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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)

teemuflyer Jul 16, 19 2:28 pm


Originally Posted by Jonesdds (Post 31310609)
Yes I wondered what lounges I'd be able to access. That does make the wait go much quicker. I am EXP and would most likely be flying coach on a AA award ticket(maybe BA award ticket), after a biz class flight on AA. So I would have access to those first class lounges? Does AA have Flagship lounge in LHR at this point? Probably be last on my list with CX and QF being the most interesting.

If both of my tickets are AA, even though one purchased and one is award am I really not able to combine them and have luggage checked all the way through? Yes, the second flight would be on BA metal but AA ticket.

As an EXP on AA (OW Emerald) you have access to all OW First Class and below lounges when traveling internationally, including one guest when flying on OW flights. Doesn't matter if you are using rewards or cash for the tickets.

AA does have a Flagship First Lounge (the last of it's kind) in LHR, but all the other lounges I mentioned are available for you to try as well. Totally acceptable to hop around to check them all out.

And alas, if you purchase one ticket and use awards on another, they are unfortunately considered separate tickets, thus no checked luggage through between those flights.

JDiver Jul 16, 19 2:46 pm


Originally Posted by teemuflyer (Post 31310646)
As an EXP on AA (OW Emerald) you have access to all OW First Class and below lounges when traveling internationally, including one guest when flying on OW flights. Doesn't matter if you are using rewards or cash for the tickets.

AA does have a Flagship First Lounge (the last of it's kind) in LHR, but all the other lounges I mentioned are available for you to try as well. Totally acceptable to hop around to check them all out.

And alas, if you purchase one ticket and use awards on another, they are unfortunately considered separate tickets, thus no checked luggage through between those flights.

Surprisingly, the only exception AA lists for through checking bags on separate ticketing is when its a revenue ticket connecting to an award ticket or v.v. One would generally have to request that and remind the agent of that exception.

OP, forget the train. You have to take the Tube from Hatton Cross to Kings Cross, walk .2 miles to St. Pancras. Absolute minimum an hour, Id give it 1.5 hours. You need ~an hour to check in and do security at St. Pancras International, then 6 hrs or longer to Lyon, depending on connections (usually at Lille).

OTOH, youd arrive and depart LHR T-3 for LYS, and you have plenty of lounge choices. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...aa-fliers.html

anabolism Jul 17, 19 9:03 am


Originally Posted by Jonesdds (Post 31310609)
If both of my tickets are AA, even though one purchased and one is award am I really not able to combine them and have luggage checked all the way through? Yes, the second flight would be on BA metal but AA ticket.

This is a fairly recent (last couple of years) AA policy change, and another customer-hostile policy from AA. As I said upthread, if you can combine both sets of flights into one record, then separate tickets can be issued out of that one PNR and in most cases AA will then happily through-check your bags. AA can issue an award and a revenue ticket out of one PNR, but it gets tricky and I think one needs to be booked first. I think the revenue ticket needs to be booked first but I am not certain.

JJeffrey Jul 17, 19 9:15 am


Originally Posted by anabolism (Post 31313224)
This is a fairly recent (last couple of years) AA policy change, and another customer-hostile policy from AA. As I said upthread, if you can combine both sets of flights into one record, then separate tickets can be issued out of that one PNR and in most cases AA will then happily through-check your bags. AA can issue an award and a revenue ticket out of one PNR, but it gets tricky and I think one needs to be booked first. I think the revenue ticket needs to be booked first but I am not certain.

AFAIK they both need to booked at the same time over the phone in order for this to work. Obviously it takes a very well trained agent who knows what they're doing, probably a lot of HUCAs. Only a few very anecdotal data points on here of any success with this. If one ticket is already booked then it's not possible to add the additional paid/award flight onto the existing PNR.

anabolism Jul 17, 19 10:50 am


Originally Posted by JJeffrey (Post 31313273)
AFAIK they both need to booked at the same time over the phone in order for this to work. Obviously it takes a very well trained agent who knows what they're doing, probably a lot of HUCAs. Only a few very anecdotal data points on here of any success with this. If one ticket is already booked then it's not possible to add the additional paid/award flight onto the existing PNR.

It's something that agents should be familiar with but unfortunately many aren't. However, an agency can do this fairly easily, even after the first ticket has been issued.

dannyp123 Jul 18, 19 7:59 am

How about KLM in T4?
 
Looking on arriving T4 (KLM) two hours before departing on AA from T3. Not sure we can avoid the need to check bags (and thus I assume do immigration/baggage claim in T4 and landside xfer).

Is this plausible or cutting it too close?

KARFA Jul 18, 19 8:27 am


Originally Posted by dannyp123 (Post 31316749)
Looking on arriving T4 (KLM) two hours before departing on AA from T3. Not sure we can avoid the need to check bags (and thus I assume do immigration/baggage claim in T4 and landside xfer).

Is this plausible or cutting it too close?

Yes if you have to collect bags you will need to go though immigration at T4, collect the bags, use the landside transfer options (tube or Heathrow Express), then recheck your bags with AA in T3 before heading to security.

I think 2 hours is simply not enough, if i were you I would want at least 3 hours between those two, i assume these are separate bookings and there is no protection as well?

JJeffrey Jul 18, 19 8:33 am


Originally Posted by dannyp123 (Post 31316749)
Looking on arriving T4 (KLM) two hours before departing on AA from T3. Not sure we can avoid the need to check bags (and thus I assume do immigration/baggage claim in T4 and landside xfer).

Is this plausible or cutting it too close?

With separate tickets and baggage, 2 hrs. was cutting it too close even in a T3 to T3 situation like the above, so it's definitely not plausible for a T4 to T3 connection.

