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Terminal connections at London Heathrow

Chicago, Illinois
2 posts
Terminal connections at London Heathrow

We booked a flight to Italy and a portion of our flight from London to Sicily has been canceled. We were suggested to purchase a second ticket as there was nothing else available with British Airways. So we did.

We now arrive in London at 10:15 am and need to go through baggage claim and customs and check in for a flight to Italy that leaves at 12:25 pm.

I am concerned about the time available to do all this. How long does it typically take and how long does it take to move from a terminal to another?

Thank you

6 replies to this topic
Wiltshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Wiltshire
Level Contributor
11,311 posts
440 reviews
1. Re: Terminal connections at London Heathrow

Who advised you to take separate tickets? Sack them or invite them to give you at least 4 hours between flights

It’s very tight, with no leeway, what flights/terminals are you actually using? On a bad day immigration alone can take 2hours!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,097 posts
12 reviews
2. Re: Terminal connections at London Heathrow

'We were suggested to purchase a second ticket as there was nothing else available with British Airways.' Who suggested this? Did you buy a separate ticket for the flight from LHR to Sicily? Is your arriving flight from ORD operated by BA or by AA (the carrier matters)?

'How long does it typically take and how long does it take to move from a terminal to another?' There really is no typical time; to some extent it depends on the day and time of day your flight is scheduled to arrive as well as the terminal building of arrival (again why the carrier is key).

If you have separate tickets you may have time to make this, but it's an unprotected connection, and in that case I'd want considerably more time to do so. Please let us know how you booked these flights and the details as above.

Chicago, Illinois
2 posts
3. Re: Terminal connections at London Heathrow

The whole flight was purchased through vayama. The flight from ORD to PMO was with BA. The connecting flight LHR-PMO was canceled and BA could not find any other connecting flights. Vayama suggested to purchase a separate flight from LHR to Catania (Sicily) with Alitalia.

Thank you for helping

Loughborough...
Level Contributor
6,159 posts
34 reviews
4. Re: Terminal connections at London Heathrow

The rotten part of the whole thing is that if you'd been booked directly with BA they'd probably have transferred you to that Catania flight without charge, it would have been a protected connection and quite achievable if the ORD flight was on time. Of course Vayama have no incentive to negotiate with BA on your behalf - instead they've made extra money by selling you a new ticket.

As it is, the only chance you have of making it is if you travel with carry on baggage only and check in on line with Alitalia before leaving the USA. Then you will be able to make an airside connection using the Flight Connections shuttle bus from Terminal 5 to Terminal 4 just as if you had a through ticketed connection. You're still at the mercy of any delays. If you have to reclaim baggage and check it in again at T4, you'll need to go through immigration first and you just won't make it.

Illinois
Level Contributor
19,070 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: Terminal connections at London Heathrow

And since it's a separate ticket, you'll have to buy a new ticket to get to Sicily if you miss the connection. I would try calling BA and see if they can help. They may say they can't because you booked through Vayama, but it's worth a try. Otherwise, definitely don't check bags.

Using Flight Connections you should make it if your ORD flight is on time. If you have to go through immigration and recheck bags I think it's very unlikely, although possible, that you will. It usually takes me about an hour to get through immigration and to the tube station, but there have been reports of long immigration lines at LHR lately.

Oregon
Level Contributor
141 posts
73 reviews
6. Re: Terminal connections at London Heathrow

I hope all goes well and you make this connection but it will be tight, as already noted. Our last flight into LHR took us around 25 minutes to deplane and get to immigration where we then waited in line for another hour. I’ve read that immigration lines have been taking much longer than that recently. If you have to change terminals and recheck your bags, it will be really tough to make your connection.

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