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Back-to-back / Immediate Turnarounds at BA Destinations

Back-to-back / Immediate Turnarounds at BA Destinations

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Old Aug 2, 22, 5:40 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: DrBernardo
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This community maintained wiki lists out all known airports on the BA network grading each airport in terms of its practical suitability for quick flight transfers. Three transfer categories are considered (and indicated as traffic lights from left to right in the following order)

Back to back: Immediate turnarounds without checked baggage, with an airside transfer and flying out on the same aircraft that operated the inbound flight
Transfer: Immediate turnarounds without checked baggage, with an airside transfer and flying out on a different aircraft (or airline) to the one that operated the inbound flight
Landside: Full arrival and departure sequence. It is assumed check-in for the onward flight is processed prior to the arrival at the airport.

Grading:
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.
Reasonable: suggests possible but with risks attached
Poor: high risk and not advisable
Ungraded

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.


ABZ:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent if domestic, otherwise Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable. Arrivals decant into departure hall

ACE:
Back to back: Reasonable (if off season, there is a transfer channel just before passports); Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable

AGP:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: Reasonable if off season, but you do need to go fully airside if non Schengen. Small and efficient airport. Peak time: see here

ALG:
Back to back: Impractical due to visa and immigration processes.

AMS:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent; Landside: Poor. Arrivals decant into departure hall normally

ANE:
Back to back: Good - very small airport, tarmac walk. You may want to telephone the airport to let them know since there's no OLCI facility.

ARN:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable (arriving pax should watch for sign to gates 70-82) * see posts 593, 238 & 1298 for more details. Post 174 is a pictorial guide.

ATH:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: Good to excellent (bit of a walk, small flight connection facility to the left of passport control, dedicated security but no passports; Transfer: Good (if non-Schengen), Reasonable (if Schengen); Landside: Reasonable

BER:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good: Landside: Reasonable to Poor. Not much transfer traffic here so no queues for transit security when doing B2B - bit of a walk though. Note you can't access the lounge if doing B2B.

BGY:
Back to back: Reasonable to Poor; Transfer: Reasonable to Poor: Landside: Reasonable to Poor. More details, click here.

BHD:
Back to back: Excellent (use stairs upwards between gates 5 and 6, against flow); Transfer: Excellent if domestic, otherwise Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable

BIO:
Back to back: Reasonable, does involve going landside but small airport, airbridge rather than bus; Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable

BIQ:
Back to back: Reasonable, involves going through passports to landside, security and passports again, but you need to be off early since passport checks are thorough.

BJV:
Back to back: Not really feasible, there is no online check-in or App facility, you must check in at the gate. More details click here.

BOD:
Back to back: Reasonable but does involve going landside and back again. However it's a small airport and efficient.

BLL:
Back to back: Good (there is a clear transfer route after passport control to avoid a security check; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good

BLQ:
Back to back: Good (small airport but you have to go landside); Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable (bus gates)

BRI:
Back to back: Good (small airport but you have to go landside); Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable

BSL:
Back to back:: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good (Bit of a walk to landside, but it's not a huge airport. See this post for info)

BRU:
Back to back: Excellent on the transfer route, reasonable if not; Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Poor (see comments in post #246 , also 64 onwards)

BUD:
Back to back: Good. Airside transfer with quiet security channel (might need to ask staff to open it for you). More details here: BUD Back-to-back?

CAG:
Back to back: Reasonable, does involve going landside but small airport, airbridge rather than bus; Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable

CDG:
Back to back: Good now that BA use Terminal 2A. Transfer route well signed and drops you to entry to normal security check. No bussing. More details here : CDG Experience - Positive and a potential variant depending on the gate arrived into here.

CFU:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: No OLCI, but on some dates it is still possible. See this post for details.

CHQ:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: Excellent. 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:
Back to back: Generally Good, involves going landside. Best avoid Saturdays, the main changeover day, when security is stretched.

