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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 Feb 9, 16, 7:55 am
  #61  
 
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So I screwed up. I purchased a J class ticket on the super sale late last year to fly US-LHR arriving at 6:20 am, and then a cheapie onward ticket on BA intra-Europe departing at 7am. I clicked on the wrong time, and didn't notice it until a month later.

Is it even possible to do T3-T5 in ~40 minutes?

Secondarily, there's another flight at 8:50. When I inevitably miss my connection, will BA let me on the 8:50 flight as a standby, or will I be charged for a walkup fare? I'm trying to decide if I need to just bite the bullet and buy a new ticket.
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Old Feb 9, 16, 8:01 am
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by dml105 View Post
So I screwed up. I purchased a J class ticket on the super sale late last year to fly US-LHR arriving at 6:20 am, and then a cheapie onward ticket on BA intra-Europe departing at 7am. I clicked on the wrong time, and didn't notice it until a month later.

Is it even possible to do T3-T5 in ~40 minutes?

Secondarily, there's another flight at 8:50. When I inevitably miss my connection, will BA let me on the 8:50 flight as a standby, or will I be charged for a walkup fare? I'm trying to decide if I need to just bite the bullet and buy a new ticket.
According to the last post in http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...isconnect.html
"BA has no policy to provide protection on separate tickets and indeed states that there is no protection".

You might find a kindly agent, but if the problem is too short a connection time rather than a BA delay they might not be too sympathetic.
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Old Feb 9, 16, 8:13 am
  #63  
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Originally Posted by dml105 View Post
So I screwed up. I purchased a J class ticket on the super sale late last year to fly US-LHR arriving at 6:20 am, and then a cheapie onward ticket on BA intra-Europe departing at 7am. I clicked on the wrong time, and didn't notice it until a month later.

Is it even possible to do T3-T5 in ~40 minutes?
C'est impossible. BA will proactively offload you if you are not airside in T5 at T-35 minutes.

If AA 100 arrives 30 minutes early, maybe.
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Old Feb 9, 16, 8:27 am
  #64  
brp
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
How do you avoid being questioned at the transfer counter?

A few months ago, the security types stopped us as we walked past the counters (this was T3-T3 and we already had BPs). In prior transits, we could just walk through if we already had BPs.
When we went through last month, we were not issued BPs in OTP, so we did have to stop in that room for BPs and questions. I saw people in the hall walk by, however, presumably by saying that they had BPs. May be a policy shift/clarity, or individual "initiative" at work.

Cheers.
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Old Feb 9, 16, 8:46 am
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
May be a policy shift/clarity, or individual "initiative" at work.
That's often the problem with any attempt at planning in connection with air travel. Research, find the best course and then learn that policy has changed or personnel are making things up there's individual "initiative" at work.
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Old Feb 10, 16, 2:10 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by dml105 View Post
So I screwed up. I purchased a J class ticket on the super sale late last year to fly US-LHR arriving at 6:20 am, and then a cheapie onward ticket on BA intra-Europe departing at 7am. I clicked on the wrong time, and didn't notice it until a month later.

Is it even possible to do T3-T5 in ~40 minutes?

Secondarily, there's another flight at 8:50. When I inevitably miss my connection, will BA let me on the 8:50 flight as a standby, or will I be charged for a walkup fare? I'm trying to decide if I need to just bite the bullet and buy a new ticket.
Your chances of that working are just about zero. Your flight won't be allowed to land before 06:00 because there's a hard limit to the number of flights that can land at LHR before 06:00 due to noise control regs, and all the slots are already used. You need to get your BP scanned at the entrance to T5 security by 06:25 or you will be offloaded. Even on a T5-T5 connection your chances of making that work are very poor indeed; from T3 it just isn't happening.

BA does not offer standby and when you miss your flight it will be a new walkup fare unless the agent takes pity on you. Best to get your ticket changed now; if your onward BA ticket is in economy, it's changeable usually for £60 plus fare difference. If it's cheapest business, you're boned. Doubly boned if you booked a roundtrip, as when you no-show for the LHR-XXX your return leg will be auto-cancelled.
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Old Feb 12, 16, 5:18 am
  #67  
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Originally Posted by dml105 View Post
.

Is it even possible to do T3-T5 in ~40 minutes?
Generally not. Today, though, we probably set a personal record. We disembarked at 11:35 (would have been 11:25 except for 10 minutes of futzing with the jetbridge) and were through a very short T5 security queue at 11:59. 24 minutes.

Don't count on it

Cheers.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 12:47 pm
  #68  
 
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Hello, after reading through many posts in this thread, I'm trying to confirm how a T3 (American Airlines) to T5 (British Airways) connection works when I've purchased the flight from Miami to London, and then separately purchased the British Airways flight from London to Paris.

