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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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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 Sep 19, 19, 8:56 am
  #901  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
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Originally Posted by anabolism View Post
In my experience, LHR security is the most aggressive in the world at sending bags for secondary screening for anything that looks at all unusual to the X-ray person. My advice is to look at everything you bring to see if anything might possibly seem dense or electronic or potentially sharp or liquidy. For example, packages of wipes (surface, baby, hand, butt), electric razors, electric toothbrushes, charging adapters, battery packs, empty bottles, nail clippers. Put everything like that in a plastic zippy bag, as large as needed (e.g., gallon or 2.5 gallon), and when you get to the security belt, take that bag out along with your liquids bag and all electronic devices larger than a cell phone (laptops, tablets, readers, video players), and put all this in bins. If the belt person asks you what the large bag is, explain that it does not contain liquids but has everything that might look unusual on an X-ray.

In my experience, having anything unusual or electronicy or liquidy or potentially sharp in your bag can cause that bag to get marked for secondary, which is usually a time-consuming and unpleasant process at LHR. There is often a lengthly wait for secondary inspection agents to get to your bag due to the large number of bags being so selected, and depending on the agents and what the issue is, your bag may be slowly and meticulously unpacked, with an agent pawing each and every item (one even stuck her (gloved) fingers into each a boxed piece of chocolate handed out on my flight just before landing), often sending many of them for additional X-ray checks as well. In my own experience, it is well avoided.

Of course, YMMV, and I have had bags zip through LHR security unmolested even with liquids left inside, but far too many times I had bags sent to secondary because of something minor that the X-ray person didn't like the looks of.
You described it pretty well! It is absolutely worst airport when it comes to security theater.
I always travel with the same liquids bag and Iíve noticed I never get selected in T3, but most of time I get selected in T5
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Old Sep 19, 19, 9:13 am
  #902  
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Originally Posted by gateH15 View Post
You described it pretty well! It is absolutely worst airport when it comes to security theater.
I always travel with the same liquids bag and Iíve noticed I never get selected in T3, but most of time I get selected in T5
Any reason given? Sounds very odd it is happening so often to you. I am through T5 very frequently and rarely get bags pulled for secondary.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 9:17 am
  #903  
 
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
and you will still have time to stop at one of the lounges...
and remember to take out your liquids..
Originally Posted by gateH15 View Post
ALL liquids. And make sure to place it in a clear plastic bag (TSA approved clear bag from Target will work).
Originally Posted by anabolism View Post
In my experience, LHR security is the most aggressive in the world at sending bags for secondary screening for anything that looks at all unusual to the X-ray person. My advice is to look at everything you bring to see if anything might possibly seem dense or electronic or potentially sharp or liquidy. For example, packages of wipes (surface, baby, hand, butt), electric razors, electric toothbrushes, charging adapters, battery packs, empty bottles, nail clippers. Put everything like that in a plastic zippy bag, as large as needed (e.g., gallon or 2.5 gallon), and when you get to the security belt, take that bag out along with your liquids bag and all electronic devices larger than a cell phone (laptops, tablets, readers, video players), and put all this in bins. If the belt person asks you what the large bag is, explain that it does not contain liquids but has everything that might look unusual on an X-ray.

In my experience, having anything unusual or electronicy or liquidy or potentially sharp in your bag can cause that bag to get marked for secondary, which is usually a time-consuming and unpleasant process at LHR. There is often a lengthly wait for secondary inspection agents to get to your bag due to the large number of bags being so selected, and depending on the agents and what the issue is, your bag may be slowly and meticulously unpacked, with an agent pawing each and every item (one even stuck her (gloved) fingers into each a boxed piece of chocolate handed out on my flight just before landing), often sending many of them for additional X-ray checks as well. In my own experience, it is well avoided.

Of course, YMMV, and I have had bags zip through LHR security unmolested even with liquids left inside, but far too many times I had bags sent to secondary because of something minor that the X-ray person didn't like the looks of.
Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Yes I would say the opposite tbh in my experience. I will take my liquids out along with laptop and ipad, but other than that everything remains in the bags and 90% of the time there is no problem. To be honest the remaining 10% of the time it is just a random swab of electronics or liquids anyway. I can't remember the last time I had a bag pulled for a problem inside.

