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time needed at LHR

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Good morning everyone.   We'll be arriving at LHR via ANZ from LAX at 11:45 am.   Available flights to Edinburgh on British Air  are at 2pm & 3:30.   These will be separately booked tickets not true connecting flights.   

 

We're in premium economy on ANZ & have Global Entry ( I realize this is a U.S. program, but it helped us in New Zealand)   I'd really like to do the 2pm flight & realize that it's a bit tight (we'd have to grab our bags & go through customs & immigration)   We'll be traveling lightens, & are able to get though the airport pretty easily.   It's been a few years since I flew through LHR,   in 2014, I easily made a flight with a two hour layover, but I realize things may have changed.   Appreciate any tips.  

 

Additional question,  can I be "in transit"  & just enter the UK in Edinburgh?  

Edited by cruise kitty

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Given they are not true connecting flights, there is no reason not to take the later flight. Why risk a 60-min delay (happens all the time) over making your flight to save 90-mins. 

 

From my understanding there is no way not to pass through customs and immigration in LHR first, which can take some time. Though U.S. Passport holders do get to use EU lines I think? Someone else can confirm that I think it is a new program. 

 

I just see no positive. If it was a real connection, then sure, 2:00pm should be enough time. But given separate tickets, no reason to not give more buffer. 

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As to using your Global Entry in England (or New Zealand), it depends if that country is recognizing the "Known Traveler " system on a worldwide basis- a few countries do. Canadian airports do this...your Global Entry card allows you into a faster security line, and later of course, with your passport, through US pre-clearance. I have not seen that Great Britain is recognizing the Known Traveler system, but it would be nice if they did.

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40 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

As to using your Global Entry in England (or New Zealand), it depends if that country is recognizing the "Known Traveler " system on a worldwide basis- a few countries do. Canadian airports do this...your Global Entry card allows you into a faster security line, and later of course, with your passport, through US pre-clearance. I have not seen that Great Britain is recognizing the Known Traveler system, but it would be nice if they did.

 

If you go to the UK frequently as a US citizen, you can sign up as a Registered Traveller for GBP70, plus GBP50 each year, and that gets you in the UK/EU passport line, or the ePassport gates, without any need for a landing card. For a one-time trip, obviously not worth it. If you're entering the UK many times each year, it may very well be. That being said, I am a frequent entrant to the UK and have never felt it worth the money yet.

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2 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

Good morning everyone.   We'll be arriving at LHR via ANZ from LAX at 11:45 am.   Available flights to Edinburgh on British Air  are at 2pm & 3:30.   These will be separately booked tickets not true connecting flights.   

 

We're in premium economy on ANZ & have Global Entry ( I realize this is a U.S. program, but it helped us in New Zealand)   I'd really like to do the 2pm flight & realize that it's a bit tight (we'd have to grab our bags & go through customs & immigration)   We'll be traveling lightens, & are able to get though the airport pretty easily.   It's been a few years since I flew through LHR,   in 2014, I easily made a flight with a two hour layover, but I realize things may have changed.   Appreciate any tips.  

 

Additional question,  can I be "in transit"  & just enter the UK in Edinburgh?  

 

Let's start at the bottom - no, you can't just enter the UK in Edinburgh. It would be like someone wanting to fly from London to San Francisco to Los Angeles, but be able to get on the SFO-LAX flight without clearing immigration. Then, when that flight lands at LAX, figuring out how to sort those people away from the others just flying a regular domestic flight from San Francisco. Pretty much impossible, and it's the same in the UK.

 

I wouldn't put the stress on myself to take the 2pm flight. Yes, we all want to get to our destinations ASAP, but it's just too easy to have a delay in your flight, a delay in immigration, a delay picking up your baggage, and a delay transferring terminals...with 2h15 between flights, any one of those can easily make you a "no show" for your LHR-EDI flight.

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You also need to factor in the cost of buying tickets at the 'walk up' price if you miss your flight (assuming seats are even available). From my perspective you have only a 50:50 chance of making the early flight, so for peace of mind, and from an economic point of view as well  go for the later flight.

One other issue, which may or may not apply in your case. If you have return tickets to Edinburgh and back, and miss the outgoing flight, your return flights will automatically be cancelled.

Edited by wowzz

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IIRC NZ would arrive into T3 while the BA flights to EDI depart out of T5 so a terminal change is involved that will take at least 20 minutes.  Immigration lines at T3 are said to be horribly long at the wrong times of the day, and don't assume there will be EU or any express lines to use.

 

If you were to fly BA on a through ticket, I believe you can clear immigration at a transit point to the domestic area (they're not fully segregated) at LHR and customs at EDI.

Edited by cruising cockroach

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Thank you to Flymia, Cruiser Bruce, Zach1213, Wowzz, & Cruising Cockaroach for your replies.   

 

I'm going to take your good advice & book the later flight.   Looks like if I book regular economy, they allow same day flight changes, so if by some miracle we get through everything early, we'll try flying standby on the earlier flight.  

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10 minutes ago, cruising cockroach said:

Have you bought the NZ tickets already?  I'd much rathet fly LAX-AMS-EDI.  Likely to be less of a hassle.

 

Yes, they are purchased already,  I've always been super happy with ANZ premium economy product, & we book the same seats every time.  We leave around the 1st of May.  

 

Thanks again for your help

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ANZ's premium economy is great.  Immigration at LHR's T3 is not great unless you have their Fast Pass.  When went through there last May coming off of a United flight and it took us 2 hours just to clear immigration.  They were fully staffed but overloaded with passengers.  You might want to check with ANZ to see if your PE fare includes  LHR's FastTrack.  There have also been some articles about the UK beginning to accept our Global Entry and chipped passports in their EU/UK lanes to help lighten the load on the Non EU/JK side but I don't recall the start date.  

