LHR T5 40 minute rule
A while back I got stuck in traffic and arrived at LHR T5 just in time for my flight to BRU – or so I thought. I was checked in online, hand baggage only. I tried to go through passport control 35 minutes before my flight – close but just in time – not. Apparently BA now put you down as a no show if you are not airside 40 minutes before departure.
This is all automated. When they scan the barcode on your boarding pass it posted me up as a no show and they send you to the check in desk. My flight wasn’t even boarding. The terminal was quiet and there was no queue for security. I could have easily been through security and sitting at the gate before the flight was called.
As it was I ended up having a futile conversation with the human tape recorder sitting at the check in desk who simply said I had been put down as a no show, my seat had been given to someone else, and I had to go to the sales desk. I continued the argument with the sales desk (by this time it was probably too late anyway) and to add insult to injury they told me that the flight was half empty so my seat hadn’t been given to someone else – it was just the system that doesn’t let you through after 40 minutes!
As I was on a no changes ticket and it was the last flight of the day I elected to jump back in the car and drive to Dover rather than pay a hotel and line BA’s pockets some more. As far as I am aware this is just a T5 thing. Not that I make a habit of it but it’s another element of flexibility taken out of BA’s offering. So be warned. I will fly BMI out of T1 in future. At least I have the option of running for the gate if I get stuck.
Last edited by t1grm; 25th Jul 2012 at 17:28.