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United Air to British Airway - what happen if we miss the connection?

Discussion in 'Vacation Travel Information' started by myip, Jul 17, 2017 at 5:48 PM.

  1. myip

    myip TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    If you buy 2 separate tickets :

    For example SFO to LHR (Heathrow, London) with united airline.
    Another ticket from British Airway: LHR (Heathrow) to MAD (Madrid)

    I checked the connect time for Heathrow Airport recommend a min of 75 minutes. We have 3 hours connection time. Knowing how unlucky we are recently with United. They delay the flights due to many reasons. How happen if we miss the connection flight for British Airway due to delay in United Airline? Do we need to check in from SFO first for British Airway? Do we check in the luggage directly to Madrid in SFO?
     
  2. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Was this booked as one trip, through one airline? If so then the airline (be it United or British Airway) should get you on the next available flight. Also you would check your luggage to your final destination.

    Sorry, I just read the you booked it as two separate flights. In that case, I'm not sure. You may still be able to check your luggage all the way through, but again I'm not sure.
     
  3. PStreet1

    PStreet1 TUG Lifetime Member

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    The last time we did that, we had to claim our luggage in Heathrow and with the luggage with us go through a scan as though we were initiating travel from London.

    They didn't make us go out and check in at the ticket counter; we had a special lane they wouldn't let us out of--even for the bathroom--and we went through security just as though we had come in from outside with ALL of our luggage.

    Perhaps they've changed the procedure, but that's what they did with us.
     
  4. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Boy- you are being very brave. Connecting flights are bad enough. Having two different airlines- yikes. Good luck.
     
  5. alwysonvac

    alwysonvac TUG Lifetime Member

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    I won't do it unless I was staying overnight between flights.

    As far as I know, when you book separate tickets, each ticket is only responsible for getting you from point A to point B. Neither airlines are responsible if a connection is missed (due to schedule changes, unforeseen flight delay and/or cancellations) .

    To ensure you get to your final destination and receive the appropriate compensation in case of a delay or missed connection, you're better off booking multiple connections on one airline (one ticket) rather than multiple airlines on different tickets.
     
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  6. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    As you proposed to buy two different tickets, it is two totally different trips. Neither airline will be responsible if you miss your connection. United will not check your baggage to Madrid. You cannot check in for the BA Flight in SFO.

    If you want to fly to Madrid with minimum potential problems with connections, you have to book it as one trip to Madrid with one airline, even you actually travel on two, three or twenty different airlines. You still may miss connections but you will be protected.

    Cheers
     
  7. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Have you already purchased these tickets?
     
  8. alwysonvac

    alwysonvac TUG Lifetime Member

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    From https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/travel/Pages/CheckedBaggage.aspx
    For a trip that includes one or more connections, United will check bags to the final destination stated on the ticket. United will generally transport checked baggage on the same flight as the traveler. If this is not practical, United will arrange to transport the baggage on the next flight with available space.

    You'll need to claim and re-check baggage if you are:

    • Making a voluntary stopover
    • Making a connection that involves an overnight stay
    • Connecting to an itinerary booked on a separate ticket that doesn't include a Star Alliance partner airline
    • Traveling internationally and connecting to a domestic flight within your destination country
     
  9. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    I would at the very least check into travel insurance and see if they would cover the additional costs if a delay of the first flight causes you to miss the second flight.

    Kurt
     
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  10. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    "What happens if we miss the connection?" You'll be screwed, to put it bluntly. You'd need to notify BA before their flight departs, if possible, and ask them to change you to another flight. You'll likely have to pay the price differential and hefty change fees.

    On arrival, you could beg a gate agent for seats on a later departing flight -- they might do that, but don't hold your breath. More likely, they'll tell you to see a ticket agent to discuss rebooking. I'd bring a printout of possible alternative flights, as well as a place to spend the evening near the airport.

    I once had a 45-min in-state puddle jumper arrive 3-hr late becuz of weather.
    I learned the hard-way never to schedule an activity the same day as arrival.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017 at 1:27 PM
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  11. isisdave

    isisdave TUG Member

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    And you're going to have to pay continental bag fees on the Madrid flight, whereas I think they'd be included in the larger free allotment if you booked it all together.

    LHR does have restrooms before immigration, BTW.
     
  12. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    If you don't make the connection to Madrid, as far as BA is concerned you will be a "no show" for your flight. You should review what provisions, if any, BA extends to customers who are "no shows". As for United, if their flight is late to arrive, the only thing you can expect from them is what compensations, if any, are due to you under your conditions of carriage.

    As others have pointed out, with the flights being booked as two tickets, you will almost certainly have to claim your luggage at Heathrow, and then go through security again to check your luggage to Madrid.

    You should think about what your situation will be if the United flight arrives at Heathrow on time, but your luggage doesn't arrive. Are you going to stay at Heathrow waiting for your luggage, while your flight leaves to Madrid? Do you go to Madrid without your luggage? Will United forward your luggage to Madrid if that is where you are? (Although I've never dealt with that situation, I don't think that United is going to forward your luggage on to Madrid for you, because that would mean they would be checking in your luggage for you on another flight. I can think of lots of reasons why they wouldn't do that, including the likelihood that airport security would prohibit that.)

