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#937286 by porridge
08 Aug 2017, 10:34
Hello,

Hoping someone can help with some advice.

Planning to take the better half to NYC for her 40th in November.

We're based in Manchester butlooking to have some usage of my Gold status which expires end of november so I've made the following booking with VS. I've never been to the LHR clubhouse before only the lounge in MAN.

Wednesday 16:00 LHR to JFK reward in economy
Sunday 19:30 JFK to MAN in economy (with a view to upgrading to PE if it comes available)

I plan to use to Avios to get a connecting flight donw from MAN to LHR for the first leg.
Arrive times are as follows..

10:20
11:05
13:35

Looking for some advice on the following.
How long is needed for the connection from a BA to VS flight?
How long do i need in the Clubhouse to make it worthwhile?
What will VS do if the BA flight is delayed? i see there i later flight but i've never used a reward flight before so dont know hows these things work.

Thanks
#937288 by SlimpyJones
08 Aug 2017, 11:13
Hey,

Because you are doing separate bookings I would seek the longest connection time. I'd grab the 10:20am arrival if I were you. The reason being is twofold:

  • BA are highly unlikely to issue you an onward boarding pass for your LHR-JFK trip or check your luggage through to JFK as you are on separate bookings. This means you won't be able to use the airside transfer and so will need to reclaim any luggage at T5, leave T5 entirely, take the Heathrow connect to T3 and go through the check-in & bag drop formalities with VS at T3.
  • In answer to your third question - because of your separate booking you will have no protection in the event that your BA arrival is late and you miss your VS flight. As far as Virgin are concerned you are doing LHR-JFK-MAN and if you are too late for check-in at LHR, you'll go down as a no-show and the booking is cancelled. Whether VS can or will re-accommodate you is another matter entirely and will likely be down to how busy the remaining flights of the day are (of which there will be two, one DL and one VS) and if there is reward space to book you in to!

As far as the Clubhoues is concerned though, the general thought of the hive-mind here is that spend as long as you can before getting bored! If you go for the 10:20am arrival from MAN you'd probably end up with 3-4 hours at the Clubhouse which is perfectly good. Considering this is your first (and possibly last visit due to gold expiry) I would say it's better to spend too long there and run out of things to do than to find yourself leaving earlier than you'd like.

Best of luck with the booking :)
#937293 by tontybear
08 Aug 2017, 12:04
On separate tickets BA won't check your bags through to JFK on the outbound and VS won't do it on the reverse (they would on a single PNR though). (remember BA won't even do it for separate BA-BA flights!)

So on arrival from MAN you will need to collect your bags at T5 then take them over to T3 using either the Train or Tube (and the reverse on the way back).

Neither airline will be able to issue you with the others BPs - again because they are separate flights and there won't be a record of them in the others system.

As to how much time you should leave I would say on separate tickets at least 3 hours to take into account late arrival, time for bags to be unloaded, make the terminal transfer and the the check-in / bag drop cut offs.

As you do not have a connection neither airline is obligated to rebook you if the other is delayed so check your travel insurance provisions for missed flights NOT connections as you do not have a connection in terms of the airline definition of one.
#937294 by mitchja
08 Aug 2017, 12:12
Something else to be wary of is that BA are also notorious for canceling/merging multiple domestic flights, especially on the MAN>LHR>MAN route as they basically use many of their domestic flights as nothing more than slot minder flights.

I've had 3 or 4 BA domestic flights changed by several hours over the last few years, one of the reason why I've now stopped using BA and I use the train instead to get to/from London.

Book the earliest BA flight to LHR that's available!

To get from T5 to T3 at LHR landside after collecting your luggage, use the Heathrow Express (which is free for terminal to terminal connections) and then walk to T3. It takes about 30 minutes in total to reach T3 check-in from T5 arrivals.
#937295 by mdhayes
08 Aug 2017, 12:30
if at all possible, i'd be going down the night before, even getting the train if its cheaper. I would be too worried about missing that flight and having no comeback.
#937296 by mitchja
08 Aug 2017, 12:53
Trains to/from London are generally cheaper than flights as well with an advance train fare.

I can get to and from London using Virign Trains from Lancashire in First Class for roughly the same as a return domestic flight. It takes a little longer but it's a far more civilised way to travel :-D
#937297 by porridge
08 Aug 2017, 13:07
Thanks for all the advice,

Looking at the train as an option, the cost is the same or cheaper anyway.

