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#961140 by EstelleB
19 Mar 2023, 18:26
Just weighing up our options for getting back up to the North West from LHR in the Summer. Please can someone advise me on the minimum connections time I should factor in if we decide to fly to MCR with BA after landing at LHR (so customs - bags - going T3 to T5 - checking in?)

#961141 by Kraken
19 Mar 2023, 19:23
If you plug your flight details (& intended flight to MAN) in on this tool Heathrow has it will give you an idea.

I put some random flights in & it was saying a minimum of 1h30m connection. from T3 to T5. If the internal flight up to MAN is on a separate booking, you will have to collect bags in T3 & then re-check them in at T5. Much easier to get the flight to MAN added onto your existing itinerary if possible as the bags can then be through-checked which will save you time.

I would personally allow longer than 1h30m if your MAN flight is on a separate booking. Delays with baggage handling & UK Border have been well publicised.
#961142 by mitchja
19 Mar 2023, 19:40
Are you arriving on VS? If so a couple of hours should be fine barring any industrial action.

I did VS T3 Upper Class arrival to a BA T5 CE MAN flight in early Jan this year easily in around an an hour and that included going through security in T5 and both flights were on separate bookings (first time using BA is years as LNER were on strike).

The biggest delays at LHR seem to be when arriving into T5 or T3 on BA and/or when connecting BA>BA.

VS also seem to have got their act together now for luggage arrival times in T3. When I arrived back from TPA in Feb, the luggage was even already on the carousel compared to last year when it was often a >40mins wait at the carousels just to get luggage in T3.
#961147 by EstelleB
20 Mar 2023, 18:34
Thanks folks

James this is really interesting - we are arriving on VS, due to land at 12.15 and would be flying up to MAN on BA. Originally our times worked perfectly, but VS moved our flight back and BA moved theirs slightly earlier! The BA flight is now 2pm exactly, and I'm just not sure if its safe to book with just 1 hr 45mins to make it, even of the BA website says that 1 hr 30 mins is enough to get to the gate (presumably our gate would be closing at 1.40 so we would really be pushing it! The issue we have is that the next flight is not until 6pm and is much more expensive, so if we can't do the 2pm flight we will probably not fly at all!

I'm pretty sure we couldn't add it now to our VS ticket as we used a companion voucher, so it would be separate tickets, but in my experience the transatlantic flights always land a little early so I might just risk it!
#961149 by CommanderB
20 Mar 2023, 23:59
I’m in a similar position myself.

Thank you train strikes!

I can also confirm it’s not possible to add BA connections to a VS ticket once it’s been ticketed. That breaks the agreement VS and BA have. So the only option is to do them as separate tickets, which sucks.
#961159 by tontybear
22 Mar 2023, 15:47
The T3 - T5 MCT is 90 minutes but that only applies when you are booked on a thru ticket and bags are interlined and the LHR connections tool makes that clear.

Any other sort of self connection requires a much greater time gap between the two flights and the attendant risks of having separate tickets.

There is almost no chance of landing, clearing the border, collecting bags and getting to T5 in 45 mins to enable a BA check in that closed 45 mins before a flight 90 mins after the scheduled landing of the VS flight.

But given you have bags the minimum BA ticket you can buy - Exonpmy Plus - does allow for a same day flight change as long as it's made by an hour before the originally scheduled flight.
#961161 by EstelleB
22 Mar 2023, 17:46
Thanks folks

I called BA and they said they wouldn't risk it - also confirmed that as separate ticket there would be no option to be moved to the later flight either.

The same day change thing is interesting, particularly if our VA flight lands early - I have a feeling however that if I use any of my Avios towards this it then doesn't count (can anyone confirm this?) Cheers
#961162 by CommanderB
22 Mar 2023, 18:18
EstelleB wrote:Thanks folks

I called BA and they said they wouldn't risk it - also confirmed that as separate ticket there would be no option to be moved to the later flight either.

The same day change thing is interesting, particularly if our VA flight lands early - I have a feeling however that if I use any of my Avios towards this it then doesn't count (can anyone confirm this?) Cheers

Not sure about the part Avios rules. But a full Avios reward ticket might be a good idea if there is availability. Reward tickets offer incredible flexibility.
#961166 by tontybear
23 Mar 2023, 13:44
BA Same day change is not available on full reward flights.

It is available on simple short haul CE and Economy plus fares and includes cash tickets where you've used avios to discount it at the end of the cash fare booking process.
#961176 by deep_south
25 Mar 2023, 11:58
Sometimes the best laid plans can fall apart....

Last February we were caught up in the storms. We arrived at T3 from the later LAX flight, with almost 4 hours for our NCL flight from T5. They were unable to open the baggage doors so we waited and waited for luggage. Fortunately we had a CE ticket so we were able to change that flight and I had a cheap Premier Inn room booked at Kings Cross (the flights had been changed several tidied to COVID) and we got the train the next morning.

So in normal times separate tickets are fine, but you do this at your own risk.
#961178 by EstelleB
25 Mar 2023, 14:49
Cheers - we are also considering getting the train, though would probably Uber to Euston to save messing about with suitcases on the tube after a 12 hour overnight flight! The kids both have railcards and this would be a much cheaper option, even with the Uber.

Alternatively, we might even get a car service so we are delivered directly home, but these have increased rather in price over the last 18 months!
#961180 by mitchja
25 Mar 2023, 15:00
Under normal circumstances, I now always prefer the train to get to/from LHR here. It's way cheaper, a lot less hassle even with luggage and they run much more often.
#961182 by mitchja
25 Mar 2023, 18:53
The HEX is an over-priced tourist trap and I refuse to pay those insane HEX fares.

I just use the Piccadilly tube line to get between LHR & King's Cross. Takes ~50mins but at least it's direct and only costs £5.60 each way.

There is a hack to get that down to £3.40 if you really want to but it means you have to get off, tap out, tap back in and wait for the next train at Hatton Cross in either direction.

I just checked the TFL website and doing the same journey using HEX & Elizabeth line would cost me £27.70 each way and will only save me ~15-20mins :-O >-(. No thank you.

I don't know about the West coast line, but LNER run trains every 30mins or so between King's Cross and Leeds where I then change and get a Northern Rail service to Skipton.
#961190 by EstelleB
26 Mar 2023, 17:31
Thanks James - I'm guessing we could do this and walk down to Euston, I may get some complaining from my 2 but it seems easier than swapping tubes for one stop! Either that or we could swap at Hammersmith and go to Euston Square.

Thinking now that I may ditch my idea on the way down of getting an Uber from Euston to our Heathrow hotel and see how it is to use the tube instead, this way we'll know if we want to do it on the return!

Thanks for all of your help
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