I am a USA passport holder flying to London Gatwick on Virgin Airlines from Orlando (MCO). The plane is scheduled to arrive at Gatwick North Terminal at 6:55AM. I am scheduled to depart on a separate ticket on Easy Jet to Prague (departing at 8:20AM) from North Terminal. I will only travel with a small backpack and have no checked luggage. Will I need to clear customs and passport control and security? Or, will I only need to go through a security screening? OR, should I reschedule my Easy Jet flight for the afternoon? I have done these tight transfers many times before, but I am unclear on the immigration practice at Gatwick.
You need to take an easyJet flight in the afternoon. There is no way you can make an 8:20 departure if you are only arriving at 6:55.
This isn't a transfer. As far as the British immigration authorities are concerned, you are arriving in the U.K. and you have to be checked in for an EasyJet flight (including security and emigration) at a certain given time before the departure of that flight. There isn't time for all of those things to happen in 90 minutes,
With Easyjet you have to pass through the UK border for an international - international connect even without checked bags. See .https://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the-airport/flying-in/flight-connections/ for details.
Most seasoned travelers who gamble with buying separate tickets would advise to give yourself a minimum of 3 hours to make a connection and know all your affordable options beforehand in case you don't make it
If your hold bags are not through checked, you must collect them at Gatwick. Follow signs to Baggage Reclaim – you will need to pass through Passport Control on your way – and then either use our GatwickConnects service for just £7.00 per bag or proceed to the check-in desk for your next flight.
Please note that all easyJet passengers must follow option 2 above, even if you are travelling with hand luggage only.
The above is the pertinent language from the link in Marco's post
And easyjet closes the door 30 minutes prior to departure
Under perfect conditions, you have 55 minutes to get from sitting on the Virgin plane to being seated in the easyjet plane. If I had to make a bet, it would be against your making it
Thanks to all. Just rebooked for the evening flight. I'll go have a nice lunch in the city center. It will be much more relaxing than running through the airport.
Excellent, you’ve made a wise choice.
Please read the easyJet website carefully. They enforce their rules. Luggage limits may be different than your trans-Atlantic carrier. The basic easyJet fare allows only one piece of carry-on, not a bag plus a purse plus a computer. If you want to carry more, upgrade the ticket. Upgrades are far more expensive at the gate so make all those choices now. And be sure to check in on-line, several weeks in advance.
The airline is good value for money, but considering these stressful issues, it can be easier to buy a combo ticket to your final destination from one airline.