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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)

LondonElite May 9, 19 9:03 am


Originally Posted by sam2k2002 (Post 31083312)
Any one have experience with immigration lines on a friday afternoon in early September? Heavier load? Lighter?

Really hard to generalise, but probably heavier than Wednesday noon. Take an earlier flight to minimise risk.

SeattleDavid May 9, 19 9:41 am


Originally Posted by sam2k2002 (Post 31082338)
Hi All- I will be flying IBZ-LHR on BA and LHR-LAX on AA with 2.5hrs connection time. These trips are on separate record locators, and my understanding is that I will have to pick up my checked bags, clear customs at Heathrow, head to the AA counter, and re-check them. Is this correct, and if so, is 2.5hrs enough time to make the international checked bag cut off?

Do you mean separate PNRs (locators) or separate tickets? They are not the same thing. AA and BA flights on the same ticket will have different record locators.

sam2k2002 May 9, 19 10:30 am


Originally Posted by SeattleDavid (Post 31083453)
Do you mean separate PNRs (locators) or separate tickets? They are not the same thing. AA and BA flights on the same ticket will have different record locators.

Fully separate tickets. The IBZ-LHR flight is BA-operated with an IB codeshare, not an AA codeshare.. my overseas itinerary is AA-merketed/AA-operated. Opting to include the IBZ-LHR leg triggered a $1000+ upcharge as the entire itinerary had to be priced using the BA codeshares for the AA flights.

gingerlucy May 9, 19 10:37 am


Originally Posted by sam2k2002 (Post 31082398)
Thanks for the quick replies. So really what is being said here is that it takes well more than 1 hour to collect bags and get through customs? I've been through the long terminal to terminal shuttle rides, but my thought was that would run in parallel to the baggage getting to the conveyor.

But you have to wait for your baggage so you can reclaim it in (probably) Terminal 5 before you can even start to make your way to (probably) Terminal 3 to re-check it. It isn't happening in parallel. (Baggage arriving while you wait for immigration might be happening in parallel, granted.)

The problem is this might all be fine if your inbound is on time, but very much not fine if that is delayed.

potus18 May 9, 19 10:52 am


Originally Posted by sam2k2002 (Post 31083312)
Any one have experience with immigration lines on a friday afternoon in early September? Heavier load? Lighter?

If you're transiting through LHR in September and are going to need to enter the UK to make your connection, do note that the E-Gates (currently reserved for EU passport holders and Registered Traveller members) will be opened to US passport holders (among other countries) in June. Though it means more people using the same number of E-Gates, it will significantly reduce your time spent waiting at UK immigration.

See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e...irmed-for-june

Also note that AA treats OW-OW connections on separate tickets as through tickets for the sake of IRROPS or missed flights.

sam2k2002 May 9, 19 10:57 am

Good point. Would you know the order of operations to be gone through here?

1. Land @ LHR Terminal 5
2. Clear immigration @ T5
3. Pick up bags @ T5
4. Clear customs @ T5

Here is where I get a bit lost. As the next step, would I be able to check-in back and check my bags at the AA counter @ T5 or do i need to take an external shuttle to T3, where my LHR-LAX leg departs from?

sam2k2002 May 9, 19 10:59 am


Originally Posted by potus18 (Post 31083729)
If you're transiting through LHR in September and are going to need to enter the UK to make your connection, do note that the E-Gates (currently reserved for EU passport holders and Registered Traveller members) will be opened to US passport holders (among other countries) in June. Though it means more people using the same number of E-Gates, it will significantly reduce your time spent waiting at UK immigration.

See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e...irmed-for-june

Also note that AA treats OW-OW connections on separate tickets as through tickets for the sake of IRROPS or missed flights.

Sure seems like it!
https://www.heathrow.com/file_source...ance-sep18.pdf

wrp96 May 9, 19 10:59 am

There is no AA counter at T5. You will have to transfer landside to T3 to check in with AA there.

carlosdca May 9, 19 11:27 am


Originally Posted by sam2k2002 (Post 31083750)
Good point. Would you know the order of operations to be gone through here?