What remains in my bags are laptop cable, wash bag full of cables/adaptors/spare batteries, small power pack (bit bigger than a lighter), small camera (canon M100), and dslr when I have that too. These don't seem to cause an issue.
Originally Posted by gateH15 View Post
You described it pretty well! It is absolutely worst airport when it comes to security theater.
I always travel with the same liquids bag and Iíve noticed I never get selected in T3, but most of time I get selected in T5
We can only hope that by 2022 this all will be just a bad memory- from: https://www.theguardian.com/business...-says-heathrow

"Airport security queues could soon be less stressful for Heathrow passengers who should be able to keep liquids and laptops in their hand baggage when new 3D scanners are introduced.

Following successful trials of the new equipment, the UKís biggest airport plans to spend £50m on new scanners across its four terminals by 2022."
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Old Sep 19, 19, 9:20 am
  #904  
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Originally Posted by teemuflyer View Post
We can only hope that by 2022 this all will be just a bad memory- from: https://www.theguardian.com/business...-says-heathrow

"Airport security queues could soon be less stressful for Heathrow passengers who should be able to keep liquids and laptops in their hand baggage when new 3D scanners are introduced.

Following successful trials of the new equipment, the UK’s biggest airport plans to spend £50m on new scanners across its four terminals by 2022."
They have had one on trial in T2 for a while. Will be great when they are rolled out across all terminals. Some may be familiar with the machines from AMS (and some US airports) where they are already being used - absolutely great since everything can just stay in your bags
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Old Sep 19, 19, 9:21 am
  #905  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Any reason given? Sounds very odd it is happening so often to you. I am through T5 very frequently and rarely get bags pulled for secondary.
Well what I said only applies when i connect. My liquids bag is staffed to the max since I travel with carry on only. Sometimes my back pack gets searched also because I have a lot of cables there as well for all my devices. If I originate in LHR and go thru fast track (not connecting) I never gotten searched. Iím not sure why this is happening but I tried removing everything etc. seems to be bad luck in T5 flight connections security. Very annoying but nothing i can do
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Old Sep 19, 19, 2:27 pm
  #906  
 
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Originally Posted by anabolism View Post
In my experience, LHR security is the most aggressive in the world at sending bags for secondary screening for anything that looks at all unusual to the X-ray person.
Originally Posted by gateH15 View Post
You described it pretty well! It is absolutely worst airport when it comes to security theater.
You've quite clearly never been to Manchester (MAN).
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Old Sep 20, 19, 10:13 am
  #907  
 
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Did anyone else notice that they started using the exact same (and same size) gray bins and the whole bin assembly line contraption system (with the dreaded wait-with-bated-breath-during-that-forever-pause-as-you-stare-at-the-bin-before-itís-flung-over-to-the-secondary-inspection-lane) in US security lines now eg LAX? I swear it must be the same contractor who sets it up

Last edited by bunkunu; Sep 20, 19 at 10:46 am
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Old Sep 28, 19, 6:26 am
  #908  
 
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Checking in the previous night at LHR?

Flying out of LHR on AA tomorrow morning. Will I be allowed to check in for my flight (and check luggage) this evening, assuming the AA counters are open? Don't think it makes a difference but just in case I'm OW emerald flying business.

TIA ^
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Old Sep 28, 19, 7:06 am
  #909  
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No. It’s not an option at LHR.

airport decision rather than individual airlines deciding to offer it or not
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Old Sep 28, 19, 7:38 am
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Absolute no! On AA....
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Old Sep 28, 19, 8:23 am
  #911  
 
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Thanks for the quick replies! It'll be an early start tomorrow then.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 9:59 am
  #912  
 
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Get to the airport as soon as the counters open
and enjoy the lounge hopping in T 3
board the plane happy and sleep
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Old Sep 28, 19, 10:07 am
  #913  
 
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
Get to the airport as soon as the counters open
and enjoy the lounge hopping in T 3
board the plane happy and sleep
Check the opening hours on the lounges for Sundays - CX doesn't open until 7.30am on Sundays and QF opens at 8am.

There's no point getting there early to enjoy lounge hopping if half of them are closed.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 5:48 pm
  #914  
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Flying into LHR for the first time next month on my way back from Asia. I have a 23-hour stopover during which I plan to visit London. Will I have arrival access to any lounges or are arriving international pax sent straight through customs and immigration? Thanks.
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Old Oct 2, 19, 5:52 pm
  #915  
 
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Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post
Flying into LHR for the first time next month on my way back from Asia. I have a 23-hour stopover during which I plan to visit London. Will I have arrival access to any lounges or are arriving international pax sent straight through customs and immigration? Thanks.
Are you in F or J? Do you have status? BA has arrivals lounge in T5 after customs. AA has lounge arrivals lounge in T3.

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