I am flying British Airways from Nashville to London Heathrow to Edinburgh on Sun July 24/Mon. July 25. Based on the recent news about flight cancellations and mandated departing passenger caps at Heathrow, I'm not surprised today to have received an email from British Airways informing me that my Heathrow to Edinburgh flight had been cancelled (the second time in the last 6 weeks BA cancelled my Heathrow to Edinburgh leg).. Looking at the rebooking options, I had the choice of an approx. 9 hour layover at Heathrow (and always the risk THAT flight could be cancelled)...and several late afternoon or evening departures from London City Airport. I chose a departure from London City Airport that leaves 6 hours 40 minutes after my scheduled arrival at Heathrow Terminal 5.
I've visited London many times and am very familiar with Heathrow and the Underground. I've never used London City Airport but 2 weeks ago was told by a Swiss man using London City Airport that week that it was much less of a hassle than London Heathrow.
For those of you who have flown out of London City Airport (the more recently the better):
1. How much time should I estimate for check in at London City Airport? I will have only carry on luggage so perhaps I can skip this line altogether?
2. What has been your experience about how long it takes to clear the security checkpoint at London City Airport?
3. Is there a central departure lounge where one waits for the gate to be posted (as at Heathrow), then you quickly walk to the gate?
4. For a London to Edinburgh flight, is it sufficient to be at the departure lounge (or gate) 1 1/2 hours in advance?
My rough time estimate is:
At Heathrow: deplane at Terminal 5, walk to immigration, clear immigration using Egates, wait for and board the Heathrow Express = 1..7 hrs.
Transit time on Heathrow Express to Paddington, Tube to Canning Town, Docklands Light Railway to London City Airport =2.0 hrs.
At London City Airport, obtain boarding pass at kiosk (if don't already have it), go through security checkpoint, arrive at departure lounge (or gate) 90 minutes before departure = 2.5 hours
That totals an estimated 6.2 hours from arriving at Heathrow until my flight leaves London City Airport. My total layover is 6 hours 40 minutes assuming I land at Heathrow on time, so now I'm wondering if I've allowed enough transit time...maybe I should take a later flight out of London City...or even revert back to having a 9 hour layover at Heathrow.
Thank you for your thoughts!