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Very basic question: when does LHR T3 open?

Very basic question: when does LHR T3 open?

Old Apr 19, 11, 7:43 am
  #1  
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Very basic question: when does LHR T3 open?

Sorry for such a simple question, but when do check-in and security open in the morning? I've scoured the Heathrow airport website and I can't find any information about this. How can something so basic be so hard to find out?

My new brother-in-law has a flight tomorrow on IB at 0620 to MAD, and thence back home to Brazil. I need to order a car for him, but no point in his getting to the airport before check-in and security are open. A 0420 arrival, as recommended by the website (which advises two hours) is probably pointless. I've never myself travelled that early from LHR.
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Old Apr 19, 11, 7:50 am
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5am is fine but with one caveat. That IB flight is busy with connecting pax so unless he has status/is in J the check in queue can be substantial. A 4:30 arrival and 30mins queuing at check in may be preferable.

Security opens at 5am iirc and is a breeze that early.
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Old Apr 19, 11, 8:46 am
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In case it helps, I took the first Iberia flight to Madrid and then to Rio in December and was panicking a bit about the connecting flight when the flight from Heathrow was late into Madrid.

However the Iberia cabin crew knew all the connections of passengers and many of us stayed on the plane and left through the back door onto a bus that took us straight to the International Departures without any need to go through any further security. Anyone who was really late was dealt with at the front door so they seem well organised for connections at Madrid (based on my one flight of course - others may say differently!!)

I can't help with bag drop/check in as I was only in Rio for a few days and had hand luggage only and checked in on-line. There was almost no-one going through security as I was there before it opened!!
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Old Apr 19, 11, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by Swanhunter View Post
5am is fine but with one caveat. That IB flight is busy with connecting pax so unless he has status/is in J the check in queue can be substantial. A 4:30 arrival and 30mins queuing at check in may be preferable.
Thanks. So check-in is actually open at 4.30, or it's just that the queue forms that early? That flight is very busy, you're right, but they have to allow sufficient time and staff to check in all the passengers one way or another.

It sounds like ordering a car for 4am is about right. It won't take much more than half an hour from central London at that time. He has plenty of connection time at MAD (3.5 hours) but missing the 0620 would be a bad start to a long journey.

He does not have status and sadly is not in J. It is virtually his first trip outside Brazil (he lives within driving distance of Argentina and Paraguay and has been there). And he doesn't seem quite as lucky as his elder brother (my husband/civil-partner) at finding his way somehow or other into the J cabin.
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Old Apr 19, 11, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by LeisureFirst View Post
THe has plenty of connection time at MAD (3.5 hours) but missing the 0620 would be a bad start to a long journey.
Actually there are IB or BA flights leaving every hour so missing the 06:20 isn't going to be such a disaster.

The next IB flight is 07:25 and then a BA flight at 08:15 all of which are within the 3.5 hour window.
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Old Apr 19, 11, 10:13 am
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IIRC I got there just before 5 and check in was open but from the queues on both sides of the divider perhaps not for long.

4am should be fine and give enough time for a calm airport experience.
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Old Apr 19, 11, 4:28 pm
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Bear in mind we're approaching the double bank holiday , a lot if people are going away
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Old Apr 20, 11, 9:47 am
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Thanks for all this advice. Having sought it, and even done the check-in for him on IB and grabbed him the best exit row seat in Y, he then decided he loved London so much he is going to stay another two weeks (although not with us ). Given the weather and the two big weekends coming up, who can blame him? He's now on the much more reassuringly familiar and civilized direct nighttime BA247 - worth the 100 cost of changing alone, I'd have said.

Still, I'm surprised at how difficult it is to find out exactly when check-in and security opens at T3. Even on this forum, nobody could provide a link to firm information (although I'm grateful for the info nonetheless).
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Old Apr 20, 11, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by LeisureFirst View Post
Still, I'm surprised at how difficult it is to find out exactly when check-in and security opens at T3. Even on this forum, nobody could provide a link to firm information (although I'm grateful for the info nonetheless).
Did you really expect anything else from BAA?
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