Please sign in to post.

American Airlines changed my flights-now very tight connection-worried!

I originally booked my flights back in December. BNA-PHL-Prague. There were 2 options out of BNA, and I deliberately chose the early flight, giving us a 3+ hour layover in PHL before our flight to Prague. I figured we could eat, walk around etc. Anywho...they have since canceled the first flight and put us on the 2nd one (that I did not want), which has a 55 minute layover. And we are in row 25(!). This makes me extremely nervous. We were already planning to do all carry-on but now that seems even more important. Am I worrying over nothing or is a less than an hour connection for an international flight a bit tight? Obviously, any delays will be bad for us...I don't think we have any other options. Last year, our Delta flight from BNA to JFK was canceled and we had to postpone our Italy trip by an entire day, miss out on a tour I had planned, and it was a huge bummer. So, I am a bit anxious about travel delays now...anyone have any reassurance about this short connection? Is this no big deal? Or should I call AA and see if there is anything they can do? I looked and we can move to row 7 (for $15 each-$60 total). Should I do that? I don't know if that would make a difference if our flight was delayed.

Posted by
6750 posts

I assume this has never happened to you before, so I can assure you that it is routine for airlines to fiddle with schedules which can result in unacceptable outcomes for the passenger. It is all automated and done via computer algorithms, so there is no ill-will (or a live human) involved here. Absolutely, you should get on the phone with American Airlines and get an alternative itinerary locked down. Look online first and have one in mind, including the exact flight numbers. Yes, they are obligated to help you when there is a substantial change in your itinerary - it's in their contract (terms of carriage).

Do not wring your hands over this or become stressed - just get on the phone with them and ask them to make it right. A 55 minute connection in Philly is inadequate for an international flight. This is routine stuff, happened to me multiple times. Once, I became so fed up with the multiple schedule changes from American Airlines that I cancelled the ticket for free and rebooked (for a cheaper fare) with another airline. Other times, I actually made out much better than the original itinerary so there was a silver lining after all..

Posted by
634 posts

I've had flights changed or cancelled lots of times. The one time the change made my connection uncomfortably close, I called the airline and they put us on a more convenient itinerary at no cost.

Posted by
5657 posts

Yes, call American. Similar thing happened to my with AAdvantage award travel. (I used American award miles to book Horizon/Alaska flights). Agent (real person) was accommodating in rebooking to flights meeting my needs within the constraint of flights available.

Posted by
745 posts

What Agnes (and everyone else) said!

Do your research checking alternative flights and have options for the changes you want written down before calling American. They are obligated to accommodate you for no additional charge after they initiated the schedule change adversely affecting you. You may well be able to score a better schedule and perhaps better seat locations. Just be prepared before calling, and be calm, patient and pleasant with the agent whose job is to help you.

This happened to us last year, when Aer Lingus canceled our original flight to Venice. Unfortunately, they only have one daily flight from Dublin to Venice. We ended up leaving a day earlier and having an extra day in Venice. The agents I dealt with bent over backwards to assist me. We've had similar things happen on domestic flights, as well, and we've always been able to rearrange things with no additional fees.

Good luck.

Posted by
2516 posts

Happens all the time and they will fix it for you. Look to see what other flights to PHL there are and ask to be put on the earlier one. If there isn’t an earlier one you can ask if there is a flight to Prague out of another airport and a decent connection to that one. They are flexible and will work with you on that. If not you are entitled to cancel with a full refund, which you should do as last resort if you can find a good set-up on another airline.

If you get an uncooperative person at AA then get off the call and call back to get someone else.

Posted by
1133 posts

I always get on the AA website and look up the seating chart for our flight when our flights have been changed. I would change seats to get near the front and get someone in your party to dash to the departing flight's gate and let them know the rest of your party will arrive momentarily. If you are delayed, the gate agent will usually make an exception and get you on the flight. There is an air travel forum on tripadvisor.com that can also give great advice on airline shenanigans that make your flights more adventuresome.

Posted by
1178 posts

The schedule change is more than 60 minutes. That means you have the right to reject it. The airline will have to either give you a flight you accept or they refund your money.

I would also check to see the minimum connection time for international flights in PHL. It could be that 55 minutes is under the “legal” minimum. The computer could be treating this as a domestic connection and thinking 55 min is “legal”. But international flights board earlier due to passport checks.

Are the flights in the same terminal?

Who is doing the PHL to Prague flight? Is it a code share? You may be able to advocate for another way to Prague without going through PHL.

