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IrishTexan
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:24 am

Best Time Of Day To Schedule Intl Arrival To LHR?

Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:47 am

Apologies if this is covered elsewhere, but from a cursory search I can't seem to find an answer to my query.
Given the number of flights from the U.S. to LHR arriving at a wide variety of times through the day, I'm curious to hear any opinions on what times are best or worst. My concern centers around the media reports on occasional multiple hour delays at customs/immigration and I would hope to schedule my arrival away from the worst of the bottlenecks, which I imagine probably occur around the early morning arrivals.
Tks in advance for any input or comment.
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3750
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: Best Time Of Day To Schedule Intl Arrival To L

Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:01 pm

It depends on which class and terminal you arrive at. Most terminals are fairly evenly spread thoughout the day for arrivals. T3 probably has the highest % of non-EU pax (ergo the longest immigration queues), followed by T4, T5 and T1. First thing in the morning (5-8am) is peak arrival time for longhual arrivals from USA/India/Far East. There is another clump of mainly Asian arrivals around 3-6pm. You'd have to look at the full daily timetable for each terminal individually to work out the quietest time for arrivals. Late evening there are also a handul of arrivals from IAD/BOS/NYC/ORD...this is normally a quiet time (as well as helping with jetlag).
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-FNC-PDL-TER-LIS-LUX-LHR-MUC-BRN,BSL-LHR
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19287
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Best Time Of Day To Schedule Intl Arrival To L

Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:14 am

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Late evening there are also a handul of arrivals from IAD/BOS/NYC/ORD...this is normally a quiet time (as well as helping with jetlag).

And YYZ (AC's daytime flight).
 
teo747
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:44 pm

RE: Best Time Of Day To Schedule Intl Arrival To L

Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:36 am

I arrived into LHR Terminal 1 on a UA flight from ORD this summer that was scheduled to arrive at 5:55 AM and actually arrived around 5:30. The immigration/arrivals area of the terminal was absolutely deserted and I was at the Central Bus Station right around 6:00 even after stopping to buy a newspaper and coffee. Of course, it could be completely different at other terminals, but I was very pleasantly surprised after also reading about the horror stories of hours-long waits at immigration.

[Edited 2012-08-08 20:38:40]
 
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IrishTexan
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:24 am

RE: Best Time Of Day To Schedule Intl Arrival To L

Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:50 am

Tks for the helpful info.
Looks like my best option is AA80 nonstop dep. DFW 9.25pm arr LHR 12.25pm.
Had been contemplating connecting AA flights via ORD dep DFW 05.45am and arr LHR 10.45pm as an option that would hopefully minimise arrival delays at LHR as an offset against the additional travel/transit time.
 
lax888
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:55 am

RE: Best Time Of Day To Schedule Intl Arrival To L

Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:50 am

I guess your best bet would be that AA flight you mentioned and also flights arriving at T1 as from my experience the queue was not that long in comparison to T5 where you might be unlucky to have 3-4 longhaul flights arriving together.

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