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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)

sturges Feb 7, 16 8:26 pm

Where is your BA flight coming from?

LHR can take ages to connect at. I just did a T5-T5 Schengen-USA connection and it took ~65 minutes.

LukasVIE Feb 7, 16 8:28 pm

You should be OK if the flights are on time. AFAIK British Airways uses bus-gates at T3 for shorthaul flights and proper gates for longhaul flights.

ws8n Feb 7, 16 8:47 pm

AA closes gates early sometimes, so be prepared to be at gate no later than 20 mins before departure.
U need to take into account clearing security at T3. It will be a tight one.

Ready2Go Feb 7, 16 9:06 pm


Originally Posted by UpInTheAir (Post 26149429)
Knowing which gates they use would be helpful as the terminal map shows the gate numbers but not which ones are used by which airline.

Gate information won't really help you that much, because it's not like a domestic connection; you won't be going straight from gate to gate. You'll have to go all the way to the main part of the terminal, clear security, then go through the Flight Connections center and back out to your departing gate. Even if your arrival and departure gates are right next to one another, you still have to do that.

Carteeb Feb 7, 16 9:34 pm

IMHO T3 security is much better and faster than the nightmare that is T5. However I never leave less than 90 minutes between connections at the same terminal, even if I assume my flights will be on time. That's cutting it close. When is the next flight? Good to have in your pocket just in case

zebranz Feb 7, 16 9:40 pm

Even on time can be tight. Just did MXP-LHR-DFW (biz so first off BA). Plane late, bus to Terminal, then got a wasted "Express Connections" paper. Bus to Term for AA flight. Then over enthusiastic security people asking 10 questions, then AA counter for new BP and verify baggage tag, then security (and Express Connections did nothing). 1 lane for Fast Track and 1 for everyone else. Had multiple people on AA flight. About 30 people and moving slowly. Finally they let us cut ahead of about 7 people who were not happy. Ran to gate and we were last ones on. 90 minutes is what you should have.
You really can't make it faster than it happens to be that day. Good luck.


==sorry misread- Mine was Terminal 5 to Terminal 3

brp Feb 7, 16 9:47 pm


Originally Posted by zebranz (Post 26149772)
...bus to Terminal...

With a T3->T3 connection there are no buses. 70 minutes should be more than sufficient especially as the entry point has now been moved to be closer to the gates.

T5<->T3 has been about 35-55 minutes for us. Same terminal is more like 30 minutes, generally.

Cheers.

anc305 Feb 7, 16 10:01 pm

I agree with brp. 70 min for a T3-T3 is not that bad. I've done it several times. Just make sure your carry on luggage is good to go. I've been pulled aside for the mouth wash in an amenity kit I received on the plane. I had not opened the kit and put it in one of my bags. Took an extra 15 minutes to get thru security. Little things like that can make a big difference if time is tight due to your inbound being a little late.

nk15 Feb 7, 16 10:32 pm


Originally Posted by anc305 (Post 26149827)
I agree with brp. 70 min for a T3-T3 is not that bad. I've done it several times. Just make sure your carry on luggage is good to go. I've been pulled aside for the mouth wash in an amenity kit I received on the plane. I had not opened the kit and put it in one of my bags. Took an extra 15 minutes to get thru security. Little things like that can make a big difference if time is tight due to your inbound being a little late.

The LHR security is so maddening dumb you have to really compose yourself going through it. Your carry on has to be COMPLETELY empty of any kind of liquid, gel, crème, paste, anything, even a small drop of something will be picked up by the machine and it will kick your bag into secondary inspection. When that happens, you will join a long line of other unfortunates, who will have the carryon belongings opened, and every single item taken out and inspected in front of the group of said unfortunates. Every single item in your bag will be paraded in front of everyone. I had once left in my bag a miniscule quantity of a hair wax product, no bigger than the size of a fingernail. The scanner picked it up, the charade ensued, and the security guy proceeded to scan the fingernail quantity of hair wax for explosives on another machine. A fingernail quantity. I kid you not. Total wasted time about 20-25 minutes. People caught up in this often beg the other unfortunates to cut in front of them so they won't miss their flight. This airport is something else.

