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London Heathrow AIrport 1 Hour Layover

I am a relatively new traveler. Went to Ireland in May 2017. The airfare intinerary was terrible. Not even going to talk about that one. Went with my girlfriend. I then went to London in November 2017. Flew British Airways non-stop from New Orleans, Louisiana. Great flight. Will fly British Airways for now on.

My question...I am taking the Best of Germany 13 day tour in May 2018. Flying direct to London from New Orleans on British Airways. Then London to Hamburg. British Airways changed both flights. They pushed back my New Orleans to London flight by 30 minutes. It lands in London at 12:30 pm. I had planned a 3 1/2 layover in London Heathrow so I could relax, get something to eat and drink. British Airways canceled the 3:35 flight to Hamburg and moved me up to the 1:35 pm flight. That gives me 65 minutes to make the connecting flight. Is this enough time to make the connecting flight? I land in Terminal 5 and depart out of Terminal 5.

I am kind of nervous about the limited time. I have double titanium hips, so I am probably going to be moving slower than normal because of sitting on a 9 hour flight. Heathrow is a long walk. So, I got to go through security again in Heathrow and those guys just love to slow down people like me that have titanium. It's an adventure.

British Airways canceled the two later flights. I can't believe they canceled the two later flights. Any feedback is much appreciated.

Thanks.

Posted by
5538 posts

I would not feel comfortable with that connection time. I would ask BA for a later flight. If it meant spending the night at an airport hotel and then flying into Hamburg the next morning, I would choose that over trying for a 65 minute connection. I hate to feel stressed and rushed so it would be worth it to me.

Posted by
4957 posts

FYI, the UK isn't in the Schengen Area. So if you fly into Heathrow, you should not have to go through immigration or passport control at all. So that connection may be easier than you imagine - like a US domestic flight connection, but you will have to go through security:

https://www.britishairways.com/assets/pdfs/information/airport-information/lhr-connections/LHR-flight-connections-Terminal-5-toTerminal-5-intl.pdf

BA can also provide electric buggies for connections within Terminal 5:

https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/airport-information/flight-connections

But I believe BA will refund your fare now if you want to cancel because of the changes they have made. Are you saying there is no BA flight at all on that day to Hamburg after the 1:35pm flight, even if it is much later in the day? They should book you on that later flight if you miss the connection, at their expense. Not great to spend all day at Heathrow - but at least it would get you there. I suppose there's some chance you might not get out that day if all other flights are booked up. (Would they put you on another airline e.g. Eurowings? Not sure.) But BA should book you on a later BA flight (if there is one) automatically if your inbound flight is delayed too late to make the connection, though, if there's a seat.

Still, nothing to lose to go back and see now if there's a better option on other airlines to Hamburg - maybe not even through London anymore, assuming BA would refund your fare (call them and ask of course before booking something else) and you were starting from scratch.

Posted by
8851 posts

I would contact BA to discuss the new connection, and to find out what they will do should you miss the connection.

Also ask what sort of 'golf cart' transport they can arrange to get you from the 1st to 2nd flight as you have a mobility issue.

65 minutes sounds scary short to me.

Posted by
7 posts

Carol, Andrew and Joe:

Thanks. I appreciate it. I will call British Airways and talk to them about this. I was beginning to think I could handle the 65 minute layover and figured BA would put me on a later flight if I missed. I double checked Expedia as I was typing the first message and noticed the later flights disappeared.

True. I don't have to go through immigration and passport control, but the security check point is enough to slow me down. I thought about the electric buggies as well. But Heathrow has a lot of escalators and so on and so on, and I did not think an electric buggy would be able help.

I am glad I asked !!

Kevin

Posted by
4736 posts

Minimum connection time at Heathrow for BA T5-T5 on a single ticket is 60 minutes.

However, you need to be at the front of security 35 minutes before the departure time so need to be brisk.

You most likely will arrive at one of the satellites (B or C) and depart from the main building (A), although there is no certainty in this. So you will need to go back to the main terminal. If by any chance both of your flights are at one of the satellites then you won't need to go back to A, just clear security at the satellite of your departure.

Although the security in the main terminal is not dedicated to transfers, there is another which is dedicated to passengers starting from LHR so you aren't in with everyone.

