A Guide to Connecting at LHR T5

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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:44 am
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A Guide to Connecting at LHR T5

Contents
Guide updated 4 February 2018

Arriving at T5? Connecting onwards? This guide covers arriving and connecting at T5. There are a number of types of connections which you may end up doing at T5 and hopefully all should be covered in this guide.

There is also a general guide to connecting at LHR which is available on the Heathrow website here.
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Last edited by KARFA; Dec 28, 18 at 2:35 pm
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:45 am
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General Layout of LHR

The LHR site is fairly compact with Terminals 2, 3, and 5 sited between the two runways, and Terminal 4 sited in the south east corner. Generally all IB and most BA flights arrive and depart from T5. There are a few exceptions to that and currently the following BA flights arrive and depart from T3:

Accra, Barcelona, Bilbao (moves to LGW from 31 March 2019), Billund (moving T5 to T3 from 28 October 2019), Budapest, Cape Town, Chania (moving to T5 from 31 March 2019), Denver, Gibraltar, Hannover (moving T5 to T3 from 28 October 2019), Helsinki, Las Vegas, Lisbon, Ljubljana (moving T5 to T3 from May 2020), (Luxembourg (moving to T5 from 28 October 2019), Lyon (moving to T5 from 28 October 2019), Marseille, Miami*, Nairobi, Palermo (moving T3 to T5 from May 2020), Phoenix (moving T3 to T5 from 27 October 2019), Pisa (moving T5 to T3 from 31 March 2019), Prague, Pula, San Diego (moving T5 to T3 from 27 October 2019), Vancouver, Vienna, Warsaw (moving to T5 from 28 October 2018), and Zagreb (moving T5 to T3 from 28 October 2019)

* MIA - from 01 April 2020 to 31 May 2020 1 x daily flight (BA211) will operate from T5, all other MIA flights (BA 207 & 209) will continue to operate from T3

In terms of other oneworld and IAG airlines, the following terminals are used:

T2 - Aer Lingus (not oneworld but part of IAG)
T3 - American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Royal Jordanian, SriLankan Airlines, and Veuling (not oneworld but part of IAG)
T4 - Malaysia Airlines, and Qatar Airways


Image courtesy of your.heathrow.com

Also see this thread focused on BA T3 routes List of BA flights from T3

The only way to connect when airside between the four terminals is to use the airside buses and this is discussed in more detail in the posts below.

General Layout of T5

T5 actually comprises three buildings, T5A the main building, and T5B and T5C which are two satellite buildings. All three building are linked by a rapid train transit system (TTS) and also underground walkways. As airside departing and arriving passenger do not mix at T5 there are two walkways, one for the departing stream of passengers, and the other for the arriving stream of passengers.

The below diagram shows the general layout of T5.



The position of the Flight Connections Centre in T5, as well as the Dublin and domestic arrivals areas in T5A, are shown. More detailed diagram of these areas can be found in the below posts.

Underground Walkways
As noted above, there are two underground walkways linking T5A/B/C - one walkway for departing passengers and the other for arriving passengers. I won’t cover the underground walkways between T5A/B/C in any details here as there is already an excellent guide done by corporate-wage-slave with links below:

T5 Passageways Guide for Departing Passengers

T5 Passageways Guide for Arriving Passengers

If you are departing from T5B or T5C you can use the underground walkway as an alternative to the TTS to get from T5A to the B or C buildings. If you are arriving in to the B or C buildings you can use the underground walkway as an alternative to using the TTS to get to T5A.

Even if your flight is departing from T5A, as long as you have enough time you can even go over to B or C and return to T5A. You can use the TTS or walkway to go to T5B or C, and then use the walkway to get back to the T5A departures area – do not use the TTS for the return. One reason to do this is that you can use the quieter BA Galleries Club lounge in T5B. Some more information on how to return from T5B or C to T5A is in the thread linked to below.

LHR: Getting From T5B/T5C Airside Departures to T5A Airside Departures

Airside to Landside
One question which does crop up is if you are in the airside departures area of T5 and want to get back landside how do you do that. This is especially relevant for smokers as there are no airside smoking areas in T5. As departing and arriving passengers mix you can’t simply walk out. The two ways to “land yourself” are:
  1. You can speak to a BA member of staff, there is an escorted route which takes place on the hour every hour, and if you miss it you will have to wait up to an hour for the next one. For the escorted service, just go to the Customer Service desk in T5A about 15 minutes to the hour.
  2. You can take the TTS to T5C, stay on the transit, and then when you come back to T5A you will be in the arrivals stream and arrive at the FCC. You will have to cross the UK border to go landside just like any arriving passenger, so you will need a passport to use this option.
Bear in mind if you use option 2, and want to go back airside later using the same boarding pass you will have to get a BA member of staff to first unregister you as ‘Ready to Fly’. When you original went to go airside at T5 using your boarding pass you would have been marked as ‘Ready to Fly’ and you need to be unregistered so you can re-enter T5 airside - without unregistering your boarding pass will not work when you try your boarding pass at the landside gates just before security.

Also if you use option 2 and your intention is not to take your flight anymore you should as a courtesy tell a BA member of staff to offload you so they don’t spend any time trying to find you when you don’t appear at the gate during boarding.

Last edited by KARFA; Mar 11, 20 at 9:31 am
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:46 am
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Arriving and Departing Gate Information

The location of all the gates in T5 is shown in the diagram below.



Generally the target time for specific gates to show up on the information boards in T5 is 80 minutes before the flight, although you may find early morning flights departing before 0730 are already shown from 0500 when T5 opens. Also domestic flight may often show “Will depart A gates” and some long haul flights (especially A380 operated ones) may show “Will depart C gates” a few hours before the departure time. The display boards inside T5B and T5C will show connections for up to 2 hours ahead generally.

For other sources of information both the BA and Heathrow apps are recommended, and they will alert you when there is a specific gate open for your flight.

Although generally flights can arrive and depart from any gate in T5, there are a few specific categories of flights which tend to leave or arrive at certain gates and these are described below.