I would push back hard on this. Call American and reject the new flight. Tell them you want a different one. They can’t force you to accept this flight.

Posted by
1178 posts

You may want to check FlightStats for on time performance.

It looks like the BNA-PHL leg has a very very poor on time performance. That’s another reason to push back.

I also noticed that it arrives in terminal F. According to other sources this will add 15 minutes on to your transit time.

Posted by
4524 posts

George - Respectfully, that is very poor advice in this case. The 55 minute layover is extremely tight for an international flight, even if it is on time. And even a 15 minute delay would end any chance of making the connection. Plus this is an international flight for them to start their vacation - missing it is not a good thing at all.

The other's advice to simply get AA to rebook you on a different flight is the right, and simple approach.

Posted by
8426 posts

Also to keep in mind is that International flights often will start to board 55-60 minutes before departure time, so this flight may be boarding before you deplane. Just wanted to add that so you will have another statement to use with the AA representative when you call.

As others indicate, check your other options so you will be knowledgeable when you call. You may need to go with routing thru a different airport as last time.

I like a 2.5-3 hour layover as well. Gives you time in case you've got a delay and also time to hydrate, make a couple of comfort stops and get some snacks for the plane!

Posted by
441 posts

Wow, I was not expecting these replies-thank you and now I am really anxious and feel like I have to change my flights.

Just got off the phone with AA agent, not any options that were as good as what we had, but these are the best of the bunch:
1) take 7 am direct flight BNA-PHL, arrive at 10 am, sit in PHL until ~6 pm (8 hour connection). (Our Prague flight leaves at 6:25 pm.
2) take 9:55 flight with connection in CLT. Depart BNA 9:55, arrive 12:26, CLT-PHL, 1:05-2:44 pm (3+ hour connection)

The AA guy did not mention this one but I see it online, so it could maybe work-
3) BNA 11:05 -1:39 CLT, CLT 2:40 -4:23 PHL. (2 hour connection)

So...what do you think we should do? What would YOU do? I greatly prefer direct flights but 7 am?? That means we leave for the airport by 5 am, with a full day of travel ahead of us. I am leaning toward the 9:55 flight, but I am unhappy with all of it. So much for my leisurely morning of a nice meal and some last minute packing... :(

I have already checked and I can't get us there for any cheaper than what I paid. I don't know what other options I have. He was not receptive to upgrades for my trouble. lol.

Posted by
1886 posts

Ferrin,
I agree with the others that advise calling American. If you don't get thru this week, if you are not leaving in the next month, try again after the big snow storm on the Northeast coast clears a bit (as you can imagine all the people dealing with cancelled flights right now).

It seems half the time I book flights we wind up having a time change (or worse yet for those of us in Nashville) or a two-leg journey gets changed to a three-leg journey by the airline (with an additional routing thru Atlanta to JFK or Newark), meaning either super tight connections or a much longer travel day. And, as you know, typically the international flights start loading 45 minutes to 50 minutes ahead of time, so there likely would be no overhead space left at all if you tried to make a 55-minute connection.

But, in addition to seeking a better routing (agree, check the airline's web site and select a routing that is agreeable for you), also ask for seat locations that are reasonable and similar to what you originally booked. It's always good to be oh-so-kind when talking with the airline reps, and if a rep can't help, often a supervisor can. Just kindly explain that you selected flights with good connect times and that you booked early to have a good choice of seats.

Hopefully the airline notified you of the change...I typically find out about changes just by routinely checking my flight on line every so often leading up to the trip. Typically, though, it seems nothing is really nailed down until about 60 days before a trip, when final routing decisions are made. It can be even worse if you are traveling with someone who is under a different record locator number (such as if one person booked directly and one person booked with credit card miles, etc). Once my spouse and I were rebooked on two different flights...I randomly discovered just by checking our reservations on line; but that quickly got worked out with a call to the airline.

Good luck, and have a great time on your trip.

Posted by
489 posts

Ferrin,
I do not understand what you are talking about. AA has 3 flights from BNA to PHL. The last one arrives at 3ish in the afternoon. The flight from PHL to Prague doesn't leave until 6:25 PM. That seems like more than adequate time to transfer in PHL. I think of PHL as a rather small airport as I'm use to Chicago ORD.
I have to say I am floored at how many direct flights are from Philly to Prague.
We flew from Philly direct to Germany last year and it was so easy (however the signage in Philly airport could be improved.)
I have had experience with BA with a very tight connecting at Heathrow and they did hold the plane for us as it was a "legal" flight transfer... Heathrow is my nemesis... If I can avoid, I will.
Talk to someone at AA and let them know your hesitations.