If you arrive late and are fairly sue you won't make it, see the BA desk in the transfer area. They may even meet you.

Posted by
8851 posts

Check the BA site as well, to verify what the flight schedule is for your date

I would not solely trust expedia

Posted by
28131 posts

be sure to check on the BA website or app rather than a third party.

Posted by
11454 posts

Did you book this on expedia? If so, you may need to deal with Expedia rather than BA.

Still, call British Airways and see if they will change the flight. If not, tell them you have mobility issues and could they assist you with the transfer. They will either send a wheelchair or electric cart for you and whisk you through the process including security.

I went to the BA website and found later flights from LHR to HAM. I didn't know the exact date you're flying to I can't tell what is available. Expedia doesn't always show all flights.

Posted by
6802 posts

I always assume it will take 10-20 minutes just to get off the plane, especially if you are towards the rear.

Posted by
13223 posts

Wheelchair assistance is appropriate for those who actually cannot walk far, ut is rarely helpful in speeding up the transfer. Passengers who request the assistance are generally the last ones off the plane. And the attendants do not push the chair faster than normal walking speed. They may have to wait for the elevators. And some BA flights from the US arrive at a remote stand and passengers are bussed to T5. That occurred on our most recent flight (last September) from SJC on a 787.

Electric carts, as noted, are not helpful because of all the escalators in that terminal.

If the flight was booked through Expedia, that is who must handle any change request. Do check the actual BA website first for correct flight times. Also consider whether there are nearby airports with better flight schedules that one could fly into, with a train transfer to Hamburg.

However, since it is still a legal connection, they may not be willing or able to change it without a fee. And since you are on one ticket, I am not convinced that it is necessary. Rather than pick a much later flight now and be locked into that, you could just keep the existing flight and try to make it. If your plane lands late you will know that is not possible, and you can stop at the BA transfer desk upon deplaning to have them set up an alternative, which they are bound to do.

But if it would give you greater peace of mind to change to a later flight, do contact the booking company ( BA or Expedia) and discuss your options.

Posted by
3656 posts

Agree totally with Carol. I would not feel comfortable with only an hour to make a connection either. Going over to Hamburg a day before the tour starts would be one way to approach it. Or, if you can get a longer connection time (even six or seven hours) you might want to consider that. Better, in my opinion, to perhaps be bored for a while than start a vacation stressed out about a connection.

Posted by
2930 posts

You will need to go back through passport control and then security even if landing at and leaving from Terminal 5. On good days I've made it off the plane and back into the terminal in about 45 minutes, but then you need to get to the gate. If you book a seat at the front of your travel class that will help or try the wheelchair route so you bump ahead of the line at PPC? I hope you ordered the tickets through BA versus Expedia. Or, enjoy a nice overnight at the Sofitel Heathrow, which is attached to terminal 5 and pamper yourself.

Posted by
13223 posts

No, you do not need to go through passport control when connecting to a flight to Germany at T5. Luggage, if checked, will be checked through to Hamburg. (Perhaps Wray is thinking of a connection to a flight within the U.K., as those do route through passport control because you will enter the U.K. to get to that gate).

You will go through security. We just did this in September, flying to Munich on BA. No passport control until,we arrived in Munich.

You can see the flight connection path on the Heathrow website:

https://www.heathrow.com/flight-connections/personal-connection-planner/BA224/BA974/17-MAY-2018/17-MAY-2018/5/6B

The next flight to Hamburg, after the 13:35 one, is at 19:25, which means a 7-hour wait and arrival in Hamburg at 22:40.

If you decide to keep your existing flight, I suggest you pay to select your seat now, and get an aisle seat as far forward in your travel class as you can. This will hasten your exit from the plane.

Posted by
3353 posts

I am kind of nervous about the limited time. I have double titanium
hips, so I am probably going to be moving slower than normal because
of sitting on a 9 hour flight. Heathrow is a long walk. So, I got to
go through security again in Heathrow and those guys just love to slow
down people like me that have titanium. It's an adventure.

British Airways canceled the two later flights. I can't believe they
canceled the two later flights. Any feedback is much appeciated.

