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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Tight T5 connection/Food and Drink vouchers if incoming flight delayed

  • dannyhk 17 posts

    My 18 year old daughter has a tight 80-minute connection from international to domestic at T5 early on Saturday morning, coming off BA32 from Hong Kong (which is supposed to land at 6.40am but sometimes arrives as late as 7.20am) and connecting on BA1326 to Newcastle at 8am (which frustratingly for us seems to generally depart on time). She’ll be travelling on a single ticket with luggage checked through to Newcastle and presumably the boarding pass for the second leg issued in Hong Kong so perhaps she’ll make it. But, especially as recent experience suggests BA32 seems to disembark via buses rather than an airbridge, its quite possible she won’t if her incoming BA flight is delayed.

    Any tips about how to speed her way through flight connections would be appreciated? (as a British passport holder she can use the e-gates.) In Hong Kong, Cathay generally have staff waiting at the airbridge to speed tight connecting passengers to their onward flights. But I guess BA doesn’t do anything like that?

    And if she misses her connection due to a late incoming flight, presumably under UK261 she’s entitled to food and drink vouchers from BA? Since the next flight to Newcastle is not until 6.30pm (i.e. 10 hours later). How should she set about claiming those at Heathrow? And is she likely to face any pushback from BA staff?

    Unfortunately she’s flying PE so no lounge access which will mean a long time hanging around in T5 (and since it’s her first time connecting by herself she’s reluctant to leave the terminal).

    Any advice appreciated.

    NorthernLass 7,933 posts

    She should probably make cabin crew aware of the tight connection as they often get people off first who are in this situation. Unfortunately you can’t predict how quickly she’ll get through passport control and security.

    Is she misses the connection, there’s a CS desk in T5 where she can speak to someone about her options. It’s not inconceivable that there might be no available seats to NCL that day, in which case she might have to try and negotiate another way home or book a hotel.

    BA don’t usually give out F & B vouchers, so she’d need to keep any receipts and claim this back.

    If she does end up missing her NCL flight, post back here on Saturday and I’m sure you’ll get further advice.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,169 posts

    If she misses the AM flight I’d be tempted to ask BA to give her a ticket on LNER – BA & LNER have a ticketting agreement – than wait that long at T5

    SamG 1,668 posts

    Agree with @BA Flyer IHG Stayer – she should ask to be rebooked to LNER . She can just ride the Piccadilly line all the way up to Kings Cross using a contactless card so should be doable even if one is less confident about London!

    Otherwise shouldn’t be a big challenge to get F&B vouchers – if the flight is late enough it’s definitely a misconnect there will likely be someone meeting the flight with them otherwise she can ask at flight connections or the airside customer service desk

    NorthernLass 7,933 posts

    That’s what I meant by “other options” – people have even negotiated taxis but you might have to show a pressing need for BA to agree to this.
    I’ve never seen a BA food voucher! Plenty of posts here about people buying their own F & B and claiming it back.

    Just remembered my in-laws were even given lounge access when they were delayed coming off a PE flight into LHR and had to wait 9 hours for the next MAN departure. I assumed it was because they are quite elderly but it could also be a BA tactic to avoid paying for extra meals so it’s always worth asking nicely!

    Froggee 947 posts

    Froggee’s guide to tight connections at Heathrow:

    1) wear effective deodorant
    2) if you get in at B gates take the elevator to -4 and speed walk along the tunnel towards flight connections. Get the elevator to flight connections. Do not take the escalators. They are slower.
    3) if you get into the C gates, the train thingy is quicker. It is probably quicker taking the elevator to it, unless you get caught in a door-opening/door-closing repeat cycle. Anyway, the train thingy is quicker unless you just miss one. In which case take the escalator down to the tunnel from the train thingy platform and run. Then get the elevator to flight connections.
    4) once at arrivals, do not panic and attempt to clear immigration at arrivals as Mrs Froggee once did because this totally slows you down. Proceed at a speed walk pace to domestic flight connections. I repeat domestic flight connections. It is the LEFT LANE.
    5) much like a baseball player sliding for second base, present your boarding card to the BA person at domestic flight connections at 35 minutes and one second before the domestic flight.
    6) proceed to immigration. If there is a Heathrow happy helper wearing purple ask them if this is immigration. When they say “yes”, very nicely ask everyone in the queue if you can go to the front because you are on a very tight connection and the happy helper said “yes”. (Note – this is not a lie. The word “yes” was said)
    7) proceed to beepy machine thing. You should be able to beep this quickly as they have many beepy machines.
    8) proceed to Security. Again ask a Heathrow happy helper if this is security and then promote yourself to the front of the queue.
    9) stop and ensure that you are not wearing your belt, watch etc and have taken out of your bag what needs to be taken out. Failure at this point could be the end of civilisation as we know it.
    10) once past Security, carefully check your gate number and proceed accordingly.

    If you look stressed and ask nicely people always let you go past them. It is a British thing that the rule of the queue must be respected and one of these rules is people in need may be promoted.

    And most importantly, I repeat, wear deodorant. Heathrow is a sweatbox.

    NorthernLass 7,933 posts

    Excellent advice, @Froggee, though I assumed that LHR just brings on a hot flush. If you have no deodorant, avail yourself of a quick blast of a tester in one of the fragrance outlets, then run for your life before one of the circling sales assistants gets you in their clutches.

    Once there was a Spanish lady crying into her phone near me in the queue and it turned out she had a very tight connection but couldn’t explain this to the staff and in any case didn’t think it would make any difference. I hooked her up with a happy helper who took her to the front!

    dannyhk 17 posts

    Otherwise shouldn’t be a big challenge to get F&B vouchers – if the flight is late enough it’s definitely a misconnect there will likely be someone meeting the flight with them otherwise she can ask at flight connections or the airside customer service desk

    Many thanks, very helpful advice everyone. Does anyone have experience of being met at the gate in the event of a misconduct? Where would that be in the event of bussed in arrivals? Presumably somewhere just after they get off the bus? Is it worth looking around for someone in a BA uniform before dashing off to Flight Connections? Or will it be immediately obvious if they’re waiting for you? (E.g. because they have signs with the names of the misconnecting passengers.)

    SamG 1,668 posts

    I haven’t done it off a bus but I’ve been on a couple of delayed flights and it’s been very obvious- a surprisingly decent amount of staff waiting calling for connecting passengers. They’ve also announced rebooking for flights onboard as well – if it’s quite delayed then they send a list to the aircraft

    The only thing I’d guess is that the initial meet and greet would be with a BP for the next Newcastle flight- if she wants to check on Edinburgh flights or LNER trains she may need to visit flight connections desks

    dannyhk 17 posts

    Thank you again for the very helpful advice and will post here again on Saturday if there are any difficulties at Heathrow

    Ladyshopper 116 posts

    We flew home from Munich on Tuesday and there were a fair few people with connections to Manchester which were going to be very tight, as our flight departed an hour late. About half an hour before the end of the flight they started moving people with these onward connections to empty seats in Club Europe, which I thought was interesting.

    dannyhk 17 posts

    Many thanks to everyone who offered advice and helped contribute to such a successful outcome as my daughter just messaged me from the boarding gate for her Newcastle flight. Will save your advice for the next time she has another tight connection and only wish BA wouldn’t keep cancelling so many of the Newcastle flights.

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