Posted by
441 posts

Yes, they did advise us of the change, and yes, there are other ways to get to PHL...just none that are as ideal as what we had, which was direct, departing at noon, with a 3 hour layover. I am sure it will work out, just with more inconvenience. I may have overstated that we didn't have other options, clearly, we do. Sorry was just freaking out a bit.

Our trip is in May, so no real, immediate rush.

Thanks all, appreciate your feedback/advice.

Posted by
8426 posts

Well, your rush is that you need to get seats before others re-book them.

I would probably go with the 8 hour layover. I fly from a teeny airport and usually have to leave at 515A to connect in SLC to another flight so 7A sounds like sleeping late, hahaha! If you add segments you just increase your risk of encountering problems, in my view.

You can probably purchase a pass to the AA lounge in PHL.

BTW, the longest layover I've had was 9 hours in SLC. Coming back from Paris. That was a long day and yes, I should have purchased a pass!

Posted by
6570 posts

Looks as if you have the choice of American through Philly, Delta through JFK or British Airways non-stop to London Heathrow connecting into Praha. They are all priced about the same.

Posted by
3841 posts

I've had some long layovers in JFK because flights were changed to short connection time, but I'd rather sit in an airport for several hours than risk the chance of missing my starting time in Europe. Reschedule, bring a good book and anticipate a great trip!

Posted by
441 posts

Well, I cannot get another flight for the price I paid in December so rebooking on another airline is not an option for us. It is either 7 am direct or 9:55 with connection. I'll ask my family what they think. I can probably call tomorrow and change it. There is another flight w/ a connection, but I will not fly through Chicago...no way no how.

Posted by
2516 posts

As unpleasant as it is Id go with the very long layover. A connecting flight to Philly means more chance of cancellations or delays. Better to just get there. I don’t know what’s available at PHL but maybe you could get a day-use hotel room or a lounge pass. Or just sit and read at a restaurant or elsewhere. It’s not that bad, to me better than the stress of tight connections.

Posted by
6750 posts

Well, I cannot get another flight for the price I paid in December so
rebooking on another airline is not an option for us.

You're looking at this the wrong way. The price you paid in December is immaterial and you should ignore it when selecting substitutes. The price is only as good as the same exact itinerary you selected. Once the airline changed your itinerary, they're responsible for any price difference. Otherwise, they'd be changing itineraries all the time in an effort to extort more fares from folks (not that this doesn't happen for people who simply don't know better or are too fearful/stressed to get a proper change made in their itinerary). The new flight only needs to conform the same fare class of ticket you bought (they have letters that correspond to fare categories). I've had on AA agent tell me they couldn't do something or threaten to charge me more, I just said no thanks and called back and talked to a more helpful person.

I'd cancel the flight and get my money back if my only alternative was an 8 hour layover in Philly. Hopefully, that's not the case.

Posted by
441 posts

Agnes-does that only apply to AA flights though? The agent mentioned a British Airways option but it arrived very late, causing us to miss a whole day. The only better options at this point as far as number of stops and departure time are on other airlines, and while I can cancel my AA flight, it makes no sense if it will cost me an arm and a leg to get there on another airline. Maybe I am missing something?

Posted by
6750 posts

What was wrong with this option? Did AA say no or something?

The AA guy did not mention this one but I see it online, so it could
maybe work- 3) BNA 11:05 -1:39 CLT, CLT 2:40 -4:23 PHL. (2 hour
connection)

I'm not sure what you mean by whether it only applies to AA flights. Whether they have a codeshare partner or not doesn't matter..you're buying an entire itinerary through them so they should be able change it to a more favorable one (or you cancel the ticket and find another alternative).

Posted by
181 posts

I'd suck it up and take the long layover.......PHL isn't a huge airport in comparison to places like JFK or ORD but going from end to end there in only 55 minutes is a recipe for disaster.

Posted by
1886 posts

Ferrin,
Not having your specific travel date(s), I just randomly checked American's web site (I think I plugged in May 7....or a date around that time). There is a plane that leaves BNA around 8:25 pm, to London, then connects to Prague arriving around 4PM something the next day. THAT is the flight I would choose. Granted London, I understand, is not the easiest airport in the world, but it avoids those long connections (and for me that's what really is exhausting on the overseas flights, regardless of whether we are in business class or economy comfort, have access to the cushy Admirals Club or not.............a long connect is just more time that you are awake, which allows more jet-lag to set in.