CPH:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable. Arrivals decant into departure hall

CTA:
Back to back: Reasonable, there is a transfer route signed but seems obsolete. However small and efficient airport so still do-able if going via landside

DBV:
Back to back: Impractical. There's no online check in so you have to go landside and collect a boarding pass. Otherwise a very small airport

DUB:
Back to back: Good (if ex-LHR), Reasonable if ex-LCY (quicker plane turnaround); Transfer: Good if Common Travel Area, otherwise Reasonable; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent if non-Schengen, Good if Schengen; Landside: Good. Arrivals decant into departure gate, though risk of bus to baggage hall

EDI:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent if domestic, otherwise Reasonable to Poor; Landside: Reasonable to Poor. Arrivals decant into departure hall normally, risk of bus to baggage hall

EFL:
Back to back: High risk on a Tuesday as only one flight, passport control is slow and turnaround time is approximately 50 minutes. OLCI is possible. Saturdays are possible if arriving on the early flight and leaving on the later flight. New terminal building is complete and fully operational, no buses involved, walk to terminal. Leave baggage hall via stairs, after the exit turn right and walk back towards check-in. Security is between arrivals and check-in. Exit the building and walk up the hill to Icarus for a coffee or snack or indeed a swim between flights. No lounge. UK flights now seem to be leaving from gates 1 & 2 which requires re-clearance of passport control after security. Only a vending machine and bare bones duty free shop.

EGC:
Back to back: 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

EXT:
Back to back: Not possible. Airport check-in only (check-in can't be done elsewhere due to FLY not being implemented). No airside transfer either.

FCO:
Back to back: Reasonable (return shuttle to main terminal); Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable

FDH:
Back to back: Impractical due to delays during ski season - see here.

FLR:
Back to back: Poor due to use of bus transfers and airport layout; Transfer: Poor (no transfer track}; Landside: Reasonable

FNC:
Back to back: Reasonable due to small airport. You do need to go landside and return to airside. Bus from aircraft, passports, security, passports, walk to aircraft. Note: high risk of weather related diversions.

FRA:
Back to back: Reasonable to Poor; Transfer: Poor (particularly if coming off Schengen); Landside: Reasonable

FSC:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: 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.

GCI:
Back to back: Infeasible. There is no online or App check in, check-in can't be done in LCY or elsewhere due to FLY not implemented in Guernsey. No airside transfer either.

GIB:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent if domestic, otherwise Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable. Arrivals decant into departure hall normally.

GNB:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good: Walk to/from aircraft. Must go landside, outside and right back into departures. Long turnaround times make this feasible though Saturdays busy.

GOA:
Back to back: Reasonable; Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable

GOT:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent; Landside: Excellent. Borderline foolproof. Arrivals decant into departure hall.

GVA:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good (but can be poor during ski season). Turn left in arrival lane to go back up to departures area.

HAJ:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent if non-Schengen, Good if Schengen; Landside: Good. Arrivals decant into departure gate. See posts 1670 and 1671 below.

HAM:
Back to back: Very Good to Excellent - transfer security check (not busy, before immigration) then immediately back into the departures area; Transfer: Excellent if non-Schengen, Good if Schengen; Landside: Reasonable. Arrivals and departures are now separated, and very occasionally bus to baggage hall.

HEL:
Back to back: Good: Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable. Incoming passengers can reverse direction just before Schengen passports. If a bus from gate, you will need to rush.

HER:
Back to back: Infeasible. There is no online or App check in, it's a bus transfer and arrivals / departures are in separate buildings.

INN:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Good to Excellent; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good. You have to go landside and through security. See here for more info.

IOM:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good (no flight connections but small airport)

IST:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Poor ( Would lose 15-20 minutes if lanside option is preferred )

JER:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent if domestic, otherwise Good; Landside: Good. Arrivals decant into departure hall, sometimes you need to double back to the BA lounge.

JMK:
Back to back: Nearly impossible due to clunky arrival processing and use of buses.

JTR:
Back to back: Impossible: bus transfer, slow passports.

