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London airports

In planning our flight from Glasgow to home in the U.S. I noted all of the flights go to either London City or Gatwick airports. Then we'd have to get to Heathrow &, from what I've read, the route isn't easily straightforward. For most flights, the time from arriving in London City & the departure from Heathrow is about 3 hours. Is it really possible to travel from London City to Heathrow & get through security in that time frame? Has anyone taken a flight from Glasgow (or Edinburgh) to London City/Gatwick to catch a transatlantic flight from Heathrow? If so, was it easily done?

Posted by
6854 posts

This what you are trying to do is impractical.
Most would suggest flying to London from Glasgow the day before if you have separate tickets.
Or you can fly Glasgow to Toronto and then to wherever you live in the USA.

Posted by
941 posts

Hi, bri08,

Which airline are you flying from Glasgow to London? British Air has at least eight flights per day from GLA to LHR. You could also fly GLA to EWR or JFK, and transfer onward from there.

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: Count on around two and a half to three hours transferring between London airports.

Posted by
9993 posts

I don't know where you are looking for flights nor the days but just a quick check for a month from now shows flights from GLA to LHR much cheaper than GLA to LCY.

Try Google Flights: http://www.google.com/flights to get an idea of the schedule then head over to British Airways to book it.

Posted by
27 posts

I should have added that the available BA flights from GLA to LCY/LGW are AA awards flights. Limited choices.

Posted by
8889 posts

the time from arriving in London City & the departure from Heathrow is about 3 hours. Is it really possible to travel from London City to Heathrow & get through security in that time frame?

It is possible to get from London City Airport to Heathrow in about 90 minutes on a good day, 2 hours on a bad day.
https://tfl.gov.uk/ (official site) says just over 1 hour with the Heathrow express, 1h24 with the tube (DLR + Jubilee line + Piccadilly line). Exact time depends on which terminal.
Security is not a major issue, say 10-.15 minutes.

What will take time is check in. What minimum check-in time does your airline specify? This could be 3 hours, so your plan has no hope.

Posted by
82 posts

You're talking about travelling from one side of London to the other (possibly in rush hour) - with the strong potential for unpredictable delays on London transport youd need to leave a lot of time - theoretically you could do it I. 1.5-2 hours, but I'd suggest you'd need to leave at least 3. Then, as mentioned you need to leave adequate time for checkin which could be 2 hours plus - given missing a transatlantic flight is the consquence you need to leave lots of time for eventualities. Basically I wouldn't recommend it!

There is a frequent direct bus from Gatwick to Heathrow which is scheduled at just over an hour - see nationalexpress.com, so this is perhaps an easier option. However, with thine for baggage claim, waiting for the bus, padding tor delays and check-in you're still surely looking at absolute minimum 4 hours between flights imo.

There's also the issue with both routings of the inbound flight being delayed, so you perhaps need to pax even more!

Posted by
941 posts

Hi again, bri08,

If you're using AA points for your connector flight, you may be able to use them on BA for the GLA-LHR segment, as those airlines are partners. It doesn't hurt to ask. I realize that they have a limited amount of seats (like 2) available to use with points, so you may just have to bite the bullet, pay for the connector flights, and save those points for a later flight on AA.

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: Can you use the points on an earlier flight, and just hang out at LHR? I know it's a hell of a way to spend the last day of your holiday, but at least you're still in Britain.

Posted by
27 posts

Thanks, Mike I'll check it. In trying to avoid BA for the transatlantic flight, in which fees double, the AA transatlantic flight choices all include BA flights from GLA to LCY/LGW. I think LCY is BA's city flight hub. I'll check BA only flights but it seems the awards choices are fixed.

Posted by
941 posts

Hi once again, bri08,

I added more to my last post, so I don't know if you saw it before you replied. To add to that, AA has direct flights from GLA to JFK, EWR, ORD, PHL, and possibly others. If you haven't already made your transatlantic reservations, you might be able to avoid Heathrow altogether, and fly directly back to the U.S. from Glasgow.

We took the GLA-PHL flight last summer, and even though we had to leave Glasgow earlier, at least we avoided Heathrow.

Good luck!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
9993 posts

Sometimes award flights just don't work out.

Are you trying to book one award from GLA to the U.S. or two separate awards?

If two separate awards, it doesn't pay. Tickets from GLA to LHR can be as low as $50. You'll be wasting miles.

Three hours is not enough time to get between the airports. If there is a problem with public transit, if there is a lot of traffic....you would need a perfect world for it to work.

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.........Robert Burns (He actually said schemes instead of plans but I gave the modern version.)

Posted by
5563 posts

Have you tried Edinburgh? These cities are not that far apart and it might work. I bet that it's faster to between Glasgow and Edinburgh airports than it is between JFK and Newark! Good luck with your search.

Posted by
552 posts

As someone else mentioned flying through Amsterdam is a great option. It’s a short connector flight and the airport is much more pleasant and easy to get around. I try very hard to avoid Heathrow so that’s what I did. Would your points allow you to go through Amsterdam?

Posted by
27 posts

Thanks, Pamela! I did re-check flights from Edinburgh & discovered a flight avoiding LCY/LGW as well as a BA transatlantic flight. It saved us $512 dollars & the change from Glasgow to Edinburgh was easy.

Thanks to all for your comments, suggestions.