What's nice about this flight is that you would have just about all day to pack, etc., and you would be leaving for a direct flight, have dinner on board, and then be able to fall asleep at your normal sleeping time, and arrive at a time that you would normally be waking up (but you would still have the time zone to change to deal with once you land). But, if you can go in a day early, then you would have time to let your body adjust before heaving touring, etc.

It's a British Air flight (code shares with AA), and you probably remember hearing in our local Nashville media a couple of months ago, British Air is now offering a direct flight to London. Hopefully that option is available to you on the day you want to travel. Just call American,talk with a supervisor (again, time it for when they are not covered up with calls about cancelled flights due to the big snow storm).

Good luck.

Posted by
1239 posts

Philly is not a large airport but 55 min for this transfer will not work. One post above said the OP was arriving at Terminal F. All international flights are out of Terminal A. I5 min would be a push to get from F to A. Then he has to to through passport check and will have to go through security. There is no way from F to A staying inside security. That alone could easily kill 55 min.

Posted by
2488 posts

An 8 hour layover sucks but the option with connections means those flights must be on time. If they are not, you overnight in Philly and miss day one. If you can’t get a better option see if you can get lounge passes (buy them if you need to) and just hang for eight hours. There’s a Philly cheesesteak and a soft pretzel in your future....

Posted by
1886 posts

P.S. Re: the connection thru Charlotte, NC, I don't think I would be comfortable with that tight of a connection thru Charlotte. I haven't flown back and forth to Charlotte in many years, but seems I recall the planes used were small regional jets.........and those jets (it seems) don't get first priority for take off (so there is the risk of a delay, due to mechanical, weather or any number of things). Anytime you can avoid yet another connection (staying with one or two-leg flights) that's best. Unfortunately BNA's only direct flight to Europe is the British Air (AA partner) to London, at this time. Lucky are our fellow Forum members who live close to major international hubs.

Posted by
2716 posts

Referring to your post you made at 2:15 PM, I'd choose option 1:
1) take 7 am direct flight BNA-PHL, arrive at 10 am, sit in PHL until ~6 pm (8 hour connection). (Our Prague flight leaves at 6:25 pm.)

It would be important enough for me to get to the airport and get on this flight that I would skip breakfast (they'll serve you something on this flight) and not worry about the discomfort of getting up early.

Do not underestimate the impact of Nashville rush hour traffic on your journey to the airport.

The fact that you have a long layover in Philly would not be a factor for me, because once you are there, you are set for your flight to Prague. There's plenty to do in the airport. get a meal, browse the bookstore or newsstand, read a book or newspaper.

Any discomfort of getting up early and getting to the airport will be outweighed by the calm you will feel sitting in the airport at Philly knowing there's no way you'll miss your flight to Prague.

Posted by
441 posts

LOL Rebecca-spoken like a Nashvillian!

Do not underestimate the impact of Nashville rush hour traffic on your journey to the airport.

Luckily (?) we are leaving on a Saturday so no rush hour worries. I am also leaning more heavily to the 7 am flight. I suppose we could eat a leisurely brunch there.

I am also considering asking AA about the British Airways flight the next time I call, but we would have to leave the night before since flights get in to Prague a bit late for me (8pm and later), but it is not a huge problem if I can add a night to our Prague B&B.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I do appreciate input from those that are more experienced travelers than myself.

Posted by
2716 posts

Hello ferrin! Yes, it's the traffic we all dread! Haha!
Lucky you, leaving on a Saturday so no rush hour.

You may want to give some thought to Maggie's post at 3:43, about the flight to London and flying on from there. Don't know if it would work for you.

Posted by
1178 posts

One silver lining for the 7 am flight - you will get your body clock on European Time one day earlier!

5:30 AM Nashville time is 11:30 AM Prague time.

Posted by
2488 posts

A one day pass to the Admirals Club in PHL is $59. I would call AA and politely let them know that since they changed your flight, gave you a connection you can’t possibly make forcing you to change to that 7AM flight, you’d appreciate a couple of day passes complimentary. What’s the worst. They can say? No, right. I’d go to a supervisor if that’s the case. If still no the price is well worth it to be in a place that is quiet(er) has food, comfortable seating and (usually) much cleaner bathrooms.