KEF:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent if non Schengen, Good otherwise; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Moderately risky due to boarding passes only being issued at check-in. No buses used normally, walk off plane straight into very small building.

KRK:
Back to back: Nearly impossible due to clunky arrival processing and use of buses.

LBA:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good. Have to go landside for any connection or b2b but small airport, see here for further details

LCA:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable. There is a "Connecting Flights" channel on the left of the arrivals corridor, half way along, well before passports.

LEI:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Good to Excellent; Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable. See this post for more information

LIS:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable. There is a security check to the right, immediately before and avoiding the passport desks. Risk of bus gates, but still OK.

LIN:
Back to back: Not a good place due to bus transfer and needing to go fully landside; Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable to Poor (bus gates)

LPA:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: Very Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good. Landside route is described here: Airside transfer door described here.

MAD T4:
Back to back: Very good; Transfer: Good to Reasonable depending on arriving terminal. Landside: Reasonable See this post for full details.

MAH:
Back to back: Good to excellent, see post number 563.

MAN:
Back to back: Reasonable to Poor; Transfer: Reasonable to Poor: Landside: Reasonable to Poor

MCT:
Back to back: Excellent - direct transfer route

MJV:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good provided you avoid a peak time More information here. (Murcia San Javier airport closed in Jan 2019 and was replaced by RMU)

MLA:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good. This this post and linked blog for details.

MRS:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Very good; Transfer: Good but note 2 terminals; Landside: Good. Transfer point after passport, details in this post

MXP:
Back to back: Good (bit of walk to Transfer facility); Transfer: Good; Landside: Good. Thread links here.

NCE:
Back to back: Reasonable; Transfer: Poor; Landside: Good. There is a direct transfer route by turning into the door way on the right before the slope up to passports

NCL:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent if domestic, otherwise Good; Landside: Good. Arrivals decant into departure hall.

NQY:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good (no flight connections but small airport). See post 475 for more information.

NTE:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good. see this post.

NUE:
Back to back: Impractical unfortunately due to no OLCI, all check in done at the airport

OLB:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Good, do need to clear passports and security but very small and efficient airport.

ORY:
Back to back: Not 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:
Back to back: Excellent (Look for grey escalator going up); Transfer: Good (reasonable if Schengen); Landside: Reasonable

OTP:
Back to back: Good as at April 2019. Poor as of 29 Dec 18; Transfer: Excellent (See post #1919); Landside: Good to Reasonable. Arrival experience and speed of transit depends on arrival gate. On some arrivals, there is a Connection facility on the right at Passport Control after leaving aircraft although sometimes it is up some stairs and on the left. If this is the case, you need to go to the top of the stairs to see a passport official / go to passport desk (to explain you have arrived from London and are going straight back to London - likely resulting in a confused look on the officer's face) before returning half way down the stairs to go through security.

OSL:
Back to back: Good on the whole; Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable. (See experiences in this post, this post, this post and this post.)

OVD:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent; Landside: Excellent. Borderline foolproof - you are landed direct into boarding area

PRG:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Ungraded; Landside: Ungraded. 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.

PRN:
Back to back: Possible but not recommended, see post 557.

PSA:
Back to back: Reasonable; Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Unrealistic, due to the bus transfer process followed by passport control.

RAK:
Back to back: Terrible; Transfer: Ungraded; Landside: Ungraded. See post #1353 below

RHO:
Back to back: Infeasible - no OLCI or App check in, bus transfers from gates. Also airport very busy on Saturday PM and Sunday AM.

RTM:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Good (Reasonable during morning/evening peaks)

SEZ:
Back to back: Excellent. Use the Transit desk at the right side of the immigration hall, opposite end to passport control, see this post.

SKG:
Back to back: Reasonable; Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable. Note bus transfers on apron.

SOF:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent; Landside: Reasonable. Arrivals decant into departure area.