Domestic Arrival Gates
Domestic flights will arrive at gates A1-A3, and A5-A6 (previously it used to include A7 and A8 but since 2019 these are no longer used for domestic arrivals). These are the only gates which have a route for UK arrivals to the domestic baggage hall, and these gates are all arranged around the north end of T5A.

Any arriving domestic flight not parking at one of these gates would have to be bussed regardless of whether the aircraft parked on a remote stand or one with a jet bridge. Most of the time this would mean arriving at a remote stand, but occasionally a domestic flight could arrive at A9-A23 or a B/C gate, and even though there is a working jet bridge all passengers would have to be bussed to the T5A UK arrivals entrance. This entrance for bussed domestic arrivals is on the ground floor on the north side of T5A below the jet bridge for A2.

On getting to the T5A UK arrivals entrance:
  • For passengers connecting to any T2/3/4/5 LHR flight you need to go upstairs using the stairs or lift - do not go through the automatic glass gates.
  • For arrivals or if needing to go landside you go through the automatic glass gates and either left to the UK baggage hall or right to the exit.
In the past occasionally bus drivers have delivered UK arriving passengers to the international passenger entrance which is on the east side of T5A. However, there are now signs up in the bus areas to remind drivers which place they need to take inbound passengers and this problem doesn’t seem to have re-occurred.

DUB Arrival Gates - A22 & A23
DUB arrivals come in to gates A22 or A23, and sometimes also use remote stands. There is a separate corridor for arriving passengers from DUB which leads from opposite A23 to an area after passport control and above the international baggage hall - arriving passengers from DUB do not go through passport control in the UK and this separate corridor allows bypassing of immigration.

DUB arrivals parking on to a remote stand or any gate other than A23/22 would be bussed to a door on the ground floor below the jet bridge for A23 so they could exit via the DUB arrivals corridor. These passengers would not be bussed to international arrivals entrance under the FCC or to domestic arrivals around the corner under A2.

More details on the DUB arrivals area is shown in this post below this post below.

Departure Bus Gates
There are a number of remote stands scattered around T5, and these are all accessed through the bus boarding gates A4, A10, and B36.

A4 is the domestic and DUB bus gate and is subdivided in to separated bus gates A4a and A4b. In theory A4 could be used as a bus gate for an international departures but this rarely happens.

A10 is the international bus gate and is subdivided in to A10a to A10e. A10a has been equipped to be used for domestic or DUB departures as well.

Domestic & DUB Departure Gates
UK domestic departures and DUB departures require use of biometric facial recognition equipment. This is only fitted to certain gates at T5, and all of these are in T5A. UK/DUB departures are always from T5A and never from the B or C satellite buildings.

For both UK and DUB flights before you enter the airside departures area your photo is taken - this happens at the gates to enter the first wing, south/north security lanes, or if you are connecting and using the FCC just before you head up to security. When your boarding pass is the scanned at the gate your photo is matched to you to ensure that the person boarding the domestic or DUB flight is the same person that went through security.

The only jet bridge gates fitted with the facial recognition equipment are A1-A3, A5-A9, A11-A23. Bus gate A4 (which is divided in to A4a and A4b sub gates) is a dedicated UK/DUB bus gate, and as of early 2018 A10a has also been fitted with the facial recognition equipment so can also be used as a UK/DUB bus gate. Also it seems two B gates (B44 & B45) are now fitted with biometrics so it is possible you could even go from T5B.

Therefore, if you are departing on a domestic flight or DUB flight you will leave from A1-A3, A5-A9, A11-A23, B44, or B45. If you are being bussed this will be from A4a, A4b, or A10a. This will most likely be because the aircraft is on a remote stand, but sometimes it can be because the aircraft is parked on a jet bridge gate which is not one of those fitted with the facial recognition equipment.

A380 Gates
Only certain gates at T5C have three jet bridges and are capable of handling A380s. These gates are C55, C56, C57, C61, C62, C63, C64, and C65. Gates B44, B45, B46, and B47 on the T5B satellite building are also A380 capable, but they hardly ever seem to be used for A380s.

It is also possible that an A380 could be bussed from A10 to a remote stand, but this rarely seems to happen.

Last edited by KARFA; Apr 18, 21 at 4:17 am
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:47 am
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UK Border, Flight Connections Centre (FCC), and Domestic Arrivals Area in T5A

The UK Border for arriving passengers and the main FCC for connecting passengers are next to each other in the northern part of T5A. The below diagram shows the layout of the UK Border and FCC, and this should hopefully help you navigate your way through wherever you are heading. Although it may appear complicated on first glance, the simple version is if you leaving the airport go to the UK border, and if connecting onwards go to Flight Connections - with the channel for UK/DUB flight on the left and channel for all other T5 flights on the right.

The posts below go in to detail on the different types of connections or arrivals you may do at T5, and all the different possible routes you can take.



Please find a link to this diagram in PNG form here, and a link to this diagram in PDF form here.

T5B->T5B, T5C->T5C, and T5B/C->T2/3/4 Connections
There are two smaller flight connection centres in T5, one each in T5B and T5C. If you arrive at T5B or C and your onward connection is from T5B or C you can use these smaller connections centres in each of the satellite buildings and avoid having to go to T5A.

The airside connection buses from T5 and all other terminals drives past T5B where there is an ‘on request’ pick up point. This means if you arrive at T5B and your onward connection is for another terminal you can use the airside connecting bus service directly from T5B rather than going to T5A to catch it. If you arrive in T5C you can walk to T5B or take the transit train for one stop before getting off and going up to this airside bus pick up point.

More details on these T5B->T5B, T5C->T5C, and T5B/C->T2/3/4 connections can be found in the posts below.

Last edited by KARFA; Feb 3, 18 at 7:22 pm
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:47 am
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DUB Arrivals Area

As notes in an earlier post in this guide, DUB arrivals come in to gates A22 or A23. Ireland is in the Common Travel Area with the UK which means that arriving passengers from DUB do not need to go through passport control on arrival in to the UK, although they do need to go through customs. This means that DUB arrivals need a separate arrivals route.

The below diagram shows the layout of this arrivals area next to gates A22 and A23:



On the corridor there are glass doors door between A23 and A22, and also A22 and A21. These can be closed as needed to ensure correct routing of non-DUB international passengers if a non-DUB flight arrives at A22.

