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Guide: LHR / London Heathrow Connection, MCT inc. T3 <--> BA/IB T5

Guide: LHR / London Heathrow Connection, MCT inc. T3 <--> BA/IB T5

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Old Mar 21, 19, 6:04 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 Welcome and Lounge Dashboard thread (for specific LHR lounges Information).

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.

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 Aug 2, 18, 11:35 am
  #676  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
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Originally Posted by aj411 View Post
We have flights scheduled ORD>LHR>PSA next month. Looks like we are scheduled to arrive T3 (AA metal) at 6:50am and depart T5 BA at 8:35.
Legal connection but tight.
I've been through Heathrow but not generally this tight when connecting and it has been several years. So, I'd prefer not to make one of those stupid mistakes of getting in a long line where I didn't really have to or find out when I get to the head of the line that I had a shorter option or, worse, was in the completely wrong line .
We will be in J ORD>LHR and CE LHR >PSA; I am Platinum Pro (OW Sapphire) my husband has no status.
From what I read this should get us into Fasttrack at T5 security but I have a couple of clarification questions to the "route"
My understanding:
- We deplane at T3, take purple connection path that will lead to the T5 buses - no security, immigration, etc to this point?
- We get off bus. I presume there are connecting to T5 signs here and that this is an airside controlled area where they drop us off and not just general airport departure entrance?
- If we have our onward boarding passes, do we go straight to security, Fasttrack lane? Is this where we will go through the carryon bag check and general security check (your basic normal security checkpointbut maybe with maybe some additional baggage size check)? Do we ever have to stop by a BA desk if we have boarding passes?
- If we don't have onward boarding passes (I never trust AA on this one), when we get off the bus are there obvious checkin counters for BA nearby? Will there be premium cabin/elite lines for these counters?
- Once through security, I know we have to see which part of 5 we are in but is it worth it to have the Heathrow app on our phone to quickly check where we would be headed if we are tight on time? [I'm seriously not planning to have lounge time]
This may seem anal but we've had too many times where we've waited in long lines just to find out that there was a business/fastrack/elite/whatever line that we had missed or WORSE that there were forms we should have had filled out that they didn't give us on the plane (thank you Hong Kong and Cathay - didn't make that mistake twice!).
If someone has done a step by step report of this scenario or pretty close that I've missed in my search, feel free to point me in the right direction.

AJ
1:45 should be plenty and with a little luck and short waits for buses and/or security you might even find yourself with 20-30 mins of lounge time.

You are correct, exit the AA flight at T3 and follow purple flight connections signs to the T5 bus. No security or anything like that after arriving in T3.

You'll arrive at T5 on the ground level, take the escalators up and walk down a short bit to the T5 transfer area. When looking at area, the fast track lines are farthest to the right. The first line will be for a quick scan of your boarding pass, after which you'll pass through, go up more escalators, and be in the security line. If for whatever the reason you can't get your BA boarding pass when you check-in, there are tons of BA counters in the same area before the boarding pass check.

PSA will most likely depart from the main T5A area so once you clear security you're at most a 5 min walk to the gate. I really wouldn't stress about downloading the Heathrow app or anything like that, most of the time gates aren't posted until 30-40 mins before flight time anyway and there are lots of signs you can check along the way.
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Old Aug 2, 18, 12:42 pm
  #677  
 
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Thanks everyone! exactly what I was looking for
AJ
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Old Aug 2, 18, 7:21 pm
  #678  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by aj411 View Post
- Once through security, I know we have to see which part of 5 we are in but is it worth it to have the Heathrow app on our phone to quickly check where we would be headed if we are tight on time? [I'm seriously not planning to have lounge time]
The other answers are exactly correct. When you get to area in T5 where they first check boarding passes ("Flight Conformance"), just head over to your right. That is the fast track lane which will take you up the escalators into the fast track security. You can't go wrong if you get in that line.

About the Heathrow app: Some years back I downloaded the app so I could track, over a couple of weeks, the gate "my" flight was using. I figured I might see some kind of pattern, then be able to head toward the north or south part of the terminal and wait nearer my departure gate. After a few weeks, I saw there was no pattern. "My" flight left from gates in the north, south, mid-way and occasionally from T5B.