Here is my feedback: It is completely understandable that you are nervous about this new tight connection particularly since you planned well yet BA themselves canceled flights that bring you to this tight connection just within "legal" limits. If you need to move quickly to make your connection, doing so with double titanium hips I suspect will make that impossible.

Unless BA has another flight to LHR from MSY, you're stuck on their one nonstop flight per day to LHR. Unless you can deal between now and your departure date with the anxiety caused by the risk of missing your connecting flight, I'd change your second flight to the one much later in the day so you can guarantee that you have a seat to Hamburg. That change should be at no cost to you. When you describe the situation about your hips, there shouldn't be an issue. If you do get a rep who won't comply, ask to speak to a manager to get it done.

If you don't change the connecting flight to Hamburg and miss your connection, that later connecting flight might already be filled up and you'll be stuck waiting for the next available flight to Hamburg the next day or later. BA won't pay for your hotel accommodations if you miss your connection within their "legal" timeframe.

So how much risk can you tolerate between now and then?

Posted by
7 posts

You guys are amazing. I got on the phone with Expedia this morning. The 7:25 pm flight is on the BA site but not Expedia. I changed the flight to 7:25 pm. I can't think about this kind of problem for five months, not to mention the stress at the start of this trip. Expedia did a good job accommodating me. I was on the phone with them for 70 minutes. Expedia put me on hold while they contacted BA direct. BA policy is to charge a $275 policy, but I told the customer service rep there is no way I can make it to the next gate in 65 minutes due to my limitations. Made it clear to them that this was not my fault b/c I would never have booked the 2nd leg of the journey that close to the first leg of the journey. BA agreed to the waive the $275 fee for a medical reason. So, there is a 7:25 pm flight and that is the way I am going. I can handle the 6 hour layover.

I actually believed that I had enough time to make it to the next flight in 65 minutes until I started reading what you guys had to say. Amazing. I feel better now !! I owe all of you guys :-) Consider this a virtual hug and smile :-)

Kevin

Posted by
168 posts

Here's my BA/short layover story: BA booked me on a flight FCO-LHR arriving at 1:20, then LHR home to Seattle at 2:20. The flight from Rome arrived 15 minutes late. We rushed to the TSA checkpoint where there was another holdup because my sister had forgotten and put a 5 ounce jar of honey she'd purchased into her carry-on. By this time we were running; got to the train to take us to the correct gate and were held there for ten minutes while a security check of the train was being done. We then ran the rest of the way to the gate, where they were expecting us: wish someone had told us beforehand that they were aware of our late arrival. At no time did anyone offer us a shuttle, though my sister uses a cane. I have mild asthma and was wheezing and coughing by the time we reached the gate (at 2:15).

I wrote to BA after this occurrence and received a reply that basically said, "So sorry; thanks for letting us know so we can improve our performance in the future."

I'm never flying British Airways again.

Posted by
2846 posts

Why blame British Airways for a combination of circumstances that mostly had nothing to do with them? ( Your sister's oversight in having the 5-oz. jar of honey, and the train delay, were not BA's fault.). As for not offering a shuttle, at what point were they supposed to do that? When your plane from Rome arrived late, did you ask for assistance with the gate transfer before deplaning? That would have been the time.

At least you made the flight, even if you had to push yourselves. They did not have to wait for you, it it appears they did.

FWIW, I would never book a one-hour layover before a long-haul flight. Especially if one has mobility or health issues and cannot move fast. They may offer it, but one can always scroll to other flight choices with a longer layover time. We consider 2.5 hours the absolute minimum connection time before our flight home to Seattle. And 3 hours is even better.

Instead of vowing never to fly BA again, why not resolve to choose a better connect time?

Posted by
168 posts

Well, I certainly would have asked for a shuttle had I known such a conveyance was available. As it was, I voiced my concerns about possibly missing our flight to many BA employees while deplaning and while rushing through the terminal, and got no offers of help from anyone. I call that poor performance, especially given the fact that my sister was obviously trying to hurry along with a cane.

In future, though, despite any airline's assurances, I won't be booking any flights with such a short layover.

Posted by
3353 posts

Well done, Kevin!!

