BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

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airtrotter
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BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by airtrotter »

Hi people!

I booked this trip to Heathrow on UA 929 and back the next day on AA 108...just to fly those widebodies. Crazy? maybe ;)
Anyway, i will arrive at LHR Terminal 1 very early (Saturday) and depart again Sunday morning at Terminal 3. I was thinking about booking an airport hotel, but i will probably just sleep somewhere in the airport itself (hey, i've read on http://www.sleepinginairports.net that LHR is not that bad :) ).

For those who have been to these terminals before or are familiar with LHR in general, i've got a few questions (I've only travelled through T5 before).

I probably just stay airside, right? So I don't have to clear customs/security...
What are good spotting sites @ T1 and T3?
What's the better terminal, spotting-wise, T1 or T3? Which one gets the nicest birds (T3 I presume) ?
Any recommended sleeping places?
Can I travel between T1 and T3 as much as I like (free or paying)? Or once I go from T1 to T3 I can't go back?
Internet access? Good food/drinks/snacks...?

As you can see it will be a whole new experience...

Thanks in advance!
airtrotter

teach
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by teach »

Why not stay at the Renaissance hotel Heathrow in stead of sleeping at the airport? Located smack next to the airport fence and the active runway. You can literally do planespotting from your room! They even offer a planespotting package, where they guarantee you a room with runway view.

You can see the hotel in this picture (you can see the name of the hotel just above the Etihad's fuselage):
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Etihad-A ... 1638521/L/

And some photos taken from inside the hotel:
http://www.airliners.net/photo/British- ... 0089725/L/
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Oneworld ... 1521140/L/
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Delta-Ai ... 1471281/L/

summersso
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by summersso »

Amazing... have you nothing better to do than waste a weekend sleeping at LHR?!

airtrotter
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by airtrotter »

@ teach: thanks for the tip!
But as an aviation enthusiast with a tight budget you've got to make choices, fly big and sleep small or fly small and sleep big :) , so the Renaissance, although a nice hotel with a stunning view, is out of my league for this trip. But thanks anyway!

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cathay belgium
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by cathay belgium »

Hi,

Looks nice,but can't find flights with wide-bodies from the summer shedules !! (JULY)
Or they gone from March?
Will they come back next winter season??

CX-B

PS Nice ! Never flown B777 !
New types flown 2021 .. //

sdbelgium
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by sdbelgium »

cathay belgium wrote:Looks nice,but can't find flights with wide-bodies from the summer shedules !! (JULY)Or they gone from March?
Yes, last flight 28MAR10.

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sn26567
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by sn26567 »

airtrotter wrote:I probably just stay airside, right? So I don't have to clear customs/security...
Don't be so sure. At LHR there is often a baggage and/or passport check between terminals.
André
ex Sabena #26567

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Buzz
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by Buzz »

How much did you pay for this trip, and which widebodies are you flying?
I assume you can check in online before you leave BRU for the flight back?

Why don't you just take the tube into the city for a couple of hours? 24 hours inside T1 and T3 might be a bit much, wouldn't it?

airtrotter
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by airtrotter »

Buzz wrote:How much did you pay for this trip, and which widebodies are you flying?
I assume you can check in online before you leave BRU for the flight back?
€ 65 BRU-LHR on UA B772 and € 78 LHR-BRU on AA B763, think that's an ok price. (€ 65 was also the ticket price on AA, but only through americanairlines.co.uk, and that's only allowed for US or UK residents...)

I booked the LHR-BRU leg on Opodo and it seems I'm not able to manage my booking on americanairlines.be (only possible when you booked on their site). So I don't think i can check in online, can I?
Haven't planned it all yet, so yes, maybe I will head into London city in the afternoon.

Anyone more information on T1 and T3?

thx
airtrotter

Stij
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by Stij »

The Giraffe restaurant in terminal 1 serves a decent breakfast and a decent burger at reasonable prices (for an airport that is) in terminal 1...

Cheers mate,

Stij

website-info
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by website-info »

Dont want to piss on your parade so to speak, but without checkin online and a printed boarding pass you will have to 'land' ie clear passport on arrival from BRU. Security are not gonna allow you to go thru transfer airside without it, especially as your next booking is nearly 24hours later.

That means once you land your stuck landside until you can checkin with AA for the return the next day. think you better look at www.sleepingatairports..... again for someplace landside to sleep. Or you could look at
www.premierinn.com select LHR then the Bath Road site, you can get this room only GBP45 (Eur52) for the 20th and request an airport view

T

airtrotter
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by airtrotter »

@ Stij: yes, the Giraffe! I tried that one in T5, but didn't know it's also at T1. Anyway, I just figured out that I won't be able to stay in T1 after my arrival as connections will guide me directly to T3 or I'll have to go landside.

