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Birmingham/BHX- a few questions.

Birmingham/BHX- a few questions.

Old Mar 26, 17, 11:24 am
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Birmingham/BHX- a few questions.

Flying ex BHX for the first time, so I hope our local experts can help out a bit. I am flying SN to BRU, departing 6:05AM.

1) I am based in Central London and I am not sure if I r I should take the last VT service from Euston, getting me there at 1:30 (scenario A), or spend the night at one of the nearby hotels (scenario B). I guess check-in and security check points should open at 4AM,which in the former scenario means I would have a 2:30 wait landside. Thoughts?

2)Are any landside coffee shops open 24/7 (if I was to to do Scenario A)?

3)What is the procedure for fast track? Do I have to ask the SN counter to give me a sticker/voucher (like in BCN,BKK etc),or would the BP suffice,like in LHR and most other airports. Does SN even offer fast track for *G in the first place?

Thanks in advance,
Rami
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Old Mar 26, 17, 12:33 pm
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Costa Coffee in the arrivals area (landside) is open 24hrs a day.

Note that at 1.30am, the tram linking the airport to the station is out of operation and you'll have to take a free bus. The last one of those is 2am so if you're any later, you're stuck in the NEC station until 3.30am - which would be pretty grim.

There's a bunch of hotels in the immediate vicinity - Hilton, Crowne Plaza and Novotel at the upper end, plus I think an Ibis and a formula 1 amongst the bargains. If there's nothing on at the NEC (or whatever it's called this week) it shouldn't be expensive. Unless you need to be in London late the previous evening, I would probably go for an earlier train and a few hours sleep in an airport hotel.

can't help you with SN's policies on fast track, but when we flew out LH in J last year, we had a stand alone voucher, so it wasn't coded onto the boarding pass. That may have obviously changed over the last 12 months...
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Old Mar 26, 17, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
Costa Coffee in the arrivals area (landside) is open 24hrs a day.

Note that at 1.30am, the tram linking the airport to the station is out of operation and you'll have to take a free bus. The last one of those is 2am so if you're any later, you're stuck in the NEC station until 3.30am - which would be pretty grim.

There's a bunch of hotels in the immediate vicinity - Hilton, Crowne Plaza and Novotel at the upper end, plus I think an Ibis and a formula 1 amongst the bargains. If there's nothing on at the NEC (or whatever it's called this week) it shouldn't be expensive. Unless you need to be in London late the previous evening, I would probably go for an earlier train and a few hours sleep in an airport hotel.

can't help you with SN's policies on fast track, but when we flew out LH in J last year, we had a stand alone voucher, so it wasn't coded onto the boarding pass. That may have obviously changed over the last 12 months...
Thanks a lot Tony for the speedy and informative reply.

1)Good to know about Costa being open 24/7;

2)BHX airport website suggests that the monorail is open till 2AM (I don't know how reliable/up to date is this info) and Google Maps shows that it's a 7-minute walk between the station and the terminal building, so not too worried about this part.

I have to be in London up utill 6PM ,so in case of Scenario B, I would get to the BHX hotels at around 8-9PM (including having to go home,grabbing the bag etc).From a quick glance, ibis is 74, so I am probably leaning towards Scenario B.

3)Good to know about the vouchers too,so I will drop by the counter and ask.

Thanks again for very helpful advice!
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Old Mar 26, 17, 3:25 pm
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I know there is some overnight shut down as this is posted in the station but https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/directions-and-transport/by-train/ says from 0030-0200 you have to use a bus.

not sure about the walk and where there are footpaths to be honest.

if you're staying more than a week out, check the Accor happy Monday deals tomorrow. You might get the ibis for 25.
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Old Mar 26, 17, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
I know there is some overnight shut down as this is posted in the station but https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/...port/by-train/ says from 0030-0200 you have to use a bus.

not sure about the walk and where there are footpaths to be honest.

if you're staying more than a week out, check the Accor happy Monday deals tomorrow. You might get the ibis for 25.
Thanks for the link, there was another part of the website, which did not mention the bus at all and mentioned that monorail operates until 2AM. NR also states that it operates till 2AM.