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I know that ANZ premium economy will get me fast tracked if I was boarding, but in this case I'll be boarding BA.  I think for this leg only I'll book BA's version of business class so we don't get caught up in a long line.  Plus we'll get the nice lounge to wait in.  

 

Thanks everyone!

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1 hour ago, cruise kitty said:

I know that ANZ premium economy will get me fast tracked if I was boarding, but in this case I'll be boarding BA.  I think for this leg only I'll book BA's version of business class so we don't get caught up in a long line.  Plus we'll get the nice lounge to wait in.  

 

Thanks everyone!

 

I will say the BA lounges are...fine. In the morning and early afternoon (more so the morning) they can be uncomfortably busy, but still better than the general seating areas of T5A/B/C. Plus, you get access to showers which is the single greatest thing in the world after an overnight flight, in my opinion.

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On 1/14/2019 at 7:16 PM, cruise kitty said:

 

Yes, they are purchased already,  I've always been super happy with ANZ premium economy product, & we book the same seats every time.  We leave around the 1st of May.  

 

Thanks again for your help

 

The other option is the train.  It would likely involve taking the tube to Kings Cross and then a train from there.  Purchased in North America on Euro rail you should be able to get a decent price on a ticket that is valid on any train that day.

 

It does take longer (around 5 hours).   However in contrast if you need to build a buffer at the airport for changing terminals and flight delays it may work out to be about the same time.

 

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Thanks for your suggestion.  If we were arriving earlier I would love to take the train, but coming from the West Coast, (Los Angeles)  this is going to be a long 2 days of travel already 

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Just to update everyone who helped here:  I ended up booking the 15:25 BA flight in economy plus (for baggage reasons & exit row seats)  We get free lounge visits through my credit card so it seemed silly to pay twice the price for business on an 1.5 hour flight... somehow we'll manage to survive coach lol. :)  

 

I know this was the right decision as we've been delayed every single time we've flown to Europe   Of course booking the later flight means we'll cruise through everything perfectly right?   

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On 1/15/2019 at 12:44 PM, cruise kitty said:

I think for this leg only I'll book BA's version of business class

 

18 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

I ended up booking the 15:25 BA flight in economy plus (for baggage reasons & exit row seats)  We get free lounge visits through my credit card so it seemed silly to pay twice the price for business on an 1.5 hour flight... somehow we'll manage to survive coach lol. 🙂  

 

 

Does BA even offer TRUE business class on a short domestic hop like London-Edinburgh?  I'm not an expert on BA, but most European airlines "business class" on intra-European flights is just coach seating, with the middle seat left empty to allow more elbow room.

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1 hour ago, waterbug123 said:

 

 

Does BA even offer TRUE business class on a short domestic hop like London-Edinburgh?  I'm not an expert on BA, but most European airlines "business class" on intra-European flights is just coach seating, with the middle seat left empty to allow more elbow room.

 

It's the same intra-Europe style cabins on BA between LHR and EDI. Sometimes they substitute a midhaul A321 aircraft on this route with fully flat beds (very similar to Jetblue Mint) but you can't bank on it.

 

I should note for lounge access at Heathrow you can only access lounges in terminal you are departing from. The only lounges in Terminal 5 are BA lounges (only accessible to those with oneworld Sapphire or above status or on business class or above tickets) and an Aspire lounge which is in the Priority Pass network. 

Edited by fbgd

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4 hours ago, waterbug123 said:

 

 

Does BA even offer TRUE business class on a short domestic hop like London-Edinburgh?  I'm not an expert on BA, but most European airlines "business class" on intra-European flights is just coach seating, with the middle seat left empty to allow more elbow room.

 

That's exactly what it looked like to me.  We flew BA business from LHR to FCO several years back, because I got a reply good deal, had a longish layover & it included the nice lounge.  Our credit card includes free lounge access so it seems silly to pay the extra fee.  

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On 1/19/2019 at 3:26 PM, fbgd said:

I should note for lounge access at Heathrow you can only access lounges in terminal you are departing from. The only lounges in Terminal 5 are BA lounges (only accessible to those with oneworld Sapphire or above status or on business class or above tickets) and an Aspire lounge which is in the Priority Pass network. 

 

On 1/19/2019 at 6:47 PM, cruise kitty said:

Our credit card includes free lounge access so it seems silly to pay the extra fee.  

 

T5 now has a Plaza Premium as well. The OP should check whether their credit card lounge access allows entry into either Aspire or Plaza Premium, as it won't get them into the BA lounges.

 

If NZ will through-check the checked bags to EDI, then the OP's best strategy at LHR would be to follow the purple Flight Connections route that takes them to the airside bus from T2 to T5. In this route, when getting to T5 there will be a boarding pass check, immigration clearance and then upstairs to security clearance. The checked bags will clear customs at EDI. If doing this, it will be important to give BA the bag tag numbers (at the gate, at the latest, but preferably earlier), otherwise the checked bags may not be loaded onto the LHR-EDI flight as BA won't know who they belong to and there isn't a positive match.

 

If (as I think is more likely), the checked bags are not through-checked, then the OP will have to clear immigration, collect bags, exit to the public area and go to the Heathrow Express platform to get a train to transfer to T5 (this is free) for check-in and bag drop.

 

The same day change feature of the Plus ticket allows a change on the same calendar day as the originally booked flight, so long as the change is made at least one hour before the time of the original booked flight and at least one hour before the time of the new flight, whichever is earlier.

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