SPU:
Back to back: Reasonable but there is a bus transfer and then landside; Transfer: Reasonable but transfer routes seems to be from Star Alliance; Landside: Reasonable

STR:
Back to back: Reasonable (stairs from baggage hall back to security. Can't avoid security/passports); Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable. Report here.

SVG:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Excellent; Landside: Excellent. Borderline foolproof, though only restricted number of flights

SVQ:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: Reasonable; Transfer: Reasonable; Landside: Reasonable. No transfer channel and note bus transfers, but small airport.

TFS:
Back to back: Reasonable but in all cases involves going landside. May be tricky to reclear security in peak holiday season.

TIA:
Back to back: Probably impractical. There is a bus transfer process and passport checks/stamps takes a while (Albania isn't in the EU).

TLL:
Back to back: Very good; Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable. see this post.

TLV:
Back to back: At your own risk. There is a transfer route with security on the way to passport control just after the rotunda.

TNG:
Back to back: 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:
Back to back: Reasonable to Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Good (security takes place in limited area by arriving gate); Transfer: Good; Landside: 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. TXL Closed in November 2020, replaced by BER.

UIP:
Back to back: Good - very small airport, tarmac walk.

VCE:
Back to back: Very good; Transfer: Good at off-peak times; Landside: Reasonable. See this post for details

VIE:
Back to back: Excellent (BEWARE: see here); Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable

VLC:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Excellent; Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable. Arriving passengers enter departing passenger area. [BA have codeshare and also has TP Run options via AY]

VRN:
Back to back: Good; Transfer: Good; Landside: 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:
Back to back: Good (small connection facility on left after airbridge); Transfer: Good; Landside: Reasonable

ZAG:
Back to back: Good (must re-clear security--this is effectively an international transfer); Transfer: Good (must re-clear security [there are separate transfers for international to international near east end of a/p and international to domestic with passport control near west end of a/p] but airport is small); Landside: Reasonable (must clear passport control, go downstairs through baggage claim to exit, outside and upstairs to check-in, upstairs again to the top floor for security and passport control and then back downstairs to the gate level.

ZRH:
Back to back: Generally good but see this post and the replies for more information.

ZTH:
Back to back: 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.


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Old May 10, 22, 11:30 am
  #976  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: BAEC GGL/CR; Hilton Diamond; Mucci des Puccis
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Originally Posted by barrister_haus View Post
BA is at it again and cancelled my positioning flight to SOF the day before by TP run to LAX. Rescheduled on the flight the next day which would make it a B2B. Anyone recently been through SOF? I could leave it as a B2B but of course risk the whole trip collapsing if something goes wrong, or could take the flight the day before my original one and spend 2 nights in SOF. If anybody had any recent experience would be grateful. Dual US/UK citizen and flight is back to LHR so non-schengen to non-schengen.
I'm doing a SOF -> LAX starting Friday 13th; my positioning will be on Wizz for about £20 from Gatwick on the evening of the 12th - it does come in at 0245 though. If you need another SOF option that isn't b2b, that's not a bad one.

I have a b2b for the return next week, and I also have a BA flight out on the morning of the 13th in case of Wizz not flying.
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Old May 10, 22, 11:55 am
  #977  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
I'm doing a SOF -> LAX starting Friday 13th; my positioning will be on Wizz for about £20 from Gatwick on the evening of the 12th - it does come in at 0245 though. If you need another SOF option that isn't b2b, that's not a bad one.

I have a b2b for the return next week, and I also have a BA flight out on the morning of the 13th in case of Wizz not flying.
Let me know how SOF is when you get back and good luck. Don't really want to forego the BA positioning as it's 80 TP and I'm on track to renew my Gold before the TP's go up on 01 Jan (TP year ends 08 August).
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Old May 11, 22, 4:18 pm
  #978  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Programs: BA GGL
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Anyone done a LHR-DUB on BA / DUB-LGW on Aer Lingus b2b in recent times? Connection is 65 minutes. Too ridiculous to even try?
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Old May 12, 22, 1:26 am
  #979  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: BAEC GGL/CR; Hilton Diamond; Mucci des Puccis
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I've done Dublin a lot recently, and my record in a quiet terminal is 35 minutes from the far end of the Ryanair bit through immigration and back to the far end. This was two separate tickets with a delayed first leg. You can expect the airport to be considerably busier than back when I did that, but the distances are less, so it's not impractical. One 20 minute delay in security though and you're screwed. You can go through either security for either terminal by the way, and the airport twitter will tell you quite accurately the processing times.