Any advice on how getting tube or HEX to T3? I'd be arriving at Euston from MCR

THanks agin
#937298 by gumshoe
08 Aug 2017, 13:25
From Euston your options are:

Take the Victoria Line to Green Park, then change to the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow.

Or - walk to Euston Square station (5 mins from Euston), take the Circle or Hammersmith & City Line to Paddington, then change to HEX or Heathrow Connect.
#937302 by Smid
08 Aug 2017, 13:42
porridge wrote:Thanks for all the advice,

Looking at the train as an option, the cost is the same or cheaper anyway.

Any advice on how getting tube or HEX to T3? I'd be arriving at Euston from MCR


I do the same route, there's a time versus cost.

1) Quickest, but costliest. Taxi from outside Euston to Paddington ~ £10. HEX, £20 one way (might get a reduction via Two together railcard, or network railcar). Can be as low as 25 minutes.

2) Bit slower, take the tube to Paddington, do the same. I find this as much effort, because getting to Euston Square and always taking the wrong line (circle rather than hammersmith) means changing, and it's a haul of luggage versus not a lot of a saving for two people.

3) Above with the slower train from Paddington, half the price (~£16 return), twice as long. Would be about 45-50 minutes in that case.

4) Eventually what we do, if we've got time (and thus number 1 is needed if half an hour) is to go by Tube, connect onto Picaddily line (or walk to Kings Cross, 10 minutes from Euston, and get on it there). 1 hour total, for about £3.60 with an oyster card, It's really boring, but when you add in the hauling of luggage and changes from taxi etc, it's usually not that much longer... Getting on at Kings Cross usually means getting a seat which helps.
Last edited by Smid on 08 Aug 2017, 13:45, edited 1 time in total.
#937304 by sungod
08 Aug 2017, 13:44
from euston the easiest is get a prebooked transfer, first one i saw on google...

http://www.blackberrycars.com/euston-ai ... w-airport/

...never used them, but look ok and the pricing is excellent, with a bit of prep you could use the drive-thru check-in

otherwise, you can get a tube (need to change stations though), bit of a hassle with luggage, or taxi or tube to paddington, and then get either the hex or the slower/cheaper connect train

for t3, the walk from tube/hex isn't too far, with gold you can use the UC check-in and channel through security, from there it's a few minutes to the lounge

i'd get the prebooked!
#937308 by Smid
08 Aug 2017, 15:08
sungod wrote:from euston the easiest is get a prebooked transfer, first one i saw on google...

http://www.blackberrycars.com/euston-ai ... w-airport/

...never used them, but look ok and the pricing is excellent, with a bit of prep you could use the drive-thru check-in


That looks a pretty decent price, frankly. It seemed unclear if it was per person, I assume not. In which case £15pp one way and quick. MORE TIME IN CLUBHOUSE!! :)
#937309 by porridge
08 Aug 2017, 15:31
Thanks all,

Will go the blackberry cars £30 option, the tripadvisor reviews look pretty good.

Going via train with the transfer is cheaper that the 8K + £35 flying BA. It also means leaving the house later as the time are better and i dont have to pick up luggage and transfer T5-T3.

Flight booked!

next thing now to pick a hotel. I guess i should not mention i'm looking at dumping 74K FC miles to top up my Hilton account to keep hotel costs down.
#937315 by sungod
08 Aug 2017, 16:16
porridge wrote:One last question,

Can i use the DTCI if Gold but only flying economy (on a reward flight)?


ah, yes i led you astray there, think it's UC bookings only

not much in it anyway, you end up at the same security channel as the going via the UC check-in desks
#937319 by tontybear
08 Aug 2017, 17:29
If you are staying overnight at a London hotel the airportr service could handle your bags for you.

Then you won't have to lug them on and off trains / tubes.

You'd then collect them at LHR the next day.
#937327 by oldboy
08 Aug 2017, 22:01
The LHR Clubhouse is very nice but I personally wouldn't fly down from Manchester just to spend a few hours there.

I hope you enjoy though.
#937335 by porridge
09 Aug 2017, 08:26
If i could find a direct flight out from Manchester i would. I was pretty pleased to get one back i thought they stopped flying that route for winter in october but seems there is still a sunday VS flight.