There are some photos of the DUB arrivals corridor in this thread here.

When entering the corridor from the A23 jet bridge you can either go straight ahead along the DUB arrivals corridor, this corridor is also signed for those connecting on to a UK flights from T5, or you can turn right and follow the corridor past A22 which will take you on towards the FCC for any other type of connection. There are Heathrow staff next to the glass doors between A23/A22 to check your onward boarding pass.

If you arrive at A22 you can either turn left and then go down the DUB arrivals corridor, or right to follow the corridor past A21 which will take you on towards the FCC. Again, if you turn right there are Heathrow staff next to the glass doors between A22/A21 to check your onward boarding pass.

If you follow the signs - arrivals or those connecting on to a T5 UK flight go down the DUB arrivals corridor, and anyone connection to any other T5 flight, or any flight departing T2/3/4 go to the FCC.

Last edited by KARFA; Feb 3, 18 at 5:49 pm
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:48 am
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Arriving from the UK - Connections and Arrivals

This post covers in detail all the possible connections you can do when arriving on a UK domestic flight in to T5, and provides information on all the possible routes you can take to do those connections. The post also covers when you are simply arriving on a domestic flight and not connecting onwards. Please see the diagrams above which are referenced as well.

If you have a bag which is already checked through to your next flight you do not need to pick up your checked bag on any of the types of connections listed in this post. If you do have a checked bag but it is only checked to LHR you will have to follow the UK arrivals route (see ‘Arrivals from UK’), collect your bag from the baggage hall, exit landside, and re-check your bag for your next flight. There is some more information on checked bags in this post here.

  • Arrivals from UK
  • UK-UK connections
  • UK-DUB connections
  • UK-INT connections
  • UK-T2/3/4 connections


Domestic arrivals come in to gates A1-A3, or A5-A8. The escalators, stairs, and lift are near A1 for heading to the ground floor whether the domestic baggage hall and exit landside. When you go down to the ground floor you pass through some one way glass gates, and turn left if you need to collect a bag or right if you have no checked bags and just want to exit.

Domestic arrivals to remote stands enter the building at an entrance on the ground floor under the jet bridge for A2. This feeds in to domestic arrivals stream just next to the stairs and escalators and before those glass one way gates.

The landside exit for arrivals from the UK is on the ground floor of T5A at the far northern end of the building.


Domestic arrivals come in to gates A1-A3, or A5-A8. When connecting on to another UK domestic flight at T5 you do not need to pass through security, so the only step involved is a boarding pass check and a photo which takes place at a checkpoint opposite gate A5. The photo is taken and later on when you board it is checked against you using biometric facial recognition equipment to match against the earlier photo. No ID/passport is required at the gate for domestic or DUB departures.

If you arrive from a remote stand once you enter T5A you will need to go upstairs via the lifts or stairs which will bring you to near A1, and then walk down the corridor to the boarding pass check point opposite A5. Do not go through the one way glass gates on the ground floor after entering the building.

UK-UK connections are not very common so the agent can potentially forget to take the photo, and this error would become apparent at the gate upon boarding. If the agent doing boarding pass check forgets to take a photo do remind them you are on a UK connection. Once your boarding pass is scanned you proceed up the escalators or lift and enter the departures hall at the northern end of T5A.

If you do not have your onward boarding pass there are some BA customer service desks just left of the checkpoint, and you can obtain your boarding pass there.

It is possible that you could go landside via the UK arrivals route, up to departures, and through the first wing or north/south security to go back airside. However, unless there is a specific reason why you need to go landside this it is not recommended as you will have to walk a lot further and go through security – whereas the airside route is a much shorter walk and does not involve going through security.


As Ireland and the UK are part of the Common Travel Area departures from T5 to DUB are treated in the same way as departures to the UK. Rather than repeat all the details, please see under UK-UK Connections for information.


As noted, domestic arrivals come in to gates A1-A3, or A5-A8. When connecting from a UK domestic to an international flight at T5 you do not need to pass through security, so the only step involved is a boarding pass check. This takes place at the same checkpoint as noted for UK-UK connections, and it opposite gate A5.

If you arrive from a remote stand once you enter T5A you will need to go upstairs via the lifts or stairs which will bring you to near A1, and then walk down the corridor to the boarding pass check point opposite A5. Do not go through the one way glass gates on the ground floor after entering the building.

Once your boarding pass is scanned you proceed up the escalators or lift and enter the departures hall at the northern end of T5A.

If you do not have your onward boarding pass there are some BA customer service desks just left of the checkpoint, and you can obtain your boarding pass there.

It is possible that you could go landside via the UK arrivals route, up to departures, and through the first wing or north/south security to go back airside. However, unless there is a specific reason why you need to go landside this it is not recommended as you will have to walk a lot further and go through security – whereas the airside route is a much shorter walk and does not involve going through security.


There are two possible routes you can take to do a UK to T2/3/4 connection.

  1. Stay airside and use the airside transfer bus from T5 to T2/3/4.
  2. Go landside and take either the tube or Heathrow Express (HEX) to T2/3/4.

The airside route will almost always be faster than going landside. Taking the landside route is not recommended normally since the tube service interval is between 8-12 minutes and HEX is every 15 minutes (dropping to every 30 minutes late in the evening). Particularly when going to T4 the landside route is not quick and involves a connection as there is no direct tube/HEX. In comparison the airside buses are every 5 minutes and take 10-15 minutes to get to T2/3/4.

Airside Route
As noted, domestic arrivals come in to gates A1-A3, or A5-A8. Proceed along corridor to the glass door near gate A7/A8 where a Heathrow staff member will check your onward boarding pass and allow you to proceed towards the FCC. If you do not have your bp yet you should mention this to the Heathrow staff member and show your itinerary, and they will let you proceed on to the airside buses - bps can be collected at the airline transfer desks in each of T2/3/4 when you get there. Also if connecting to an AA flight departing from T3 see the notes in this post.

The airside transfer buses are accessed by going down the signed escalators to your left which are around 100m along from the boarding pass check. There are lifts also off to the right. Buses leave regularly for each of T2, T3, and T4, and the information boards at the doors should tell you when the next bus for your terminal is due.

