Positioning Sense Check

Old Nov 30, 19, 1:30 pm
  #1  
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Positioning Sense Check

Hi,

I'm after some advice, as it will be our first long haul business class travel, and our first time positioning. I've tried to research it myself but not been able to find conclusive answers.

I've booked open jaw flights in CW CDG-LHR-YYZ and SFO-LHR-CDG + one-way positioning flights in WT LHR-CDG and CDG-LHR. The positioning flights are on the same day as the main flights. We'll be travelling with checked in luggage ( 2 x 20k bags between us ).

Do I understand correctly that - on the way out:

1. When transferring at CDG we will need to grab our luggage from the main arrivals belt and then go back through security after checking our bags in / dropping them off depending on whether we do online check-in. There is no opportunity to check bags through.
2. We won't be able to use the lounge or premium check-in at LHR when flying from LHR - CDG (as we will have CW tickets for later the same day, but no Boarding Pass to show in the lounge)
3. Our bags will be checked through CDG - LHR - YYZ

On the way back:

4. We'll be able to use the lounge at CDG prior to our final flight back to LHR

Thanks in advance.

In addition, rather than join me in picking up bags and checking in - could my wife wait in the lounge instead after arriving at CDG?
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Old Nov 30, 19, 1:39 pm
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If you are doing this the same day, you face an enormous risk if there is a weather event or some such. Back to back flights mitigate this risk but are impossible with checked baggage. I would therefore urge you to either go the day before (at least on the first set of flights, last set is less of an issue) or split off the Paris sectors from the YYZ sector - which costs a bit more APD but makes it much easier to do.

But to answer the questions, your wife can go through connections so long as you don't exceed your personal allowance. If you are using her allowance too then you both need to be there.

1) Yes, you collect bags and go landside to check in, then back through passports and security.

2) You should be able to get all the boarding passes, and thus get lounge access in London, however make sure you make it clear you are heading to Paris first since you don't want to start conformance to YYZ before getting to Paris. So show the BPs, don't let them scan it.

3) Yes, bags can be through checked from Paris. The alternative is to leave them in the paid for left luggage office in T5, and collect them, check them in at T5 after
Paris, thus reducing some of the problems with the Paris trip.

4) Unless you have status, I don't see how you get lounge access on the final flight from Paris to London after your visit to Canada, unless you are travelling in Club of course.

It is sometimes better to look at fares from NCE and LYS rather than Paris, they are often about the same but it is easier to deal with these airports compared to Roissy.
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Old Nov 30, 19, 1:51 pm
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Super - thank you for your help. We're due to arrive at CDG at 9:35 and due to fly back to LHR at 14:10.

I have read the guide that recommends a flight the night before, but figured 4.5 hrs would be enough of a safety margin?
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Old Nov 30, 19, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Avallon View Post
I have read the guide that recommends a flight the night before, but figured 4.5 hrs would be enough of a safety margin?
Yes, if everything goes to plan, and probably yes if it doesn't. But what if there is a bit of weather - are you OK to sacrifice the YYZ tickets just to save on an overnight stay in the City of Light?
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Old Nov 30, 19, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Avallon View Post

In addition, rather than join me in picking up bags and checking in - could my wife wait in the lounge instead after arriving at CDG?
Yes but remember that if you do that they will be checked in under your name and the number of bags will have to comply with your personal limit - which for CW with no status is 2 x 32KG - and have to pay for any additional bags above that.
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Old Nov 30, 19, 1:58 pm
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my initial plan was to stay over at CDG - however, my wife has some health issues and reading up on CDG airport and hotels nearby, I decided not to...
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Old Nov 30, 19, 2:30 pm
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Generally consider what is your plan if things go wrong, and what triggers your plan.

For me, I would be looking at Eurostar if there is flight disruption. You'll have an idea of that first thing in the morning. If there was any significant delay in any operations I'd be on the train faster than you could say Jacques Robenseine.

Having said that I'd also book a flight for the day before, that gives more leeway.
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Old Nov 30, 19, 3:50 pm
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Thanks. In the event of major disruption, would BA not help us by allowing us to skip the LHR-CDG-LHR part of the journey?
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Old Nov 30, 19, 4:11 pm
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They might, or they might not. It's not something you can control or plan for. Your big ticket is the CW fare and that's where you need to be focusing your risk management. Essentially consider how you'd feel if you missed that and plan accordingly.

Eurostar isn't a bad bet generally incidentally.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 4:08 am
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One of your problems with this plan, apart from risk, is that you probably won't be able to check your baggage in at CDG until 3 hours before departure - so you won't be able to spend all that 4.5 hours in the lounge anyway. If you split up, she would still have to come out through immigration and go back through security to get to the lounge.

You don't say how much time you have at LHR between the CDG and YYZ flights but leaving your baggage in the left luggage at LHR (or in the car) would let you do the CDG shuffle as HBO which would be much easier and you'd be able to go straight back to the lounge in CDG. The risk here, is that the flight back to LHR is delayed and you run out of time to recover your baggage.

I think my preferred options would be to night stop at CDG - and there are perfectly acceptable hotels a short free train ride away, or for future planning, do the CDG shuffle one day, as HBO, and the LHR-YYZ leg the following day with a night stop at LHR.

A question for the knowledgeable - in the OP's case, could he check baggage in at LHR for the YYZ leg, prior to doing the CDG shuffle?
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Old Dec 2, 19, 4:21 am
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Originally Posted by vintagepilot View Post
A question for the knowledgeable - in the OP's case, could he check baggage in at LHR for the YYZ leg, prior to doing the CDG shuffle?
Generally yes, so long as the OP enters "Don't know / not sure" in the number of bags question at OLCI. Then it can be put into the system at LHR the same day as the relevant travel, even if it is out of sequence, and I think even the self-service machines cope with that. However occasionally the computer says no, so it's good to have a Plan B for that scenario.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 4:33 am
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Plan B is to go down to the left luggage department, in the arrivals hall, very quick and easy.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 4:51 am
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Originally Posted by Avallon View Post
Thanks. In the event of major disruption, would BA not help us by allowing us to skip the LHR-CDG-LHR part of the journey?
As Bisonrav said, it depends on the circumstances. I was lucky flying LGW-AMS//AMS-LHR-JNB when snow closed both Gatwick and Schipol and BA allowed me to drop the overnight in AMS and just go back to LHR the next day. But I made very sure before leaving the airport that my LHR-JNB ticket was protected so I didn't appear as a 'no-show' at AMS and have my ticket cancelled.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Generally yes, so long as the OP enters "Don't know / not sure" in the number of bags question at OLCI. Then it can be put into the system at LHR the same day as the relevant travel, even if it is out of sequence, and I think even the self-service machines cope with that. However occasionally the computer says no, so it's good to have a Plan B for that scenario.
I've never had an issue with checking bags in before a B2B - but maybe I'm just lucky. With the SSCI machines allowing it too, I would hesitantly suggest the chance of needing to resort to a plan B is low.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by Virazuno View Post
I've never had an issue with checking bags in before a B2B - but maybe I'm just lucky. With the SSCI machines allowing it too, I would hesitantly suggest the chance of needing to resort to a plan B is low.
The chances of having to implement a Plan B are very low, but it is important to have a Plan B in case of major operational issues on the day of travel. I'd be a little uncomfortable with a 4-hour gap between a short-haul and an expensive long-haul flight on separate tickets.
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