I didn't realize you bought your airline tickets via a third party. That it took 70 minutes must have been annoying but you got it done. Now make sure you have a way of calling Expedia when you're overseas (get their local 24/7 customer service phone number for the UK and Germany) in case British Air cancels or moves flights again like on the way home. You are experiencing the headache of not dealing with an airline DIRECTLY because you used a 3rd party.

Here's my BA/short layover story: BA booked me on a flight FCO-LHR
arriving at 1:20, then LHR home to Seattle at 2:20. The flight from
Rome arrived 15 minutes late. We rushed to the TSA checkpoint where
there was another holdup because my sister had forgotten and put a 5
ounce jar of honey she'd purchased into her carry-on. By this time we
were running; got to the train to take us to the correct gate and were
held there for ten minutes while a security check of the train was
being done. We then ran the rest of the way to the gate, where they
were expecting us: wish someone had told us beforehand that they were
aware of our late arrival.

Are you kidding? BA isn't to blame that your sister made the mistake of bringing a 5 oz jar of liquid in her carryon. That BA HELD the connecting flight for you is reason you should have written to COMMEND THE BA GATE AGENTS. Your response not to appreciate what they did for you but instead to lambast them for not having a shuttle for you and not notifying you that they were holding a flight for you is outrageous and laughable.

I'm never flying British Airways again.

Given the details you described, this is best for all parties concerned.

Posted by
8003 posts

You could have requested a wheelchair for your sister when booking your tickets. BA is not to blame. I always enjoy flying with them and will again this coming year.

Posted by
168 posts

Continental: guess you missed this sentence. "As it was, I voiced my concerns about possibly missing our flight to many BA employees while deplaning and while rushing through the terminal, and got no offers of help from anyone."

No one told us of a shuttle or told us the plane was being held for us. Don't blame the victims here; that's just cruel. Perhaps if you used a cane you would be more understanding.

Posted by
8293 posts

I use a cane and I am not more understanding.

Posted by
2846 posts

Mobility assistance must be booked 48 hours in advance. The electric carts are not available to just be hailed at the last minute by someone who is short on time getting to the gate. And even if the flight attendants had been able to call one for you, it would not have hurried things up, as you would have had to wait for it to arrive at your plane. Could have taken 15 minutes or more. No wonder they did not offer!

I am surprised they held the plane for you, as BA is strict about the deadlines for passing certain stages of the boarding sequence. You must enter the security area 35 minutes before the departure time of your flight. They know when you do, as you scan your boarding pass to get into the area. You were fortunate that the two delays, the forbidden honey and the train delay, came after that scan.

You are also supposed to be at the gate at least 20 minutes before departure. That is when the gate "closes". Apparently they let that one slide for you. Under their policies (which are stated on the website), they will not delay departure to wait for passengers who have not arrived at the gate in time.

You appear to have no idea how lucky you were that they did allow you to board.

Posted by
168 posts

Given that the Rome flight was more than 15 minutes late, and the deplaning process took another 20 minutes, there is no possible way we could have been at the gate 20 minutes before departure. These delays were no fault of ours. That is why it would have been very nice if BA had let us know that DUE TO THE SHORT LAYOVER TIME AND OUR PLANE'S LATE ARRIVAL, they would hold our home-bound flight for a few minutes. We received no such assurances, and it was a very anxious time for us THROUGH NO FAULT OF OUR OWN.

Whatever; I see that some on this thread are determined to defend the airline no matter what. But I will never allow an airline to book us on flights with such a short layover time again. I did question BA about this when they booked us, but was told there would be no problem. But there was a problem, and the airline needs to own it by correcting schedules so these problems don't occur.

Posted by
9929 posts

"But I will never allow an airline to book us on flights with such a short layover time again. I did question BA about this when they booked us, but was told there would be no problem."

To me this is part of the learning curve of traveling. A traveler has to understand the difference between what is theoretically possible and what they, personally, can manage. Gaining experience thru travel plus reading forums like this one, Trip Advisor's Air Travel and Flyer Talk has helped me understand the complexities.

