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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)

JDiver Mar 7, 16 11:44 am


Originally Posted by N830MH (Post 26294104)
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.

LHR doesn't announce gate numbers until close to boarding. That can be challenging if a passenger is far from the announced gate. Glad you made it OK.

Calchas Mar 7, 16 11:47 am


Originally Posted by JDiver (Post 26297574)
LHR doesn't announce gate numbers until close to boarding. That can be challenging if a passenger is far from the announced gate. Glad you made it OK.

Gate swaps at LHR are common because there are insufficient gates for the number of flights, so if someone lands late they lose their assigned gate and someone else gets it.

If you go to somewhere like NRT there are about five gate change announcements per hour. I think this could be even more confusing/annoying than not knowing until is definite.

N830MH Mar 7, 16 4:48 pm


Originally Posted by JDiver (Post 26297574)
LHR doesn't announce gate numbers until close to boarding. That can be challenging if a passenger is far from the announced gate. Glad you made it OK.

Thanks! :) I appreciate that. I have no idea about gate numbers announces. Oh well! :(

QueenOfCoach Mar 7, 16 5:20 pm


Originally Posted by N830MH (Post 26294104)
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.

Specifically, the best place to look for gate number announcements is on the TV monitors located throughout the terminal. Just find a comfy place to wait and look up at the monitor from time to time. When you see your flight getting close to the top, look at the monitor more often.

N830MH Mar 7, 16 8:27 pm


Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach (Post 26299304)
Specifically, the best place to look for gate number announcements is on the TV monitors located throughout the terminal. Just find a comfy place to wait and look up at the monitor from time to time. When you see your flight getting close to the top, look at the monitor more often.

Got it. Thanks! I have to be patient and they will tell me when. I have to be more patiently, am I right?

QueenOfCoach Mar 7, 16 8:51 pm

NEW LHR / London Heathrow AA T3 &lt;---&gt; BA T5 connection / transfer master thread
 
The way it works at Heathrow is that gates are assigned at the last minute. Other airports have the luxury of advance planning, but Heathrow is too busy for too much advance planning.

Thus: when it's time to move towards the departure gate, they put a note "Go To Gate XX" on the TV monitor. When you see that, go to gate XX.

Don't wait for "someone" to tell you. Just watch the TV monitors. That is all you need to know.

IMH Mar 8, 16 8:32 am


Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach (Post 26299304)
the best place to look for gate number announcements is on the TV monitors

For BA departures there's also the BA app, which is more convenient than standing close to a monitor if you want to eat, shop or just sit somewhere comfortable. Passengers with lounge access can also ask when entering a lounge. The person scanning your BP can see the most recent information for your flight, which will typically include the expected gate long before it goes up on the big screens.

Exec_Plat Mar 8, 16 10:44 am

I always ask "so where does the flight to XYZ usually depart from?" and "I know I cant rely on that, but it will help me plan"

This will elicit a bit more that "not announced yet"

QueenOfCoach Mar 8, 16 10:47 am


Originally Posted by IMH (Post 26301888)
For BA departures there's also the BA app, which is more convenient than standing close to a monitor if you want to eat, shop or just sit somewhere comfortable. Passengers with lounge access can also ask when entering a lounge. The person scanning your BP can see the most recent information for your flight, which will typically include the expected gate long before it goes up on the big screens.

All true. I have the LHR app and use it to see my departure gate. I also keep an eye on the TV monitors, just out of lifetime habit.

This is the take-home lesson that I wish to impart to N830MH. No matter where you are, no matter what airport, always check the TV monitors for your current gate. In airports other than LHR, they might print your departure gate on your boarding pass or the ticket agent might tell you. Usually that's accurate.

However, for various reasons, departure gates can change between the time you check in and the time you depart. The latest and correct information will be on the TV monitors. Check a TV monitor before heading off towards your departure gate. Don't just depend on your boarding pass or whatever someone might have told you. The gate may have changed, and you might find yourself alone at the wrong gate.

(The only exception to this rule is when you, and everyone else, are at the announced departure gate and a gate agent announces that a gate has changed. You and everyone else pick up and move to the new gate all together.)

In Heathrow this advice is imperative, since gates are assigned at the last minute. A flight might be "penciled in" for a given gate, but you can't rely on that tentative gate assignment absolutely. In addition, at Heathrow, some gates are locked closed until airline personnel come to open them and check documents before the passengers can even enter the gate area and sit down. If you get to one of those gates early, you will have no place to sit and will have to wait. You also run the risk of being at the wrong gate, should your departure flight's gate change at the last minute. Going to a gate at Heathrow before seeing the "Go To Gate XXX" on the TV monitor is risky.

If you are visually handicapped and cannot easily read the TV monitors, ask someone to read them for you.

Blumie Mar 8, 16 10:57 am


Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach (Post 26300000)
The way it works at Heathrow is that gates are assigned at the last minute. Other airports have the luxury of advance planning, but Heathrow is too busy for too much advance planning.

Thus: when it's time to move towards the departure gate, they put a note "Go To Gate XX" on the TV monitor. When you see that, go to gate XX.

Don't wait for "someone" to tell you. Just watch the TV monitors. That is all you need to know.


Originally Posted by Exec_Plat (Post 26302577)
I always ask "so where does the flight to XYZ usually depart from?" and "I know I cant rely on that, but it will help me plan"

This will elicit a bit more that "not announced yet"

I have to say that I have transited LHR as much as the next person, and never once have I experienced the least bit of anxiety about the gate posting practices. The gates may not be posted as early as at some other airports, and yes the walks can be long, but I have never had an experience where I felt rushed due to a late posting of the gate. And usually (not always, but usually) the gate is posted early enough that when the board says "GO TO GATE XX," I can make the decision that I don't need to go just yet as there still is plenty of time before boarding and departure. Even when the board switches to "GATE CLOSING," you typically have plenty of time to get there (although at that point I would not dillydally and just head to the gate ASAP).

