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Booking 2 Round trips possible with British Airways? Kid traveling tips too please!

We are going to Zurich this summer flying with a 5 yr old and a baby but I'm having trouble finding the best flights. Heard that British Airways was great and probably the best for baby (who will probably be too long for many airlines' bassinets but should fit British Airways) but the flight options home are pretty ugh. So to avoid a ridiculous early departure time or spending way too much time traveling with many connections, and hopefully arrive with some bit of our sanity still intact we thought we would stay in London for a few days and catch a direct flight home to Austin, TX that leaves at a reasonable hour.
Problem is how to book the tickets that doesn't cost a few thousand dollars more. It seems like 2 round trips (AUS - LHR and LHR - ZUR) cost about 3k less than booking one way tickets for AUS - ZUR, ZUR - LHR, and LHR - AUS. What is the process like to connect in LHR for international flights? Has anyone done 2 separate booking of round trip tickets and had smooth connections? Wondering if we will have to collect our bags to go through security and customs anyways in London, making connecting to the second booking not a big deal. Would British Airways be able to essentially connect our two bookings so that going over would be smooth and easy? My husband wisely is saying we need to make this as easy as possible since flying with 2 kids will be very stressful no matter what but I would like to avoid spending an extra couple thousand dollars.
Also has anyone flown with 2 kids and gotten the bulkhead seats with bassinet? I've been wanting to buy a seat extender like Stokke JetKids for our 5 yr old but don't know if that would even be allowed to use in the bulkhead seats. Just getting back into flying again with a kid post covid and looking forward to it but feeling a little intimidated of traveling internationally with 2 kids. Any recommendations would be so appreciated!

Posted by
99 posts

When doing connections with separate tickets where the connection is in the same day, you have to accept the possibility that you'll miss the connection and you'll have to buy an expensive ticket to finish the trip. I do that when the connection is relatively cheap or when I get to spend an extra day or more at the intermediate city. This is why we often stay an extra day in London or Paris because of ticket prices.

Posted by
553 posts

Hello neighbor!! I have done the AUS-LHR route a few times (without kids) some direct from LHR and some connecting through LHR. This has been my experience. LHR is HUGE!! Even with a 2+ hour connection we barely made our connection due to having to take a shuttle bus (airside) to the connecting terminal. While I have not done it the way you have described, I would imagine that if you booked two separate tickets and checked bags, you would be forced to retrieve those bags, go back through security and then get to your next flight. With kids, I don't think I would risk that. If your first flight is late and it is all one ticket then BA would connect you to the next flight but if they are two separate tickets? You might be stuck. It's a tough choice but in your case with young kids, I would pay extra to not have the hassle.

Posted by
8529 posts

Why not plan an overnight layover? As long as your second flight is within 24 hours you can have your break and buy it all as one round trip.

Posted by
1855 posts

Becky I can't answer your question, but I'm stoked for you that you're traveling with a baby. When I was younger I met a surprising number of young couples traveling in Europe with babies. Fantastic, just a slightly different kind of trip.

When my wife and I had our kid we never had the spunk or out of the box thinking to travel with baby overseas. But when I think back on the lovely trips the young couples I met were having with their babies, I wish we would have!

So anyway good on you and your husband for making the leap, hope you have a wonderful time :)

Posted by
2354 posts

Have you tried using the multi-city option? You would book the first leg as AUS-ZUR. Second would be ZUR-LHR. Next LHR-AUS. These are not separate round trips. The pricing could be better.

As for connecting in LHR, you will go through security regardless on your way to ZUR. After your flight from AUS, you will go the through immigration. Then security. Then continue to your gate for the flight to ZUR. If your flight from LHR to ZUR were booked separately, you may have to collect your checked luggage, check your luggage again, then go through security. I wouldn’t risk that.

Posted by
5026 posts

I agree with travel4fun, and it's called open jaw , when your arrival and departure cities are different. Using British Airways site, it's the multi-city function. In fact, you can use Google Flights to check out all the airlines, again using the multi-city tab. You can also set up price alerts.
Have a great trip.

Posted by
976 posts

It's perfectly possible to book this ia two separate return tickets if that is significantly cheaper for you (but try the open-jaw option first).
BUT, if you end up with two separate tickets you must leave plenty of time at LHR to make your connection. Contrary to what you might hope BA will not connect two separate bookings, so you will have to go through immigration into the UK, collect your bags and check-in and go through security again. The one factor in your favour is that all this will happen in Terminal 5 so you won't have the pain of transferring terminals as well.
I imagine that the flight from AUS will come into either 5B or 5C, so you will need to catch the shuttle train into 5A, which is the main central building, which adds a bit more time as well. The good news is that the second flight will probably depart from a 5A gate, which is a lot nearer.
All this means that you need to leave at least 4 hours between flights. It may be that you do everything much quicker and you end up hanging around the terminal but much better that than watching your booked flight disappear and you having to buy new flights at the walk-up price.

Posted by
274 posts

Our son just turned 6, but we've done the US to Europe flight with him 5 times now, starting when he was 18 months old (Denver to London). He was still under the weight requirements (he was a preemie, so weighed about 15 pounds at 18 months haha) for the bassinet, and we had no problems getting it on our United Airlines flight. I did have to call to request a bulkhead/bassinet seat, since the website was trying to charge me. It made a world of difference for us, and (after crying bloody murder for an hour), he ended up sleeping for 7 or so hours.

Once he turned two and we needed to have a separate airline seat for him, we have used a seat extender (this is similar to the one we've used several times) and it has been amazing. On our flight to Italy last summer, we were upgraded to the bulkhead seats and did have some problems with the seat cushion not fitting quite right - we actually had too much leg room and the cushion slid around. I just put my carry-on backpack behind it and attempted to wedge it in better, and it worked pretty well.

Like I said, we only have one kiddo, but he is pretty well-traveled, so I'm happy to offer more insight as to what's worked for us over the years. We flew British Airways to London this past fall, and thought they were great. Flight attendants were all super friendly and having a direct London (ours was Gatwick) to Orlando was great. I'd certainly pay extra money to have a direct flight and no layover on the way home. It makes that LOOOONNGGG travel day SO much easier.