If you arrive from a remote stand once you enter T5A you will need to go upstairs via the lifts or stairs which will bring you to near A1, and then walk down the corridor to the boarding pass check point near the jet bridge for A7/A8, on towards the FCC, and down to the buses. Do not go through the one way glass gates on the ground floor after entering the building.

As UK arriving passengers connecting to T2/3/4 are not segregated from international arriving passengers going to T2/3/4, you will have to go through security on arrival at the other terminal.

Landside Route
An alternative route is go landside and take the tube or HEX to the other terminals. To do this follow the signs for UK arrivals (see section above on ‘Arrivals from UK’). Once landside just proceed to your choice of tube or HEX.

The tube trains are every 8-12 minutes. If going to T2/3 take the tube for one stop to the central tube station ‘Heathrow T123’. For T4 you will need to go two stops to Hatton Cross, cross to the opposite platform, and catch a T4 bound tube. The tube requires a card to check in and out and this can be either an oyster card or contactless credit/debit card. Should you need to buy an Oyster card for other travel in London they can be purchased from the tube ticket machines either on the ground floor of T5A or at platform level. Even though you check in and out for inter-terminal transfers you will not be charged as they are free. For T4 transfers (via Hatton Cross) as long as you remain tube side at Hatton Cross you will not be charged.

The HEX trains are every 15 minutes and it is one stop to T2/3. To get to T4 you need to change at the T2/3 station where you wait for a separate train to T4. As of May 2018 the HEX requires either an oyster/contactless cards to use (like the tube it is is also free between terminals), or you can get one of the free transfer tickets. See this post 360 for more details.

Last edited by KARFA; Dec 28, 18 at 4:29 pm
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:48 am
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Arriving from DUB - Connections and Arrivals

This post covers in detail all the possible connections you can do when arriving on a flight from DUB in to T5, and provides information on all the possible routes you can take to do those connections. The post also covers when you are simply arriving on a DUB flight and not connecting onwards. Please see the diagrams above which are referenced as well.

If you have a bag which is already checked through to your next flight you do not need to pick up your checked bag on any of the types of connections listed in this post. If you do have a checked bag but this is only checked to LHR you will have to exit via the DUB arrivals route (see ‘Arrivals from DUB’), collect your bag from the baggage hall, exit landside, and re-check your bag for your next flight. There is some more information on checked bags in this post here.

  • Arrivals from DUB
  • DUB-UK connections
  • DUB-INT connections
  • DUB-T2/3/4 connections


As noted in an earlier post in the guide, arrivals from DUB use gates A23 and A22 which are on the southern end of T5A. For arrivals from DUB use the corridor which starts opposite A23. The corridor emerges past passport control (DUB arrivals do not have to cross the UK border) and you can proceed down to the baggage hall and out landside through customs.


The signed route for connections from DUB going on to a UK domestic flight involves exiting landside (i.e. follow the DUB arrivals corridor as noted in the above ‘Arrivals from DUB’ section), proceeding up to the departures floor, and going back airside by passing through the first wing or north/south security.

If using the exit near baggage carousel 9, when you exit the orange lift is in front of you - this is the best way to go for the first wing or south security. If heading for north security you need to exit by baggage carousel 5 instead and use the lifts near that exit. For the orange lifts you may need to push both call buttons since the two lifts aren't connected for some reason. Below is a graphic showing the route out landside to the orange lifts.


Graphic courtesy of corporate-wage-slave

When you go through the gates just before the first wing security or north/security your photo will be taken and this will matched to you later on at the gate when you board to check the person who went through security is the same person boarding.


If you are connecting on to a T5 departing international flight there are two possible routes when you step off the jet bridge from either A23 or A22. You can either head landside, up to departures, and then come back airside through security, or you can stay airside and us the FCC. The signed route is the airside route via FCC and up to the connection security channels. However, FCC and the connection security channels can sometimes be very busy so you may well find it quicker to simply go via the landside route.

Of the two routes the landside route is recommended as it is usually quicker and is not much longer distance (if at all) than the airside route.

Landside Route
Head along the DUB arrivals corridor opposite A23, this takes you straight to the baggage hall where you can exit landside and then proceed up to the departures floor to go through security in order to go back airside. DUB arrivals do not go have to cross the UK border so there is no immigration when going landside.

See above in the 'DUB-UK connections' section for a description of the route from the baggage hall to the first wing or north/south security.

Airside Route
After exiting the jet bridge in to the main corridor turn right, show your onward boarding pass to the Heathrow staff member who will let you through the glass doors, then proceed along the corridor which runs on the east side of T5A to the FCC. You can then proceed through the INT connections channels in the FCC where you will have a boarding pass check by a BA member of staff and then head up to connections security in order to go airside.

Less than 45 Minutes between Flights?
The exception to the above advice to follow landside route is if you have 45 minutes or less to connect when stepping of the plane. T5 operates a system called conformance which means you need to be marked as ‘Ready to Fly’ at 35 minutes before your flight (this can occasionally be less for some connections but it is best to always work with 35 minutes). If you do not meet conformance you will very likely be denied to travel and have to be rebooked on a later flight. You are marked as ‘Ready to Fly’ and deemed to meet conformance when you first have your boarding pass checked at either FCC or at the entry gates for the first wing or south/north security. It can be slightly quicker to get to the boarding pass check at FCC than to get out landside and to the entry gates at the first wing or north/south security. Therefore if you are close to the conformance limit you will be better off going via the airside route to ensure you meet conformance, even though the landside route overall may have been quicker.


There are two possible routes you can take to do a DUB to T2/3/4 connection.

  1. Stay airside and use the airside transfer bus from T5 to T2/3/4.
  2. Go landside and take either the tube or Heathrow Express (HEX) to T2/3/4.

The airside route will almost always be faster than going landside. Taking the landside route is not recommended normally since the tube service interval is between 8-12 minutes and HEX is every 15 minutes (dropping to every 30 minutes late in the evening). Particularly when going to T4 the landside route is not quick and involves a connection as there is no direct tube/HEX. In comparison the airside buses are every 5 minutes and take 10-15 minutes to get to T2/3/4.