I know from experience that Delta has a minimum connection time in Salt Lake City of 38 or 39 minutes. Have I made that connection? Yes, on several occasions. Will I ever book it again? Nope...I know it just stresses me out. Last year after I booked there was a flight change giving me 1.5 hours entering the US at Minneapolis. I called Delta to change that flight because that is just not enough for comfort to me. The Delta Rep said something like that's plenty of time, it's more than the minimum connection time. I said...."Have you ever personally transited thru MSP going International to Domestic with that time frame?" Dead silence. No, she said. I have not. OK, then said I. Lets figure out something else because I'm not comfortable with that.

My personal minimum connection times are 2 hours for domestic travel transfers and 3 hours for International. I'm willing to fudge a bit on the numbers depending when and where and what time of year.

Posted by
2846 posts

I meant to post this link:

https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/airport-information/london-heathrow-airport/heathrow-t5

Open the button that is marked Boarding.

Note the line that says "we can't delay the aircraft's departure to wait for late passengers."

You seem to be most upset that no one from BA told you they would hold the plane, so you had to feel anxious and rush. But no one could assure you that, as it is against BA's policy to hold the plane. You should feel grateful that they did, instead of shouting about how badly they treated you.

You are only partly correct that the situation was "not your fault." The plane from Rome was late, and you had no control over that. Nor could you control the timing of the trains that transfer you from terminals within T5.

But you did have control over two things: choosing the flights in the first place, and making sure you had nothing improper in your carryon bags. You say you asked BA about the one hour connect time and they said it was fine. That just means it meets the "minimum connect time." It doesn't mean it will be OK every time, especially if the incoming plane is late. Knowing your personal circumstances, like your asthma and your sister's need for a walking cane, you could have anticipated that the short connect time might not work. There are earlier flights from Rome you could have chosen.

Posted by
3353 posts

Continental: guess you missed this sentence. "As it was, I voiced my
concerns about possibly missing our flight to many BA employees while
deplaning and while rushing through the terminal, and got no offers of
help from anyone."

No one told us of a shuttle or told us the plane was being held for
us. Don't blame the victims here; that's just cruel. Perhaps if you
used a cane you would be more understanding.

Nothing cruel whatsoever. I read all of what you wrote and you are still under some fantasy that YOU are a victim of BA. No, you aren't.

You are victim of poor planning. Your sister's mistake of carrying 5 oz of liquid in a carryon aside, you yourself described needing extra assistance transiting from one gate to another given your asthma and your sister walking with a cane. So why didn't YOU OR SHE arrange assistance at least 48 hours in advance with BA as Sasha posted with the BA hyperlink? This is your own making.

More importantly, you in fact DID get help from the very British Airline employees to whom you show misplaced disdain. You are the beneficiary of BA employees going out of their way to hold a flight for the two of you at the expense of other passengers' time.

BA did you a favor by holding the flight as you stated already. Not missing a connection and thereby not spending money to buy a new ticket for each of you to your destination since your delay was not BA's fault is the BEST help any passenger could receive. It's time to say thank you starting with the money they saved for both of you. I would have thanked the gate agents profusely! :-)

Posted by
11454 posts

Okay, everyone take a chill pill.

BA has a rule that they will not hold a plane for anyyone, wants you to be at security no later than 35 minutes before the flight, and be at the gate no later than 20 minutes before departure.

This is true for all originating passengers. However, things change when the passenger is making a connection from a BA flight to a BA flight.

The minimum connection time allotted for an international to international flight in Terminal 5 is 60 minutes. This is not the airline rules but the time agreed upon with the airport. It is felt you need a minimum of 60 minutes to make the connection.

The flight into LHR was 15 minutes late. You now have a connection time of 45 minutes--below the 60 minute window. If using the above rules, you'd have 10 minutes to deplane, walk and then take the train to flight connections, and then on to security. Not going to happen. You would then have 15 minutes to get through security and get to your gate. Also probably not going to happen.

BA knows you're late. They know your incoming plane was late. It's possible there were others on that Rome flight going to Seattle or passengers from other delayed flights. However, in flight operations for BA a decision was made to hold the plane. This is not a light decision as new take off slots have to be requested. (Unike in the U.S. where flights are first come, first service, in Europe, airlines have to request a take off slot. If they miss theirs, they have to request a new one. ) A short departure delay can usually be made up in the air and arrival times wouldn't be affected. It's not the on time departure that the airlines care about it's the on time arrivals. And there is usally enough wiggle room on long interational flights for this.