Posted by
1610 posts

And don't hesitate to keep calling back until you get something you can live with. Most of us have these stories and one common thread that gets a good resolution is to keep calling uuntil what you need.

Coming from the West Coast we've done the long layovers with the lounge pass.

Posted by
441 posts

I'm on hold waiting to see if they will re-book us on the BNA-LHR, LHR-PRG...we would leave the night before we originally planned, and arrive a day earlier (but late in the day), and this option was chosen as my family's favorite option...and one extra night in Prague!

Update: They put us on the flights (yay), but could not give us seat assignments because it is British Airways (boo). I am not so worried about where we will sit except my daughter is 12 and I want to sit with her. Do you think this will be a problem? I can contact BA but idk if they will assign us seats or not...?

Posted by
2488 posts

Wait until the ticket is issued, this may take several hours. Then BA will have your record and you can call them and request seats. I’ve flown BA as recently as last summer and getting an assigned seat cost additional dollars so get ready for some sticker shock.

Posted by
441 posts

Thanks Alan-I will wait and then call them. I wonder how much to get a seat...I just love flying these days lol. It's one adventure after another!

Posted by
441 posts

Thank you. So I checked and it looks like $158 is the cheapest way to get us seated together on the overseas leg of the trip LOL. I suppose in the grand scheme of this trip, it's a small amount...

Posted by
415 posts

I never pay for seats but lately BA has gotten bad about seating families together if they don't pay for seat assignments. I would pay to make sure I was seated with my kids.

Posted by
2488 posts

It’s highway robbery. But they have the gun, you have the cash. It sucks. We paid a pretty penny for their version of premium economy and still had to pay for seats together. No consolation I know. Anyway, put this all behind you and have a great trip!

Posted by
1352 posts

Glad you got it changed Ferrin:). We pay for seat assignments. I always check seat guru and with just two of us try to get a set of two seats by themselves if possible.

Posted by
745 posts

Think of the many thousands of dollars you're spending on this trip. Then think of all the things in your life that cost $158. Pay the man and don't look back. Hope you have a great trip!

Posted by
12400 posts

An eight hour layover in Philly would be new to me since I'm not at all familiar with that airport, I might also reject that option. But a 5 hour layover in Seattle was just fine, the longest I've had so far, ... would not have mind if it had been 6 hrs.

Posted by
441 posts

Thanks all! I sucked it up and paid to get us seats together on the BNA-LHR trip. Wasn’t worth the risk. And good news from the B&B, we can start our stay there one night early. The kids are excited to fly to London even if it’s just the airport for 6 hours :) and we will now have 3 full days in Prague, hopefully with less jetlag. Thanks for all your help, you guys rock!

Posted by
1886 posts

Ferrin,
I'm so glad it all worked out for you, and also good to hear your family will all be seated together......that does make a difference on long flights.

IF you had paid for seat assignments on AA, perhaps AA will refund the original seat-selection fees you paid on AA? Worth asking, as long as they assure you it won't mess up your British Air tickets (shouldn't).

I think you will be glad to not have that L O N G layover. We've flown a lot, and it is the multiple and long layovers (if over 4 hours) that truly do exhaust me.

Re: Nashville traffic, hopefully evening traffic will have cleared before you head to the airport. But, always have that back-up route ready. Often we will even avoid getting on the interstate entirely en route to the airport so as not get stuck behind one of the all-too-frequent closures of entire sides of the interstate due to a bad accident (luckily we have a decent alternative route where we live).

Have a wonderful, safe trip!! Maybe the kids will find a fun London item to buy at the airport gift shops, and at least they will get to hear the airport announcements in that charming English accent and find that "jolly good fun."

Posted by
1217 posts

Agnes-does that only apply to AA flights though? The agent mentioned a British Airways option

For further reference and readers, AA and BA are both members of the Oneworld airline alliance and trough code sharing agreements, each airline can book people onto the other airline's planes.

Posted by
853 posts

ferrin,

I didn't chime in before because I had no useful info on your flights. I also would have paid for seat assignments to sit my family together.

I have 2 thoughts; I would love to see a trip report when you return. Would love to hear what you and each of the family thought of the trip. Don't know where all you are going but I hope it's a Great Trip!

