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-   -   GUIDE: LHR / London Heathrow Connection, MCT inc. AA T3 <--> BA/IB T5 (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-airlines-aadvantage/1321109-guide-lhr-london-heathrow-connection-mct-inc-aa-t3-ba-ib-t5.html)

stifle Mar 8, 16 2:18 pm


Originally Posted by Blumie (Post 26302685)
Definitely not true. Some airlines and some flights absolutely have "usual" gates. Doesn't mean it happens every time, but, for example, you always know which gates the AA flights are going to fly out of. And the BA long haul flights are more likely to depart from the B and C concourses than the A concourse. But, again, it just doesn't matter: the gate will be posted in plenty of time to get there. And at LHR more than any other airport it makes no sense to go to the gate until you need to.

Indeed. There are a few certainties such as EI services always using gates A21-23 at T2 and BA to DUB being just about always the same gates in T5. And the reason T5 BA long hauls just about always go from B or C is because only one stand in A can take a widebody.

My theory on gates though is that they are only shown when ready to board so that passengers spend more time in the shops and less sitting down not in shops.

zitsky Mar 8, 16 6:02 pm


Originally Posted by Ldnn1 (Post 26303098)
The basic answer is simply that BA can't fit everything into T5, so some routes have to go from T3. LYS is one of them, along with some others including MRS, LIS, PRG, VIE, WAW and BCN. The reason why it's those and not others isn't absolutely clear, but it's been suggested they are either routes with fewer BA-BA connections, more O&D and/or more oneworld connections than other routes. Some are/were also a legacy of former bmi routes previously in T1 (think LYS might be one of those but can't remember).There was a re-jig last October when a sub-group of longhaul also moved over to T3, with some shorthaul moving back to T5.



Nothing to do with gate assignments here. You can be absolutely sure which terminal your flight will depart from. Occasionally there's a re-jig as mentioned above, but those moves are announced months in advance.

Thanks very much for that answer. Maybe I'll get lucky and my flight to NCE will move to T3. I won't hold my breath but I can always hope.

mordy2000 Mar 18, 16 10:29 am

Question about connection time in LHR
 
Question for anyone with familiarity flying through LHR.

I am currently flying from JFK through LHR to another destination in Europe -- on a BA codeshare. It looks like my flight (AA #100) lands in T3 -- and I am assuming the BA flight will depart out of T5. My flight is scheduled to land at 6:20am and my BA flight departs at 7:30 -- that's just 70 minutes. Is that enough time?

Any advice or input is welcome. Thanks!

:) Mordy

JDiver Mar 18, 16 10:41 am


Originally Posted by mordy2000 (Post 26351079)
Question for anyone with familiarity flying through LHR.

I am currently flying from JFK through LHR to another destination in Europe -- on a BA codeshare. It looks like my flight (AA #100) lands in T3 -- and I am assuming the BA flight will depart out of T5. My flight is scheduled to land at 6:20am and my BA flight departs at 7:30 -- that's just 70 minutes. Is that enough time?

Any advice or input is welcome. Thanks!

:) Mordy

Advanced search, search titles only, return as threads. Key word:

heathrow

or

"lhr"

Reading the wikipost reveals "Connecting flights between Terminal 5 and Terminal 3 - please allow a minimum 1 hour 30 minutes between flights."

Use the links in the wikipost to determine which terminal your connecting flight will depart from - the operating carrier, not the marketing carrier (BA) will determine that. The link to a step by step connections tool exists as well.

Microwave Mar 18, 16 10:55 am

Plenty of BA flights leave from T3, you'd be well advised to check which terminal before you get to Heathrow...

JDiver Mar 18, 16 12:00 pm


Originally Posted by Microwave (Post 26351206)
Plenty of BA flights leave from T3, you'd be well advised to check which terminal before you get to Heathrow...

Exactly! And why we have those links to check which terminal one's flight departs from (or arrives). The member states "on a BA codeshare" and that makes it more important to verify (given the operating flight, not marketed, will determine the departure terminal).

But if the member arrives at T-3 and departs T-5, MCT is violated with 70 minutes and it's very tight - a typical LHR arrival delayed by prolonged pattern requirements, busy queues and waiting for a couple of busses because they're running full and that time is now two hours to connect.

QueenOfCoach Mar 18, 16 7:35 pm


Originally Posted by mordy2000 (Post 26351079)
Question for anyone with familiarity flying through LHR.

I am currently flying from JFK through LHR to another destination in Europe -- on a BA codeshare. It looks like my flight (AA #100) lands in T3 -- and I am assuming the BA flight will depart out of T5. My flight is scheduled to land at 6:20am and my BA flight departs at 7:30 -- that's just 70 minutes. Is that enough time?

Since you did not share the European destination, it's tough for anyone to offer you advice. Some BA flights to Europe leave from T3. Most leave from T5. Since you are very pressed for time, you are well advised to confirm which terminal it is beforehand.

Having said that, I would not at all be comfortable with a 70 minute connection at LHR T3 to T5 (or even T3 to T3).

