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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.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
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Please edit or add information to this wiki as necessary.

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 don’t 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:

T3–>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 it’d be unusual to be allowed to return to use them if you’re 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 Dec 27, 19, 12:37 pm
  #946  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Originally Posted by bse118 View Post

..... people have convincing themselves that LHR is a nightmare and every transfer there is difficult and time consuming. It's not.
i guess you weren't there some of the days I was!
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Old Dec 27, 19, 12:58 pm
  #947  
 
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Originally Posted by Wexflyer View Post
i guess you weren't there some of the days I was!
Oh I've had one or two bad transfers there, sure. (I remember one T5 to T3 90 minute cxn which involved being late into LHR, a remote stand arrival, late buses at the remote stand, no express connection passes, then improperly being denied access to fast track security, and having to jump the queues in the regular line to make the flight). But that's an unusual confluence of failures. Not the norm.

I make between 10-15 connections at LHR a year and the vast majority of times its perfectly fine, and no more difficult than most other airports. Tend to set my expectations by the typical experience not by the outliers. YMMV
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Old Dec 27, 19, 1:10 pm
  #948  
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Because DUB lands into T2 as if a domestic flight, being within the Common Travel Area, this is one of the few connections where it is worth considering doing this via landside, particularly if you are able to use T3 Fast Track, which is the non avoidable security check for going airside at T3. There is no passport check leaving T2 and the Aer Lingus usual arrival gates are close to the route to landside. I'm not sure I'm going to distract the OP from the advice given above, which is probably the best for someone not used to Heathrow. T2 and T3 are reasonably close to each other, you just walk down a underground passageway between the two terminals.

There isn't an AA check at T2 buses in Flight Connection (there is at T5) so if using the Flight Connection route you can do the security check on arrival at T3, in the dedicated hall used for the purpose, but if you have Admirals access it is easiest to do it there, which is achieved by politely ignoring the 3 or 4 AA agents that hang around the T3 Flight Connections shepherding people into the hall. It can also be done at the gate less comfortably.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 4:44 pm
  #949  
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Originally Posted by Wexflyer View Post
I have a DUB-LHR-LAX trip coming up. BA ticket but EI and AA metal, J class on AA. Been quite a few years since I did this, and I am worried as it is a very tight connection in LHR, even for the best of times and this is not the best time - busy Christmas period. Would appreciate comments on
- If I miss the flight, can AA rebook me, or do I have to go to BA?
- Best place to rebook - lounge, or transfer desk?
- Fastest/best transfer Terminal 2 to 3. Airside (bus) or landside?
- Is there still a transfer desk for AA passengers transferring into Terminal 3? Is it before or after security?

Thanks in advance!
Use the LHR Connections planner and walk her through it. Link. (Link is also in the Wikipost.)
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:53 pm
  #950  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Hi 👋
I am sorry if this has been asked before but I have been searching this forum for half an hour and can not find a definitive answer

can I access t3 landside with a T5 boarding pass?

Thank you in advance 🙏
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:23 pm
  #951  
 
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Originally Posted by bunkunu View Post
can I access t3 landside with a T5 boarding pass?
You arrive with a flight at T3 and wish to go landside there, through immigration and customs? And you have a flight onwards from T5?
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:31 pm
  #952  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Yazata View Post
You arrive with a flight at T3 and wish to go landside there, through immigration and customs? And you have a flight onwards from T5?
No if I was just flying out of T5 from London proper but wanted to go to t3 first
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:47 pm
  #953  
 
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Originally Posted by bunkunu View Post
No if I was just flying out of T5 from London proper but wanted to go to t3 first
If you depart from LHR and your flight is from T5 (BA or IB), then no, you may not enter T3 airside with your boarding pass.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 7:07 pm
  #954  
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Originally Posted by bunkunu View Post
No if I was just flying out of T5 from London proper but wanted to go to t3 first
Why do you want to do that?
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Old Jan 10, 20, 7:11 pm
  #955  
 
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Why do you want to do that?
I'll take lounges for $2,000, Alex...
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Old Jan 10, 20, 11:09 pm
  #956  
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Originally Posted by bunkunu View Post
Hi 👋
I am sorry if this has been asked before but I have been searching this forum for half an hour and can not find a definitive answer

can I access t3 landside with a T5 boarding pass?

Thank you in advance 🙏
This has already been answered in the other thread Best Hotel at LHR?

coming from landside you cant go through security at T3 with a T5 bp.
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