Advice on Birmingham AirportBack to Forum
I’m considering using BHX for an upcoming trip as fares with Qatar are much lower than any LHR fares for my travel dates. I’ve never used Birmingham, even though it’s actually slightly closer to me than Heathrow.
I’d appreciate it if a few questions could be answered:
First, any advice or tips to help navigate the airport? Qatar check-in, fast track security, getting to passport control on the way back etc. is it generally a good airport to go through?
Second, the Qatar website doesn’t list a lounge at BHX. Presumably there is one for their Biz passengers to use? Does anyone know which one and what it’s like?
Third, I’ll stay the night before departure as it’s a 7.30am flight. It looks as if the Novotel and Ibis are next to the terminal. Is that correct? Would I get soaked if it’s raining walking from the hotel to the Terminal? Are there any hotels near the airport, but not next to Terminal, with a shuttle service or would be a matter of booking a taxi?
Thanks for any info.28 Sep 2023
Im just off the QR flight today into BHX!
I always find its a great airport to arrive into but a poor one to depart from. Its predominantly a leisure airport so often full of stag dos. No trollys, poor wifi etc. There is fasttrack and security is normally done in ten mins max.
The use the clubrooms lounge which is okay. Onboard though they use a dreamliner so you get the slightly older product, not Q suites (which may explain the price differential).
Only one flight a day too so limited on timings / connections.
Depending on the cost differential I would do a Qsuite route so for me it depends on ££28 Sep 2023
Thanks. Yes, the flight times aren’t brilliant but I’m looking at around £700 cheaper than Gulf from LHR at the moment.
Connections to my onward flights from Doha are good in both directions.
I know I’m in a minority, but I’m not a huge fan of Q suites. Yes you have privacy but I found them rather cramped – I’m a big bugger 😊
Thanks again.28 Sep 2023
Yes I posted this morning on q suites versus the dreamliner product. Particularly on a daytime flight, the 787 business class just works. Its very good. The service is just phenomenal.
Re hotels, you can walk from the novotel but its not under cover.28 Sep 2023
2 other things (and apologues if you know this already). BHX is brilliantly located next to Bham International station so you could take the train and save yourself parking costs.
Rather than stay at the airport you could stay at the resorts world complex nearby and go to one of the excellent restaurants the night before.
You probably wouldnt want to get he monorail to the airport at 5am but the hotel would sort a car our for you for £10-£20 max I would have thought.28 Sep 2023
I use a car service now to LHR and would use the same one to BHX. I have some mobility issues and train isn’t an option, especially with luggage.
I did wonder if I’d be better off staying at one of the hotels you suggested rather than at the airport. The taxi cost could well be covered by the difference in room rate anyway. I’ll look into it.
Thanks.28 Sep 2023
As we now live within reach of Birmingham Airport we have used it twice and a third trip in a couple of weeks. Albeit short haul we have found it works for us. You might want to consider valet parking, open 24/7, as it is more convenient to drive rather than by train as that is 1/2 changes. Easily bookable online. Security no more than 15mins that said you never know albeit it is less busy than the larger airports.28 Sep 2023
With the current buildings works related to new security screening area the monorail is not as convenient as it used to be. On arrival at terminal by monorail you now have to go down a level (lift or stairs) then negotiate the sometimes throngs of people waiting to check in on the ground floor, then back to the upper level by escalator. The priority security lane usually works well. Novotel is my choice if needing an airport hotel.29 Sep 2023
Why not change the flight by a day. Several days departure is 14:05 which, to me, is more civilised.
If it must be 07:30 the walk from hotels is 2 minutes, and there is also a Hilton Garden Inn next to Novotel and Ibis. Fast track is upstairs in the airport, which is a nightmare. You will need to tell the staff that you have fast track, otherwise they will not let you up the escalator in terminal 1.30 Sep 2023
Thanks. It looks like the cheaper fare is only available on the 7.30 flight. There are fewer days with it available already, and I won’t be able to book for 2 or 3 weeks yet so I might have to think again anyway.30 Sep 2023
Have no fears, BHX very easy to negotiate. Both the mentioned Hotels are adjacent to the terminal, Novotel is less than a minute walk, very very easy. There are Business lounges too, check the Priority Pass website for info, BHX is my local airport, not my favourite but no prob.5 Oct 2023
BHX in the early morning is manic as it is the time that the LCC’s depart for sunny climes! Gets quieter after 1100ish, however if you are in ‘J’ and have fast track should be no problem. Have used the Novotel – very good and just over the road from the entrance.5 Oct 2023
Thanks for all the replies. I hope to be in a position to book in the next few days – travelling 2nd week in November for 3 or 4 weeks.
Fares are changing almost daily but at the moment it looks as if I might be able to get the lunchtime flight out and back for the cheaper fare which wouldn’t require the hotel stay. Connections still good, though times the other end slightly worse for me.
Nothing decent out of LHR for my dates so looks as if I will get my first experience of BHX.5 Oct 2023
Travelled once on Qatar from Birmingham and never again! The Business experience was nothing like at LHR – they used a pay lounge which was packed and if very poor quality. But the main issue was that our flight was cancelled after a delay of a couple of hours. The incoming aircraft had been damaged by a lightening strike and they finally decided there was no quick fix. Unlike at LHR where it would’ve been a transfer to another one if their many flights, at BHX there wasn’t another flight until the next day. Thus we had to walk backwards through the departure route, collect our luggage and then out on a bus to LHR. As business passengers we had our own ‘luxury’ mini coach but it wasn’t a comfortable experience! Then we had to queue at LHR check in desk to get a transfer to another flight. We arrived in Doha about 10 hours late which meant we missed our connection to KUL and another one with MAS onwards. What a nightmare! Never again to save a few £!4 Nov 2023
I don’t believe that you have anything to complain about other than the lightning that damaged the aircraft and on the contrary it seems that the airline did everything possible to make you comfortable and get you away as soon as was possible.
As a business traveller who presumably booked the flight ex Birmingham it seems a little odd that you were not aware of the lounge arrangements or the airlines schedule.
The airline did an excellent job it seems given that the circumstances were totally beyond its control.4 Nov 2023