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Warnings for flying from or transferring at Heathrow

Warnings for flying from or transferring at Heathrow

Old Jun 16th, 2022, 11:01 PM
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Warnings for flying from or transferring at Heathrow

Just a heads up to all you travelers. We had a transfer connection at Heathrow to Thessaloniki. We had an 1 hr 45 minute time frame. Almost didnít make the plane. Beware to anyone leaving through there. They take their baggage security to the umpteenth degree! They pulled tons of bags out to search after the X-ray screen. Please put all of your liquids, including shaving, makeup, medical cream and anything you MIGHT even not imagine is a liquid in a quart size bag and in the bin. Only 3 oz or less per container. Only 1 bag. Put e cigarette device in scanner bin also.

They only had one screener on each line and bags piling up. Our screener was looking through someoneís pills, makeup with fine tooth comb. They were putting items through a another machine, obviously to check for explosives I guess and taking things away. Passengers were beside themselves because they were going to miss their connecting flights. I have never gone through security like that before in all my travels! I am not quibbling with the security per say, but they need more people because it is not fair to all of us if we canít make the plane. They emptied everyones bag item by item and then took a wand over and inside the bag. It was so absolutely stressful. Also, the airport is large and depending on your gate, you might have to walk 5- 10 minutes to get there. This is the absolute last time I fly through London!!

Last edited by Debbielynn; Jun 16th, 2022 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Used wrong words in title
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Old Jun 16th, 2022, 11:19 PM
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Flew BA LHR to CPH last week and security was pretty normal.
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Old Jun 16th, 2022, 11:35 PM
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I have been through LHR several times over the last few years and I find their security screening nerve wracking. Once, it was quite slow and the other times were OK but not quick. I am glad they are thorough but it is best to allow quite a bit of transfer time there.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 12:20 AM
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Delays at security are a fact of life at many European airports, as are delays at passport control. Personnel shortages are hitting hard.

It makes sense to have liquids gels etc easily viewable, as well as all electronic devices, including e-cigarettes. There are usually signs up asking you to do this anyway.

At least your flight went, many have had theirs cancelled, even after arriving at the airport.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 12:54 AM
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Who travels with liquids? The last time I almost missed a fight (Gatwick) the delay was caused by people who really could not understand what a liquid was. Virgin crew were walking up and down saying take your liquids out, then every customer who went up to check in showed that they did not understand despite English being their first language. Given that there is a war in Europe now is not the time to drop our guard.

More unreasonable is lack of staff and right now the UK has low unemployment and we are finding it hard to find staff (did I mention Brexit) and that is a good reason to avoid transfer through UK at the moment
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 01:22 AM
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Good reason to avoid Schiphol at the moment too bilbo. They are scrapping flights all summer.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 02:25 AM
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Airports set the security protocol based on the threat level.
Heathrow gets threats all the time, and they have to decide which are legitimate, which are false and adjust accordingly.
They might target luggage, passengers and flights from specific area .

Personally, I would welcome the chance to take a 10 minute walk after a flight.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 02:40 AM
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Currently in Oslo having flower in from Stockholm. Stockholm airport also having issues and we have heard about issues at AMS as well.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 02:41 AM
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Gatwick has just announced they are cancelling some flights due to staff shortages. Many employees were laid off during the pandemic, not all are returning to their pre pandemic jobs, and this is happening everywhere including LHR. Everything runs at a slower pace with staff shortages.

I would never plan a trip with a 1hr 45min layover at LHR. The airport has five terminals at two different sides of the runway. If you arrive at T2 and your connection is at T5, for example, you would struggle to make that connection. Even when your flights arrive and depart from the same terminal that would be too short for comfort.

Last edited by Heimdall; Jun 17th, 2022 at 02:49 AM.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 03:16 AM
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In my experience, LHR had the most strict security of all airports Iíve transited through, and the OPís experience doesnít sound unusual.

A few years ago (pre-pandemic) we transited through LHR and I swore Iíd avoid it if possible. Security is very strict about the limits of how much liquid (ie, tubes of stuff, which includes toiletries or makeup) and handed out small plastic bags per person to make sure whatever we had fit within the bag. And many people were pulled out of line to have their luggage handscreened if there was anything that was questionable in the luggage scans. It was stressful and time-consuming, and if traveling now with staff shortages everywhere, one really needs a lot of extra time to transit through the airport. There are delays in many places now, but the security at LHR makes it even worse.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 06:04 AM
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We flew from LHR yesterday and it was pretty painless. It was a half hour from checking bags to the gate. It was worse when we arrived than leaving.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mjs View Post
Currently in Oslo having flower in from Stockholm. Stockholm airport also having issues and we have heard about issues at AMS as well.