    If after all of this you are still inclined to book as two tickets, I would determine whether your United flight out of SFO is originating at SFO, or if the flight originates somewhere else, and SFO is a stop over. If it originates elsewhere, your chances of having a delay increase accordingly. Even if the flight originates at SFO, it's still risky if the actual plane is a turnaround from a different flight. Because then if that arriving flight is delayed, then your flight will also be delayed.

    ******

    If you like those two flights, you might want to check with an aggregator site, such as Kayak, Orbitz, or Expedia, to see if they will offer those flights as a single itinerary.
     
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  13. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Member

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    Think three times on the possible combinations as to how many ways you could mess up your vacation/travel commitments ... foreign destinations, LONG travel hours, unfamiliar airports, local language differences, time zones and hotels bookings.

    Yes, I have done some interesting trips .... with all unplanned segments. In one country and out another country; no hotel reservations; never been to places; gone 2 weeks with only limited email contact with stateside relatives. Have ticket in to city 1 and ticket home from different city & country. No hotel reservations. No rental car(s). Different currencies in each country. And counties only open a few months to Americans ... like NO ENGLISH spoken nor English language signs or menus. At least during those trips, Americans were totally WELCOME.

    Different times and places ... you will be expected to PAY BIG for being so "smart" in their country.
     
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  14. Tamino

    Tamino Guest

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    If you haven´t yet booked these tickets - do not. As you are not a connecting passenger, traveling on one PNR or on a single ticket, there will be no handling or transferring of your luggage at LHR. If for any reason your UAL flight is late, and the possible causes for delays are numerous, you will probably lose your tickets to Madrid and will need to repurchase new tickets at walk-up prices.

    European airlines have carry-on and checked baggage allowances that are much more restrictive than those of US air carriers. What you carried on UAL may need to be checked when traveling BA. Check carefully the baggage weight and size limits.

    3 hours is nowhere near sufficient time for a connection on separate tickets through a major international airport. The 75 minutes to which you refer is for passengers on a single ticket. These passengers are handled completely differently; their luggage is automatically checked beyond LHR, they are given expedited transfers between terminals, they have access to special Immigration lines (and you´ll go through passport control both upon arrival and departure) and special security lines.

    Even with any intermediary connections, you´ll save yourself a lot of worry and probably money as well if you book directly SFO to MAD.
     
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  15. PStreet1

    PStreet1 TUG Lifetime Member

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    Yes, they do, but because we were already "behind the security check in" and in the gate area, they made us all stay in a cordoned off line to our special security check, and we weren't allowed to get out of the line, even to go to the restroom.
     
  16. uop1497

    uop1497 Guest

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    Sorry for jump in this thread with a question.

    For my coming trip , I booked the flight with American Airline. I will flight from Oakland ==> Phoenix ==> Heathrow. The first segment will be AA carrier and British Airway for Phoenix ==> London . If there is problem or delay causing us to miss the connection flight from Phoenix to London which airline will responsibility to reschedule us to the next flight. I was told by AA personnel that our check luggage will be send all the way to Heathrow (London) .

    Since I booked our flight to Switzerland, I keep hearing negative news involves British Airway. I hope by the time we take our trip, we do not have to face any problem with British Airway .
     
  17. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    uop1407: You should deal directly with BA for 2nd segment issues. AA issued the ticket, but they did so as an agent for BA. Although they have an interline agreement for your luggage, I doubt AA will issue a boarding pass for BA. So, you'll likely have to check-in with BA separately to get their boarding pass (unless it's code-shared).

    I'd contact BA ahead of time to verify your reservation, seat selection and ask that question. BA should also be able to give you their own confirmation # so you can track any changes which they make online. You can try locating your itinerary on BA's website, but some airlines' websites won't list 3d-party bookings. If you call, they may ask for your ticket # (not AA's confirmation code).

    Anecdote: Delta had me booked on WestJet for my second leg. WestJet charges for seat selection, so Delta won't assign their seats. I had to call WestJet to talk with a human to pick/pay for a seat and get their confirmation #. Then, Delta changed my itinerary so my 2nd leg with w-them instead. I just called WestJet again to get a refund.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 1:54 PM
  18. Tamino

    Tamino Guest

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    You are traveling on a single ticket or a single PNR from OAK to LHR. AA will assist you with any problem at OAK. At PHX, BA will rebook you if for any reason you miss the connection. If you have a baggage problem upon arrival at LHR, BA will help you.

    As far as you are concerned, this is a single ticket, seamless connection and either AA or BA will make sure you arrive LHR with the minimum amount of delay if there is a problem.
     
  19. uop1497

    uop1497 Guest

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    Thank you ALL for giving me your input.
    I contacted British Airways (using BA confirmation #) and got seat assignment for around trip ticket. I plan to do the online check in (24 hrs before flight) and printing our ticket . If I can not print our ticket for PHX - LHR, will see if AA can print out the ticket for us at the time of checking .
     
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