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GUIDE: LHR / London Heathrow Connection, MCT inc. AA T3 <--> BA/IB T5

GUIDE: LHR / London Heathrow Connection, MCT inc. AA T3 <--> BA/IB T5

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Old Dec 27, 19, 8:41 am   -   Wikipost
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Link to LHR page on aa.com

Link to London-Heathrow web pages

Link to Wikipedia page on LHR

Link to FT - AA thread London Heathrow (LHR) <-> Gatwick (LGW) Transport / Transfer (master thread)

The vast majority of arriving passengers with a passport from the European Union, Switzerland or, effective 20 May 2019, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or USA can now use arrival immigration eGates without any fee or pre-registration requirement. But for those transiting LHR with a non-UK/non-Ireland destination and no luggage to claim during transit at LHR, the eGates are generally irrelevant since most such passengers donít enter the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area.
NOTE: Connecting flights between Terminal 5 and Terminal 3 - please allow a minimum 1 hour 30 minutes between flights.


NOTE: Some BA flights have moved. E.g.: On 30 June 2015 all British Airways flights that previously operated out of Terminal 1 switched to either Terminal 3 or Terminal 5. Others have changed to or from T-3 as well. See:

Link to LHR "Which terminal does my flight depart from / arrive?"

For gate to gate connection assistance in T-3, AA Five Star Service can be used (fee, must be in AA Business or First on incoming or outbound flight). For interterminal assistance, see https://www.heathrow.com/airport-gui...cierge-service for Heathrow Meet and Assist.

LHR is comprised of four terminals (Terminal 1 is now permanently closed). American Airlines and many oneworld airlines (e.g. AY, BA, CX, JJ, JL, QF, RJ, UL) use Terminal 3. MH and QR use terminal 4. BA and IB use Terminal 5. These terminals are not connected - you can not walk from one to the other. Use this tool to see where your next flight departs / arrives.


Transferring/ Connections at LHR interterminal can be done three ways:

Link to interactive custom Heathrow Flight Connections Guide

1) Landside: exit your terminal and process HM immigration and customs as if you were arriving in the UK, then take the free train or busses connecting to other terminals (or with most hotels, if you are staying overnight you will most likely utilise the "Heathrow Hoppa" busses costing £4.50 per person one way, £8 return). You must proceed landside if planning to use the AA (or BA) Arrivals Lounge, which close at 1400 hrs / 2 PM as these are landside. (See post no. 627, here, for local land & hotel transport options.)

Inter-terminal landside connections can be via rail (free) or walking, depending on the terminals. See the diagram for Heathrow Express terminal connections, free when you are traveling within the airport's cconfines. See here

2) Airside:

Follow the signage to Flight Connections, where you will proceed a bus waiting area at airport ground level and take a bus to your next terminal, where you will proceed through boarding pass, carryon check a standard airport security check. Now you are ready to catch your next flight. Flight connections Minimum Connect Times are ordinarily 75 - 90 minutes (the latter for connections between T3 and T5).

NOTE: You must be at your connecting gate 20 minutes prior to departure. If you must recover bags and re-check (e.g. oneworld to non-oneworld or LCC) you must check your baggage in at least 45 minutes prior to departure.

Use this tool available from this page on LHR's website that include a step by step guide through Flight Connections. The page also offers videos. Use this tool to see where your next flight departs / arrives.

Typical Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 Flight Connections path:

T3Ė>T5 see posts 674, 675.
1. Welcome to Heathrow!: On leaving the aircraft, please follow the purple signs for Flight Connections.

2. Flight Connections bus: A dedicated bus will transfer you between terminals. Buses are free and depart every six to ten minutes.

3. Airline desks: Need to visit your airline's ticket desk? You'll find it here.

4. Ready to fly: Staff will check that you're in the right place, your hand baggage meets airline regulations, and you have time to catch your onward flight.

5. Hand baggage check: At this point your hand baggage will be checked to ensure it conforms to UK and EU regulations. Please be aware that liquids in containers over 100ml are not allowed through security.