Arlanda T5 esp has very long lines for everything currently.

I think pretty much everywhere has a problem with staffing so lines are to be expected. I flew from LHR T3 recently arriving at 4.30am and there were lines already, one of the fast track lines for security were closed. Transferred at CDG where we had to go thru security between non Schengen and non Schengen, the lines were unbelievably long, without airline status I don't think we would have made the connection.

On the return from SXM, the security lines were insane but I don't think that airport is back to normal after the hurricane let alone after COVID. CDG lines were insane again and arrival into LHR T3 passport control was just a sea of people.

Next week I'm flying from LHR again via AMS to CPH, I'm expecting the worst but with a nice new shiney EU passport and airline status, should make it thru passport control which is typically the bottleneck at AMS.

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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 08:16 AM
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All airports are a mess right now. We flew from Seattle to Barcelona via Amsterdam, and flew home via Amsterdam, as well. We very nearly missed our flight in Seattle because of security, and the passport control in Amsterdam was a hot mess on our way to Barcelona.
When we flew home, passport control in Amsterdam was a breeze. The line was so short we thought we were in the wrong place. But we weren't.

Staffing is a problem world-wide. Plan on long wait times to get checked in, and to go through security. If you breeze through, then spend time at their airport counting your blessings.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 08:26 AM
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"Please put all of your liquids, including shaving, makeup, medical cream and anything you MIGHT even not imagine is a liquid in a quart size bag and in the bin. Only 3 oz or less per container. Only 1 bag.?"

That has been the requirement just about everywhere in the world for nearly 2 decades. Not sure why that would surprise you. The 3-1-1 rule for liquids and gels is almost universal.

But otherwise, all airport functions LOTS of places - in the US, elsewhere Europe, at LHR are impacted by staff shortages, rapidly increasing passenger counts, etc. Sometimes one is lucky and breezes through but long queues are more the norm
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 08:57 AM
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The US don't check liquids or how many plastic bags you have with liquids in it. In the UK you can only have 1 plastic bag and it has to be able to be closed. So it can come as a surprise for those from the US that airports in Europe check & uphold the rules as strictly as they do. @OP .If you think transferring is bad @ LHR, try CDG.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 09:10 AM
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The only airport we've had something confiscated was LHR. Pre-Covid. It was a half-empty 2.5 oz. silicone container of shampoo. Did someone just want the handy container?
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 10:18 AM
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I've had stuff confiscated at Athens, Copenhagen, Frankfurt & Maui airport & probably others that I can't remember And LHR on more than 1 occasion.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 10:31 AM
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"The US don't check liquids or how many plastic bags you have with liquids in it. "

The rule is very clear on the TSA website . . . https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...g/liquids-rule

Whether one has to remove them from carry on's for scanning depends on the airport, type of screening equipment, pre-check or not, etc.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by balthy View Post
The US don't check liquids or how many plastic bags you have with liquids in it. In the UK you can only have 1 plastic bag and it has to be able to be closed. So it can come as a surprise for those from the US that airports in Europe check & uphold the rules as strictly as they do. @OP .If you think transferring is bad @ LHR, try CDG.
Not true -we have had jam taken from our luggage as it was deemed a liquid.
We have found the airports in US very strict as they should be.
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 10:18 AM
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I once had a large jar of really expensive ('silver thistle') honey confiscated at San Francisco airport. Almost cried. As for Heathrow, we were just there yesterday and were both hugely amused to see the showcase of 'stuff you cannot bring onto our planes'. We viewed it with grins on our faces while a staffer repeatedly screamed at other travelers somewhere behind the barrier, "STAY BEHIND THE RED LINES PLEASE!" An annoyingly loud alarm sound kept pulsing on and on as well, grating to have to hear. People were still tryna bring water (??) but the First Prize for Knuckleheadery in that showcase went to the 12" blade knife! As if.

Yesterday's experience @ Heathrow was pretty normal, but our arrival there in late May was a certified shitshow. Long lines of us were corralled like cattl crowd-controlled in endless snail-like lines, elderly and parents with young kids included. Locals returning to London were outraged: 'Appalling! Disastrous! Worst EVER!'--verbatim quotes all. Then the facial recognition tech in the Immigration Hall malfunctioned. You could sense that tensions were rising. Some of those same outraged locals were ignoring the NO PHOTOS signs in order to document the crazy scene.

Btw Heimdall, Toronto's own airport also just today announced the cancellation of a number of summer flights, assumedly Air Canada ones, in order to better handle the comings and goings. Interesting choice. Bad news for some, one imagines.

I am done. the Eno album for airports

Last edited by zebec; Jun 30th, 2022 at 10:22 AM. Reason: pecked by parrots while typing
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