FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - GUIDE: LHR / London Heathrow Connection, MCT inc. AA T3 <--> BA/IB T5
Old Apr 8, 16, 1:23 am
  #160  
Microwave
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: London, England
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, National Exec, AA EXP Emeritus
Posts: 9,134
Originally Posted by muishkin View Post
NO you can't do that (not since 9/11). Your boarding pass is for T5 so you'll not be able to get to airside on T3.
It is definitely possible to access T3 via Flight Connections without a T3 boarding pass, however the process of getting in and then getting back to the proper terminal could well be confusing, and there's no real benefit.

Originally Posted by gardengirl View Post
If we did just one thing it may be the library to see old manuscripts. We watched a Rick Steves video and there were several things but I would rather do one thing relaxed and have a bite to eat than rush around to do too much.
Originally Posted by gardengirl View Post
I'd appreciate opinions on this plan and it's feasibility.

I looked over things to do near the British Library and found King's Cross Theatre is running The Railway Children on a 2:30 matinee. Production takes about 2-1/2 hrs. which would get us out of there 5ish. Our flight is at 8:15.

We land at 9 a.m. Flight arrived 1/2 hr. early today. Considering everything is on time, I'm trying to guesstimate time to get through LHR to tube would be 1 hr.? No bags to drag around. No shower. Train is supposed to come every 5 mins. We have to add time to figure out what we're doing and pay for train. Train to British Library is 54 mins. So now we're up to 11-12p.m. An hour or more in British Library and bite to eat. Would we walk or take cab to Theatre? We're walkers but I would say we'd probably not want to walk faster than 2.5-3 mph to Theatre. I'm seeing rail lines on map and don't know what walking conditions are like between Library and Theatre. Need to account for time back to underground and be ready for next train. Will train go directly to T5?
Now I believe a good plan is beginning to take shape. With no bags to claim and Fast Track immigration access at Heathrow, you should be landside in 20-30 minutes max. Follow yellow signs for Arrivals, once you're in the immigration hall look for Fast Track and present the invitation you were given on the plane. You'll need an address for the immigration card (which you should have received on the plane with the Fast Track invitation and already completed to save time), you might want to put the British Library address on since you're only here for a few hours and that's your first big stop; once you're through immigration head downstairs and look for the big green exit and walk through it. From there, follow signs for the Underground: walk straight out the exit (past the mini duty free and Heathrow Express hawker) and it'll be slightly to the right. You'll have a few tunnels to traverse, and you'll need to figure out tickets as you mention. If you want to get Underground transport sorted in advance, and don't mind paying a slight premium to do so, you can buy Oyster cards from the US preloaded with enough money to suit you for the day. They never expire, so if you come back to London you can reuse. This will save you queuing at the station on the day. The 15 card will give you more than enough credit to do all the public transit you'll need to do on the day, and leave you with a few pounds for your next trip.

Once you've entered the station, look for the platform toward Central London. This is where most everyone else will be waiting as well. As you noted, you're looking at a ~1 hour journey in to Kings Cross. Once you arrive you'll find plenty of lunch options nearby, I'd suggest looking for something that isn't in one of the two massive train stations as there are restaurants in the neighbourhood worth trying. The British Library is very close to St Pancras station and well worth a visit, and it's a very short walk from there to the place where The Railway Children is being done. Note that the venue is not a traditional theatre, it's sort of behind Kings Cross station, maybe 10 minutes by foot if you take a circuitous route. Once your showing is out, I'd go directly to the underground again (there will be lots of people leaving the performance for the underground I'd imagine, and I'm sure they can help you find a nearby entrance), and take the first Piccadilly line train with a destination of Heathrow Terminal 5. You'll have another ~1 hour journey, and upon arrival just follow signs for Departures (take the lifts, they're faster). You'll end up at Terminal 5, large overhead signs will show which security queue is faster though I find South is almost always the quicker one. If your European flight is in business as well, you'll have Fast Track security access again, just have your boarding pass ready to get through the gates and you're set. Lounges are well signed, I prefer the South Galleries Club lounge to the North as it's slightly larger, but both will probably be relatively empty at this time of the day as most US flights are long gone.

Just to help with your fears, even if you end up on a Piccadilly line train leaving at, say, 5:45 PM, you'll be at Terminal 5 before 7 PM for your 8 PM flight. As mentioned, the terminal won't be too busy at this time, and an hour is more than enough time to go from the ticketing area through security to the departures area. The cutoff is 35 minutes to be at the entrance to security, so even with these generous times you've got padding, though I would go directly from the performance to the underground without lallygagging. Good luck with your travels!

Last edited by Microwave; Apr 8, 16 at 1:30 am
Microwave is offline