6. Security screening: You will pass through security screening at this point. If you are a non-UK resident and have goods to declare to HM Customs, please use the Customs telephone before security control.

7. Departure lounge: Check the screens in the departure lounge, which will be updated when your gate opens and again when your flight is ready for boarding.
NOTE: Flight departure gates are listed in only sufficient time to get to the gate, not hours (or often an hour) prior to departure.


Typical Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 Flight Connections path:
1. Welcome to Heathrow!: On leaving the aircraft, please follow the purple signs for Flight Connections.

2. Flight Connections bus: A dedicated bus will transfer you between terminals. Buses are free and depart every six to ten minutes.

NOTE: As there is a new AA desk at the bus boarding point, you can get your AA boarding pass and pass the AA oral security questioning while you await the bus.

3. Hand baggage check: At this point your hand baggage will be checked to ensure it conforms to UK and EU regulations. Please be aware that liquids in containers over 100ml are not allowed through security.

4. Security screening: You will pass through security screening at this point. If you are a non-UK resident and have goods to declare to HM Customs, please use the Customs telephone before security control.

5. Airline desks: Need to visit your airline's ticket desk? You'll find it here. But see 2A if flying AA.

6. Departure lounge: Check the screens in the departure lounge, which will be updated when your gate opens and again when your flight is ready for boarding.
[quote]Lounges: [Airside lounges at LHR are designated departure lounges, so itíd be unusual to be allowed to return to use them if youíre connecting to a flight departing from Terminal 5.

[B]Terminal 3 lounges include:

Airside, departure lounges:
American Airlines Flagship / First Class Lounge - Lounge Zone H
American Airlines Admirals Club - Lounge Zone H
British Airways First and Club / Business lounges - Lounge Zone F
Cathay Pacific First and Business lounges near Gate 11
Qantas Airways London Lounge - Lounge B / Gate
Landside, for arriving premium passengers and Emeralds (no guests)
American Airlines Arrivals Lounge (recently renovated)
Terminal 5 lounges:

Airside lounges:
British Airways Concorde Lounge (longhaul BA First)
British Airways Galleries First Class Lounge - South Concourse
British Airways Galleries Club / Business lounges both North & South Concourses
British Airways Galleries Club / Business lounge T5B Satellite
Landside, for arriving premium passengers and Emeralds (no guests)
British Airways Arrivals Lounge (recently renovated)
For hours, access, amenities, etc. consult the oneworld lounge access tool here./quote]

Link to the most useful London Heathrow International Airport website. Click on "Connections" for a connection assistance tool.

For long connections where you might wish to go to London, you can use "the tube" (Underground, ~50 minutes, cheapest), busses to various locations, taxis (the most expensive, about 45 minutes) or "minicabs" and other hired cars, the Heathrow Express (15 minutes to Paddington station) or Heathrow Connect (30 minutes to Paddington). You can also Uber or bus to nearby Windsor town, and with sufficient time even tour Windsor Castle.

For links to local and local hotels, other airports (such as Gatwick, ~1:30), railroad stations (Feltham, Watford, Woking and Reading), intercity coaches (such as Oxford) start at this page.

The Tube takes 50 minutes from the Central / Terminals 2/3, T-4 or T-5 stations using the Piccadilly Line. Link to LHR tube page; link to London Toolkit page on LHR and Piccadilly line; link to Transport for London page.

The Heathrow Express / HEX departs T-5 and takes 21 minutes (it stops at Central / T2/3, six minutes) and onward to Paddington (15 minutes, about 1/3 of the time a taxi would take, though a taxi or bus can tale longer in some traffic). The trains have 15 minute headway (depart every 15 minutes) and have baggage racks.

(If you stay at Hilton T-4, board HEX at T-5, go to Central / T-2/3, get off, take the connecting train to T-4 (4 minutes), all free. From T-4 follow the signs to the hotel, perhaps 10 minute walk by covered board walk).

The Heathrow Connect costs less, takes 30 minutes to Paddington from Central T-2/3 station (which you get to via free HEX).
This London Heathrow International Airport connection / transfer thread has been split off from the original thread, which can be read here: BA T5 <-> AA T3 transfer /connection at LHR / Heathrow (obsolete, trailing thread).