QueenOfCoach Mar 8, 16 10:57 am


Originally Posted by Exec_Plat (Post 26302577)
I always ask "so where does the flight to XYZ usually depart from?" and "I know I cant rely on that, but it will help me plan"

This will elicit a bit more that "not announced yet"

In Heathrow, there is no "usual" gate. A couple of years ago I got the Heathrow app and tracked the departure gate for my upcoming BA LHR-DUS flight for about three weeks. I wanted to see if there was some kind of pattern, so I could sit in the departure lounge near the expected gate.

There was no pattern. None. That same LHR-DUS flight left from the north, south and middle part of T5A, and a couple of times from T5B. It was absolutely random.


Edited to add 4/8/2016: I want to make it clear that predicting the terminal that a flight will departure from is easy. That you can do from the LHR website. You will know, well in advance, if your flight will depart from T5, T3, etc. Predicting the exact gate is far more problematic. When tracking my LHR-DUS flight, I knew I would depart from T5, but had no idea if there was any particular gate assigned to that flight on a regular basis. I was interested in knowing in advance so I could wait in either the North or South BA lounge closest to my gate.
In addition to having the Heathrow app on my iPhone, with a pop-up notice of the departure gate announcement, I just ask the person scanning my boarding pass prior to the escalators up to T5 Security if they see anything "penciled in" for that flight that day. (The "conformance" check.) So long as the BP checker knows I know it's tentative, they usually don't mind telling me so long as they actually have the info at hand. All that does for me is tell me what part of the T5 departure lounge (north? south? middle?) I should park my butt and wait, hoping for a relatively short walk to the gate. I still keep an eye on the app and the TV monitors. Things can and do change.

I'm pretty much used to the routine. I've been making the LAX-LHR-DUS trek every year for the past 20+ years.

Blumie Mar 8, 16 11:01 am


Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach (Post 26302660)
In Heathrow, there is no "usual" gate.

Definitely not true. Some airlines and some flights absolutely have "usual" gates. Doesn't mean it happens every time, but, for example, you always know which gates the AA flights are going to fly out of. And the BA long haul flights are more likely to depart from the B and C concourses than the A concourse. But, again, it just doesn't matter: the gate will be posted in plenty of time to get there. And at LHR more than any other airport it makes no sense to go to the gate until you need to.

QueenOfCoach Mar 8, 16 11:05 am


Originally Posted by Blumie (Post 26302655)
I have to say that I have transited LHR as much as the next person, and never once have I experienced the least bit of anxiety about the gate posting practices. The gates may not be posted as early as at some other airports, and yes the walks can be long, but I have never had an experience where I felt rushed due to a late posting of the gate. And usually (not always, but usually) the gate is posted early enough that when the board says "GO TO GATE XX," I can make the decision that I don't need to go just yet as there still is plenty of time before boarding and departure. Even when the board switches to "GATE CLOSING," you typically have plenty of time to get there (although at that point I would not dillydally and just head to the gate ASAP).

All true.

Some like to linger a bit longer in the lounge. They don't want to feel they have to jump up the instant "Go to Gate XXX" is announced. Perfectly valid.

Also valid advice to not dillydally if you see "Gate Closing". Valid-issimo.

I take a different approach in that I like to "be where I am supposed to be". It is my personal preference to be at the departure gate, perhaps waiting 15 minutes or so, than to linger back in the departure lounge. That's just how I live my life. I prefer to get someplace early (work, restaurant, meeting, airport, departure gate) than be even a fraction of a minute late. I hate being late and hate feeling rushed.

When I get someplace early (meeting, etc), I just pull out my iPhone and play a few rounds of Angry Birds.

QueenOfCoach Mar 8, 16 11:18 am


Originally Posted by Blumie (Post 26302685)
Definitely not true. Some airlines and some flights absolutely have "usual" gates. Doesn't mean it happens every time, but, for example, you always know which gates the AA flights are going to fly out of. And the BA long haul flights are more likely to depart from the B and C concourses than the A concourse. But, again, it just doesn't matter: the gate will be posted in plenty of time to get there. And at LHR more than any other airport it makes no sense to go to the gate until you need to.

OK, I'll meet you halfway.

It has been my experience that the longhaul AA flights usually depart from T3 Gate 35 or so. They are more or less predictable. Last year we all went to Gate 35 for the LHR-LAX flight, only to find there was a mechanical delay. After a while, we were all moved to an alternate aircraft at Gate 32.

True also about longhaul BA flights leaving from T5B and T5C. (The TV monitors will say "Departing from Terminal B" or "C" well in advance, giving you time to go to T5B or T5C, then wait for the final gate announcement.)

But also true that shorthaul BA flights, such as LHR-DUS or LHR-CDG or LHR-AMS can leave out of any T5A gate and sometimes T5B or T5C. My own tracking experiment and personal experience sure proves that one.

I think we both agree on the bottom line: When at Heathrow, stay in the departure lounge until the gate is announced on the TV monitor (or app). Start walking towards that gate in a timely fashion. There is nothing to be gained and much to potentially lose by waiting at a departure gate before it's officially announced.

zitsky Mar 8, 16 11:28 am

Just curious about something. I'm doing 9/24 RDU-LHR-NCE then 10/5 LYS-LHR-RDU. I just noticed that LHR-NCE goes out in Terminal 5 but LYS-LHR returns to Terminal 3. I'm not complaining as that will save me from making one terminal transfer. But why would NCE (BA 346) go out of T5 and LYS (BA 365) fly into T3? Is NCE a much larger airport?


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