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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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Please edit or add information to this wiki as necessary.

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 18, 16, 8:26 am
  #241  
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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.
It's not at all surprising that you can't get both boarding passes through OLCI. However, it would be surprising if the BA check-in agent couldn't issue the AA boarding pass when you get to the airport for your first flight. (Not to say that it can't happen).

So just plan on getting the boarding pass for the AA flight at your departure airport (and then plan on AA reprinting that BP at some point on your journey through LHR on its own stock...)
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Old Apr 18, 16, 9:57 am
  #242  
 
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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?
If it makes you feel better.. I just did T5-T3 yesterday in a personal record time of 25 minutes flat. This is the time I measured from disembarking the plane in T5 to when I got into the BA First Lounge in T3.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 10:14 am
  #243  
 
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Originally Posted by muishkin View Post
If it makes you feel better.. I just did T5-T3 yesterday in a personal record time of 25 minutes flat. This is the time I measured from disembarking the plane in T5 to when I got into the BA First Lounge in T3.
^

My personal best is 20 min from walking off my QR flight in T4 to the AA gate at T3. Granted, I was running. 😁

I find that my T5-T3 (and vice versa) connections are usually around 30-40 min average.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 10:36 am
  #244  
brp
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Originally Posted by econometrics View Post
^

My personal best is 20 min from walking off my QR flight in T4 to the AA gate at T3. Granted, I was running. ��

I find that my T5-T3 (and vice versa) connections are usually around 30-40 min average.
We did a 24 minute T3-T5 with no running, but that was like magic. This was on the plane through T5 security. We walk fast anyway. Bus right there, no line at T5 security. Will never happen again.

Cheers.

Last edited by brp; Apr 18, 16 at 11:24 am
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Old Apr 18, 16, 10:43 am
  #245  
 
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
We did a 24 minute T3-T5 with no running, but that was like magic. This was on the plane through T5 security. We walk fast anyway. Bus right there, no line at T3 security. Will never happen again.

Cheers.
Ha, true. When the bus is just there waiting for you, and there's no security line.. you know that's about once in a lifetime. ^
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Old Apr 22, 16, 10:27 am
  #246  
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A recent post about a VS to BA transfer at LHR has been put into its own thread in the UK and Ireland forum here.

~Moderator
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Old Apr 22, 16, 3:17 pm
  #247  
 
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Originally Posted by brp View Post

Then look at the after-desk. Failing that, BP at the AC and questions-and-answer at the gate.

Cheers.
FYI the Admirals Club personnel at LHR T3 told us they are not trained in ticketing and have no way to print a boarding pass. You would have to get a BP at the American Airlines desk after flight connections and just before or after T3 security.

This is critical to know in IROPS if something happens once you are airside. Keep your old BP and ask the AC staff at T3 to call the EXP help desk (or AA reservatuons I assume) if you are airside already and need a new BP or a new flight for some reason. The ExP help desk can help with the reservation but can't help get you through LHR security. LHR T3 AC can get you on the phone to EXP help desk but can't actually print a BP. At least that is what they told us.

Last edited by Cheynewalk; Apr 22, 16 at 4:43 pm Reason: accuracy
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Old Apr 22, 16, 3:25 pm
  #248  
 
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And btw what happened is that the GA looked up the ticket from the old BP and printed the new BP on AA bp stock at the gate.It's really stressful for them with the temporary setup from construction and all. The GA literally had to carry the blank BP stock to the gate in her purse and only one of the printers was working. I wouldn't recommend or count on being able to get your BP at the lounge.
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Old Apr 22, 16, 3:37 pm
  #249  
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Originally Posted by Cheynewalk View Post
FYI the Admirals Club personnel at LHR T3 told us they are not trained in ticketing and have no way to print a boarding pass. You would have to get a BP at the American Airlines desk after flight connections and before T3 security.
Printing a boarding pass ≠ ticketing ... where do they find these people!
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Old Apr 22, 16, 3:43 pm
  #250  
 
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I think he meant that by way of an explanation/apology, not necessarily to equate the two. They said they can't do either at the T3 AC. It happened we were asking for both, but even after the ticket was changed we still could not get a BP at the lounge.

Sorry if the extraneous detail obscured my point. It is merely that the LHR T3 AC does not have the BP/rebooking powers that we are used to in domestic US ACs.

Last edited by Cheynewalk; Apr 22, 16 at 3:57 pm
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Old Apr 22, 16, 11:35 pm
  #251  
 
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Originally Posted by Cheynewalk View Post
And btw what happened is that the GA looked up the ticket from the old BP and printed the new BP on AA bp stock at the gate.It's really stressful for them with the temporary setup from construction and all. The GA literally had to carry the blank BP stock to the gate in her purse and only one of the printers was working. I wouldn't recommend or count on being able to get your BP at the lounge.
I wonder why AA needs a BP on AA stock, if for example you alreay hava BP printed by BA?
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Old Apr 22, 16, 11:41 pm
  #252  
 
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They don't. The BA one would have worked on the original routing.
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Old Apr 23, 16, 12:13 am
  #253  
 
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So it is only a problem if your flights have changed. Although AA habitually reprint BPs, if you already have a BA issued BP and no flight changes you can skip the AA flight connections room and go straight to the gate with the BA issued BP.
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Old Apr 23, 16, 12:33 am
  #254  
 
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Yes, that's right.

Perhaps someone else can confirm, but I think the advantage of reprinting on AA stock (though it's not necessary) may be that the AA BP will say "DOCS OK" and perhaps you can then skip the docs "interrogation" just before the gate, which can be a hassle/bottleneck.

One of our party had a mini-"interrogation" at the Admirals Club in T3, whereupon they put some sort of sticker on her BP wallet. They didn't explain the sticker but indicated that it would be helpful somehow. The sticker later seemed to satisfy the LHR security doing the docs "interrogation," who kind of waved her through the "interrogation" upon seeing the sticker. Maybe that sticker is equivalent to a "DOCS OK" BP, but that part was not explained to us.
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Old Apr 23, 16, 4:52 am
  #255  
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Originally Posted by nbevan View Post
I wonder why AA needs a BP on AA stock, if for example you alreay hava BP printed by BA?
Originally Posted by Cheynewalk View Post
They don't. The BA one would have worked on the original routing.
They always reprint mine onto AA paper
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