Airside Route
As noted, domestic arrivals come in to gates A22 or A23. Turn right, show your onward boarding pass to the Heathrow agent who will let you through the glass doors, then proceed along the corridor which runs on the east side of T5A to the FCC. If you do not have your bp yet you should mention this to the Heathrow staff member and show your itinerary, and they will let you proceed on to the airside buses - bps can be collected at the airline transfer desks in each of T2/3/4 when you get there. Also if connecting to an AA flight departing from T3 see the notes in this post.

The airside transfer buses are accessed by going down the signed escalators to your right, or there are signed lifts to your left. Buses leave regularly for each of T2, T3, and T4, and the information boards at the doors should tell you when the next bus for your terminal is due. When you arrive at T2/3/4 you will have a bp check and go through.

Landside Route
An alternative route is go landside and take the tube or HEX to the other terminals. To do this follow the signs for DUB arrivals (see section above on ‘Arrivals from DUB’). Once landside just proceed to your choice of tube or HEX.

The tube trains are every 8-12 minutes. If going to T2/3 take the tube for one stop to the central tube station ‘Heathrow T123’. For T4 you will need to go two stops to Hatton Cross, cross to the opposite platform, and catch a T4 bound tube. The tube requires a card to check in and out and this can be either an oyster card or contactless credit/debit card. Should you need to buy an Oyster card for other travel in London they can be purchased from the tube ticket machines either on the ground floor of T5A or at platform level. Even though you check in and out for inter-terminal transfers you will not be charged as they are free. For T4 transfers (via Hatton Cross) as long as you remain tube side at Hatton Cross you will not be charged.

The HEX trains are every 15 minutes and it is one stop to T2/3. To get to T4 you need to change at the T2/3 station where you wait for a separate train to T4. As of May 2018 the HEX requires either an oyster/contactless cards to use (like the tube it is is also free between terminals), or you can get one of the free transfer tickets. See this post 360 for more details.
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Last edited by KARFA; Dec 28, 18 at 4:30 pm
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:49 am
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Arriving on an International Flight (not inc. DUB) - Connections and Arrivals

This post covers in detail all the possible connections you can do when arriving on an international flight in to T5, and provides information on all the possible routes you can take to do those connections. This post also covers when you are simply arriving on an international flight and not connecting onwards. Please see the diagrams above which are referenced as well.

Please note that arrivals from DUB are international flights but they are discussed separately in the above post.

If you have a bag which is already checked through to your next flight you do not need to pick up your checked bag on any of the types of connections listed in this post. If you do have a checked bag but this is only checked to LHR you will have to exit via the arrivals route (see ‘Arrivals from INT’), collect your bag, exit landside, and re-check your bag for your next flight. There is some more information on checked bags in this post here.

Please bear in mind that for some of the options listed below involve crossing the UK border and going landside. This assumes you have automatic right to pass in to the UK (for example as an EU/EEA passport holder). If you do not have right of entry in to the UK and would require a visa to cross the UK border then you should ignore the landside route options and use the airside routes only.

  • Arrivals from INT
  • INT-UK connections
  • INT-DUB connections
  • INT-INT connections
  • INT-T2-4 connections

International arrivals can come in to any of T5A, B, or C. If you arrive at the satellite building you need to proceed to T5A using the underground walkways or TTS (see earlier post) and then cross the UK border at T5A in order to exit.

For international arrivals to remote stands you will be taken by bus directly to T5A. The bus entrance is on the ground floor around half way along the eastern face of T5A. Proceed up the escalators or lifts and you will be at the UK border area.


There are two possible routes open to you when you arrive at T5A.

  1. Go through immigration to landside, up to departures, then through the first wing or north/south security to get airside.
  2. Stay airside and using the FCC.
The signed route is the airside route via FCC and up to the connection security channels. However, FCC and connection security can sometimes be very busy so you may probably find it quicker to simply go via the landside route.

For connections to UK/DUB flights connections you have to cross the UK border at T5. As of late 2017 there are now 5 e-passport gates dedicated for the channel in the FCC so the immigration queues have significantly improved. However, going landside may still sometimes be quicker.

When the older 5 e-passport gates were present at T5 it could often be a 50/50 call whether to exit landside or go via the FCC route. However, as of September 2015 T5A had 15 new e-passport gates (see this thread for discussion), and that number has since been increased to 24. These can be used by EU, EEA, Swiss, certain UK Overseas and Registered Traveller adults having a biometric passport. They are very efficient and it rarely takes more than 5 minutes to queue and go through. The e-passport gates are at the left hand side of the UK border area in T5A.

Other factors which may make you decide to go via the landside route are:

  • Look at the area between the escalators at the back of Flight Connections and the area in front of the passport area on domestic. If they are holding back people from the escalator going up, that can only mean it is very busy at connection security.
  • If there are a lot of people queuing in front of the domestic flight connections passport desks.
However, if the passport is relatively empty and the area by the escalator clear you may wish to go through the airside connections route since it is a shorter route then going landside.

Also see the section below if you arrive at T5 with less than 45/50 minutes to go before your connection.

Landside Route
Exit landside using the route as described in the ‘Arrivals from INT’ section. Once through the UK border head down to the baggage hall and exit landside, go up to the departures floor, and going back airside by passing through the first wing or north/south security.

If using the exit near baggage carousel 9, when you exit the orange lift is in front of you - this is the best way to go for the first wing or south security. If heading for north security you need to exit by baggage carousel 5 instead and use the lifts near that exit. For the orange lifts you may need to push both call buttons since the two lifts aren't connected for some reason. Below is a graphic showing the route out landside to the orange lifts.


Graphic courtesy of corporate-wage-slave

When you go through the gates just before the first wing security or north/security your photo will be taken and this will matched to you later on at the gate when you board to check the person who went through security is the same person boarding.

Airside Route
The airside route involves going to the FCC and using the channels on the left hand side marked for UK & DUB flights.

The first step is to go through immigration. The immigration queues for UK/DUB flights are separate from the main UK border area. To the left are 5 e-passport gates which can be used by EU, EEA, Swiss, certain UK Overseas and Registered Traveller adults having a biometric passport. They are very efficient and it rarely takes more than 2-3 minutes to queue and go through. To the right are queues for those who can’t use the e-passport gates and non-EU citizens.