She thinks shes going to Paris so i'll dress the train ride down as part of the eurostar experience.
#937339 by SlimpyJones
09 Aug 2017, 08:33
porridge wrote:If i could find a direct flight out from Manchester i would. I was pretty pleased to get one back i thought they stopped flying that route for winter in october but seems there is still a sunday VS flight.

She thinks shes going to Paris so i'll dress the train ride down as part of the eurostar experience.


The route isn't stopping for winter but there is a reduction in service, to 3 or 4 a week I believe. Same with MAN-ATL.

Sounds like it will be a very pleasant surprise then! :D
#937345 by Smid
09 Aug 2017, 09:18
porridge wrote:next thing now to pick a hotel. I guess i should not mention i'm looking at dumping 74K FC miles to top up my Hilton account to keep hotel costs down.


My original choice of hotel at T5 was the sofitel, which you could get with lastminute.com secret hotel for under £100 sometimes. They respected status (plat as amex plat). Then amex plat dropped the status. Now the hotel doesn't respect status on third party bookings. Was good for T5 though.

T4 now has a Premier Inn which was pricing as low as £29 a night early this month. T4 is a bit of a dead end tube and HEXwise and you might end up getting the tube/HEX to T3 for a food/drink of an evening (T4 has the most expensive wetherspoons I've come across as only bar pre departures).

Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross is now my choice if the price is right, can sometimes get as low as £50-60 a night, and on the tube line one stop from T3, so getting there is quick and easy.

I don't bother with the others, all the Hoppa bus crap is annoying for the price, nowhere to go once you get there, I'd rather stay in London in somewhere like Hammersmith and get the 30 mins tube in the next day. Gives us a choice of an evening.

74K FC miles? Ouch. And you're flying economy too... Double ouch. I'd not bother with that, plenty of choices near Heathrow, even if you can bear the Hoppa and eat in the hotel restaurant.
#937372 by porridge
09 Aug 2017, 14:46
Smid wrote:
porridge wrote:next thing now to pick a hotel. I guess i should not mention i'm looking at dumping 74K FC miles to top up my Hilton account to keep hotel costs down.


My original choice of hotel at T5 was the sofitel, which you could get with lastminute.com secret hotel for under £100 sometimes. They respected status (plat as amex plat). Then amex plat dropped the status. Now the hotel doesn't respect status on third party bookings. Was good for T5 though.

T4 now has a Premier Inn which was pricing as low as £29 a night early this month. T4 is a bit of a dead end tube and HEXwise and you might end up getting the tube/HEX to T3 for a food/drink of an evening (T4 has the most expensive wetherspoons I've come across as only bar pre departures).

Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross is now my choice if the price is right, can sometimes get as low as £50-60 a night, and on the tube line one stop from T3, so getting there is quick and easy.

I don't bother with the others, all the Hoppa bus crap is annoying for the price, nowhere to go once you get there, I'd rather stay in London in somewhere like Hammersmith and get the 30 mins tube in the next day. Gives us a choice of an evening.

74K FC miles? Ouch. And you're flying economy too... Double ouch. I'd not bother with that, plenty of choices near Heathrow, even if you can bear the Hoppa and eat in the hotel restaurant.


Sorry i meant a hotel in NYC, I have Hilton gold so a pooling all my miles in there (+ from amex) should save around $1k off the the hotel bill, add the free breakfasts on top of that. All the points are from company travel so if i get cash for them then brilliant, I'm unlikely to use them in the ner future othewise. either way its a few hundred quid.


Any recommends for Hiltons in NYC?
#937374 by CHill710
09 Aug 2017, 15:08
#937423 by oldboy
10 Aug 2017, 15:25
porridge wrote:If i could find a direct flight out from Manchester i would. I was pretty pleased to get one back i thought they stopped flying that route for winter in october but seems there is still a sunday VS flight.

She thinks shes going to Paris so i'll dress the train ride down as part of the eurostar experience.


What a great surprise, nice one
#937426 by tontybear
10 Aug 2017, 17:03
Nice surprise but remember to get her an ESTA!

Check the weather too. LIkely to be colder in NYC than Paris so you may need to pack a few warmer clothes in your luggage for her.
#937429 by honey lamb
10 Aug 2017, 18:27
tontybear wrote:
Check the weather too. LIkely to be colder in NYC than Paris so you may need to pack a few warmer clothes in your luggage for her.

Nonsense, Tonty! She'll be going shopping!
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