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Transfers between LGW and LHR

This topic has been discussed before, however the most recent I found was 4 years ago and not sure if anything has changed.

Our inbound flight arrives (from TPA) at 8:25am at LGW, and our outgoing leaves LHR at 12:25pm. BA Transfers was recommended before, is that still my best bet? Also, how long does it take to get through customs, and even though it is actually a flight from TPA to VIE would I still take my luggage? We should be able to only have carryon luggage as we are flying business class and it says we are allowed two pieces. What time would you suggest that I book the transfer?

Returning our flight arrives late at 8:25pm, and we will be transferring to a North terminal hotel for our return flight the next day. I assume the timing requirement between flight and shuttle is the same on both legs?

Thank you!

Posted by
3196 posts

You would need to carry your own luggage. Have you booked the tickets? If not, I would suggest another route, personally I would gladly pay extra to avoid the Gatwick to Heathrow change.

Posted by
3806 posts

Oh that's a tricky connection... Is there any way you can rebook to a later flight to Vienna? The drive alone takes almost an hour on clear roads, and over 90 minutes if trafic is bad.
If the incoming flight is in time and if business class lets you move from plane to bus/transfer within 60 minutes, you're more or less OK. But add the slightest delay, and it becomes a race.

Posted by
27711 posts

oh dear.

I hope it works out for you.

I would never try such a tight connection.

You arrive at the tail of the worst of the rush hour at Gatwick. Not a problem because the rush hour will be over by the time you are out the frosted glass doors. It will be (based on the last several collections of relatives) 60 to 90 minutes after touchdown, so around quarter to 10. Don't stop to eat or use the toilets. At least an hour by taxi on the M23 and M25, and the M25 often has very slow traffic around Leatherhead (Jct 9) all the way around to the A3 (Jct 10 for Wisley) and M3 (Jct 12) so I wish you luck - you'll need it. So arriving, if you plane is on time and the travel gods all smile on you, at Heathrow, depending on which terminal around 11:00 to 11:30. If 11:00 because everything worked like clockwork and the roads cooperated for you, you will have 1:25 for a 1:30 check-in time.

Clint Eastwood.

Who is the second flight with? Will you still be able to take 2 cases on that flight too?

What time would you suggest that I book the transfer?

You don't have time for that. Go outside and get the first taxi - and hope that they have a clue about the rat runs near the lakes approaching Heathrow on the M25. You may need them.

Posted by
119 posts

I had no idea it would be so bad. Yes it is one tcket, same airline different airports.

Its quicker to get a taxi then to have someone waiting? Can I pay with credit card or do I need cash?

I guess I need to get the lay out of both airports too, so I get to the right place quickly.

Add to this we are not young...so the sprint will be more like a stroll.

Posted by
3196 posts

You might need to sprint after all. What do the terms and conditions say? Many airlines have been rather generous with rebookings and cancellations during the pandemic.

Posted by
4675 posts

The IATA minimum connection time used to be an unbelievably (and in my view unachievably) low 2.5 hours for LHR-LGW. Not checked to see if this has been changed but airlines haven't sold less than 3 hours for years but even that is a bit ridiculous.

Posted by
3655 posts

For about the same price on the day I checked and the same alliance (OneWorld) you can fly Tampa>Charlotte to Heathrow to catch that Vienna flight, leaving Tampa about an hour and a half earlier. The layover is a bit short in Charlotte however, 50 minutes.

Noting that BA sells a lot of these LHR/LGW airport changes, as does partner American in New York (LaGuardia to JFK, not really so far). United often tosses up Newark to JFK which is I think worse than LHR/LGW .

Posted by
119 posts

Thanks Tom, however the ship has sailed on the tickets. We had a voucher to use with BA, and I got a great deal on Business Class before demand perked up. I will keep this in mind for the future. For now I'll try and call BA back (takes almost and hour to get through) and see if we can take the same flight a day earlier without a change fee (highly doubt they will do this, but can only check at this point). I did google transfer times and most said give 3 hours, since this was 4 I assumed we could do it without a problem. If they won't change we'll hope for the best, and take a taxi if that is the best alternative.

Posted by
13055 posts

We did that transfer in the opposite direction ( LHR to Gatwick) for a flight to Venice 20 years ago ( our honeymoon) and four hours was fine. But traffic is worse now, apparently.