As you cross the UK border at T5 it means when you arrive at your domestic destination you are treated as a domestic arrival. Also once through the border you will not need your passport any further on your journey at T5, and you do not need to present it at the gate when boarding.

The next step is to use the automatic gates which scan your onward boarding pass – this is where you are marked as ‘Ready to Fly’. Also the gate will prompt you to take a photo which is linked to you bp. When you board your UK/DUB flight later on the photo taken at this point is matched to you using biometric facial recognition equipment to check the person who went through connections is the same person boarding.

Once the photo is done proceed upstairs to security. There is a marked fast track escalator to the right which leads to north security, and a path to the left for non-fast track passengers which leads to south security.

Less than 45/50 Minutes between Flights?
The exception to the above advice to look at the landside route is if you have less than 50 minutes if arriving at T5B or C, or less than 45 minutes or less if arriving at T5A when stepping of the plane. T5 operates a system called conformance which means you need to be marked as ‘Ready to Fly’ at 35 minutes before your flight (this can occasionally be less for some connections but it is best to always work with 35 minutes). If you do not meet conformance you will very likely be denied to travel and have to be rebooked on a later flight.

You are marked as ‘Ready to Fly’ and deemed to meet conformance when you first have your boarding pass checked at either FCC or at the entry gates for the first wing or north/south security. It can be quicker to get to the boarding pass check at FCC than to get out landside and to the entry gates at the first wing or north/south security. Therefore if you are close to the conformance limit you will be better off going via the airside route to ensure you meet conformance, even though the landside route overall may have been quicker.

Generally if you have e-passport gate access and have more than 45 minutes before your onward flight it is recommend that you take the landside route.


If you are doing an INT-DUB connection you go through the same process as INT-UK connections as described above. The reason for this is because the UK and Ireland form a Common Travel Area which you enter at LHR. The UK connection channels at the FCC are signed for connection to the UK and Ireland. Therefore, for INT-DUB connections please follow the routes and advice in the above ‘INT-UK Connections’ section.

When you arrive at DUB the immigration there is still an ID check since you mix with arriving passengers from places other than the UK, in a sense they check your passport to see if they don't need to check your passport!


There are two possible routes you can take when doing an INT-INT connection. You can:

  1. Go through immigration to landside, up to departures, then through the first wing or north/south security to get airside.
  2. Stay airside and using the FCC.
The signed route is the airside route via FCC and up to connection security. However, FCC and the connection security channels can sometimes be very busy so you may well find it quicker to simply go via the landside route.

Going the landside route may be particularly preferred if you are able to use the 24 new e-passport gates. The e-passport gates are at the left hand side of the UK border area in T5A. These can be used by EU, EEA, Swiss, certain UK Overseas and Registered Traveller adults having a biometric passport.

If you arrive in to T5B or T5C and your onward connection is already listed as departing from either of the two satellite building it is possible to go through flight connections at either T5B or T5C without having to go to T5A. Both T5B and T5C each have a small FCC. Please see the post below for details of T5B->T5B and T5C->T5C connections.

Also see the section below if you arrive at T5 with less than 45/50 minutes to go before your connection.

Landside Route
Exit landside using the route as described in the ‘Arrivals from INT’ section. Once through the UK border head down to the baggage hall and exit landside, go up to the departures floor, and going back airside by passing through the first wing or north/south security.

If using the exit near baggage carousel 9, when you exit the orange lift is in front of you - this is the best way to go for the first wing or south security. If heading for north security you need to exit by baggage carousel 5 instead and use the lifts near that exit. For the orange lifts you may need to push both call buttons since the two lifts aren't connected for some reason. Below is a graphic showing the route out landside to the orange lifts.


Graphic courtesy of corporate-wage-slave

Airside Route
Proceed to the T5A FCC. You go through the INT connections channels in the FCC which are towards the right hand side, with the fast track channel on the far right. You will have a boarding pass check by a BA member of staff and also a visa check if necessary, and then head up to security in order to go airside. There is a marked fast track escalator to the right which leads to north security, and a path to the left for non-fast track passengers which leads to south security.

Less than 45/50 Minutes between Flights?
The exception to the above advice to look at the landside route is if you have less than 50 minutes if arriving at T5B or C, or less than 45 minutes or less if arriving at T5A when stepping of the plane. T5 operates a system called conformance which means you need to be marked as ‘Ready to Fly’ at 35 minutes before your flight (this can occasionally be less for some connections but it is best to always work with 35 minutes). If you do not meet conformance you will very likely be denied to travel and have to be rebooked on a later flight.

You are marked as ‘Ready to Fly’ and deemed to meet conformance when you first have your boarding pass checked at either FCC or at the entry gates for the first wing or north/south security. It is quicker to get to the boarding pass check at FCC than to get out landside and to the entry gates at security. Therefore if you are close to the conformance limit you will be better off going via the airside route to ensure you meet conformance, even though the landside route overall may have been quicker.

Generally if you have e-passport gate access and have more than 45 minutes before your onward flight it is recommend that you take the landside route.


There are two possible routes you can take to do an INT to T2/3/4 connection.

  1. Stay airside and use the airside transfer bus from T5 to T2/3/4.
  2. Go landside and take either the tube or Heathrow Express (HEX) to T2/3/4..
The airside route will almost always be faster than going landside. Taking the landside route is not recommended normally since the tube service interval is between 8-12 minutes and HEX is every 15 minutes (dropping to every 30 minutes late in the evening). Particularly when going to T4 the landside route is not quick and involves a connection as there is no direct tube/HEX. In comparison the airside buses are every 5 minutes and take 10-15 minutes to get to T2/3/4.

Airside Route
Proceed to the FCC in T5A, and the airside transfer buses are accessed by going down the signed escalators just before the FCC. Buses leave regularly for each of T2, T3, and T4, and the information boards at the doors should tell you when the next bus for your terminal is due. When you arrive at T2/3/4 you will have a bp check and go through.

