Month: June 2010

Doing the impossible at Heathrow

I’ve done a stupid thing. I have booked a flight from T5 to Edinburgh, that’s not the problem though. The problem is it leaves 65 minutes after my first flight arrives into T1 !!

So,,,, T1 to T5 in 65 minutes on airside… Is it doable? The minimum “legal connection” is 90 minutes according to

I took bets from friends I was travelling with on the incoming flight , 75% were betting I won’t make it.  Below is the story of madness and mayhem.

I arrived into T1 on BMI (Hand luggage only) from an international flight, so I am classified as non-sterile, meaning I have to clear security again on arrival.

One more hurdle was that I needed to be at security 35 minutes before departure (T5 rules!)

I then Realised that I forgot to take into account the 35 minutes barrier, this meant I no longer had 65 minutes, I now have 30 minutes to get from T1 to T5 barrier check.

Here it goes

T1 -> Run -> Flight connections -> Bus -> run -> flight connections -> 35 minutes cut off check at T5 -> Passport control -> 35 minutes cut off check -> security -> T5 Departure!

The plane arrived at gate 55 in T1, the worst possible starting point, the furthest away gate in the terminal from flight connections!

Plane lands

T minus 35 minutes

Door opens. Countdown started.

T minus 30 minutes

Run towards flight connections, with 2 bags and a spare wheel around my waist it’s not so easy.

T minus 23 minutes

Arrive at T1 passport control, it’s not what I need, valuable time wasted asking someone who did not know, I need to get to T5

T minus 21 minutes

At the bus stop, waiting for the bus to T5.

T minus 18 minutes

Bus arrives, driver says he plans to wait for 5 more minutes. !!!!!!

The bus leaves after the drivers looks inside the terminal and seeing no-one was there (It’s a BA strike day)!

T minus 5 minutes

Bus arrives at T5, run upstairs towards flight connections.

T minus 2 minutes

Arrive at first 35 minutes cut-off check.Clear!

Arrive at passport control. Clear!

T minus zero minutes

Arrive at second 35 minutes cut-off check. Clear!

The sprint is over, I can take my time walking to the escalators that will take me to security……

5 minutes later I was in T5 departures.

I have made it.

I arrived as the plane was boarding, 10 minutes later I was on board.

Moral of the story:

If it says 90 minutes, it will need 90 minutes.

I only made it because I was lucky that everything was working in my favour, The bus left 5 minutes early. BA being on strike meant the number of passengers was very low and there were no queues at the cut-off checkpoints, passport controls or security and I had my boarding pass printed which meant I did not need to check in at Heathrow.

If you’re thinking about doing it, don’t!