Here's where it gets tricky. By arriving late, you were not allotted that 60 minute window. So, if the SEA flight left without you, and BA couldn't get you to your destination within a certain period, you could be owed compensation--not forced to buy another ticket. It has nothing to do with jars of honey or train inspections. What if neither happened and there were twice as many people going through security? By delaying the flight, and giving you the full 60 minutes for the transfer, BA would no longer be liable to give you compensation. They would put you on another flight but owe you nothing.

The delay would not have shown up on the departure board so other BA employees would not know unless they went into the system and looked at the flight. (This would have wasted time.)

So what have we learned:

1) Airline rules are just that. Rules, not laws. They can be broken. But not by you.

2) In the future, if concerned, try not to book tight connections as that would leave you some breathing room

3) If you think you might need assistance getting around the terminal or from one gate to another, let the airline know in advance so it can be arranged. Requesting help after you arrive will take a long time to get.

Posted by
2846 posts

It is highly unusual for an airline like British Airways to delay a long-haul flight and hold the plane at the gate awaiting a passenger simply because the incoming flight was late. That Seattle flight was either a 747 or 777, and is usually nearly full. They cannot inconvenience all the other people, and mess up their schedule, for the sake of two passengers.

The usual solution when this happens is to send the plane off on time (if it is ready to go), and re-book the late passengers on another flight as soon as possible. Since that was the last flight to SEA that day, they could have been routed through JFK, Chicago, or other US airport served by BA, with a connecting flight to SEA on American, Alaska, or other partner airline. Of course that's not as convenience or desirable as the direct flight.

Terri and her sister are fortunate that the plane did not depart without them. Whether that was an intentional delay for their sake, or purely coincidental, we cannot know.

Posted by
168 posts

Thank you, Frank II, for the explanation.

Continental: my sister's cane and my mild asthma are of no concern under ordinary circumstances; we would have managed easily had the Rome flight been on time. It would have been ridiculous for us to request assistance 48 hours prior to our flight. Re: the much-disputed jar of honey; the same jar had made it through the security check at FCO a couple of hours previous; too bad it wasn't discovered at that time. By the way, I did thank the gate agents for holding the flight (while gasping for breath).

I think Sasha hates me...

Posted by
1964 posts

I'm learning a lot from this thread!

I once arrived from the US to LHR slightly later than scheduled, and was one of three people on the plane with tight connection times -- I was psyching myself up to sprint and weave my way to the connecting flight, as was another of the three who happened to be in the row in front of me. When we shouldered our way, with the crew's approval, to the hatch after the ~ding~ sounded, standing on the jetway were a couple of BA gate agents already holding new boarding cards for us for later flights -- they wouldn't give us the option of running to make our original flights.

I ended up having my first meal of that trip as bangers and mash out of a microwave at Heathrow instead of a decent lunch in France, and I resented BA for it -- now after reading this thread I see that BA was following policy, prudently.

Posted by
2846 posts

Terri, of course I do not "hate" you. What a thing to say. I will bet that if we had a chance to meet up there someplace near Quilcene, maybe walk the Dungeness Spit at Sequim, we would get along just fine.

I am just trying to help you understand that you are not a victim here, and your anger at BA is misplaced. You were not treated badly, indeed the outcome (making the flight) was far better than could have been expected under the standard protocols of every airline, not just BA. The normal procedure is to send the flight off on time as scheduled, and re-book the pax who were affected by a late incoming flight on a different flight. That would have involved another connection at a US airport, and a longer overall flight time.

Your expectations that they would inform you that the flight would be held for your arrival at the gate, so you would not have to stress out and rush, and provide assistance in getting there, are unfortunately unrealistic.

We all must live and learn from our travel mistakes. Yours was in accepting that 1-hour connection. They told you it was OK and so would every other airline selling a ticket like that. Their reasoning is that in the event of a late incoming flight and missed connection, they can simply put you on a different flight. No downside to them, big downside to you in terms of convenience.

Unfortunately airlines are big corporations and not models of compassion.

