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Old 06-15-2010, 01:13 PM
Status: "Stay Cool, It's Hot" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
1,876 posts, read 4,052,299 times
Reputation: 914

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Ok, I will be travelling to Italy (through Rome) in a few months with my older grandmother. While she has no problem getting around, I worry about having to run through Heathrow. I've never been to Heathrow, but I've heard plenty of horror stories. The flights will be British Airways from Newark Liberty and then onto Rome. Connection time is roughly 2.5 hours (a little less on the return trip). If time of day is a factor, let me know and I'll get the details.

Besides Iceland's volcanic activity and uncertainty about striking flight crew at BA, what should I expect from British Airways in terms of service, flight quality, and timeliness. How is Heathrow set up? I've been through Frankfurt and Munich before so European style security isn't new to me, but I've heard it is tighter at Heathrow. Is that a correct assumption?

Finally, I've flown through Newark before (2004 on Continental to/from Europe), but as you can see it has been a while. Have there been major changes there since than? What terminal does BA fly in and out of there (so I can tell the driver). I appreciate all the help, as this is the first time I will be flying to Europe without being in a large group. Also, the tickets for this trip were bought through the tour company (Trafalgar), and we have basic insurance, so what does that entail if things get out of control?
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:41 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,131 posts, read 17,182,746 times
Reputation: 9982
BA goes in/out of Term B in newark.

You can request a Wheel chair at Heathrow for your grandmother (In advance from BA) Might help 'speed' her thru the airport some. Two years ago when i last was on BA, I thought in cabin service had gone down since I flew them last 12? yers ago (But all Airline service has) . Was in the back on both flights. BA Flight are generly on time, Getting out of Newark they can be late in the afternoon push. But they plan that into there schedule. 2.5 hr BA>BA connection should be fine.

Security in europe has alway been tighter, But does not seem to be a problem going thru security. There is just more visiable security around.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:29 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,357,671 times
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If you are doing the whole trip with BA then you will almost certainly be flying through Terminal 5 at Heathrow. While this terminal is big and crowded, getting through it is not all that hard. BA in Newark should check you and your bags through to Rome so, at Heathrow, all you need to do is to go through transfers and you do not need to pick up your bags until you get to your final destination. Assuming your flight is on time, 2.5 hours is plenty of time to transfer. In the event you are delayed to the extent you miss your connection then BA will automatically recheck you (they did for me the one time I got delayed).

However, and as a precaution, do take a carry-on in addition to your checked bags with a full change of clothing, toiletries and any meds you might need.
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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Whilst all BA flights go out of terminal 5 at Heathrow, there are 2 parts to it ,one on either side of the apron.
If you need to get between the two there is a train, but it doesn't run as frequently as some of the transportation at other airports I've been through.

As for wheelchair assistance at the gate, by all means ask for it , but I wouldn't hang around waiting for it. They have limited capacity and my mother doesn't bother anymore as they waited half an hour once and then decided to walk as they were concerned about missing their connection.

It can be quite a long walk to and from the gates, which adds to the time it takes for transfer.

BA are OK. A lot depends on the crew on the day. Certainly not what it used to be.

If your flights aren't both BA then it could be a little tighter.
BAA Heathrow: Airport information | Heathrow Airport guide
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:43 AM
Status: "Stay Cool, It's Hot" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
1,876 posts, read 4,052,299 times
Reputation: 914
Thanks everyone for your advice and comments! When I flew through Newark 6 years ago, it was Terminal C. I remember it taking a while to get from the gate to the runway, but at that time I didn't have a connection waiting in Europe. While a wheelchair is an option, I'm not sure how receptive my grandmother would be to the idea. Does Heathrow have separate security lines for wheelchair passangers? If so, that might be an incentive. It might also help if we suddenly have a tight connection, but I digress.

All the flights are on BA, so it shouldn't be a problem with terminals. All I am worried about is a tight connection in an unknown airport with numerous security checkpoints. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and I am looking foward to this trip. Thanks again everybody for the information!
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:55 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,131 posts, read 17,182,746 times
Reputation: 9982
You will need to re-clear Security in London But it should be fast http://www.heathrowairport.com/porta...0357e120a____/. BA to BA will keep you in the same terminal in the international tranist zone. Its a big term but its well maked with signs. And there are BA staff all over the place you can ask for help in getting you in the right direction.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:47 PM
 
1,644 posts, read 4,109,527 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrightflyer View Post
Thanks everyone for your advice and comments! When I flew through Newark 6 years ago, it was Terminal C. I remember it taking a while to get from the gate to the runway, but at that time I didn't have a connection waiting in Europe. While a wheelchair is an option, I'm not sure how receptive my grandmother would be to the idea. Does Heathrow have separate security lines for wheelchair passangers? If so, that might be an incentive. It might also help if we suddenly have a tight connection, but I digress.

All the flights are on BA, so it shouldn't be a problem with terminals. All I am worried about is a tight connection in an unknown airport with numerous security checkpoints. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and I am looking foward to this trip. Thanks again everybody for the information!
if you ask for wheelchair assistance you go to the front of the line at immigration.
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