I arrived at the airport around 5am. There is a generic security check at the departures entrance where all luggage is scanned, then security to go airside. I would anticipate about an hour for that. Then there was another security check to go to the pier BA uses, and finally, another security check at the boarding gate. I would also suggest about 30 mins.
howarsan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 10:33 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 142
Originally Posted by howarsan View Post
I travelled BEY-LHR around mid June 2018 and I arrived at the airport around 5am. There is a generic security check at the departures entrance where all luggage is scanned, then security to go airside. I would anticipate about an hour for that. Then there was another security check to go to the pier BA uses, and finally, another security check at the boarding gate. I would also suggest about 30 mins.
Thank you, your experience is valuable. I don't know how cws does it, but your account doesn't seem to encourage such a relaxed approach!

Either way, I'm encouraged to not order another bottle of this (what I find) delightful Lebanese Le Prieuré and instead get an early night...
stevebintley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 11:18 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Programs: Mucci, BA
Posts: 9,164
Originally Posted by howarsan View Post
I travelled BEY-LHR around mid June 2018 and I arrived at the airport around 5am. There is a generic security check at the departures entrance where all luggage is scanned, then security to go airside. I would anticipate about an hour for that. Then there was another security check to go to the pier BA uses, and finally, another security check at the boarding gate. I would also suggest about 30 mins.
You've counted one security checks too many:
- enter the terminal, security check for all baggage. You can use either the right or left areas, with the left ("East") one being marginally closer to BA's check-in, desks 35-38. This time of year, and considering the 8am departure, I'd allow 5-10 minutes for this security checkpoint.
- passport control, make sure you have filled out your pink departure card (received at check-in) - I'd allow 10-15 minutes here.
- the lounges are straight ahead, up the escalator (on your right) or stairs (on your left, again marginally closer). Turn right at the top and go to the LAT lounge, or left and go to the Cedar Lounge if you have a Priority Pass
- they'll call the flight in the LAT lounge with sufficient time, I normally go no more than 5 minutes after they've called the flight as the queues at the next security checkpoint are unpredictable (you can tell by looking at the flight info screens and looking for flights departing from gates 1-12, though). Allow 5 minutes for this checkpoint, luckily ME201 (BEY-LHR, similar time, always from the same wing) is an A320 tomorrow rather than an A330.
- turn right and head to gate 12, just one minute away, and hopefully by then the queue for BA's security will have shortened quite a bit. They certainly won't leave without you at this stage!

My timings are perhaps a bit generous rather than tight, as these things can be unpredictable and vary enormously depending on the season. All in all, this time of year I'd arrive around 06:15-06:20 which should give you about 30 minutes in the lounge if all goes according to plan. Traffic to the airport isn't a factor at that time of day.
BA6501 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 11:21 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 142
Originally Posted by BA6501 View Post
You've counted one security checks too many:
- enter the terminal, security check for all baggage. You can use either the right or left areas, with the left ("East") one being marginally closer to BA's check-in, desks 35-38. This time of year, and considering the 8am departure, I'd allow 10 minutes for this security checkpoint.
- passport control, make sure you have filled out your pink departure card (received at check-in) - I'd allow 10-15 minutes here.
- the lounges are straight ahead, up the escalator (on your right) or stairs (on your left, again marginally closer). Turn right at the top and go to the LAT lounge, or left and go to the Cedar Lounge if you have a Priority Pass
- they'll call the flight in the LAT lounge with sufficient time, I normally go no more than 5 minutes after they've called the flight as the queues at the next security checkpoint are unpredictable (you can tell by looking at the flight info screens and looking for flights departing from gates 1-12, though). Allow 5 minutes for this checkpoint, luckily ME201 (BEY-LHR, similar time, always from the same wing) is an A320 tomorrow rather than an A330.
- turn right and head to gate 12, just one minute away, and hopefully by then the queue for BA's security will have shortened quite a bit. They certainly won't leave without you at this stage!
Great instructions, thank you! For info for others I'll report back tomorrow!
stevebintley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 3:20 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Programs: BA Exec Club - Silver | Aegean Miles & Bonus - Silver | IHG - Gold
Posts: 35
Maybe I'm wrong, but I do seem to remember there was an additional security check. I remember there were 4 times I had to take liquids and electronics out of my bag. Either way, I would just be prepared for a lot of checks. I didn't use the lounge at the time as for some reason the lounge staff didn't like my BAEC status on a standby ticket.
howarsan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 3:48 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold (GGL/CCR), EK Plat, TG*G
Posts: 596
The queues for the first check were unusually horrendous 4 weeks ago at around 11pm, but nothing to do obviously with BA’s morning departure time. If you find yourself with time to spare and you are a cigar smoker, check out the fantastic cigar shop (after border control, on the left). They have a lounge which beats hands down the ones upstairs. Technically you’d need one of their membership cards, but they typically allow you in if you buy a couple of boxes of cigars (and their selection is excellent, including a lot of aged/vintage cigars).
flying_pig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 5:10 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Programs: Mucci, BA
Posts: 9,164
Originally Posted by flying_pig View Post
The queues for the first check were unusually horrendous 4 weeks ago at around 11pm, but nothing to do obviously with BA’s morning departure time.
For anyone reading this thread in the future, that was pretty much the case throughout the summer, and certainly from mid-Aug to the first week of Sept, before the main departure banks of 0100-0400, 0700-0900 and 1530-1800. The advice/timings I provided above is completely irrelevant and would definitely allow 3 hours at those times of day, especially if you can't use J check-in!
BA6501 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 6:11 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: BA Exec Gold, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 49
I travelled through BEY 3 weeks a go and would say that in order to be safe it is definitely wise to get there 3 hours+ in advance and at the gate around 90mins before for the thorough bag search. Y class check-in queue looked huge and slow moving (if you can’t use J), 4 security checks, any of which can have unpredictable queues and a passport control that I’ve heard on some days can take hours and the gate check can take a few mins per pax. Had fantastic flights (out in Y, back in J) and flights were crewed by ex-BMI, now Eurofleet who were lovely!

