Switching terminals in LHR for lounge use

Old Jul 18, 18, 8:10 pm
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Switching terminals in LHR for lounge use

Hey, does anyone have experience going between lhr terminal 5 & 3 just to use the admirals club in terminal 3? I'm flying LAX-LHR-VCE and both the incoming flight to lhr and outbound to vce are from terminal 5. I've read on forums that you'll need a terminal 3 boarding pass to get to the terminal. Others said they would let you in regardless which terminal you're actually flying out of. I'd appreciate if someone can verify.
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Old Jul 18, 18, 8:15 pm
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You can't ordinarily go between terminals at LHR, so no, you can't leave T5 to visit a T3 lounge.

How were you planning on accessing the AA lounge? If it's by class of travel or status then there are better BA lounges available to you in T5 than the AAdmirals club in T3. If you only have a AAdmirals club membership you're going to be out of luck.

Last edited by opalfruit; Jul 19, 18 at 12:59 am
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Old Jul 18, 18, 8:18 pm
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I only have AAdmirals club membership, oh well.
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Old Jul 18, 18, 10:22 pm
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I was just looking at LHR website and it seems like transfering between terminals is allowed even without a connecting flight from that terminal. Is it getting through T3 security with a T5 boarding pass the issue? Would I even be exiting security at T5 that I'd need to go through again at T3?
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Old Jul 18, 18, 10:25 pm
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It is possible. It is not uncomplicated and it is time-consuming. For the sake of the AA club it is absolutely not worth it. Think of it as swimming through a cess-pit with untreated sewage in order to access a nice shower at the other end. Why bother?
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Old Jul 18, 18, 10:28 pm
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I have a 4 hour stopover in LHR coming from LAX so I thought even if it might be time consuming it still may be worth it.
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Old Jul 18, 18, 11:32 pm
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If you were to head to T3 immediately on arrival from LAX you would likely be fine, but you should plan for the transfer to take at least 45 minutes in each direction. You'll need to familiarise yourself with the T3 Airside exit route though, in order to return to the arrival flow. This way you won't have the "Ready to Fly" marker on your boarding card, and will be able to proceed through Flight Connections at T5 afterwards.

This is exactly what I plan to do in September, I have a 9 hour connection and while I plan on heading out of LHR a trip to the CX Flounge for some breakfast/noodles is rather appealing!
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Old Jul 19, 18, 12:58 am
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Originally Posted by dakaix View Post
If you were to head to T3 immediately on arrival from LAX you would likely be fine.
No. The OP will not have a valid BP to get airside at T3.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:00 am
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I will have a valid T5 boarding pass if that helps
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by dakaix View Post
You'll need to familiarise yourself with the T3 Airside exit route though, in order to return to the arrival flow.
One thing to note is that the existing flight connections is being replaced in T3 atm. Certainly the new part for where you go to get the airside bus in T3 to go to another terminal is open and there doesn't seem to be the same mixing of arriving and departing bus passengers anymore. It isn't clear to me that you can do the airside exit route anymore - I am there on Saturday so will have a look.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by opalfruit View Post


No. The OP will not have a valid BP to get airside at T3.

The OP will have a valid T5 boarding pass, which will be accepted at T3 transfer security. Access into T3 for the purpose of using the lounges is permitted by HAL, but only for transiting passengers. You cannot pass through T3 landside security with a T5 boarding pass.

I have done this several times, often arriving into T3 and leaving from T5, utilising the CX lounge for a few hours. Nobody bats an eyelid, especially if you make clear that you know a trip to T5 is still required.

Were I in the OPís shoes, on a 4 hour connection, I might think twice on doing this but solely for the effort required (for what would be a relatively short stay in the T3 lounges).
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:06 am
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Originally Posted by levibrod View Post
I will have a valid T5 boarding pass if that helps
I don't think it will. You could arrive into T5 and do an airside transfer to T3 but on arrival at T3 you will need a T3 boarding pass to re-enter the security screen, if you don't you'll be directed to the border to land yourself and go landside. Then you'd need to make your way back to T5.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:10 am
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At what point is it more worthwhile for OP to buy a pass to the paid lounge in t5? I'm sure its annoying to do that on top of paying for the Admirals Club membership, but given the time and faff involved in getting to and from t3 isn't this simpler?
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:13 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
One thing to note is that the existing flight connections is being replaced in T3 atm. Certainly the new part for where you go to get the airside bus in T3 to go to another terminal is open and there doesn't seem to be the same mixing of arriving and departing bus passengers anymore. It isn't clear to me that you can do the airside exit route anymore - I am there on Saturday so will have a look.
Ah, this indeed could be an issue... I wasnít aware there are ongoing works in this area. If you can have a look on Saturday thatíd be very useful, my next T3-T5 transit isnít for a couple of months.

Last edited by dakaix; Jul 19, 18 at 1:18 am
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Old Jul 19, 18, 2:10 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
One thing to note is that the existing flight connections is being replaced in T3 atm.
As of Tuesday at least the Flight Connection route from by the AA lounge, and the double door, was still there, so I doubt the return route has been blocked off, HAL do allow - and to some degree encourage - people to swap terminals for specific reasons. If AA is being used as an effective paid-for lounge, like the Priority Pass lounges, then that's something HAL are encouraging.
To summarise my current understanding:
- You can't enter T3 with a T5 boarding pass if starting in London, starting from landside. You have to go to T5.
- You can enter T3 without a T3 boarding pass for shopping and lounge access, if you are a connecting passenger, ditto T2 and T4.
- If your next flight is from T5 and you want to go T3, you best pass to T3 immediately after landing, following the airside bus transfer route via Flight Connections.
- You can then return from T3 to T5 by heading to the AA lounge entry area and you will then see a sign for Flight Connections and a route back to the buses.
- If you are already airside in T5 and have done security, it's a messy and non trivial process to switch terminals.
- If you are really departing on a T5 flight you can't assume a T5 boarding pass will be accepted at a oneworld lounge (though this case, involving AA Club membership should be OK)
- Despite the caveat above, I'm not aware of anyone being refused lounge entry yet but obviously it would be good to have specific data points.
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