PS:Even the video in your link mentions 5:15-2:00 operations hours.

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/statio...tions/BHI.aspx

Perhaps the difference in wording is because the bus operates as a "monorail replacement service"...but in any case, thanks for pointing this out. I hope Virgin will be more or less on time...the 23:30 train is already taking much longer than most other services.

In regards to the hotel...well I tend to plan and book flights like 3-4 days in advance,so I am flying on Wednesday

I guess you have been to the No1 lounge in BHX? It appears as pretty decent from the pics on the web.
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Old Mar 27, 17, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by Rami Tamimi View Post

I guess you have been to the No1 lounge in BHX? It appears as pretty decent from the pics on the web.
Indeed I have and I was pleasantly surprised by the No. 1 lounge when I used it back in October, despite some disparaging comments I've seen elsewhere on the web.

The big win for me was that as a party of 7, they had reserved us an area, which immediately put it several notches above something like a BA Club lounge where you struggle to find somewhere to sit if there's just two of you.

View not as good as from the Aspire lounge, but the food is better.
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Old Mar 27, 17, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
Note that at 1.30am, the tram linking the airport to the station is out of operation and you'll have to take a free bus. The last one of those is 2am so if you're any later, you're stuck in the NEC station until 3.30am - which would be pretty grim.
But surely it would not take more than 10 minutes or so to walk in the worst case scenario, would it?
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Old Mar 27, 17, 8:23 am
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My mother flew out of BHX on a ca. 6am Lufthansa departure a couple of weeks ago. She confirms that Costa was open and that the check-in, security etc opened a little before 4am.

She stayed at the Novotel, which is literally across the road from departures, but there is also an Ibis and an Ibis Budget (formerly Etap) in the same complex. I have stayed at the Ibis Budget before now, and also at the Hilton Metropole, which has a 5-minute shuttle to the airport and often very good room + parking deals. Try holidayextras.com for this.
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Old Mar 27, 17, 9:31 am
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Thanks everyone for the answers. Given The_Bouncer mentioned that counters and security open just before 4 and that Costa is open 24/7,I decided to get the 8 advance on the last VT service,getting me there at 1:30....so it's just over 2 hours wait in Costa.

Will feedback on the "experience" on wednesday!
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Old Mar 27, 17, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
But surely it would not take more than 10 minutes or so to walk in the worst case scenario, would it?
I've never walked it, but whilst it would be common sense to have a straight path running that way, I don't believe that's the case. You'll end up walking on the road, security will want a word, etc, etc...

Edited to add - A quick look at Google earth does however suggest that a sharp right out of the station and a left underneath the car park will get you to the terminal swiftly enough. I've only ever been driven there by car and it's a road with lots of twists and roundabouts!

Last edited by Swiss Tony; Mar 27, 17 at 10:27 am
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Old Mar 27, 17, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Rami Tamimi View Post
Thanks everyone for the answers. Given The_Bouncer mentioned that counters and security open just before 4 and that Costa is open 24/7,I decided to get the 8 advance on the last VT service,getting me there at 1:30....so it's just over 2 hours wait in Costa.

Will feedback on the "experience" on wednesday!
Good luck!

I did something similar last year, not BHX though. I was on the first BA LHR-AMS doing a back to back for an J ex-EU to BKK, so it left LHR at 6:40am if I remember.

Anyway, I got the last Virgin East Coast from Newark North Gate to Kings Cross. Meant to get in just after 1am but was 20mins earlier. Sat in the McDonalds opposite Kings X for a bit. Walked round the corner, waited for bus to Strand.

Bus to Strand then bus to Heathrow T5. Got there around 3am I think. Quite a few people around. Costa open so I spent an hour half doing some work in there. Went up to departures at 4:30am and it was really busy, many people milling around waiting for security to open up.

I was absolutely knackered on the way back from AMS later in the morning! Had a good rest on BA9 though.