I arrive at 8:40AM at T3 in London. I have a 1:05PM from T5 to Paris. So, 4 h 25 minutes to go from one to the other. Unless forced, I will not have any checked luggage (all within measurements, and have premium economy w/ early boarding so will have overheard space I hope).

Can I use the Flight Connection bus? (And does the answer change if they force me to check some of my luggage?) I've read on another travel website that since I bought a separate ticket that I cannot use the Flight Connection buses, but instead have to clear immigration, go to T5, and re-enter. I understand the Flight Connection buses saves having to clear immigration.

If I check in and print boarding pass to London and boarding pass to Paris in US, do I need to stop at a BA counter and reprint boarding pass from the Paris ticket and get a sticker before I go to the gate? A couple posts ago...it seems to be no. I can do any security questions at the gate, but I'd like to confirm.

I thought ~4.5 hours would be fine even if I had to go out through immigration and come back in...but I then read 5-6 hours is recommended for that.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 12:53 pm
  #69  
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Originally Posted by moogsonskates View Post
I'm trying to confirm how a T3 (American Airlines) to T5 (British Airways) connection works when I've purchased the flight from Miami to London, and then separately purchased the British Airways flight from London to Paris.

I arrive at 8:40AM at T3 in London. I have a 1:05PM from T5 to Paris. So, 4 h 25 minutes to go from one to the other. Unless forced, I will not have any checked luggage (all within measurements, and have premium economy w/ early boarding so will have overheard space I hope).
This is ample time. Like more than ample. Unless your inbound is heavily delayed, you'll be fine, and even if it is BA will move you to a later Paris flight.

Can I use the Flight Connection bus? (And does the answer change if they force me to check some of my luggage?) I've read on another travel website that since I bought a separate ticket that I cannot use the Flight Connection buses, but instead have to clear immigration, go to T5, and re-enter. I understand the Flight Connection buses saves having to clear immigration.

If I check in and print boarding pass to London and boarding pass to Paris in US, do I need to stop at a BA counter and reprint boarding pass from the Paris ticket and get a sticker before I go to the gate? A couple posts ago...it seems to be no.
You heard incorrectly: you will have no problems following the purple Flight Connections signs and making your way to Terminal 5 that way.

You have 3 options for the boarding pass, in the order of ease:
  1. Check in online and either print your own BA boarding pass or use their mobile boarding pass.
  2. When you check in with AA, advise them that you bought a separate BA ticket and ask the agent if he/she can check you in for that flight too. AA should be able to do this, but not all agents are trained on how.
  3. If all else fails, take the Flight Connections bus to T5, and once you arrive, before you approach conformance (a BP scan) and security, you'll find a BA service area–the kind folks there can print your BP if you've not been able to check in up to this point.

I can do any security questions at the gate, but I'd like to confirm.

I thought ~4.5 hours would be fine even if I had to go out through immigration and come back in...but I then read 5-6 hours is recommended for that.
BA will have no special security questions for you, you'll board as normal, just have your passport available when your BP is scanned at the gate. As mentioned above, 4.5 hours is bucketloads of time at LHR, you will have plenty of time to kill. The only way this isn't the case is if your inbound is delayed, and that could affect you no matter how long you plan for the connection to be.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 1:57 pm
  #70  
 
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moogsonskates, You have ample connection time, and very good advice from Microwave.

Just follow the Flight Connections signs.

Get your BA bp asap, whatever that means in practice: online yourself, AA check-in agent in MIA, some BA/transfer desk at LHR etc. However tis is just a matter of convenience, not a do or die deal.

In practice, your greatest time-waster is likely to be the T5 security line if you forget to separate some toothpaste or shampoo or mouthwash bottle from the carry-on. Take care of that, and you'll be fine.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 12:13 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by brp View Post

The connections counter that used to be after security often had a short line and we would stop there to avoid doing it at the gate. Failing that, we pop into the AC to answer the questions there. This way we can go to the gate just to board and not be shunted aside.

Cheers.
Originally Posted by ccengct View Post
Yes I've done that too when I have sufficient time to visit the club. But if the connection is tight, it's straight to the gate.
Originally Posted by ccengct View Post
You will be questioned. The only variable is where... at the T3 transfer counter when you get off the bus, or at the Admirals Club, or at the gate, or at check-in if you decide to go landside through UKBA and then reenter.


Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
How do you avoid being questioned at the transfer counter?

A few months ago, the security types stopped us as we walked past the counters (this was T3-T3 and we already had BPs). In prior transits, we could just walk through if we already had BPs.
We just came through yesterday, so I can provide some updated information here. The first point is that one cannot answer questions in the AC. The check-in folks can't do it, and the security person who used to be at the podium is no longer there. I explicitly asked at the desk and was told that it is no longer an option.