If you do not have your bp yet you can still get the airside buses - there is no bp check to get on them - bps can be collected at the airline transfer desks in each of T2/3/4 when you get there. Also if connecting to an AA flight departing from T3 see the notes in this post.

If you arrive at T5B/C as you can get the airside transfer buses from T5B rather than going to T5A. Please see the post below for details of T5B->T2/3/4 connections.

Landside Route
An alternative route is go landside and take the tube or Heathrow Express (HEX) to the other terminals. To do this follow the signs for arrivals (see section above on ‘Arrivals from INT’) and go through immigration. Once landside just proceed to your choice of tube or HEX.

The tube trains are every 8-12 minutes. If going to T2/3 take the tube for one stop to the central tube station ‘Heathrow T123’. For T4 you will need to go two stops to Hatton Cross, cross to the opposite platform, and catch a T4 bound tube. The tube requires a card to check in and out and this can be either an oyster card or contactless credit/debit card. Should you need to buy an Oyster card for other travel in London they can be purchased from the tube ticket machines either on the ground floor of T5A or at platform level. Even though you check in and out for inter-terminal transfers you will not be charged as they are free. For T4 transfers (via Hatton Cross) as long as you remain tube side at Hatton Cross you will not be charged.

The HEX trains are every 15 minutes and it is one stop to T2/3. To get to T4 you need to change at the T2/3 station where you wait for a separate train to T4. As of May 2018 the HEX requires either an oyster/contactless cards to use (like the tube it is is also free between terminals), or you can get one of the free transfer tickets. See this post 360 for more details.
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Last edited by KARFA; Dec 28, 18 at 4:32 pm
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:49 am
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T5B to T5B Connections, T5C to T5C Connections, and T5B/C to T2/3/4 Connections

Arrivals in to T5C and T5B will typically go to T5A to proceed through the flight connections centre (FCC) – and the FCC and T5A are what this guide is predominantly about. However, it is possible to go through flight connections at either T5B or T5C if your onward flight is already listed as departing from either of these two, and it is also possible to go from T5C and T5B to T2/3/4 directly from the satellite buildings without going all the way to T5A. Some excellent guides already exist (courtesy of corporate-wage-slave) for these options, so rather than repeat the details on these options please see the below:

LHR Terminal 5B Flight Connections - a pictorial guide - including T5B bus service to T2-4

LHR Terminal 5C Flight Connections - a pictorial guide

T2/3/4 to T5 Connections

If you are arriving in to any of the other terminals at LHR and have an onward flight from T5 you have two options to transfer terminals. You can either:

1. Exit landside at the terminal you arrive at (subject to you having right of entry to the UK) and take one of the Heathrow Express (HEX), tube, or even a TfL bus to T5.
2. Remain airside and follow the signs for flight connections. You will then catch an airside bus to T5 and arrive at T5A at the point shown in post #4 where you go up from the ground floor to arrivals/flight connections.
The airside option 2 is the easiest and quickest. However, this option only works if you don't have any checked bags, or have checked bags and they are through checked on to your T5 flight. If your bags are through checked there is no need for you to see them at LHR and you can simply use the airside bus. If your bags are not through checked you will have to follow option 1 as you will have to collect your bags at the terminal you arrive at, and take them across to T5 yourself before re-checking them.

The tube trains are every 8-12 minutes. If going from T2/3 to T5 take the tube for one stop to the T5 tube station. From T4 you will need to go one stop to the central tube station ‘Heathrow T123’, cross to the opposite platform, and catch a T5 bound tube. The tube requires a card to check in and out and this can be either an oyster card or contactless credit/debit card. Even though you check in and out for inter-terminal transfers you will not be charged as they are free.

The HEX trains are every 15 minutes and it is one stop to T2/3 to T5. To get from T4 to T5 you need to change at the T2/3 station where you wait for a separate train to T5. As of May 2018 the HEX requires either an oyster/contactless cards to use (like the tube it is is also free between terminals), or you can get one of the free transfer tickets. See this post 360 for more details.

Once at T5 you can use the rest of the guide above and specifically post #8 to see what your options are.
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Last edited by KARFA; Dec 28, 18 at 4:33 pm
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:50 am
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New FCC in LHR T3 (July 2018)

As of mid 2018 there is now a new FCC open in T3 which you would pass to if arriving in to T3 and wanting to take the airside bus to T2/4/5, or if arriving in to T2/4/5 and taking the airside bus to T3. There is more information and lots of photos in post 383 here.

Arriving at T5 and Crossing the UK Border at T2/3/4

One of the quirks of the airside transfer buses and the flight connection areas in each terminal is that you can arrive on an INT flight at T5 but cross the UK border at another terminal. In fact you can also do this in reverse, so arrive on an INT at T3 for example, and cross the UK border at T5. Whilst this is not really recommended normally, you may wish to do this if you have your car or left luggage at another terminal or you find the UK border at the terminal you arrive at to be very busy.

There is no boarding pass check to use the airside transfer buses so just make your way to them, and when you get off at the other terminal head to the UK border there.

Going to T4 is not recommend, there is a very long passageway involved and the e-passport there are old, slow and not always switched on. On the other hand the connection landside between T5 and T4 is particularly ropey so it's probably the best of a bad deal.

T2, on the other hand, is better than exiting via T3, given the choice, so a great way for the HBOs to get to the Bath Road hotels. The bus takes significantly less time than T3 (9 minutes) and the UK Border is much closer to the bus location than T3. It also has 12 of the new e-gates. This then brings you to the baggage hall, landside, across the big arrivals floor to the lifts to the Tube. It probably saves 10 minutes on T3 all told for the tube and bus connections, perhaps a bit less for HEX.

You can even do this by using the airside bus stop at T5B as discussed in post 9, so you can go direct from T5B to another terminal.

Bear in mind that the airside transfer bus frequency tends to tail off after 2130 simply because there are virtually no connections for arrivals at that time. Therefore, using the airside transfer bus after that time is not possible.

Connecting to an AA Flight Departing From T3

If you are connecting to an AA flight from T3 you will need to get a boarding pass and clear the security checks before boarding - the verbal security check will generally ask you why are you travelling, for how long, where you are /were staying etc. When you get to T3 there is a dedicated hall for AA's transfer passengers before security.