Since then, I have a new plan. When I go through Flight Conformance, remember the first boarding pass check in T5 where you enter the fast track system, I politely ask the checker if they have my gate "penciled in". I use those exact words to indicate I know that anything they tell me is tentative and that I know to watch the monitors in the terminal for the official, true gate assignment.

If I can get the "penciled in" gate number, then I wait near that gate, but still keep a sharp eye on the terminal monitors for my gate assignment. Once my gate is announced, I go there right away. That sometimes works, sometimes it does not.

One problem with the BA Galleries lounges is that the two lounges are at the far north and south part of the terminal. (There is another lounge in T5B.) That could make for a long walk if your gate is announced at the opposite end of the terminal. My personal preference is to just wait about mid-way, unless I get that "penciled in" gate number. When you are short on time, skipping the lounge is probably for the best.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 8:42 am
  #679  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Aa136 To ba910

Hi,

l will arrive from lax on aa136 in t5 and have to cath the ba910 in t3.
but... aa just changes time scheduke of aa136, will be leaving at 7.35pm (was 6.35pm before)... problem is i just will have 50 min to change terminal.

what i am suppoaed to do? Ask aa to put me on the next flight? Or is it possible to have a epress access?

many thanks!
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Old Sep 30, 18, 8:50 am
  #680  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Usavril View Post
Hi,

l will arrive from lax on aa136 in t5 and have to cath the ba910 in t3.
but... aa just changes time scheduke of aa136, will be leaving at 7.35pm (was 6.35pm before)... problem is i just will have 50 min to change terminal.

what i am suppoaed to do? Ask aa to put me on the next flight? Or is it possible to have a epress access?

many thanks!
You need to call and ask to be put on a different connection as 50 minutes is below the MCT even for T5-T5 connections, much less a T3-T5 connection.

One slight correction to your post, AA136 will arrive at T3. BA910 to FRA departs from T5.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 9:07 am
  #681  
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Originally Posted by Usavril View Post
Hi,

l will arrive from lax on aa136 in t5 and have to cath the ba910 in t3.
but... aa just changes time scheduke of aa136, will be leaving at 7.35pm (was 6.35pm before)... problem is i just will have 50 min to change terminal.

what i am suppoaed to do? Ask aa to put me on the next flight? Or is it possible to have a epress access?

many thanks!
Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post


You need to call and ask to be put on a different connection as 50 minutes is below the MCT even for T5-T5 connections, much less a T3-T5 connection.

One slight correction to your post, AA136 will arrive at T3. BA910 to FRA departs from T5.
AA may have proactively moved you to a later connection, but a call to AA will easily resolve the situation. If they havenít already done so, they will make the change without a change fee.

Alternatively you could ask them to move you to the earlier LAX-LHR flight.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 9:33 am
  #682  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Thanka.
as it will be a return of vacation, i dont want to leave lax earlier
so I'll call aa tomorrow to ask for a changr.

many thanks for your help!
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Old Sep 30, 18, 2:56 pm
  #683  
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Originally Posted by Usavril View Post
Hi,
l will arrive from lax on aa136 in t5 and have to cath the ba910 in t3.
just to note AA136 arrives in to T3 at LHR, and BA910 to MUC departs from T5.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 5:32 am
  #684  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Sorry I switched the terminals
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Old Nov 28, 18, 7:20 am
  #685  
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connecting in LHR T3 to T5 on 11/21/18

I flew AA 100 (JFK-LHR) which arrived 20 minutes early (would have been 40 min. early, but we were in a holding pattern).
We deplaned* at the furthest end of T3, hence lots of walking, reaching the "FLIGHT CONNECTION" cut off there was a huge queue, the electronic board noted: "we are experiencing delays...". Reaching T5 the queue for Fast Track security had a large queue, so pax were directed to non-FT lines, to "equalize" the wait. After exiting security I headed for South Lounge (less crowded than North). The only PLUS for the whole connection was that my flt from LHR to ZRH departed from a gate near the South Lounge.
Of course none of the above would have been an issue had AA not removed the n/s between JFK and ZRH.
*does AA get to pick landing gates?
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Old Nov 28, 18, 7:40 am
  #686  
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And the whole point of this thread, is the dislike of AA's axing of JFK-ZRH...?!
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Old Nov 28, 18, 7:54 am
  #687  
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Originally Posted by C46 View Post
And the whole point of this thread, is the dislike of AA's axing of JFK-ZRH...?!
Yes. as well as the "fun" operation of connecting in LHR.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 7:39 am
  #688  
 