There is also some padding in flight times, though I'd say if I were to pick an airline for an outbound leg that I'd be most confident would have squeaky bum inducing delays taking off, it would be BA from Heathrow just at the moment.
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Old May 13, 22, 6:07 am
  #980  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Originally Posted by barrister_haus View Post
Let me know how SOF is when you get back and good luck. Don't really want to forego the BA positioning as it's 80 TP and I'm on track to renew my Gold before the TP's go up on 01 Jan (TP year ends 08 August).
B2B would have been very easy at SOF today, but only with BPs. The incoming deplaned into the [EDIT, incorrect use of "landside"] airside gates.

Last edited by bisonrav; May 18, 22 at 12:03 pm
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Old May 15, 22, 6:10 am
  #981  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Flatland
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I did a back-to-back at ARN (Stockholm) yesterday. It worked, with a few caveats and some differences from previous descriptions.

We arrived at gate 20, and I couldn't see any signs for higher-numbered gates such as "70, 82-87". From the gate, the route was up one level and along a corridor. Signs there pointed ahead to arrivals. Signs for transfers were present but had a previous arrow in the other direction covered over, and there appeared to be no way to go in the formerly-signed direction. I suspect BA is now arriving in a different part of the airport and the airport has been rearranged a bit.

I went forward to the immigration line (passport check), which has "EU/EEA" and "other" lines. Immediately after this, there is a left turn to "transfer" (and a right turn to arrivals). Turning left, there were staff at the transfer security and they had zero people waiting for them. Security screening was rapid and efficient. The staff helpfully asked if I knew which gate to go to, and directed me appropriately (while I know we arrived at gate 20, that wasn't obvious on arrival, only on departure).

Then downstairs to a shopping and gate area, forward towards gate 20, through the immigration passport check, and I was back at gate 20. There were no queues at the immigration exit line.

From arriving airbridge to in front of the departing gate took me about 12 minutes, but there are caveats:
  • I hold an EU passport. I have no idea how fast the non-EU line was going. You would obviously need to be able to enter the Schengen area to use this path, whether with EU or non EU passport.
  • I was among the first few people off the aircraft, and the queue at the passport checks was short in both cases. Had they been very long, I would have been in trouble.
  • I think only a few gates feed into this passport line, but if any of these had a flight with a lot of third-country nationals and you were behind them the queue could be very slow indeed.
I also had Verifly problems - I could not work out how to get myself verified so I could do OLCI for the return flight (onwards to the USA). I'm aware there's an extensive thread on Verifly, and with much more time this might be workable, or it might not. I also couldn't OLCI for the outbound as my documents required checking. Getting a boarding pass for the outbound at Heathrow was easy, but getting the return boarding pass required trying a couple of agents before I got one who would just check me in for the first flight.

As an aside, the crew were very curious to see me again ("That was a rapid turnaround!") and asked me about it later in the flight when I was talking to them. The senior cabin crew member did guess, correctly, both 'cheaper' and 'gets more [tier] points'.

Overall, this was (particularly with respect to the boarding passes) more fraught than in the times before the pandemic, but still do-able with significant caveats regarding the passport checks.

