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Transfer at Heathrow with one hour

I have a trip next year from the US, going to Copenhagen and changing planes at Heathrow. The flight leaving the US is United and it will be Scandinavian Air going to Copenhagen. United changed my flight times so that I have one hour to change planes in Heathrow. I'm thinking this is impossible but wanted some other opinions. Will I have to go through additional security screening when I reach Heathrow? Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Posted by
11368 posts

We have had one hour time at LHR changing planes to return to US. All went well.

Posted by
8653 posts

If you find that you are getting through lines too slowly and your connection is in danger, tell one of the workers at the security/passport check area. They will expedite people through who are getting short on connection time. Heathrow also has a very nice flight connections planner that will give you good information specific to your connection.

https://www.heathrow.com/flight-connections

Posted by
5688 posts

It is possible if your flight lands on time, but you will have to hustle. You will go through a security screening at Heathrow.

The good news is that SAS has quite a few daily flights from LHR to CPH. I’ve missed connections at LHR twice due to late arriving flights and each time I was put on a flight just an hour or two later to my final destination.

If you are uncomfortable with the short connection, you could ask United for an alternative with a longer connection. Since it was United who made the change, they shoulld not charge you a change fee . Look on line to see if there is a later SAS flight that would work for you and ask about that if the thought of rushing through the airport and potentially missing your connection stresses you out.

Posted by
11531 posts

Are your two flights on the same ticket, or are they separate bookings?

If the latter, you most definitely need to get your first flight changed to give you more time to make the transfer.

Its been several years, but when I changed at LHR, I had to go through screening even though I had no idea where I left a secured area

Posted by
5386 posts

You will always go through security if changing planes at Heathrow unless you have arrived on a domestic flight. The CAA doesn't take on trust the capability of any other country's security.

60 minute connections inside terminal 2 are doable (and hence are sold) but no time for dawdling.

As your flight is not until next year I wouldn't bet against more time changes.

Posted by
4535 posts

As others have noted, if both flights are on the same ticketing, you'll be booked on the next flight if you miss the connection. I've had very tight connections at LHR due to delays and they did help us get to our plane quickly.

If you booked separate tickets, you need to change the second flight as they may not honor a missed connection.

An hour is a very tight connection time. It can take 15-20 minutes just to get off the plane, you must go through security and you must arrive at the gate about 10 minutes prior to departure. Add even a slight delay and you'll miss it.

Posted by
4012 posts

Follow the advice above and call United. Before you do so, look up alternate flights in advance so you have 2-3 suggestions to give to the agent. Having that information will be appreciated. One hour is ridiculous so as some have said, be polite but firm. If you find you are getting nowhere with a cantankerous agent, say thank you to end the call, hang up and call back. You will find somebody reasonable.

FYI, if you were to miss your connection to Copenhagen, you will only get on the following flight if there are available seats. There is no guarantee of that. So get this straightened out with United. They changed your itinerary; you didn't.

Posted by
5386 posts

United actually sell this type of routing with a 1 hour connection, so they must think it is perfectly possible as they would carry the can in the eventuality of a misconnect on a single ticket.

However, if you are not comfortable with it, do contact United with a view for a change - typically though this would mean an extra 3 hours or so at Heathrow.

Posted by
3 posts

This is on one ticket but I will call United to get this changed. Thanks for the responses and I really appreciate all the help!

Posted by
137 posts

Traveled to Paris in March. We flew British Airways Phoenix - London, London - Paris. We missed our connection on the way there and almost on the way back.

We had to transfer terminals via shuttle and then go back through security. Security at Heathrow is insane. They took everything - well a lot - out of everyone's bags. Had to show ID for my prescriptions. Stood in line, got through the scanner, and then we waited 45 minutes for them to go through everyone's bags. Same situation on the way home, except this time I checked just about everything....and they then tested my daughter's sample size face lotion. Another hour. And I'm not complaining about being kept safe, I'm just sharing how long it took.

Advice: I never ever ever like to check bags. CHECK YOUR BAG, and carry as little "interesting" things onto the plane with you.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
3 posts

You have given me some interesting information because in all my travels, I've never been asked for information about my prescriptions. I'm diabetic so the list is long! I appreciate that info and will make sure I'm prepared.