@ website-info
Dont want to piss on your parade so to speak, but without checkin online and a printed boarding pass you will have to 'land' ie clear passport on arrival from BRU. Security are not gonna allow you to go thru transfer airside without it, especially as your next booking is nearly 24hours later.
Didn't know that, but isn't there a possibility to go to an AA desk when connecting?
In general, when does check-in start for a particular flight? A few hours before departure, 24h, only the same day?

website-info
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by website-info »

you can always try, when you land in T1 follow signs for flight connections and then go to the AA desk and see if they will check you in already, although I think they will ask you why you didnt book the flight for the 20th........

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Buzz
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by Buzz »

I did such a trip to MUC with Condor a few years ago, and they actually had dedicated evening check-in for flights that departed the next day at MUC. You might get lucky and find a desk that can check you in before the normal check-in desks open, or you might have to wait...

Good luck!

airtrotter
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by airtrotter »

Thank you all for the information! Really appreciated.

I might also try out some spotting places around LHR and probably head to the city with the tube. I will phone AA in advance and ask for the check-in possibilities (if they know the answer) and see what i can do then.

greetings!
airtrotter

ps: anyone familiar with T1 and T3? good viewing points, spotting places,...?

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Buzz
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by Buzz »

Don't know about the terminals,but if you're lucky with the runway configuration, the first tube station out of LHR is perfect for spotting. When I was there a couple of years ago the planes literary came right over my head seconds before touchdown. You'd have to check the runway config to know for sure though.

teach
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by teach »

Don't know about the terminals,but if you're lucky with the runway configuration, the first tube station out of LHR is perfect for spotting. When I was there a couple of years ago the planes literary came right over my head seconds before touchdown. You'd have to check the runway config to know for sure though.
That's Hatton Cross Tube station. If the 27s are used (and they usually are) you'll see the planes land there half the day, as Heathrow works with a system of alternating runways, and this for noise pollution reasons. If the 27s are used, one is used for take-off, the other for landing. The switch-over happens at exactly 3 pm. This is timed to the minute: the take-off runway will become landing, and vice versa.

If the 09s are used, planes take off over the tube station all day (rwy 09R), as runways are not switched at 3 pm when the 09s are in use.
ps: anyone familiar with T1 and T3? good viewing points, spotting places,...?
Don't know about T3, but T1 has very little with regards to spotting opportunities: you have to stay in the central shopping / food court area until your gate is announced, and that area has hardly any windows. There's a coffe / snack place with a view over the T1 piers and a runway far in the background, but there's really not all that much to see, and if I'm not mistaken, the new pier under construction (part of the new terminal that will replace T1 and T2) even blocks the view of the runway.

airtrotter
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by airtrotter »

last week, it has been mostly runways 09. So hopefully the wind will turn westerly at the end of next week, to catch landings on 27L/R.
We'll see, I only have a small camera anyway, no reflex camera or big lenses...

I arrive at T1, so I will probably spent most time at T3.

regi
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by regi »

My experience with LHR is that there is always a security check between terminal changings.
If this security check would have been done by officials such as police, no problem.
But as with many airports, it is done by an army of mentally disturbed clones who work for BAA. They have zero authority about you. ( they are civilians ) If you disagree with any kind of handling, the job is taken over by the real police, who sits behind the mirror glass windows.
I speak out of my own experience. The handling by the BAA "person" was completely wrong, abusive, time consuming and useless. When the plain clothed police came out of his office, the first thing he did was , scold the BAA "creature", and than identify himself to me and excuse for the rude behaviour of that BAA guy. The policeman explained that the guy had followed a wrong procedure. He made the BAA man start the procedure all over and after 2 attempts, he was told to step aside because he had done 3 things wrong within 30 seconds.
The police officer performed the checks and some minutes later it was " Excuse us for the disconfort. Please have a nice flight"

This BAA staff is mentally disturbed - not as an insult but because it is like that - because they are over loaded with work, the rules change often, they don't understand their own job, they dislike their job, they pick on each other and they are watched over their backs - literally - by the police from behind the mirror glass.

The result is staff that welcomes passengers with shouting such as " take of your shoes", "put it in the box", "take that out of the box", ""hurry", "stand in line" ,"take the other line",...
If you are mentally prepared for this, and take a ZEN attitude, it is bareable. Otherwise you loose 1 year of life expactancy because of high blood pressure.

airtrotter
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Re: BRU - LHR widebody trip (February 20-21)

Post by airtrotter »

@ regi: ok thanks, I will try and avoid security :P

It seems I can only check in max. 4 hours in advance for my trip back to BRU...bummer.
I'll see what happens at the airport, anyway I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks everyone for the tips and info!

grz

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