After you land at T3, you have to wait your turn to get off the plane, walk a long distance to Flight Connections, wait for a bus, get on the bus, travel to T5, off the bus, up to T5 Flight Connections, stand in line for a boarding pass scan (Flight Conformance), go through Security and then hoof it to your departure gate.

Even if you are the first off the plane, the last on the bus, etc., you still have the "problem" that you must meet Flight Conformance. That means you must have your boarding pass scanned in T5 no less than 35* minutes before your departure. If you don't meet flight conformance, you will not fly, even if you are an Olympic sprinter capable of getting to your gate in seconds following the security checkpoint.

Personally, I wouldn't chance it. Do you feel lucky?



*I'm almost positive LHR T5 Flight Conformance is 35 minutes, but do indeed invite correction from BA people.

Calchas Mar 19, 16 10:02 am


Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach (Post 26353416)
*I'm almost positive LHR T5 Flight Conformance is 35 minutes, but do indeed invite correction from BA people.

Conformance is thirty-five minutes on an unconnected flight.

If connecting between two flights, it can be relaxed. My record is clearing "conformance" at 21 minutes before departure (that was coming from a late-running AA 101 into T3 to a BA domestic flight at T5)

brp Mar 19, 16 7:50 pm


Originally Posted by mordy2000 (Post 26351079)
My flight is scheduled to land at 6:20am and my BA flight departs at 7:30 -- that's just 70 minutes. Is that enough time?

Any advice or input is welcome. Thanks!

:) Mordy

We've done it in as little as 24 minutes, and earlier in the morning is generally easier. I wouldn't count on it being that fast, but 70 minutes is certainly doable. I'd still not want it and would look for something longer to be safe, though. Late inbound can kill everything.

Cheers.

gardengirl Apr 7, 16 1:41 am


Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach (Post 26302660)
In Heathrow, there is no "usual" gate. A couple of years ago I got the Heathrow app and tracked the departure gate for my upcoming BA LHR-DUS flight for about three weeks. I wanted to see if there was some kind of pattern, so I could sit in the departure lounge near the expected gate.

There was no pattern. None. That same LHR-DUS flight left from the north, south and middle part of T5A, and a couple of times from T5B. It was absolutely random.

In addition to having the Heathrow app on my iPhone, with a pop-up notice of the departure gate announcement, I just ask the person scanning my boarding pass prior to the escalators up to T5 Security if they see anything "penciled in" for that flight that day. (The "conformance" check.) So long as the BP checker knows I know it's tentative, they usually don't mind telling me so long as they actually have the info at hand. All that does for me is tell me what part of the T5 departure lounge (north? south? middle?) I should park my butt and wait, hoping for a relatively short walk to the gate. I still keep an eye on the app and the TV monitors. Things can and do change.

I'm pretty much used to the routine. I've been making the LAX-LHR-DUS trek every year for the past 20+ years.

After reading this post I looked at today's history for the flights we'll be taking next week. PHL-LHR (AA) came into T3. LHR-VCE (BA) leaves from T5. I'll keep track. If I do see a pattern is it safe to plan the 2 hrs. to T5 without the worry of a change making it impossible to return to T3 on time?

We have an 11 hr. layover. We're in Business so able to get into Galleries Lounge in T5. I've searched and haven't been able to determine if we can access Galleries Lounge in T3. Do I understand it right that there are 2 Galleries Lounges in T3, both a First and a Club Lounge?

To make the day more interesting, would it be advisable to split the time exploring both T3 and T5? I'm also wondering about splurging on Elemis Spa. Usually I'm too frugal (cheap) to do much of this but trying to make this long layover part of the vacation experience.

Microwave Apr 7, 16 2:31 am


Originally Posted by gardengirl (Post 26449385)
After reading this post I looked at today's history for the flights we'll be taking next week. PHL-LHR (AA) came into T3. LHR-VCE (BA) leaves from T5. I'll keep track. If I do see a pattern is it safe to plan the 2 hrs. to T5 without the worry of a change making it impossible to return to T3 on time?

QueenOfCoach was talking about gates, not terminals. Your PHL-LHR flight will always arrive to T3, and your LHR-VCE flight will always depart from T5. The exact gate changes day by day, but not the terminal.


We have an 11 hr. layover. We're in Business so able to get into Galleries Lounge in T5. I've searched and haven't been able to determine if we can access Galleries Lounge in T3. Do I understand it right that there are 2 Galleries Lounges in T3, both a First and a Club Lounge?