My second thought is that an extra night in Europe is not a bad thing! And a 3rd thought is that after your family hears that British accent at Heathrow, they're going to start planning the next trip and include England.
Have fun.
Mimi

Posted by
441 posts

Thanks Maggie-we will definitely plan to be at BNA early, as it will be rush hour when we are heading there (8:20 flight). We have many back road options to get to the airport so hopefully it won't be too bad. I didn't pay extra for my seats on AA, so I doubt there is anything to refund. I will try to save $ in other ways ;) We do have 6 hours in LHR, but after an 8 hour flight, hopefully we won't mind stretching our legs and having a leisurely lunch, maybe some shopping lol. I have seen that some people go to Windsor with a long LHR layover but I don't know if I'd be up for that.

Mimi-you are so sweet! I think we will find ways to keep busy for 6 hours in Heathrow, and my son actually wanted to go to London originally but we decided to save it for another trip, so maybe London will be next, now that there is a direct from Nashville :) Since you mentioned it, we are going to Prague (4N), Germany (6N: Nuremburg, Bacharach) and ending in Amsterdam(3N). I will definitely do a trip report. I have had so much help from RS travelers on planning this trip!

Thanks again, I feel much better today than I did yesterday!

Posted by
6570 posts

Ferrin: You have picked the best alternative way to Prague. And as an exWilliamson County guy, I too used to have alternative routes to BNA.
I don't known it you have made arrangements on accommodations, but let me say a few words about Bacharach where I have spent the night 3 times. It is a great place to spend a night or two, but it is not a destination since the town is hardly 1/2 mile long. Watching the cruise boats gliding by in the Rhine River makes for a relaxing afternoon.
Lookup Bavaria Ben and he has a good narrative on Bacharach and the B&Bs there. There is not a bad place to stay in town. An interesting and good restaurant is in the Hotel Kranenturn where Kurt and Fatima will take care of you. I wouldn't stay there again as the trains run 15 ft. away while you're trying to sleep. Built in 1588, it is starting to show its age.

Posted by
2488 posts

Great that you got this all straightened out! When you board and hear the sweet British accents it’s like you are there already! The food on the other hand....take some snacks. As for the 6 hours in Heathrow: don’t leave! You really don’t have the time. Plenty of dining, shopping, etc. and you have to navigate a very large airport.

Posted by
441 posts

Thanks David! We live in WillCo, actually. Nashville is more recognizable than Brentwood, so I claim to be in Nashville :)

I have already reserved a quad room at Altkölnischer Hof in Bacharach, and I think we will enjoy some slower paced days on the Rhine. I will certainly check out the restaurant you mentioned, I also want to try Cafe Rusticana while we are there. Any other recommendations? One day we will do a Rhine cruise and see Marksburg and the other day I want to do a hike and/or bike ride, weather permitting. :) I also want to walk around Oberwesel and Boppard.

Posted by
224 posts

Glad you got rebooked. I hope the new BA flight from BNA to LHR is a success (I live in Murfreesboro).

Posted by
8426 posts

Ferrin, I, too, am so very happy that things have worked out!

Now...I would be checking my reservations every week from now until departure just to make sure there are no other changes!

Posted by
2716 posts

Ferrin,
So great that you have this straightened out and plans made! Happy for you.
Heathrow airport has many restaurants and shops so you won't lack something to do while you wait.
Here's a guide to Terminal 5. This may be the terminal for your arrival, I don't know.
You can click on the other terminals at the left of the page.
Or scroll through the shops and restaurants at the bottom of the page.
https://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/terminal-5

One great restaurant that has something for every member of the family is Giraffe.
Salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes and child's plates. It's not break the bank expensive.
Check out the menu here:
https://www.heathrow.com/shops-and-restaurants/restaurants-a-z/giraffe

Caffe Nero is a coffee shop found in each terminal; 2,3,4, and 5.
Very good coffee.
Costa is a coffee shop also.
Both shops have pastries.

Harrod's has a small shop in each terminal. Fun to browse.
https://www.heathrow.com/shops-and-restaurants/shops-a-z/harrods
There is a place to click for a map of where each shop is.

Hamley's, a very good toy store, is well-represented with a couple of shops.
The main store in London is something to see when you return.

Hope this website helps you find your way around.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
441 posts

Thanks Rebecca, for those LHR suggestions! Sounds like we will have a few decent options for shopping and eating :)
And thank you to everyone who took time to reply, what a nice community!