For other terminals please see ARCHIVE: BA T5 <-> AA T3 transfer /connection at LHR / Heathrow

Also see this page for MCT information.

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Old Apr 16, 16, 12:44 am
  #211  
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Originally Posted by nbevan View Post
On a recent BA to BA transfer at T3 I walked past a room on the left that people with transfers to AA were being urged to use. What is the purpose? Does one need to go in there if you already have an onward BP?
They check your passport, issue an AA boarding pass and sometimes do the security check required before boarding.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 1:22 am
  #212  
 
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Originally Posted by Markie View Post
They check your passport, issue an AA boarding pass and sometimes do the security check required before boarding.
I wonder what the purpose of this is:
a) the passport could be checked and the BP could be reissued at the lounge or gate
b) the security check could be done at the lounge (if they still do this?) or gate
c) only unique benefit is that they can inform you of any gate or itinerary changes

But in general it would seem to be quicker to ignore this precheck and go straight to the lounge/gate?

Last edited by nbevan; Apr 16, 16 at 2:06 am Reason: clarification
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Old Apr 16, 16, 2:37 am
  #213  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Depending on when you went last year you might have been in the old T3 FCC or the new one. It moved around April/May time (I think) last year. However in both cases there was/is a fast track security lane on the left hand side.
I used both the older and newer T3 transit security last year when I hadn't always seen the fast track security lane sign last year. And even when I've seen the signs for it -- at the old place and now even at the new place -- sometimes it wasn't worth using the premium passenger security lines.

Originally Posted by nbevan View Post
I wonder what the purpose of this is:
a) the passport could be checked and the BP could be reissued at the lounge or gate
b) the security check could be done at the lounge (if they still do this?) or gate
c) only unique benefit is that they can inform you of any gate or itinerary changes

But in general it would seem to be quicker to ignore this precheck and go straight to the lounge/gate?
Remember the shopping mall with an airport operation we call London-Heathrow? If people went straight to the gate (or even perhaps the lounges), would they tend to spend more or less money at the airport concessions? And also, the gate that is used for the actual flight isn't always known at the time the transit passenger arrives at LHR to make a connection at T3.

Passport checks, boarding pass reissuance and various security checks can still be done at the gates for AA flights. At least it's still being done even if you originate a trip landside at LHR. Redundancy and redundant opportunities for the same kind of checks? There's been some of that with AA at LHR for years now.

Last edited by GUWonder; Apr 16, 16 at 2:42 am
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Old Apr 16, 16, 11:40 am
  #214  
 
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I have a connection from T5 to T3 , from BA to AA tomorrow. I only have a boarding pass for in the incoming flight, not for the AA connection. Will I be able to get through T3 security without the BP? I know the AA desk is just AFTER security, as I've done the connection many times, but normally with BP. (BA MMB won't give me any AA BPs).
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Old Apr 16, 16, 11:46 am
  #215  
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Originally Posted by AndyHall View Post
I have a connection from T5 to T3 , from BA to AA tomorrow. I only have a boarding pass for in the incoming flight, not for the AA connection. Will I be able to get through T3 security without the BP? I know the AA desk is just AFTER security, as I've done the connection many times, but normally with BP. (BA MMB won't give me any AA BPs).
Have you tried getting a bp from aa.com? It may not work though.

However, in answer to your question, you may be able to get a bp from check in before your BA flight. If not, you can go over to T3 without a bp (there is no bp check when using the airside buses). When you get to security at T3 FCC just tell them you haven't got one and obtain it from the AA desks just after security.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 11:53 am
  #216  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Have you tried getting a bp from aa.com? It may not work though.