Last edited by flatlander; May 15, 22 at 6:42 am Reason: imporve grammer speeling and.
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Old May 15, 22, 6:26 am
  #982  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
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Thank you for such a comprehensive and helpful account, @flatlander
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Old May 16, 22, 2:11 am
  #983  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Back to back in MAN was never easy however the latest I can share that flight connection is closed in T3. So you have to go through landside and go through security which can be time consuming. So if you do plan a B2B make sure you have minimal bags on you (best is nothing basically) and you might have to go and skip the queue a bit if you can. I would think afternoon flights probably better because of security usually shorter.
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Old May 16, 22, 3:18 am
  #984  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Originally Posted by Krisz View Post
Back to back in MAN was never easy however the latest I can share that flight connection is closed in T3. So you have to go through landside and go through security which can be time consuming.
Connections channels have been unavailable at MAN since the start of the pandemic. This allowed the airport to remove the need for biometrics on domestics (and the staff to handle them). You’d have to be incredibly brave to try a B2B there now.
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Old May 16, 22, 4:54 am
  #985  
09R
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Looking for a straight forward b2broute that also allows me to purchase some liquid duty free items on the outbound from LHR (i.e. no security on the return flight). From what I can see, AMS, GOT, JER are good options. Any others that would be ideal for this situation?

Many thanks
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Old May 16, 22, 6:43 am
  #986  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by Krisz View Post
Back to back in MAN was never easy however the latest I can share that flight connection is closed in T3. So you have to go through landside and go through security which can be time consuming. So if you do plan a B2B make sure you have minimal bags on you (best is nothing basically) and you might have to go and skip the queue a bit if you can. I would think afternoon flights probably better because of security usually shorter.
I'm not sure where you're getting your info from, but there's really no need to go lanside. Once you disembark the aircraft and proceed down the stairs, simply turn right in the main corridor (Turning left takes you to baggage reclaim and a one way door syatem.) walk to the stairs on the left, proceed up the stairs and you will find yourself back at the departure gates. Alternatively, simply ask a member of staff who will let you into the departure lounge.
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Old May 16, 22, 1:46 pm
  #987  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Originally Posted by 09R View Post
Looking for a straight forward b2broute that also allows me to purchase some liquid duty free items on the outbound from LHR (i.e. no security on the return flight). From what I can see, AMS, GOT, JER are good options. Any others that would be ideal for this situation?
Anywhere, you just need to ask the store to put your items in a STEB. As long as there’s a same-day receipt visible inside the bag and it’s clearly sealed you can take it through any European airport security.
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Old May 16, 22, 7:30 pm
  #988  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
B2B would have been very easy at SOF today, but only with BPs. The incoming deplaned into the landside gates.
Thanks for the update. I've never been so cannot comment, but any idea why sometimes people report they deplane into the departures hall, and on other occasions (like your experience) they deplane landslide? Landside makes me a bit nervous, although I'm confident I'll have my BP back to LHR and then onto JFK.

Assuming landslide meant security again and passport control twice? I worry about a long queue...
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Old May 17, 22, 12:52 am
  #989  
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Originally Posted by barrister_haus View Post
Thanks for the update. I've never been so cannot comment, but any idea why sometimes people report they deplane into the departures hall, and on other occasions (like your experience) they deplane landslide? Landside makes me a bit nervous, although I'm confident I'll have my BP back to LHR and then onto JFK.

Assuming landslide meant security again and passport control twice? I worry about a long queue...
To be honest I don't quite get the "deplaning landside" picture.

But you could excise the worry by overnighting in Sofia: it's not an expensive city and it's not without interest. The metro gets you into town, but If you take a later (cheaper), non-BA flight there's an airport hotel.
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Old May 17, 22, 2:27 am
  #990  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
To be honest I don't quite get the "deplaning landside" picture.

But you could excise the worry by overnighting in Sofia: it's not an expensive city and it's not without interest. The metro gets you into town, but If you take a later (cheaper), non-BA flight there's an airport hotel.
I've got off the plane at SOF and ended up back in the gate area. No going landside and having to re-clear security etc.

As for staying overnight, I planned on doing that the last few times I had SOF booked, and BA kindly cancelled the outbound flights the day before meaning I had to do a turnaround to catch my connection back in London. Still haven't seen any of Sofia but the gate!
They've cancelled my August ones as well, so I've changed airport.
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