1. Land @ LHR Terminal 5
2. Clear immigration @ T5
3. Pick up bags @ T5
4. Clear customs @ T5

Here is where I get a bit lost. As the next step, would I be able to check-in back and check my bags at the AA counter @ T5 or do i need to take an external shuttle to T3, where my LHR-LAX leg departs from?

5. Take the shuttle train to T3 (15-20mins)
6. Check in/ Drop your bag off at T3 AA desk (this may take a long time since you will have to wait for someone to ask you the Security questions required for travel to US, you will get a sticker on your passport to show you went through this questioning)
NOTE that check-in/bag drop must be done 60 Minutes before depature time, they may not let you check in/ check your bag if less than 60 mins.
7. X-Rays/Security at T3
8. Walk to Gate (It could be Gate 40, a long walk from security)
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...99405a59be.jpg

sam2k2002 May 9, 19 11:51 am


Originally Posted by carlosdca (Post 31083868)
5. Take the shuttle train to T3 (15-20mins)
6. Check in/ Drop your bag off at T3 AA desk (this may take a long time since you will have to wait for someone to ask you the Security questions required for travel to US, you will get a sticker on your passport to show you went through this questioning)
NOTE that check-in/bag drop must be done 60 Minutes before depature time, they may not let you check in/ check your bag if less than 60 mins.
7. X-Rays/Security at T3
8. Walk to Gate (It could be Gate 40, a long walk from security)
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...99405a59be.jpg

Thank you for this Carlos! Very helpful to know that the extra questioning happens BEFORE checking bags. I could see that being the unforeseen circumstance that ruins the day..

carlosdca May 9, 19 12:08 pm


Originally Posted by sam2k2002 (Post 31083967)
Thank you for this Carlos! Very helpful to know that the extra questioning happens BEFORE checking bags. I could see that being the unforeseen circumstance that ruins the day..

The questioning itself is very quick.
How long it will take you to check-in/drop bag + questioning will depend on how busy check-in is (it can get VERY busy depending on time of day).

For me, this is a nerve-wracking type of connection, even if inbound flight is on time. So many steps and each step can potentially take a long time (immigration, train, check-in, security, long walk).
I like to have piece of mind and I would give myself at least 3.5 hours for this connection on separate tickets OR
have a carry-on only (no checked bags) for a tighter connection.

ijgordon May 9, 19 12:09 pm


Originally Posted by SeattleDavid (Post 31083453)
Do you mean separate PNRs (locators) or separate tickets? They are not the same thing. AA and BA flights on the same ticket will have different record locators.

That's kind of irrelevant - 1) If you're booked on a single AA flight that's a BA codeshare, you'll also have two different record locators, which is only a function of the two airlines using different reservation systems. 2) If you're on both a BA and an AA flight, you'll also have two PNRs, but each will have BOTH segments on it, which is what matters here. (Since if you have 5 or more segments, you'd also have multiple ticket numbers, and that wouldn't be a problem).

beachfan May 9, 19 12:10 pm

Train? Isnít it a bus between T5 and T3.

Ive taken a train within T5 from the lounge to the further gates. I donít know if you have to take a train within T5 from some of the further gates just to get to the part of T5 that you connect to the bus.

ive waited a half hour for the bus from T5 to T3, plus 20 minutes for the ride.

if you are unfamiliar with LHR, you need a little extra time than those who are familiar.

carlosdca May 9, 19 12:12 pm


Originally Posted by beachfan (Post 31084049)
Train? Isn’t it a bus between T5 and T3.


Bus is for airside connections.
OP is doing a landside connection, not sure if there is a bus. I only know of train (heathrow express or tube)

ijgordon May 9, 19 12:13 pm

The bus is for AIRSIDE connections, behind immigration/security.
But OP will need to go LANDSIDE to collect his bag.
He can take either the Heathrow Express or the Tube (Underground), but I think you need an oyster card to use the Tube (even though it's free), whereas they'll give out free transfer tickets for the HEX.
HEX runs every 15 minutes and is about 5 minutes of travel time (plus some walking). So figure total of 20-40 minutes from exiting customs at T5 to check-in at T3.
Tube is probably a little more frequent but probably travels a little slower.

There should be a whole thread about T5<->T3 transfers at LHR, probably both in the AA and the BA forums.


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