However, in answer to your question, you may be able to get a bp from check in before your BA flight. If not, you can go over to T3 without a bp (there is no bp check when using the airside buses). When you get to security at T3 FCC just tell them you haven't got one and obtain it from the AA desks just after security.
Thanks! I tried via AA.com but they just redirected the page to BA, which still won't give me the BP.
I only have carry on, and would prefer prefer to skip the check in counter as the flight is really early. I'll try to get the BP at T3.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyHall View Post
Thanks! I tried via AA.com but they just redirected the page to BA, which still won't give me the BP.
I only have carry on, and would prefer prefer to skip the check in counter as the flight is really early. I'll try to get the BP at T3.
You'll see a connection desk on your left as you get close to T3 transfer security. Go there and ask them for your BP. They'll ask you some security questions and put a sticker on your passport.

If you don't get the sticker there, they will ask those questions when you get to the gate. So you can skip that if you get the BP at the T3 connection desks.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 12:39 pm
  #218  
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Originally Posted by econometrics View Post
You'll see a connection desk on your left as you get close to T3 transfer security. Go there and ask them for your BP. They'll ask you some security questions and put a sticker on your passport.
I think the AA desks (and other airline desks) are all just after security.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
I think the AA desks (and other airline desks) are all just after security.
There are some there, yes. But there are also some desks on the left before you go into the new security area.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 1:02 pm
  #220  
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Originally Posted by econometrics View Post
There are some there, yes. But there are also some desks on the left before you go into the new security area.
Ah, ok thanks.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by econometrics View Post
There are some there, yes. But there are also some desks on the left before you go into the new security area.
Those are the ones that I said it might be easier to skip if you already have a BP.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 6:41 pm
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We're traveling in December over the holiday, and AA wants to book me a legal transfer at 1:35 (0820-0955) from T5-T3. I've never done T5-T3 in less than 2 hours, but that was several years ago. I have less stressful options getting us home later, but would you do it?
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Old Apr 16, 16, 6:45 pm
  #223  
 
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Originally Posted by nbevan View Post
I wonder what the purpose of this is:
a) the passport could be checked and the BP could be reissued at the lounge or gate
b) the security check could be done at the lounge (if they still do this?) or gate
c) only unique benefit is that they can inform you of any gate or itinerary changes

But in general it would seem to be quicker to ignore this precheck and go straight to the lounge/gate?
AA has this weird overkill at LHR, which they don't do just about anywhere else. Nevertheless, for smoothest experience you should follow the process they have set up. If you skip it, inadvertently or not, all of that stuff can and will be done at other points as you mention. Gate is the last option, but of course delaying that far can slow down your boarding.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by iplaybass View Post
We're traveling in December over the holiday, and AA wants to book me a legal transfer at 1:35 (0820-0955) from T5-T3. I've never done T5-T3 in less than 2 hours, but that was several years ago. I have less stressful options getting us home later, but would you do it?
While technically possible if everything goes right, I would look for a longer connection.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 8:32 pm
  #225  
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Originally Posted by nbevan View Post
I wonder what the purpose of this is:

b) the security check could be done at the lounge (if they still do this?) or gate

But in general it would seem to be quicker to ignore this precheck and go straight to the lounge/gate?
They no longer ask questions at the lounge. But, since the expect people to be corralled and asked in the little room, we skipped that (thinking we could do it at the lounge) and ended up doing it at the gate in about 30 seconds since others had already been to the "room."

In future we will skip the room and do it at the gate.

Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


Remember the shopping mall with an airport operation we call London-Heathrow? If people went straight to the gate (or even perhaps the lounges), would they tend to spend more or less money at the airport concessions?
The new location of the Flight Connections entry point drops at the end of the gauntlet of shops- right at the hallway leading to the lounges...so it is no longer necessary to brave that element at T3

Originally Posted by aktchi View Post
AA has this weird overkill at LHR, which they don't do just about anywhere else. Nevertheless, for smoothest experience you should follow the process they have set up. If you skip it, inadvertently or not, all of that stuff can and will be done at other points as you mention. Gate is the last option, but of course delaying that far can slow down your boarding.
It's possible that it could, but I'm willing to take that chance. On one trip we were not able to get the onward BPs, so had to stop in the Very Slow Room. The next time we had them and bypassed. Very quick at the gate. I would do that again.

Cheers.
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