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Greetings all,

I am flying MIA-LHR-HAM next week. This is 2 separate itineraries meaning MIA-LHR is on one ticket with AA, and then the onwards leg was booked with BA. I have 2 hours connection time and not checking a bag. Will I be able to stay airside and simply switch terminals (assuming I can check in at a connections counter or obtain my boarding pass online for the BA flight)

Any help is appreciated thanks!
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Old Dec 3, 18, 7:42 am
  #689  
 
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Originally Posted by airmarc View Post
Greetings all,

I am flying MIA-LHR-HAM next week. This is 2 separate itineraries meaning MIA-LHR is on one ticket with AA, and then the onwards leg was booked with BA. I have 2 hours connection time and not checking a bag. Will I be able to stay airside and simply switch terminals (assuming I can check in at a connections counter or obtain my boarding pass online for the BA flight)

Any help is appreciated thanks!
Yes, this is no problem. After arriving just follow signs to flight connections and hop on the bus to T5. Either do OLCI and print your LHR-HAM BP, or just stop a the BA desks once you get to T5 before the conformance/security checks.
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Old Dec 3, 18, 8:13 am
  #690  
 
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Originally Posted by airmarc View Post
I am flying MIA-LHR-HAM next week. This is 2 separate itineraries meaning MIA-LHR is on one ticket with AA, and then the onwards leg was booked with BA. I have 2 hours connection time and not checking a bag. Will I be able to stay airside and simply switch terminals (assuming I can check in at a connections counter or obtain my boarding pass online for the BA flight)
You can stay airside, but you will have to switch terminals and go through LHR security.

Your AA flight will very likely land in T3 and your BA flight will likely leave from T5.

Here's the drill. You land and follow the crowd down the concourse. Look for purple "Flight Connections" signs. Follow those purple signs that direct you to T5. That will take you to a bus waiting area. Get on the bus then get off at T5.

Upon arrival in T5, go up the escalator and again follow the purple signs to Flight Connections. Here is the place where you will get your new boarding pass. (Either that or download the BA app and get a mobile boarding pass.) Next is Flight Conformance. Someone will check your boarding pass, then send you up an escalator to LHR T5 Security, where you will go through the full security check. Unless you have heavy clunky shoes (avoid), you can keep your shoes on, but laptops, tables, Kindles, 3-1-1 liquids, etc, all come out of the bag.

After Security, you go into the main lounge area. They do not announce gates until they are ready to open the gate to departing passengers. In other words, you can't just go to your gate and wait there. Find a place in the departure lounge where you can watch the TV monitors and wait for your flight's gate to be announced, then make your way to the gate. Don't dawdle. They expect people to go directly to the gate once it's announced.

If you have extra time, you might want to walk around T5 to acquaint yourself with the layout before your flight gate is announced on the TV monitors.

Some flights leave from the two other T5 terminals, namely T5B and T5C. Usually they announce that on the TV monitor so you can make your way to T5B or T5C then wait there for the gate assignment. If you have to go to T5B or T5C, you will take a mini-train. The elevator to the T5B and T5C mini-train is on the south side of the terminal, clearly marked. Ask someone if you are unsure.

Note that the mini-train trip is one-way. You can't just get on the train to go sightseeing, then come back to T5A. When the mini-train gets to its destination, they check to see the train is free of passengers before letting the next group on. This way they isolate the arrivals from the departures.

When it's time to go back home, you'll do the same thing in reverse. Land at T5, follow the purple Flight Connection signs to the bus to T3, then go through LHR T3 security, then wait in the departure lounge.
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