Some people were trying to sleep in the Costa and around arrivals. There was a homeless guy got chucked out by the coppers. Plus hanging around Kings X felt a bit dodgy - some odd characters about at 1am.

Alternative is the National Express coaches. Did you consider them?
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Old Mar 27, 17, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by manymany View Post
Good luck!

I did something similar last year, not BHX though. I was on the first BA LHR-AMS doing a back to back for an J ex-EU to BKK, so it left LHR at 6:40am if I remember.

Anyway, I got the last Virgin East Coast from Newark North Gate to Kings Cross. Meant to get in just after 1am but was 20mins earlier. Sat in the McDonalds opposite Kings X for a bit. Walked round the corner, waited for bus to Strand.

Bus to Strand then bus to Heathrow T5. Got there around 3am I think. Quite a few people around. Costa open so I spent an hour half doing some work in there. Went up to departures at 4:30am and it was really busy, many people milling around waiting for security to open up.

I was absolutely knackered on the way back from AMS later in the morning! Had a good rest on BA9 though.

Some people were trying to sleep in the Costa and around arrivals. There was a homeless guy got chucked out by the coppers. Plus hanging around Kings X felt a bit dodgy - some odd characters about at 1am.

Alternative is the National Express coaches. Did you consider them?
Interesting experience thanks! I think waiting in the airports is more pleasant than at the train stations

In regards to the bus....the most suitable one would be the one departing Victoria at 00:30 and arriving BHX at 03:40,just at the time check in opens....but then again it takes over 3 hours and I sitting at BHX is better than sitting on the bus...and what if there are disruptions...and if I take an earlier coach,then...what's the point? Euston is also 2 stations away from me, whereas Victoria is 40 minutes ride. The advance I purchased from VT was 8,one could probably get the coach for less, but I am not too bothered about it.

PS: Getting to BHX actually seems easier than LHR,I would prefer 1:15 on a "longhaul"/intercity train vs 1 hour on the tube
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Old Mar 28, 17, 12:40 am
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Originally Posted by Rami Tamimi View Post
PS: Getting to BHX actually seems easier than LHR,I would prefer 1:15 on a "longhaul"/intercity train vs 1 hour on the tube
Shhh.....
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Old Mar 28, 17, 12:58 am
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For hotels - use the Novotel or Ibis they are a 1 minute walk to the terminal

fast track - sometimes they give you vouchers but I never collect them as I go straight to security. As long as you have priority on your boarding pass you're fine. I suggest routing to security on the Brussels airlines / emirates / TK side as this always has a fast track lane open where if you enter through the Air France / klm / Flybe side it only occasionally has a fast track open.

dont plan much time to get in and out of the airport, you'll be from the hotel door to your gate in no time.

The lounge option youll have as SN will be the no.1 lounge which I think is pretty good. They have some table service etc. The staff are friendly and it's quite a nice looking Lounge.

Hope you enjoy it. I love BHX and from the moment we arrived at the gate to me getting out of the airport was only 7 minutes yesterday, I don't run but I do have a fast walk.... it's a lovely airport.
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Old Mar 28, 17, 1:19 am
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Originally Posted by Lewis42 View Post
For hotels - use the Novotel or Ibis they are a 1 minute walk to the terminal

fast track - sometimes they give you vouchers but I never collect them as I go straight to security. As long as you have priority on your boarding pass you're fine. I suggest routing to security on the Brussels airlines / emirates / TK side as this always has a fast track lane open where if you enter through the Air France / klm / Flybe side it only occasionally has a fast track open.

dont plan much time to get in and out of the airport, you'll be from the hotel door to your gate in no time.

The lounge option youll have as SN will be the no.1 lounge which I think is pretty good. They have some table service etc. The staff are friendly and it's quite a nice looking Lounge.

Hope you enjoy it. I love BHX and from the moment we arrived at the gate to me getting out of the airport was only 7 minutes yesterday, I don't run but I do have a fast walk.... it's a lovely airport.
Thanks!

Just completed the OLCI,it does indeed display the Fast Lane access on the BP.
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