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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 18, 16, 3:43 pm
  #76  
 
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Last edited by Geauxtigers; Aug 14, 16 at 10:22 pm
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Old Feb 21, 16, 3:18 pm
  #77  
 
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So I have a flight in late September RDU-LHR-NCE. I have a 2 hour and 20 min layover which I'm starting to think might not be enough. I can look into the possibility of being booked on a later connecting flight if that's really necessary.

My question is, if I miss my flight, how do I get on the next one? There is one another 3 hours later if necessary. Can I just go to the gate and ask to be put on the flight? Is there a customer service desk for BA that I could go to? Would it be better to make a phone call from my US phone to UK BA customer service?

Coming back I have a 3 hour layover which seems like enough.
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Old Feb 21, 16, 3:30 pm
  #78  
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2 hrs and 20 minutes is a good connection time at LHR, MCT is 90 minutes so you are well above.

If for some reason you did miss it, it would depend on the reason. If your flight from RDU is extremely late then you likely would be met at the top of the jetway by someone from AA who has already arranged your rebooking or is there to help you get rebooked. If for some reason you messed up getting over to T5 (you won't) and didn't make it to the beginning of security by T-35 then you would be stopped going through security and directed to a BA customer service desk to rebook. If somehow you made it to the gate at T5 and still missed the flight, again you will be redirected to a BA customer service desk to rebook.
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Old Feb 21, 16, 3:33 pm
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
2 hrs and 20 minutes is a good connection time at LHR, MCT is 90 minutes so you are well above.

If for some reason you did miss it, it would depend on the reason. If your flight from RDU is extremely late then you likely would be met at the top of the jetway by someone from AA who has already arranged your rebooking or is there to help you get rebooked. If for some reason you messed up getting over to T5 (you won't) and didn't make it to the beginning of security by T-35 then you would be stopped going through security and directed to a BA customer service desk to rebook. If somehow you made it to the gate at T5 and still missed the flight, again you will be redirected to a BA customer service desk to rebook.
Thanks. I am not used to that level of customer service for something like a missed connection. I normally fly United, sometimes in front, often in back. I don't remember United ever doing that for me, someone with no current status.
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Old Feb 21, 16, 3:48 pm
  #80  
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It's not guaranteed to happen but this express connect service is pretty standard at least for AA international flights and also BA I believe. If for some reason your flight from RDU is that late (unlikely), then look for people holding orange envelopes or signs at the top of the jetbridges. Most likely you won't need it and you won't even see it.
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Old Feb 21, 16, 3:57 pm
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by moogsonskates View Post
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).
Your questions have been answered (more than once), so I won't go repeating that. There is however one thing I'd like to mention/point out, AA does not have Premium Economy. I presume you're in MCE, it's no more than Economy with a bit of extra legroom (and width on certain planes.)
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Old Feb 22, 16, 9:45 am
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
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.
Yup. As I mentioned above as recently as a week ago. The impression I got is that it is not coming back. OTOH, there was no one at the gate when we went and the questions breezed by. And we boarded within 5 minutes of that.


Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
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.

This time there were AA staff, and a good-sized line, at the desks after security. We opted for the AC, which turned into the gate

As to why they moved, the whole security arrangement at T3 has changed. The area has moved (one comes out very near the lounges now rather than having to trek through the shops. It is quite a bit larger than the old space, and looks more like T5. Modernized and updated.

Cheers.


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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Old Feb 22, 16, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
This is ample time. Like more than ample. Unless your inbound is heavily delayed, ...
.
I will opine that you should always try to check in prior to arrival at LHR/T5.

I had a wide open 3.5 hr connection at LHR, then took a 3 hrs delay out of LAX.

But I forgot to check in for my separate onwards BA flight to Berlin.

On arrival at t5 I had missed their checkin cut off by a minute. (Excellent BA employees doing their jobs....but I digress.) They put me on the later flight and I *still* got to the not-yet-departed earlier flight to TXL- no dice.

Had I simply checked in at LAX, while in the air, or even on the bus from T3 to T5 I would have been fine...
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Old Feb 22, 16, 11:34 am
  #84  
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Check-in must occur no sooner than 45 minutes before departure at LHR, though conformance is also in place which means you cannot enter security with less than 35 minutes of time to make your flight.

My point above was that any issue/delay could impinge on connection time; definitely the more one can do before getting to the airport the better, though I stand by my post that 4:25 is tons of time at LHR, and planning for a multi-hour delay is just wasting time. BA will get you there eventually, and if there's a delay it's best to be flexible and roll with the bumps.
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Old Feb 22, 16, 1:20 pm
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
Check-in must occur no sooner than 45 minutes before departure at LHR, though conformance is also in place which means you cannot enter security with less than 35 minutes of time to make your flight.
This is relaxed on connections. My record is t-21 minutes. By the time I got on board I was a sweaty mess though (and not in a good way)
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Old Feb 22, 16, 1:37 pm
  #86  
 
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I have an itinerary RDU-LHR-NCE. Can I check in for both flights online or at RDU? Must I check in for the second segment at LHR?
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Old Feb 22, 16, 2:02 pm
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Calchas View Post
This is relaxed on connections. My record is t-21 minutes. By the time I got on board I was a sweaty mess though (and not in a good way)
Poster I was replying to had purchased separate tickets, thus the check in and conformance requirements would be as stated.

Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
I have an itinerary RDU-LHR-NCE. Can I check in for both flights online or at RDU? Must I check in for the second segment at LHR?
If you bought it all as one itinerary, AA will have no problem checking you in and issuing both boarding passes in RDU. You'll be fine.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 6:35 am
  #88  
 
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AA rep somewhere in flight connections asked where we were going, but no security questions. I suppose they'll ask at the gate.

Fast track security was fast; BA lounge is rather crowded. T5-T3.

EDIT: questioned at the gate. Had a pleasant conversation about vacation spots with the security guy. No wait for security or to board. We started walking to the gate when "boarding" was posted on the board.

Last edited by richarddd; Feb 25, 16 at 11:56 am
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Old Feb 25, 16, 9:29 am
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
If you bought it all as one itinerary, AA will have no problem checking you in and issuing both boarding passes in RDU. You'll be fine.
Don't be surprised if BA insists on reprinting the LHR-NCE BP on BA stock, but the AA-issued BP is good enough. Just be careful with the AA-issued BP if a checked bag receipt is on the back of it. I've seen this happen.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 11:11 am
  #90  
 
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Hi there,

I will be flying AMS-LHR-LAX, all on one ticket, with AMS-LHR on BA and LHR-LAX on AA. My questions are:

1. Will I be allowed to use the BA lounges in T5?

2. If I can use the lounges in T5, do I need go through security again when taking the airside bus to T3?
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