Posted by
13223 posts

I have been following this with interest as we nearly missed our flight to Seattle due to a delay in the shuttle train. We heard the “gate closing”announcement as we were waiting for the train that would shuttle us to another part of T5. We did get there in time for regular boarding ( the “gate closing” announcement was premature), but I was curious about the circumstances under which they would hold a wide-body jet at the gate to awIt late -arriving passengers. (We were traveling Business Class with miles so it would have been an expensive mistake had we missed it).

So I asked the question on FlyerTalk, using this thread as an example. The answer seems to be that sometimes they will hold the flight, but most often they will not. The decision is made by higher-ups, taking a lot of factors into account. The BA personnel in the airport would not have known if the flight would be held or not, so there is no way they could have offered assurances.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1884771-holding-flight-gate-await-passengers.html

Posted by
1220 posts

It could also be a case of simple luck on your part- something like a slight 10-15 minute mechanical delay where they needed to get someone to sign off on the repair for a clogged lav line or replaced emergency lighting system bulb, and because the boarding door hadn't closed yet while awaiting that all clear, they let you board.

Posted by
168 posts

As the OP, I just wanted to mention that the gate agents said they were still waiting for 2 more passengers after we arrived. So apparently we weren't the only ones in this situation.

Also wanted to make it clear that when it was obvious our FCO-LHR flight was going to be late, I mentioned this to several of the cabin crew. No one was a bit concerned. I have read that others have been offered priority deplaning in this situation, but we had to wait a long time as we were toward the back of the plane.

I have only been to Europe a half-dozen times in the past dozen years, so I am probably not as familiar with BA protocol as many of you seem to be. I felt then, and continue to feel, that someone, somehow, could have made our transfer a little easier. It was, as others have mentioned, a learning experience; and primarily I have learned that a one hour layover on an international flight is not sufficient, no matter what the airline tells you.

Posted by
8512 posts

Indeed, don't believe the airline but do believe us. And for the OP, the moment BA changed the flight schedule, you have the right to re-book for free. This waiving the change fee is pure fantasy. There shouldn't be a fee--period. They simply did what they are supposed to do but it sounds like Expedia made you think they were doing you a favor. You were perfectly within your rights and they just needed to do their job.

Posted by
28131 posts

It is interesting to me that this thread has two personalities. There was Kevin who asked the question and has had a good result. Then there was Terri who related her problems and then the thread was devoted exclusively to her and their adventures.

It even got to the point where people where referring to Terri as the OP, and then even Terri has referred to herself as the OP.

(OP- for folk new to this sort of conversation is the Original Poster, the person who created the thread and posted the question everybody is responding to - in this case, Kevin).

I've been around this Forum - and its much loved predecessor the Helpline - for a couple of years now and have never before seen such a perfect hijack of a thread. It is, as I said above, interesting.

EDIT: By the way - this isn't a criticism of anybody, simply an observation.

Posted by
168 posts

Sorry; I did not mean to hijack the thread. I offered my experiences about a dozen responses in and things kind of took off from there. And of course, I was not the OP...I'd forgotten that myself after a few days of back and forth. :-)

Posted by
2846 posts

I would not call this a hijack. Kevin's issue had been resolved to his satisfaction and he said thank you and bowed out.

I see Terri's post as a cautionary tale, intended to reinforce the point (already taken) that Kevin's original connection time was too short. But the way she told the story and blamed the airline for stressing her out made some of us want to set the record straight, for her sake and for others reading here.

I will bet that no one reading here will book a one-hour connection at Heathrow ever agIn, so hopefully some good has come of this.

Posted by
2297 posts

I've done several trips in the past 2/3 years with a transfer in Terminal 5 to fly to Hamburg. And was very impressed how smooth and fast I got through to the next gate. Never more than 30-45 minutes. However, on my last trip the connection time offered at booking time was only 70 minutes. I would not book that tight of a connection even though they do have extra lines at security for people with tight connections to help them get through quickly. My personal comfortable transfer time would be more around 90 minutes. I ended up rerouting to give me extra time. There is just too much that can go wrong.

As for BA, currently favourite airline to get to Europe. Even some decent leg room in economy. And good service.