You can try calling to change if you like, but it sounds like you are already aware that it can take a long time to get through to BA, unless you have Gold or Silver status. Even if you are willing to wait, the call is likely to be dropped at the one-hour mark on hold. It happened to me around 10 times before I finally got through, after waiting 50 minutes. I was still on the phone with the agent at 60 minutes and the call was disconnected. Fortunately the agent called me right back to finish my booking request.

There is a BA flight to Vienna 3 hours later than your 12:25 flight—-BA 704 departing LHR at 15:15. If you do not make the connection to the 12:25 they will put you on that next flight.

If it would make you feel better, you might be able to change to that 15:15 flight online through Manage My Booking. In theory, a simple change to a flight at a different time to the same destination is possible online.

Posted by
8606 posts

The good news is with the biz class tickets you can use the special lanes for quicker processing. Every little bit will help.

Posted by
119 posts

The news about the flight 3 hours later is eases my mind a bit, thank you.

Yes, I'm hoping our Global Entry Passes and the expedited processing will help.

Where will the taxi's be waiting if leaving from the North terminal of Gatwick?

Posted by
13055 posts

Global Entry will not help you get through immigration in the UK, but flying Business Class gives you a Priority lane in the immigration lines. Ask the cabin staff about this before you land—-sometimes they can give you a card that indicates your Priority status.

Posted by
3196 posts

There is a BA flight to Vienna 3 hours later than your 12:25
flight—-BA 704 departing LHR at 15:15. If you do not make the
connection to the 12:25 they will put you on that next flight.

Assuming there are free seats on that flight.

Posted by
9682 posts

How soon do you travel? With a little luck there will be an airline schedule change which will allow you to rework things.

Posted by
119 posts

Thanks for all the replies and a lot of useful information.

I plan to go to our airport and talk with someone at the BA desk (probably easier than calling), to get more information as well as possible flight changes. That said we might just go for it and hope for the best, given our advantage with carryon and business class priority. If we do keep the flight, given the multiple suggestions of transport. What is the best to do? I'm leaning towards either a private transport through BATransfer or a Taxi. Thoughts?

Posted by
139 posts

Wishing you luck with this Ricki, please report back on your resolution. We will be landing at LGW on a November Friday morning at 6:50am with a 12:40pm flight out of LHR. Planning to reserve a ride through Blackberry Cars as we get nearer the trip.

Posted by
119 posts

Points and Miles, Hopefully the transfer goes smoothly, but time will tell. I think we will be using the Black Cabs, a flight attendent and others have suggested this. On our return we might book with Blackberry however, since time is not an issue. I will let you know when we get back.

Posted by
119 posts

Recap:

We ended up using BATransfers in both directions which worked out great. We got there in plenty of time to depart Heathrow, and the trip back at night was uneventful and quick. Much more expensive, but it helped with the stress.

But regarding transfering between airports...never again. So much can go wrong, with delayed flights and traffic. We were lucky, but it would be so easy not to be. Also the return home from Gatwick was crazy. Hundreds in the passport and screening lines. Even priority checkins were backed up and moved extremely slowly. Almost 2 hours to check through it all, and I had a boarding pass which was printed in Vienna. They are understaffed, and poorly managed.

Posted by
9682 posts

Ricki, thank you so much for coming back with an update on how things worked out for you. I'm assuming BATransfers is a BA product and has guarantees in place if you use them in conjunction with BA flights?

Good to know about Gatwick....seems like many airports are reaching the melting point already and it's not even high summer!

BTW, your new forum job is to be the designated reply person to anyone who asks about doing the Gatwick/Heathrow combo, lol!

Posted by
3303 posts

You need to take a taxi instead of arranging for car service because car service may not be there when you leave immigration and customs. I have had to wait several times for over 45 minutes. You cannot take that chance. That you are not able to run or rather sprint is also not good; I can’t either because I have a disability. Missing that connection at LHR could also cancel your entire itinerary home. I know you have these wonderful business class tickets but if you miss the connection, you are buying brand new tickets at last minute prices. Do what you can to change this itinerary.

Posted by
119 posts

Yes Joe that is the one. They worked well for us...can't guarantee they will for you. They do monitor your flight so they know if you are early or late...

Pam...don't really know if they work on BA flights only...stands to reason however. And haha on the point person remark...my new answer will be if you get a great deal go ahead, BUT always overnight between flights. But after this last experience with Gatwick I'd have to think long and hard about flying there again.