Last edited by IslingtonFlyer; Oct 7, 18 at 6:27 pm
IslingtonFlyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 7, 18, 9:55 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 142
I got lucky with almost non existent queues; I arrived at 05:00. Although it's easy to see that on a busy day or at a more peak time it could take a great deal of time!

1: Passport check required to proceed from the first 'lobby' of the airport. Took no time at all.
2: Bag x-ray immediately after he passport check, including taking off jackets. 10 minutes.
3: I had no checked baggage so proceeded past the BA queues (which looked like they'd take about 20 minutes in the standard line) to the next passport check. No waiting time and collected my pink departures card here to fill out on the tables behind.
4: Short but slow queue for immigration. Took about 30 minutes.
5: Getting into the LAT lounge required the desk agent to make a phone call since I only had a mobile boarding pass. Once I got bored of being in there (which didn't take long as it's quite naff) I headed for gate 12 via the security check. This took about 10 minutes as there were hardly any people.
6: Arrived at gate 12 about 6:30 and it took 20 minutes to get through the bag search and I'm now in the holding pen.

Thanks for all the advice which enabled me to use the best entrances and minimise the walking!
stevebintley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 18, 3:41 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Programs: Mucci, BA
Posts: 9,164
Glad it all worked out for you - quite surprised at how long immigration took, I must say! I wonder if they've started using the cameras/fingerprint readers that they've installed at the beginning of the year.

Did they reprint a boarding pass for you at the gate? Mobile BPs on BA are a bit hit and miss there, indeed until recently you couldn't PYOBP let alone use mobile. I saw that option come up in June and they asked for my paper BP at the gate, a week later the option wasn't there anymore, and then it seems to have returned. YMMV it seems
BA6501 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 18, 4:30 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 385
For the sake of completeness, the queues are vary in a huge way according to the day and according to what time of the year you're passing through the airport.

At the tail end of the summer when there is a glut of tourists leaving BEY, queues at each of the five queuing points can each be horrendous in their own way;

Arriving on a Saturday morning in mid September at 0530 for the 0800 flight;
Pre-check in queue was about 30 mins,
Check in for the BA flight was another 25 minutes,
Immigration took almost 40 minutes,
Pre-pier security took 10 minutes,
At-gate security took about 20 minutes.

This left us about 5 minutes in total to dash into the Cedar Lounge to grab a v v v quick breakfast and dash to the gate.

2 1/2 hours would not have been enough if anything had gone wrong at any of these points - all the delays were due to sheer volume of people.
shadowline is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 18, 4:39 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 142
Originally Posted by BA6501 View Post
Did they reprint a boarding pass for you at the gate? Mobile BPs on BA are a bit hit and miss there, indeed until recently you couldn't PYOBP let alone use mobile. I saw that option come up in June and they asked for my paper BP at the gate, a week later the option wasn't there anymore, and then it seems to have returned. YMMV it seems
No I was fine with mobile only. All of the passport and security checks were fine with it as well as the gate. As I said, the lounge had to make a quick call but didn't ask me to confirm BAEC account number of anything.
stevebintley is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread