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coldinerie

Southampton to Gatwick on a Saturday

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Hay UK cruisers, we are going to get off Royal Caribbean Indy  Of the Seas, on May 25, 2019 (Saturday) and have a 12 noon flight out of Gatwick. The ship pulls into port at 510-5:30 am. Planning to get off the ship as soon as possible (7-7:30) am. I have a car service collecting us at 730 am.  I have purchased Premier security at Gatwick to make it a bit easier to get through security. Do you think I can make a 12 noon plane?  Give me your thoughts. 

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I would say it will be tight. Even with Premier security passes you generally need to be at a UK airport 3hrs before a flight to the USA or 2hrs prior to a flight within Europe.

Its also bank holiday weekend in the Uk which means every dog and his ***** will be mobile so the roads will be horrific.It takes just over an hour and 30 mins on a good run with quiet roads. Saturday you should have easier traffic but there are no guarantees as you have the M25 to contend with. 

So i would IMO rethink your options. 

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I'll cordially disagree with 2BA about being at the airport 3 hrs before flight time.

For long-haul I'm happy with 2 to 2.5 hrs - and I stand in line at security, which is usually the longest delay.

I feel sure you'd be comfortable with two hours.:classic_smile:

 

But altho saturday is usually a good day to travel from Southampton to LGW (or LHR) and would fit your time-window, I have to agree with 2BA that being a long holiday weekend kinda throws a spanner in the works :classic_unsure:

 

The usual route is M3, M25, M23.

90 minutes most weekends.

And thisevening I drove from near Gatwick to Southampton outskirts in little more than an hour.

On that holiday weekend the first 55 miles of your 90 mile drive will be easy - you're heading up the M3 towards London, and all the holiday traffic will be on the opposite carriageway heading for the coast & the West Country.

But the rest of the drive is the M25 London orbital road, then the M23 heading from London toward the coast - the main route for Londoners heading to the Brighton area.

Problem is I don't know how much time that's likely to add to your journey

 

There are a variety of more direct but usually slower cross-country routes - we always do this at busy times on weekdays, though your driver will need to know which of those cross-country roads to use to avoid the worst of the holiday traffic.

 

You have a car booked.

You could bring that time forward to 7.15, mebbe even 7am - ships normally start unassisted disembarkation at or even before 7am and since you'll be ahead of the herd the disembarkation formalities at that hour are very quick.

But whilst 2BA and I and others have varying experiences of the journey, your transfer operator will know far better than any of us the impact that a bank holiday saturday traffic will have, so it's their advice that you should seek.

 

Bear in mind that it'll also be a busy day for the airport.

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

 

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I wouldn't want the stress, it is probably too late but I would have been flying out at 3pm or later or even better the next day.

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'll cordially disagree with 2BA about being at the airport 3 hrs before flight time.

For long-haul I'm happy with 2 to 2.5 hrs - and I stand in line at security, which is usually the longest delay.

I feel sure you'd be comfortable with two hours

 

John Bull its a while since i flew to the USA (ex MCR) but my understanding was due to recent terrorism incidents 3 hrs pre flight was mandatory but it may have changed which is why i quoted those times.  Having experience of Gatwick the M25 and a bank holiday myself it would be a defo rethink but each to his own. 

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1 hour ago, 2BACRUISER said:

'll cordially disagree with 2BA about being at the airport 3 hrs before flight time.

For long-haul I'm happy with 2 to 2.5 hrs - and I stand in line at security, which is usually the longest delay.

I feel sure you'd be comfortable with two hours

 

John Bull its a while since i flew to the USA (ex MCR) but my understanding was due to recent terrorism incidents 3 hrs pre flight was mandatory but it may have changed which is why i quoted those times.  Having experience of Gatwick the M25 and a bank holiday myself it would be a defo rethink but each to his own. 

 

Hi, 2BA,

 

No, I'm not aware that it's ever been mandatory.

Nor should it be,  because of the variables in getting to the airport, including flight transfers.

The only thing that's mandatory is the time that airlines choose to close their check-ins - that can be as little as 45 minutes before even long-haul scheduled flight times, though anyone who relies on getting thro' in that time is taking a massive gamble.

 

For years many major airports have been advising that folk arrive at least 3 hours before their flight, and there are a number of reasons that I can think of......

1. They want to cover their own backsides in case they don't cope. "Well, we did tell you 3 hours and by your own admission you arrived at check-in an hour later than that, so it's not our fault".

2. It eases pressure on check-in staff. Especially with the trend to a single check-in line for all of the airline's routes, so they don't know where in a long check-in line are passengers for whom the latest-checkin-time is fast approaching. We've all experienced airline staff patrolling long check-in lines calling out for anyone travelling on this or that flight, knowing that there'll be passengers who hadn't expected a 40-minute line at check-in.

3. They are aware that folk often mis-judge their journey time to the airport or the time taken for a shuttle from carparks, or who encounter a problem en-route, or who even struggle to find their check-in desks. So that's built into their advised arrival time. Sensible - but that's really the job of the passenger or their transfer operator, and most folk do give themselves 30 to 60 minutes wiggle-time for their journey,. So that adequate wiggle-time is unnecessarily doubled.

4. Cynics would say it's to give more business to the always-overpriced retail & service outlets at airports - outlets that pay extortionate rents for airport locations.

 

One thing that grieves me, although in the circumstances I wouldn't blame the OP for choosing it, is the Premier jump-the-line facility for security. If airports or airlines choose to offer various premium-pay services such as VIP lounges, that's fine. But that shouldn't apply to mandated facilities such as security.  As more and more folk opt for it, the regular lines will lengthen - witness Disney's and other theme parks.

What next - a beat-the-line premium for governments' passport-control ?

(Rant over :classic_wink:)

 

All of which doesn't solve the bank holiday traffic worries.

I too have often been stuck on the M25. And that doesn't even include bank holiday weekends.

Hence the need for advice from those best-placed to give it. And I have little doubt that, much like our weather forecasts, such advice will wisely be couched in "probably", "usually" etc.

 

Allowances for delays have to be sensible, or we'd all set off today for a flight next week. But different folk have different interpretations of "sensible". As you say, each to their own.

And this isn't one I'd like to call.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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If everything goes well you might make the flight, but having driven those roads during an extended UK trip in 2017, I personally would not take the risk on a Bank Holiday weekend. Normal weekend, maybe, but a Bank Holiday probably not.

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