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When a British Airways ex-Europe trip goes wrong

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I am running two articles today based on reader experiences of flying British Airways long-haul by starting your trip in Europe.

This story, from reader Mark, is an example of how it can go (slightly) wrong:

“I did an ex-Amsterdam flight to Asia on British Airways earlier in the year which worked very well.  I had left myself 3 hours in Amsterdam between landing and taking off.  I did this with checked luggage and although my flight left London City 30 minutes late I still had time to relax in the lounge in Amsterdam.

Roll forward 2 months.  With another trip planned, heading West this time, the very aggressive British Airways prices on offer out of Dublin were too hard to resist, especially as I needed to renew my silver membership.  Working close to London City I again chose it as my departure point to get to Dublin.

British Airways BA London City Airport

I had been monitoring BA4466 which seemed to often depart late, but not enough to worry me given my 90 minute buffer.  My flight departed City Airport a little late (20 minutes) but I still had enough time to check in for the flight back to Heathrow and have a couple of drinks/snacks in the terminal.

The flights to the US and back went smoothly.   Because I wanted the tier points, I wanted to fly the last leg from London City to Dublin instead of dropping it.

I arrived at Heathrow in the morning.  I went to work during the day and headed back to City Airport in the evening to catch the same BA4466 again.  I arrived at City and the plane was running 30 minutes late – no dramas, I was still good on time. We eventually boarded the plane at just after 18:40 (my single unconnected flight left at 20:55).  I was thinking that as long as we push back promptly I’m ok.

We finally took off gone 19:15 and I had a checked bag. We touched down just after 20:15 but we didn’t arrive at the gate and off the plane until 20:25. The bag arrived at the belt quickly (for BA) although I didn’t reach the check-in desk until 20:35. The BA desks were all clearly closed for the day, the check-in staff told me the gate was closed but still called the guy on the gate to see if they could let me on.  The answer was No.

My Heathrow departure at 20:55 was a redemption ticket.  The check-in staff (after duress) changed my ticket to the first departure in the morning – there was redemption availability but this may not have been an issue – and didn’t charge me.

I was then booked on the morning flight with nowhere to stay.  British Airways said that the delay was <2 hours and not their problem. They were keen to preach to me about ‘allowing myself enough time’ etc etc.

Both of the Dublin airport hotels were booked so I found the cheapest B&B option via  In no mood to take public transport, I took a cab to the hotel and back.

This error probably cost me £100 which isn’t horrendous, just annoying. As the first Dublin to Heathrow flight doesn’t land until 8.45am (it actually landed at 9.05am) I was also 90 minutes late for work the next day.

These are the lessons I learnt:

Make sure there are at least three hours between your scheduled arrival time and your scheduled departure time.

Check the options if you miss the connection from the outstation. Is there another flight that day?  Remember if it is your fault then BA are at liberty to charge you or cancel your onward ticket.

Where possible take hand luggage only – I probably could have boarded the 20:55 if I did.  Check in and get the boarding pass on your phone.

Every flight I have taken from LCY has been delayed.  It might be prudent to look at the historic delays of your routing.

Whilst not a particular bad experience I just wanted to highlight that it can go wrong and some of the measures you should consider when booking these type of tickets. This would/could have obviously been a lot worse if I had have missed the first leg of my ex-Dublin trip.”


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (54)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • jen says:

    This is making me glad I booked a long stopover in DUB and don’t plan on taking checked luggage! It was the only way for my family of four to go CW to west coast. We found two reward flights, which we booked for my husband and 2 year old. I and my three year old are going on a fun trip to Dublin the day before, luckily planes, trains and automobiles is fun when you are three. Or at least I hope it will be! But I have booked an overnight hotel at LHR before we all actually fly, so that we have some leeway for our Dublin trip. And husband and younger daughter can take all our checked baggage (given high business luggage allowance) direct to heathrow while we pop over to Ireland!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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