I will be checking my schedule to make sure it stays put and I will also be watching for reports when the BNA-LHR nonstop begins service in May. Maybe I will be one of the first RS forum peeps to take it? If anyone else does, please let me know how it goes. We know BNA pretty well, and honestly, an hour early is the most I've ever needed for a flight, security is 5-10 minutes usually, maybe 15 on a busy day. But those were all domestic. I was thinking 2 hours would be enough for this one, but of course, we will be there as early as possible. I will have to fight against my last-minute packing nature!

Posted by
8426 posts

Ahhhh...packing....my favorite subject!! 🤣.

Are you doing anything tomorrow? Or this weekend? I recommend a trial packing session. Down to your toiletries and purse! I am not kidding!

Take notes, make a list. This way you wont be chunking stuff into your suitcase like a mad woman.

Also, set aside time the day before you depart to pack and get it done with your case ready to go before you go to bed.

In general International flights start boarding 50-60 minutes before departure. Each passenger needs to have their passport checked at the boarding gate so it takes longer. You’ll also likely have to have your passport checked at the check in desk, particularly if you check luggage. (Yeesh how many times can I use check in a sentence??) Some report being able to print out boarding passes at home as you would for domestic but for some reason I’m never able to do that. Don’t panic if you can’t print them out. That’s why you may need extra time.

Posted by
2262 posts

Pam, now if you were chess player with a game going on a pocket set while you were checking in....

Posted by
441 posts

Thanks Pam!, very helpful advice! I will do a packing run through but probably nearer to the trip, I’m still collecting clothes for us. The early summer weather in Germany is harder to pack for than Italy!
And (drumroll) I just bought myself an Osprey Porter 30 (with 30% off!) so I want to wait until it arrives.

My goal is to be fully packed a full day before departure. But I like to start piling stuff the days/weeks beforehand.

Posted by
5011 posts

Here's a good one: I got email yesterday from United. We are flying home from Warsaw to Seattle in July. Warsaw to Chicago to Seattle. We booked this trip last fall. United just canceled our connecting flight from Chicago to Seattle. Their computer moved us to their last flight of the day from Chicago to Seattle. Unfortunately, that flight departs 5 minutes after our longhaul flight from Warsaw arrives - a 5 minute connection. And we have to clear immigration there in Chicago. Riiiiight...

Obviously, that isn't going to work.

I called them and was able to get them to switch our routing around a bit, and ended up with better flights than we had originally. It's worth doing your homework - I researched what flights there were, and had a "proposed solution to suggest" when I called. They did exactly what I asked for, even though they had to bend a rule a tiny bit. A good outcome overall.

Posted by
996 posts

I'm glad that it worked out for you. We just flew BA on a connecting flight, and I paid to make sure we were sitting together. When seat selection is important, I'd rather pay up front than worry about it until it's almost time to board the flight.

I wish the BNA - LHR flight were already active. It would have saved me money + the connection time at JFK, but at least we have something to look forward to in the future.

Have a great trip!!

Posted by
441 posts

Here's a good one: I got email yesterday from United. We are flying home from Warsaw to Seattle in July. Warsaw to Chicago to Seattle. We booked this trip last fall. United just canceled our connecting flight from Chicago to Seattle. Their computer moved us to their last flight of the day from Chicago to Seattle. Unfortunately, that flight departs 5 minutes after our longhaul flight from Warsaw arrives - a 5 minute connection. And we have to clear immigration there in Chicago. Riiiiight...

Obviously, that isn't going to work.

I called them and was able to get them to switch our routing around a bit, and ended up with better flights than we had originally. It's worth doing your homework - I researched what flights there were, and had a "proposed solution to suggest" when I called. They did exactly what I asked for, even though they had to bend a rule a tiny bit. A good outcome overall.

Ok David--that is nuts! They actually ticketed you for a 5 minute connection! SMH. But I am glad you got an even better flight situation. It does help to do some research, I have learned my lesson well!

aquamarinesteph-I hope this flight (BNA-LHR) is just the first of many direct flights overseas from Nashville!

Posted by
925 posts

It's worth doing your homework - I researched what flights there were, and had a "proposed solution to suggest" when I called. They did exactly what I asked for, even though they had to bend a rule a tiny bit. A good outcome overall.

For anyone reading this, I can't stress enough the importance of what was written above--when you are calling because of a schedule change, have the solutions you would like ready to go and feed it to the phone agent. They will be much happier not having to look things up, it will go much quicker, and so long as whatever schedule change prompted your call falls within the airline in question's guidelines for a change, things will go much easier.