UKtravelbear Jul 18, 19 9:33 am

You don't have two hours! you have 2 hours less the bag drop cut off time so a lot less time than you think. I think AA is no later than 45 mins so you'd have 1hr 15 mins. If it's an hour ...

Given the MCT for people with proper connections between T4 and T3 is 90 minutes using the airside system a self connection of less than that going landside is a recipe for disaster.

And I'm not sure AA would rebook you for free if you arrive late for something that isn't either their or a partner airlines fault.

dannyp123 Jul 18, 19 10:12 am

Thanks everyone - guess I should book the earlier incoming flight to get the extra 80 minutes for the connection

flying_geek Aug 11, 19 2:33 am

LHR T5 -> T3 delay today
 
Not sure what happened, but I spent 42 minutes waiting to get on a bus to T3 today - the line was very very long before you even get to the escalator - by the time I got on a bus (8:50ish) the line was a lot longer than when I got there. If you see a very long line, I’d consider going through immigration and taking the train to T3. US and Canadian citizens can use the automated passport control now

nrr Aug 11, 19 5:32 pm


Originally Posted by flying_geek (Post 31403068)
Not sure what happened, but I spent 42 minutes waiting to get on a bus to T3 today - the line was very very long before you even get to the escalator - by the time I got on a bus (8:50ish) the line was a lot longer than when I got there. If you see a very long line, Id consider going through immigration and taking the train to T3. US and Canadian citizens can use the automated passport control now

Would it be quicker to do T5 to T4 and then T4 to T3? [T4 I believe has fewer flts than either T3 or T5.]
S(n)ide:p comment: reading this post makes me happier that I abandoned AA (and LHR connections) for DL with lots of n/s flts out of JFK.

KARFA Aug 11, 19 5:46 pm


Originally Posted by nrr (Post 31405119)
Would it be quicker to do T5 to T4 and then T4 to T3? [T4 I believe has fewer flts than either T3 or T5.].

I really wouldnt recommend that. I think the advice to go landside instead is quite sound in those circumstances. Where going landside isnt an option then potentially going via T2 is possible.

anabolism Aug 12, 19 10:35 am


Originally Posted by nrr (Post 31405119)
Would it be quicker to do T5 to T4 and then T4 to T3? [T4 I believe has fewer flts than either T3 or T5.]

No. There is no direct airside bus between T5 and T4. You have to take a bus to T2 and then change busses. There can be a very long wait for a bus, the busses often take forever for each stop, and can be very uncomfortable. Just last week I landed in T4 with a connecting flight out of T5. After walking most of T4 to get to the airside bus area, we got in the short line for the T2 bus but as we were waiting a massive crowd came into the line from the side and cut in front of everyone. It took another 15 minutes before the bus arrived, and we all piled in, squeezed in cheek-to-cheek. The bus just sat there for another 15 minutes before the driver came out, and then, seemingly just to torment us, he walked towards the bus but stopped just before getting in and went back to the T5 door to chat with someone. Then he walked back towards the bus, but again, just before stepping in he turned and went back to the T5 door and made hand signs with someone. He did this over and over, with a bus packed full of hot, sweaty people, several stinky. When we finally did get underway, the bus drove a few feet and stopped, at another part of T4, but was too full for anyone else to get in. Still, we waited there for a while, then proceeded on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, careening around the airport to T2, where we all got out and a few of us got in the T5 bus line. Even with the frequent delays in the train between T4 and T3, it would still be quicker or at worst the same but far more comfortable.

KARFA Aug 12, 19 10:47 am


Originally Posted by anabolism (Post 31407732)
No. There is no direct airside bus between T5 and T4. You have to take a bus to T2 and then change busses. There can be a very long wait for a bus, the busses often take forever for each stop, and can be very uncomfortable. Just last week I landed in T4 with a connecting flight out of T5. After walking most of T4 to get to the airside bus area, we got in the short line for the T2 bus but as we were waiting a massive crowd came into the line from the side and cut in front of everyone. It took another 15 minutes before the bus arrived, and we all piled in, squeezed in cheek-to-cheek. The bus just sat there for another 15 minutes before the driver came out, and then, seemingly just to torment us, he walked towards the bus but stopped just before getting in and went back to the T5 door to chat with someone. Then he walked back towards the bus, but again, just before stepping in he turned and went back to the T5 door and made hand signs with someone. He did this over and over, with a bus packed full of hot, sweaty people, several stinky. When we finally did get underway, the bus drove a few feet and stopped, at another part of T4, but was too full for anyone else to get in. Still, we waited there for a while, then proceeded on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, careening around the airport to T2, where we all got out and a few of us got in the T5 bus line. Even with the frequent delays in the train between T4 and T3, it would still be quicker or at worst the same but far more comfortable.

Just to add that the lack of direct airside buses from T5 & T3 to T4 is not permanent - albeit I am sure this is not of any comfort to you considering your experience.

The cargo tunnel which is an airside tunnel connecting the central terminal area and T4/cargo is currently closed for refurbishment. This tunnel is used by the airside buses which go to/from T4 to T2/3/5. I am afraid I can't find out when the work is going to be completed by, so if anyone knows that would be useful to know.

The impact to the closure is that the only airside buses running to/from T4 go to T2 - there are no direct airside buses from T4 to T5 or T3. The airside buses take a long and slow overground route now between T4 and T2 which goes around the eastern edge of the southerly runway. If you need to get between T5/3 and T4 you will need to get an airside bus to T2 and change.

Until the cargo tunnel reopens if you have a passport which can be used in the e-passport gates I would strongly recommend taking one of the landside options if going between T5/3 and T4 - so TfL buses, tube, or HEX.


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