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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)

UKtravelbear Jan 31, 19 7:16 am

BA and HAL obviously think that 90 minutes is sufficient MCT. It's been 90 minutes for a good number of years now.

They could lengthen it but that would then reduce the possible number of connections available to people and lengthen journey times.

Does it suit everyone or meet every circumstance then no but if the vast majority of people make the connection every day why make them wait longer just because a small, in the scheme of things, number of people don't manage it,

There are some people on the BA board who think it should be reduced (though I'm not in that camp)

You can usually book a longer connection if you want some extra comfort in the connection time.

And of course, if you feel more confident, take the landside route (but remember the BA conformance cut off)/

ijgordon Jan 31, 19 9:29 am


Originally Posted by UKtravelbear (Post 30723257)
And of course, if you feel more confident, take the landside route (but remember the BA conformance cut off)

Maybe a tad off-topic, but I understand the HEX now has ticket barriers at the LHR stations? I know to use the tube between terminals you need an Oyster card, even though it's free; how are they handling landside transfers on the train?

tomj888 Jan 31, 19 9:37 am

First off, it stinks that one world alliance members will not check bags to a final destination if the records are NOT bundled. that's just crap. I lived that earlier this month flying LAX-GVA on AA and BA metal on separate tickets. I had to lug skis from T3 to T5. What's not mentioned is that there is a free train (heathrow express ) from T3 to T 5 and back. You catch it very close to exiting customs. Also, you can get a fast pass to get in and out of security much faster. I was able to make my flight with a 40 minute connection. Was stressful but I did it. No weather delays and many inbound LAX-LHR flights are early due to prevailing winds. Only possible drawback can be a delay in getting a landing slot at LHR so you do the london circle as you que up to land. Luckily we had no flow control delays. So it can be done, but it sucks how unbundled ticket are treated like you have the plague.

KARFA Jan 31, 19 9:40 am


Originally Posted by ijgordon (Post 30723694)
Maybe a tad off-topic, but I understand the HEX now has ticket barriers at the LHR stations? I know to use the tube between terminals you need an Oyster card, even though it's free; how are they handling landside transfers on the train?

It does but even if you don't have a contactless card you can use, there are free transfer ticket machines at each terminal to get a ticket which allows you to pass the barriers.

some more information in post 360 of the T5 connection guide https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29792462-post360.html

KARFA Jan 31, 19 9:45 am


Originally Posted by tomj888 (Post 30723724)
What's not mentioned is that there is a free train (heathrow express ) from T3 to T 5 and back. You catch it very close to exiting customs.

there are lots of signs about the free HEX inter terminal transfer around each terminal.


Also, you can get a fast pass to get in and out of security much faster.
in terms of immigration those in J/F and those with status should get an immigration fast track voucher from the airline before landing. it is essential at T3 to access the non-EEA fast track lane and a bo is not sufficient, for t5 arrivals the voucher isn't needed and bp is sufficient.

for security fast track you should have access if in F/J or OWE/OWS. You can also now buy access from the airport to the fast track lanes here https://www.heathrow.com/airport-gui...ces/fast-track note for T5 you must use north fast track.

IADCAflyer Jan 31, 19 10:12 am


Originally Posted by tomj888 (Post 30723724)
First off, it stinks that one world alliance members will not check bags to a final destination if the records are NOT bundled. that's just crap. I lived that earlier this month flying LAX-GVA on AA and BA metal on separate tickets. I had to lug skis from T3 to T5. What's not mentioned is that there is a free train (heathrow express ) from T3 to T 5 and back. You catch it very close to exiting customs. Also, you can get a fast pass to get in and out of security much faster. I was able to make my flight with a 40 minute connection. Was stressful but I did it. No weather delays and many inbound LAX-LHR flights are early due to prevailing winds. Only possible drawback can be a delay in getting a landing slot at LHR so you do the london circle as you que up to land. Luckily we had no flow control delays. So it can be done, but it sucks how unbundled ticket are treated like you have the plague.

Oh, but weren't you the one who booked an impossibly tight connection?

JDiver Jan 31, 19 10:40 am


Originally Posted by tomj888 (Post 30723724)
First off, it stinks that one world alliance members will not check bags to a final destination if the records are NOT bundled. that's just crap. I lived that earlier this month flying LAX-GVA on AA and BA metal on separate tickets. I had to lug skis from T3 to T5. What's not mentioned is that there is a free train (heathrow express ) from T3 to T 5 and back. You catch it very close to exiting customs. Also, you can get a fast pass to get in and out of security much faster. I was able to make my flight with a 40 minute connection. Was stressful but I did it. No weather delays and many inbound LAX-LHR flights are early due to prevailing winds. Only possible drawback can be a delay in getting a landing slot at LHR so you do the london circle as you que up to land. Luckily we had no flow control delays. So it can be done, but it sucks how unbundled ticket are treated like you have the plague.

Of course, reading here addresses those problems. Thereís a separate thread addressing the customer unfriendly oneworld policy allowing their airlines to not interline baggage on separately ticketed flights (not all oneworld airlines enforce this policy), and the Wikipost at the top has information on the free train and links for interterminal transfers.