To make the day more interesting, would it be advisable to split the time exploring both T3 and T5? I'm also wondering about splurging on Elemis Spa. Usually I'm too frugal (cheap) to do much of this but trying to make this long layover part of the vacation experience.
OK, a few basics about Heathrow (and most airports outside the US): arrivals and departures are generally segregated. When you arrive from Philadelphia, you'll be in the arrivals stream, with two options. One is to follow the yellow Arrivals / Baggage Reclaim route, which leads you first to immigration, then baggage reclaim, then customs, and the kerb. That's the route to go if you want to come in to London (stay tuned on that). If you opt for this route, bypass the baggage reclaim as your bags should be tagged all the way through to Venice. The other option is to follow the purple Flight Connections signs, which will lead you to a bus area where you can get a bus to T5 (from where your VCE flight will leave), then to a boarding pass check, then to security, and then to the departures lounge of T5. You won't have a reasonable opportunity to explore any area but T5. Note that it is technically possible to also see the T3 departures area, but involves an extra security check and will leave you in the wrong part of the airport–if you're not a travel pro, I'd forget about anything but the two options I outline above.

Now... we need to have a chat. 11 hours at Heathrow. That's a lot of time. The Elemis "travel spa" is not actually a spa, they have very short treatments in a large, un-spa-like communal area with sheets to partition off the treatment areas. The treatments themselves are complimentary for people with onward long haul business & first travel on BA (and a small number of elites). You aren't in those categories though, so Elemis is out. There is a paid-for lounge at T5 with paid-for treatments available (see here), but I don't think they're worth it. Honestly, with 11 hours to kill, I suggest this:

  • When you get off the plane follow the yellow Arrivals signs to get landside
  • --- If you want to get a shower at this point, follow the Heathrow Express signs to the free transfer service to T5, and when you arrive there follow the signs for the British Airways Arrivals lounge. AA's arrivals lounge at T3 is closed for renovations.
  • Take the Piccadilly line in to London for some lunch and maybe a museum visit or two
  • Take the tube directly to South Kensington for several museum options, including one of my favourites, the V&A.
  • If you're in an antiquities kind of mood, stay on the train to Russell Square (also direct from the airport) and head to the British Museum.
  • There are oodles of lunch options near either of these tube stops, or along the Piccadilly Line in central London.
  • About 3 hours before your LHR-VCE flight is scheduled to leave, head back to the Piccadilly Line and take the next train to Heathrow Terminal 5.
  • Get off the train, head upstairs to departures level, go through security.
  • If you have time, check out one of the Galleries Club lounges.
  • Fly to Venice and be glad you didn't waste an entire day in an airport, and instead truly did make the day part of your "vacation experience". :)

Calchas Apr 7, 16 5:35 am


Originally Posted by gardengirl (Post 26449385)
To make the day more interesting, would it be advisable to split the time exploring both T3 and T5? I'm also wondering about splurging on Elemis Spa. Usually I'm too frugal (cheap) to do much of this but trying to make this long layover part of the vacation experience.

LHR cannot entertain you for eleven hours.

If you can entertain yourself for that long, find a quiet spot in a lounge. Otherwise, go to Windsor or London. Many museums in the UK are free to enter, particularly in London, and public transport from T5 to South Kensington is, as Microwave suggests, cheap, safe and easy.

Heathrow discourages entering into the wrong terminal. It is possible [except T5] if you are insistent but staff will assume that you are lost. You may also be denied lounge access except in the departure terminal.

JDiver Apr 7, 16 7:13 am


Originally Posted by Calchas (Post 26449840)
LHR cannot entertain you for eleven hours.

If you can entertain yourself for that long, find a quiet spot in a lounge. Otherwise, go to Windsor or London. Many museums in the UK are free to enter, particularly in London, and public transport from T5 to South Kensington is, as Microwave suggests, cheap, safe and easy.

Heathrow discourages entering into the wrong terminal. It is possible [except T5] if you are insistent but staff will assume that you are lost. You may also be denied lounge access except in the departure terminal.

Indeed, it is a policy of the airport authority that airside lounges (other than arrivals and any possible landside locations) are strictly departure lounges for passengers departing from the terminal the lounge is situated in. There are ways to do this anyway, but they are tedious and generally unproductive considering the alternatives and generally better lounges at T-5.

I'm also thinking the Elemis spa courtesy treatments may be restricted to longhaul BA First passengers and BAEC Gold members? I suppose treatments may also be available for fees, arranged upon arrival at Terminal 5A South lounge, Terminal 5B departure lounge or Terminal 5 Arrivals lounge. (And for the return, Terminal 3 BA Galleries departures lounge as well.

The OP will be required to exit T-3 either landside via HM Immigration and Customs or to T-5 via the Flight Connections channel, with no opportunity to use any T-3 lounges outbound to VCE.

I'd certainly check my baggage through and heed the excellent advice given by Microwave, picking up some GBP at a T-3 arrivals hall cash machine and heading out of Heathrow for a few hours, unless some condition precludes that.

zitsky Apr 7, 16 1:14 pm

Train or bus?
 
The Heathrow website says there are trains available. I thought there were only buses. It seems buses are more frequent and perhaps more direct? Is one better than the other? I have to go from T3 to T5.

wrp96 Apr 7, 16 1:20 pm


Originally Posted by zitsky (Post 26451919)
The Heathrow website says there are trains available. I thought there were only buses. It seems buses are more frequent and perhaps more direct? Is one better than the other? I have to go from T3 to T5.

Trains are landside. Buses are airside.


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