Markie Feb 7, 16 11:36 pm


Originally Posted by nk15 (Post 26149903)
The LHR security is so maddening dumb you have to really compose yourself going through it. Your carry on has to be COMPLETELY empty of any kind of liquid, gel, crème, paste, anything, even a small drop of something will be picked up by the machine and it will kick your bag into secondary inspection. When that happens, you will join a long line of other unfortunates, who will have the carryon belongings opened, and every single item taken out and inspected in front of the group of said unfortunates. Every single item in your bag will be paraded in front of everyone. I had once left in my bag a miniscule quantity of a hair wax product, no bigger than the size of a fingernail. The scanner picked it up, the charade ensued, and the security guy proceeded to scan the fingernail quantity of hair wax for explosives on another machine. A fingernail quantity. I kid you not. Total wasted time about 20-25 minutes. People caught up in this often beg the other unfortunates to cut in front of them so they won't miss their flight. This airport is something else.

This also happens if you have too many cables in your luggage so that the person cannot see what is there properly.

CrazyJ82 Feb 8, 16 1:14 am


Originally Posted by LukasVIE (Post 26149554)
You should be OK if the flights are on time. AFAIK British Airways uses bus-gates at T3 for shorthaul flights and proper gates for longhaul flights.


Originally Posted by zebranz (Post 26149772)
Even on time can be tight. Just did MXP-LHR-DFW (biz so first off BA). Plane late, bus to Terminal


Originally Posted by brp (Post 26149795)
With a T3->T3 connection there are no buses. 70 minutes should be more than sufficient especially as the entry point has now been moved to be closer to the gates.

I think the first two posters were talking about BA's maddening propensity for using remote stands that require a bus from plane to terminal. The good news is that they say all their flights, LH and SH, into T3 now arrive on airbridges, so assuming no fluke exception on the day that eliminates one time suck on this connection. But as others are pointing out security is still likely to be the main bottleneck and at LHR "variable" is the only word you can use for that...

Lakeviewsteve Feb 8, 16 1:23 am

If you are flying J, you will be allowed the fast track security screening. Make sure you don't forget to remove any liquids and have them in a small plastic bag. If you forget, it may cost you 15-20 minutes while they go through everything!

Calchas Feb 8, 16 1:31 am


Originally Posted by aktchi (Post 26149137)
That's an "AA thing" at LHR. They don't do this at other US or even foreign airports like HKG or NRT.

AA's LHR ops live in their own world. After you have done the real LHR security, you encounter a ring of AA-hired "security" to ask such questions. Then the actual check in agent. If you are going to the lounge, there may be an extra security person to deal with before approaching the reception desk..and then the lounge receptionist can also start on who were you visiting in London, where do you work, where do you live etc.

All of this has happened to me. And I have never seen this anywhere else.

AA do this as well at CDG

(Never encountered the lounge questioning anywhere though)

worldiswide Feb 8, 16 1:54 am


Originally Posted by nk15 (Post 26149903)
The LHR security is so maddening dumb you have to really compose yourself going through it. Your carry on has to be COMPLETELY empty of any kind of liquid, gel, crème, paste, anything, even a small drop of something will be picked up by the machine and it will kick your bag into secondary inspection. When that happens, you will join a long line of other unfortunates, who will have the carryon belongings opened, and every single item taken out and inspected in front of the group of said unfortunates. Every single item in your bag will be paraded in front of everyone. I had once left in my bag a miniscule quantity of a hair wax product, no bigger than the size of a fingernail. The scanner picked it up, the charade ensued, and the security guy proceeded to scan the fingernail quantity of hair wax for explosives on another machine. A fingernail quantity. I kid you not. Total wasted time about 20-25 minutes. People caught up in this often beg the other unfortunates to cut in front of them so they won't miss their flight. This airport is something else.


Originally Posted by Markie (Post 26150026)
This also happens if you have too many cables in your luggage so that the person cannot see what is there properly.


Had both of these experiences at lhr, and yes, composing yourself is critical. It is maddening to see the emptying of all items of every person. I've seen this with young children to the elderly in wheel chairs with every prescription bottle opened and swiped. And yes, T3 makes T5 look good.

WAS Feb 8, 16 2:04 am

I make this connection regularly several times a year. 70 minutes is pushing it, but definitely possible. They opened a new security screening area recently, which helps a bit.

Like others said, you basically go back to the terminal entrance, go through security (I've had success getting into the Fast Track lanes by showing an elite card, even when flying Economy). After security, you also might have to stop at the AA desk to get an AA boarding pass and answer some of those stupid security questions. After that, it's a bit of a hike to the gate, so allow time for that.

90 minutes is comfortable, with time for a drink in the lounge. 70 minutes is possible, but you have to move quickly.


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