Since late 2016 there area agents based down near the airside bus pick up point in T5A and they can issue bps and do the security check for BA passengers transferring over to AA before departing from T5. Basically it allows those waiting for the bus to do the clearance in T5 rather than do it in T3 Flight Connections. They only work during the relevant hours, so you won't find them down there later in the evening, but the AA desk remains in place there.

If a T3 bus pulls in, you are probably better off jumping on board, you can still do the check in T3, which is done in a hall before security. Alternatively if you have access to the Terminal 3 AA Admirals Club / Flagship Lounge there is some case for doing it there rather than T5, the lounge agents tend to shortcut the process somewhat to those with status. If doing this you'll have to ignore the various agents asking for AA passengers to identify themselves in T5 and then T3. If all else fails, it can all be done at the gate prior to boarding, but you'll appreciate they can't process 300 passengers at that late stage.

Checked Bags

As of June 2016 BA no longer checks through bags on to separate tickets - even when it they are two BA tickets. This means if you can’t check through your bags and they are only tagged to LHR you will have to take the landside routes detailed above, so follow the arrivals signs to the baggage hall, collect your bags, exit landside, up to departures, then re-check your bags for your separate ticket.

For more information see this dedicated thread:

BA no longer through checking baggage with separate tickets

Connections to LCY/LGW Flights

If you are connecting on to another flight departing from LCY or LGW then you need to follow the arrivals signs at T5, collect any checked bags (bags cannot be checked between the three airports LHR/LGW/LCY), and make your own way at your own expense to LCY/LGW.

For transport options between LHR and LGW see this guide done by corporate-wage-slave:

Heathrow to Gatwick transport options: a pictorial guide

For LHR to LCY there aren’t any direct transport options other than taxi/uber. For public transport your options are either:

  • tube to Green Park, change on to Jubilee Line to Canning Town (see post 352 for Globaliser's tip on connecting at Green Park), and then DLR (Woolwich Arsenal bound train) to LCY
  • HEX to Paddington, Bakerloo Line and connecting to Jubilee Line at Baker Street or Waterloo (Baker Street connection is strongly recommended, especially if you have luggage, as it is a cross-platform connection whereas changing at Waterloo involves a fair hike and a combination of steps/escalators/walkways​​), Jubilee Line to Canning Town, and then DLR (Woolwich Arsenal bound train) to LCY
Duty Free

If you are connecting at T5 and arriving on any flight other than a domestic flight you will need to go through security at LHR and you will need to comply with the liquids restrictions.

In order to be able to take any duty free purchasesyou made at your origin through security at LHR you need it to be placed in a Security Tamper Evident Bag (STEB which is a secure sealed bag) at the time of purchase. The receipt must be sealed inside the bag and be visible to be read as the STEB is basically valid for 24 hours.

Smoking

There used to be an airside outdoor smoking cage at T3 but this is no longer available since the new T3 FCC opened in 2018. At this stage there are no airside facilities for smokers in either T5 or T3. Your only options if connecting may be to go landside at either terminal rather than staying airside during your connection, and then once you have had a smoke use one of the landside options (HEX or tube) to go to the other terminal.

Last edited by KARFA; Dec 28, 18 at 2:35 pm
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Old Dec 30, 15, 9:53 am
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I shall reserve my own patch for no good reason. However I already love this guide.
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Old Dec 30, 15, 10:05 am
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Many congratulations on this huge piece of work KARFA. I know from first hand experience that you didn't knock this up in 15 minutes! Thank you for putting this into place.

You asked about the T2 and T4 UK Border off Flight Connections.

T4 I don't recommend using, there is a very long passageway involved and the e-gates there are old, slow and not always switched on. I hope they are being replaced. On the other hand the connection landside between T5 and T4 is particularly ropey so it's probably the best of a bad deal.

T2, on the other hand, is better than exiting via T3, given the choice, so a great way for the HBOs to get to the Bath Road hotels. The bus takes significantly less time than T3 (9 minutes) and the UK Border is much closer to the bus location than T3. It also has 12 of the new e-gates. This then brings you to the baggage hall, landside, across the big arrivals floor to the lifts to the Tube. It probably saves 10 minutes on T3 all told for the Tube and bus connections, perhaps a bit less for HEX.
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Old Dec 30, 15, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by Calum View Post
I shall reserve my own patch for no good reason. However I already love this guide.
You are lucky I had already reserved all the posts I needed. Had you disrupted my posts for the guide I would have been displeased
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Old Dec 30, 15, 10:10 am
  #14  
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Some quick background to this. It started with this thread and the diagram I knocked up of the T5 FCC.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...uestion-2.html

I wanted to write this up in to a full guide but it has taken a while. I have usually done little bursts on writing it, then nothing for several months. Anyway, I decided that I would finally finish it off and have been working on it on my current trip to OGG where I am now. I find I can really work well and efficiently on a plane for some reason!
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Old Dec 30, 15, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Many congratulations on this huge piece of work KARFA. I know from first hand experience that you didn't knock this up in 15 minutes! Thank you for putting this into place.

You asked about the T2 and T4 UK Border off Flight Connections.

T4 I don't recommend using, there is a very long passageway involved and the e-gates there are old, slow and not always switched on. I hope they are being replaced. On the other hand the connection landside between T5 and T4 is particularly ropey so it's probably the best of a bad deal.

T2, on the other hand, is better than exiting via T3, given the choice, so a great way for the HBOs to get to the Bath Road hotels. The bus takes significantly less time than T3 (9 minutes) and the UK Border is much closer to the bus location than T3. It also has 12 of the new e-gates. This then brings you to the baggage hall, landside, across the big arrivals floor to the lifts to the Tube. It probably saves 10 minutes on T3 all told for the Tube and bus connections, perhaps a bit less for HEX.
Thanks cws. It has taken a while to finally sort it out, but I am glad it is done and I can cross it off the list.

Thanks for the information on T2 and T4, I shall add that to the post.

One other question I had for which you may know the answer. Could you do this when arriving at T5B? When you ask the HAL staff person in T5B to summon the airside bus do you need to show a boarding pass or some proof of an onward connection or can you just say I need to connect to T2/3/4?
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