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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 25, 16, 11:20 am
  #91  
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Originally Posted by LAX/HKG View Post
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?
You won't be able to get airside at T5 without a departure from T5, so no you won't be able to use the lounges in T5.

No matter what, you will have to go through security at T3.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 11:28 am
  #92  
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T5 lounges are nothing to write home about in any event, you'll be well served in T3.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 11:35 am
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by ccengct View Post
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.
Thanks. I tend to put my boarding passes in a jacket pocket. Now I just need my travel agent to get me some decent seats in coach. They are dragging their feet.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 3:06 pm
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
T5 lounges are nothing to write home about in any event, you'll be well served in T3.
I was at the AC in LHR a few months ago for the first time in years (I would usually go to FL or CX F, but was slumming in J this time).
I thought it was pretty nice, more or less on par with the BA lounges. There was hot food and open bar.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 5:28 pm
  #95  
 
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Originally Posted by Exec_Plat View Post
The Sofitel is great- it is an easy walk to T5 in the AM, all connected.
Are you still recommending Sofitel if we arrive at T5 late at night
and connecting to an early morning flight from T3?
Can I get a taxi at Sofitel to take us to T3?
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Old Feb 25, 16, 9:30 pm
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by Big_Foot View Post
Are you still recommending Sofitel if we arrive at T5 late at night
and connecting to an early morning flight from T3?
Can I get a taxi at Sofitel to take us to T3?
Ive done both. Alone I take the train; with my son we took the train...but with my SO we took a taxi but really it is pretty straightforward. The concierge at the sofitel will arrange a taxi if you ask. Kindof a waste of money, but its relative, eh? When you take the train, you have that bit of the unknown, where you might arrive just after the train has left, so add X minutes. I dont know the frequency, just memory it is 10-15 or so? Look it up. heathrow Express, or "HEX"- the connection between terminals is free, so ignore any fare stuff.

Arriving T5 you will exit security, while still in the terminal take the elevators up and walk over to the hotel (all covered, it is about 3 very long enclosed walkways that actually wrap around the short term parking garage before you get into the hotel.

There is a grocery store type place (M&S Simply food) in the terminal where you can get some snacks/drinks/whatever if you want before you get to the elevators and into the hotel. When you dont want the production of room service but want a quick late night snack.
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Old Feb 26, 16, 3:25 pm
  #97  
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
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.
If you miss your flight you won't be able to just go to the gate, partly because you are unlikely to be let through security and partly because gates aren't shown until around 50 minutes before departure. You need to go to the BA customer service desks. You can't do it over the phone as they'll need to give you a new BP.
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Old Feb 27, 16, 1:13 am
  #98  
 
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Originally Posted by stifle View Post
If you miss your flight you won't be able to just go to the gate, partly because you are unlikely to be let through security and partly because gates aren't shown until around 50 minutes before departure. You need to go to the BA customer service desks. You can't do it over the phone as they'll need to give you a new BP.
As Microwave pointed out they are likely to give boarding passes out in RDU. 2:20 is ample to get from T3 to T5 and all that jazz, albeit you will be in T5 at peak connecting time. On top of this, AA are extremely effective at LHR at re-booking passengers who are likely to miss conformance in T5, every time my flight has been even a bit late (as my LAX-LHR was early this week, by 30 minutes) there are AA agents calling out and holding boards with specific flights with potential conformance issues in T5, they usually have new BPs for re-booked flights at the ready.

Should you be in danger of not making your connection, which IMO is only an issue if you deplane with less than 60 minutes on the clock to make it to T5, and AA has not flagged you either because you have flights on separate reservations or something went wrong, walk to connections and get into the AA facility before T3 connections security or the bus terminal for T5 and have them sort it out there. NOTE that AA will protect you even if the BA flight is on a different reservation, so just go into the AA facility and they will work with you. No need to book a 5:20 connection in other words unless you really want to spend four hours in a BA lounge in T5 or something.

FWIW I have even had cases where I was on separate PNRs, my flight went south from the US and I was able to get agents to send notice to LHR that I had a connection. Again, AA was ready on deplaning with a new boarding pass for my connecting flight. They do a pretty good job of handling misconnects at LHR, as well they should since it's AA's OW gateway into Europe.
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Old Feb 28, 16, 2:18 pm
  #99  
 
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Last edited by Geauxtigers; Aug 14, 16 at 10:20 pm
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Old Feb 29, 16, 5:37 am
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Geauxtigers View Post
Flight from CPH left early, but had to circle around LHR for ~10 min, still got in 10 minutes early to T5B. Realized that I did not have to go to the main terminal for the bus connection to T3 so after walking 5 minutes looking for flights connections I got to the bus area. Another 8 minutes goes by and the bus finally shows up, but by this point there were probably 10~15 people waiting and the bus was packed. I was one of the last sardines to get on the bus or else it probably would've been another 10 minutes (they made several people wait for the next bus).
The buses from T5B are a life saver. You may think the stop was busy and the bus was full, but I can assure you the situation was much worse at T5A at that time. Generally they lay on a better frequency than 10 minutes if it's busy, but clearly not always. Glad it worked out!
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Old Mar 6, 16, 10:43 am
  #101  
 
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So ninety minutes is the MCT for T5 to T3, and it's actually doable if the flight's reasonably on time? I have a trip home on AA out of LHR, but I'm thinking of finishing my trip up in LBA instead and booking a one-way on BA that arrives exactly ninety minutes before my CLT departure.
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Old Mar 6, 16, 1:45 pm
  #102  
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Originally Posted by jinglish View Post
So ninety minutes is the MCT for T5 to T3, and it's actually doable if the flight's reasonably on time? I have a trip home on AA out of LHR, but I'm thinking of finishing my trip up in LBA instead and booking a one-way on BA that arrives exactly ninety minutes before my CLT departure.
90 minutes is normally bags of time.

For future reference the fare tariff from North America to LON is the same as to LBA [and other UK domestic destinations served by BA mainline], so you could have added the sector at zero cost to your original booking.

For LBA-LHR-CLT it's a bit unfortunate as the terminal change means you have to go through security again at LHR. But there's no reason you'll experience any problems.

Last edited by Calchas; Mar 6, 16 at 1:52 pm
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Old Mar 6, 16, 4:48 pm
  #103  
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I went through LHR last month and I took terminal bus from T5 TO T3, and then I passed through at security again, and went onto the concourse. I wait for my flight is leave and they didn't telling me for which the gate number. They never told me about gate number is it. The gate number is 27, and purple coats told the gate agent and she gave me a gate number. I have wait for the gate is open. I didn't needs any helps and it was so much easy for me. I knows how to catch the next flight out.
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Old Mar 6, 16, 5:06 pm
  #104  
 
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Originally Posted by jinglish View Post
So ninety minutes is the MCT for T5 to T3, and it's actually doable if the flight's reasonably on time? I have a trip home on AA out of LHR, but I'm thinking of finishing my trip up in LBA instead and booking a one-way on BA that arrives exactly ninety minutes before my CLT departure.
I always give myself more time than that but, yes, if your flight arrives on time you will be fine.
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Old Mar 7, 16, 9:41 am
  #105  
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
I always give myself more time than that but, yes, if your flight arrives on time you will be fine.
To the central departure lounge (aka shopping mall) of T3, it's probably 20 minutes of actual travel time (walking and bus ride). Then add some time for bus waiting and security screening - under normal circumstances shouldn't be more than another 10-20 minutes, but either of those could be a wild card. And then add additional walking time to get to the gate, could be 5-15 minutes extra.
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