One can go into the room prior to the security checkpoint, but there generally seems to a line. if you have a boarding pass, just keep walking past the folks trying to draw you in. The sticker is not necessary for security. Just keep walking.

After security is another transfer desk where one could do this. It also had a line yesterday, so we opted for the AC (under the impression that that still worked).

So, we were down to the gate. We did not get there particularly early. Prior to going to the GA desk, there were security people out front to look for stickers. There was no one else coming in, and we were done in about 15 seconds.

Going forward, we will:

1. Look into the little room to see if there are short/non-existent lines and use that if so.

2. Look at the after-security transfer desk to see if they have a short line.


3. Do it at the gate. Given that so many people are snared by the first two locations, this seems (granted, n of 1), very short.

Originally Posted by ccengct View Post
People arriving BA at the satellite T5B and T5C should note that they can catch the T3 bus from the satellites without having to go all the way to T5 main.
Not completely correct. They do stop at T5B, but not at T5C.

Cheers.
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Old Feb 17, 16, 5:32 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by ccengct View Post
People arriving BA at the satellite T5B and T5C should note that they can catch the T3 bus from the satellites without having to go all the way to T5 main.
Originally Posted by brp View Post
Not completely correct. They do stop at T5B, but not at T5C.
Aye, but you may walk or take the train from 5C to 5B, get off and then catch the bus. It'll shave off ten minutes or so, and you'll be at the front of the queue (no one else will get on the bus there).

See http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/22770027-post2.html for a detailed guide
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Old Feb 17, 16, 5:41 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by moogsonskates View Post
Hello, after reading through many posts in this thread, I'm trying to confirm how a T3 (American Airlines) to T5 (British Airways) connection works when I've purchased the flight from Miami to London, and then separately purchased the British Airways flight from London to Paris.

I arrive at 8:40AM at T3 in London. I have a 1:05PM from T5 to Paris. So, 4 h 25 minutes to go from one to the other. Unless forced, I will not have any checked luggage (all within measurements, and have premium economy w/ early boarding so will have overheard space I hope).

Can I use the Flight Connection bus? (And does the answer change if they force me to check some of my luggage?) I've read on another travel website that since I bought a separate ticket that I cannot use the Flight Connection buses, but instead have to clear immigration, go to T5, and re-enter. I understand the Flight Connection buses saves having to clear immigration.

If I check in and print boarding pass to London and boarding pass to Paris in US, do I need to stop at a BA counter and reprint boarding pass from the Paris ticket and get a sticker before I go to the gate? A couple posts ago...it seems to be no. I can do any security questions at the gate, but I'd like to confirm.

I thought ~4.5 hours would be fine even if I had to go out through immigration and come back in...but I then read 5-6 hours is recommended for that.

Thanks.
It's fine but you have not noticed that he has two seperate tickets so unless his baggage is checked through at his start destination he will have to collect and go landside for a transfer. I sugsest that he tries initially to have the bags checked to Paris and then determine if he can use the airside transfer. Even saying that with the time between flights there should be no problem either way.
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Old Feb 17, 16, 5:54 pm
  #74  
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Originally Posted by ExpatSomchai View Post
It's fine but you have not noticed that he has two seperate tickets so unless his baggage is checked through at his start destination he will have to collect and go landside for a transfer. I sugsest that he tries initially to have the bags checked to Paris and then determine if he can use the airside transfer.
Those residing in glass houses should not throw stones

Originally Posted by moogsonskates View Post
Unless forced, I will not have any checked luggage (all within measurements, and have premium economy w/ early boarding so will have overheard space I hope).
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Old Feb 18, 16, 1:41 am
  #75  
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FWIW, I'm told that the security staff are gone from the lounges and won't be coming back in the foreseeable future, so people who are transferring at LHR are well advised to answer the questions at the transfer area if it's not too busy, else to arrive at the gate with enough time to answer them before boarding is called.

Originally Posted by brp View Post
After security is another transfer desk where one could do this. It also had a line yesterday, so we opted for the AC (under the impression that that still worked).
When I transferred at LHR in December (a rarity for me), the desks after security were bereft of AA personnel and signage, while the new area was as you mentioned quite busy. I wonder why AA have both places populated, and whether it's only some of the time? In fact... I wonder why they moved at all, since there was nothing inherently wrong with the old setup? Oy.

Originally Posted by ExpatSomchai View Post
unless his baggage is checked through at his start destination he will have to collect and go landside for a transfer. I sugsest that he tries initially to have the bags checked to Paris and then determine if he can use the airside transfer.
Even if the poster did have checked bags, there's absolutely no reason whatsoever not to check them through to Paris. It's easy for AA to do, and well within policy to expect it to be done, so checking bags through to London only would add a huge helping of wasted time onto this transfer.
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