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I'll be flying from Brussels (Belgium) to Cork (Ireland). I'm planning on doing this with British Airways. Now if I look at possible flights, I see that there is always a company change in Heathrow. So starting from Brussels it is British Airways to London Heathrow and then Aer Lingus. On the way back, it is the other way around.

Now I am trying to figure out which flight to take so that I have enough time in between. This depends whether I have to check out my luggage and check it back in (or if it transfers automatically). But I can't seem to find this information.

Can someone tell me this or point me to an information source where I can find whether I have to check out and in my luggage in London Heathrow?

  • This answer applies really well for your case: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/38193/… – yo' Nov 13 '14 at 13:06
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    Would you be booking a single ticket with BA to Cork from Brussels? Or would you be booking one leg with BA, one let with Aer Lingus? – Gagravarr Nov 13 '14 at 13:22
  • I would book it on the BA site. Where they say themselves that Aer lingus is used. – Olivier_s_j Nov 13 '14 at 14:54
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Aer Lingus is working closely with BA (they used to be part of Oneworld and still have codeshares) so I am pretty sure they should be able to check your luggage through. They do mention it on their website as well:

Aer Lingus will through-check baggage as a courtesy onto any carrier that have a baggage agreement in place, upon presentation of documentation of the itinerary showing Aer Lingus and partner carrier flights on the same ticket.

This includes the following airlines: American Airlines, Air France, Air India, Alaska Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, Air China, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad, Gulf Air, Iberia, Japan Airlines, KLM, Kenya Airways, Kuwait Airways, Malev, Malaysian, Martin Air, Northwest, Austrian Airlines, Pakistan Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, South African Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airlines, United Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic and JetBlue Airways.

I have not been able to find a similar list for BA but I assume that it works in the other direction too.

Belgium, Ireland and the UK are all in the EU so customs and security should not be an issue.

The most important thing is to book both flights on the same ticket (e.g. from a travel agent or one of the airlines). If the connection shows up on the airlines' websites or on a travel agent's system, it means that it does meet the guidelines for minimal transfer time and that they should take care of you in case of problem.

If you book each leg separately, you are on your own and they might even refuse to check your luggage through as matter of policy.

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It is hard to provide you with a single, universal answer as this depends on airlines, arrival/departure terminals and ticket booking procedure. As Heathrow's FAQ page states:

Do I need to collect my baggage?

It depends on your airline – often your baggage will be checked through to your final destination and you won’t need to touch it at Heathrow. However, this service isn’t available for all flights so check with your airline before you fly.

If you booked your flights separately to create your own flight connection, you will have to pick up your baggage at Heathrow.

However, Heathrow Airport provides this nifty tool which could be helpful. You could check various terminal combinations, depending on your flight, to see which one suits you best.

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    Good that the OP is not asking for a single universal, answer, then… – Relaxed Nov 13 '14 at 13:09
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    @Relaxed From the way I understood the question, BA and Air Lingus were only an example, and not the actual companies the OP is/will be flying with. So I read it as a What happens at LHR when my connecting flights are operated by two different carriers?? No need to be smug. – JoErNanO Nov 13 '14 at 14:34

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