On LHR connections using separate ticketing and on interline unfriendly airlines, most of us would suggest four hours as a reasonable connection time.

anabolism Feb 4, 19 4:53 am


Originally Posted by KARFA (Post 30722732)
Certainly an interesting opinion. As someone who connects through LHR on a weekly basis it doesn't resonate with my experiences tbh. I think my worst transfer between T5 and T3 in either direction was one that took maybe 60 minutes. Other than that I have regularly done it in 35-45 minutes from stepping off the plane to being in the airside departures area in the other terminal.

As I said "Any of us who connect in LHR frequently have had countless times when everything went well and we had ample lounge time on a supposedly tight connection...."

As I said, often everything goes very well. Having connecting through LHR fairly often over the past 15 years, I can recount many successful tales but also many horror stories when this was not the case. Far too often my inbound plane is stuck holding over LHR, affording lovely views at the cost of my connection time. I've had endless walks to the Flight Connections busses, only to find massive queues and late busses. Just yesterday my bus was more than 25 minutes late.

anabolism Feb 4, 19 4:55 am


Originally Posted by ijgordon (Post 30723694)
I understand the HEX now has ticket barriers at the LHR stations? I know to use the tube between terminals you need an Oyster card, even though it's free; how are they handling landside transfers on the train?

There are machines dispensing free inter-terminal transfer tickets. There are also often staff members with the transfer tickets to hand out at the barriers.

KARFA Feb 4, 19 4:58 am


Originally Posted by anabolism (Post 30737268)
As I said "Any of us who connect in LHR frequently have had countless times when everything went well and we had ample lounge time on a supposedly tight connection...."

As I said, often everything goes very well. Having connecting through LHR fairly often over the past 15 years, I can recount many successful tales but also many horror stories when this was not the case. Far too often my inbound plane is stuck holding over LHR, affording lovely views at the cost of my connection time. I've had endless walks to the Flight Connections busses, only to find massive queues and late busses. Just yesterday my bus was more than 25 minutes late.

i am just presenting my experience based on my fairly significant travels through LHR over the years :)

sparkygirl Feb 19, 19 4:04 pm

BCN to LHR to PHL connection time in LHR
 
I will be flying out of BCN BA479 arriving in LHR at 1:05 p.m. terminal 3. I depart AA 737 at 2:30 p.m. terminal 3. I have not gone through LHR before. Will I need to clear customs in BCN? Go through security? I am totally unclear about whether I just walk to my next gate in terminal 3 or have to go through security. Will my luggage automatically transfer to the AA flight. This is an AA award ticket that was booked all together. I am a little concerned since I am reading that there may be a security to go through and I'm not familiar with the process.

Any help or information is greatly appreciated!!!

The _Banking_Scot Feb 19, 19 4:14 pm


Originally Posted by sparkygirl (Post 30798932)
I will be flying out of BCN BA479 arriving in LHR at 1:05 p.m. terminal 3. I depart AA 737 at 2:30 p.m. terminal 3. I have not gone through LHR before. Will I need to clear customs in BCN? Go through security? I am totally unclear about whether I just walk to my next gate in terminal 3 or have to go through security. Will my luggage automatically transfer to the AA flight. This is an AA award ticket that was booked all together. I am a little concerned since I am reading that there may be a security to go through and I'm not familiar with the process.

Any help or information is greatly appreciated!!!

Hi
BCN- Go through security and passport control ( no customs on departure)
At LHR T3- Follow signs for Flight Connections ( there will be an AA agent to ask ( you may be asked security questions) go through security into the departures lounge ( watch the monitors for the gate number or go to the lounge if you have access) .No customs at LHR as you are in transit

Bags will be transferred automatically at LHR to your AA flight as you are on one ticket.

Regards

TBS

gateH15 Feb 19, 19 4:22 pm


Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot (Post 30798968)
Hi
BCN- Go through security and passport control ( no customs on departure)
At LHR T3- Follow signs for Flight Connections ( there will be an AA agent to ask ( you may be asked security questions) go through security into the departures lounge ( watch the monitors for the gate number or go to the lounge if you have access) .No customs at LHR as you are in transit

Bags will be transferred automatically at LHR to your AA flight as you are on one ticket.

Regards

TBS

if you have status you can tell them that you will do questions in the lounge so you donít have to waste time. In the lounge they typically just stamp your passport without asking stupid questions.

Nuhusky Feb 19, 19 5:43 pm

First that’s a pretty tight connection for lhr. Last time I did bcn to lhr and then onward with aa I took the first flight of the day out of bcn. Lhr held us in bcn for an hour. We then took off and they put us into a 45 min hold over London. This turned my 2 hour layover into a mad sprint through terminal 3 getting to the plane mere minutes before they closed the gate. Literally ran the whole way, it sucked.

Good luck to you, hope you have better luck

that said you will land at terminal 3. Follow connection signs, stay in terminal 3. Expect a ten min+ walk from getting off the plane to getting to security.

You will then then need to clear security, ie stick your gear into the X-ray and such. If you are flying biz class there is a separate line, if not hope for a light day. I’ve seen security take five mins to 30+ in the connections hall of 3. Once you get through security you get dumped into the waiting area of 3 followed by what will probably be a ten min+ walk again to your gate

you will not have time to go to the lounge, not with your connection time. I’d bet your plane will be boarding by the time you clear security

Often1 Feb 19, 19 6:20 pm

Just to be clear, this presumes one ticket with a connection, not two tickets. If the latter, bags will not be checked through and OP will need to clear customs, claim his bag, take it to AA to check in and then head back through security.


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