BA Heathrow T3-T5 connection conundrum

Old Feb 17, 20, 8:15 am
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BA Heathrow T3-T5 connection conundrum

After having done the wonderful T3-T5 transfer a few times now, I got wondering...What are the factors behind BA's decision to fly some European routes out of T3(VIE and BUD to name a few) and others, TXL in my case, out of T5?

With BA being left to serve the TXL-LHR route on its own, wouldn't it make sense to move let's say 2 out of their 7 daily flights to T3 which is an OW hub? Around half of my incoming TXL flight were connecting in T3 that day, so I'm just guessing that it's a popular connection, especially for pax flying to the US or Central America.

And as a side note, it baffles me that LH doesn't operate a single flight on this route, with the massive *A presence at Heathrow.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 8:25 am
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One factor is the number of connecting passengers. Low likely means T3 than T5.

also consistency is important. You donít want some flights on the same route to go from 5 and some from 3 as that way chaos lies.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 9:49 am
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Germanwings used to operate TXL for Eurowings until recently.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 11:42 am
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If you look at the Wikipedia page for Tegel, you will find the reasons why Lufthansa has a very weak presence at that airport. Brief version: since 1945 the Russians didn't like the idea. That airport essentially was built for BA, AF and the then US airlines.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by Deckter View Post

And as a side note, it baffles me that LH doesn't operate a single flight on this route, with the massive *A presence at Heathrow.
greeting from TXL...

LH flights either start or end in FRA&MUC. so there will be only TXL-MUC and TXL-FRA flights. LH has the same hub strategy as BA. And yeah, this is the reason I came to BA. i often travel to the US and LHR is in the right direction. both FRA and MUC arent...
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Old Feb 17, 20, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
If you look at the Wikipedia page for Tegel, you will find the reasons why Lufthansa has a very weak presence at that airport. Brief version: since 1945 the Russians didn't like the idea. That airport essentially was built for BA, AF and the then US airlines.
i wouldnt say that 20 flights per weekday to Frankfurt and 14 to MŁnchen are "a very weak presence at that airport"

"Mit jeweils rund 42.000 Sitzen pro Woche teilen sich Lufthansa und Eurowings am grŲŖeren der beiden Berliner Airports Platz zwei. Beide haben einen Marktanteil von jeweils 13 Prozent." LH and EW are tied second place at TXL. market share 13%, 42000 Seats per week.

really not THAT bad.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
One factor is the number of connecting passengers. Low likely means T3 than T5.

also consistency is important. You donít want some flights on the same route to go from 5 and some from 3 as that way chaos lies.
if BA have no problem in selling flights that require changing airports in London, i donít see why they couldnít have a mixed use of terminals for connection purposes.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
If you look at the Wikipedia page for Tegel, you will find the reasons why Lufthansa has a very weak presence at that airport. Brief version: since 1945 the Russians didn't like the idea. That airport essentially was built for BA, AF and the then US airlines.
I think its more to do with Demographics no? I mean I don't even know many Germans from Berlin! Anyway Lufty does it smart with connections to their hubs Frankfurt and Munich from Berlin.

OP, yeah, T3 is for the less trendy routes with less connections, but it's mainly because of a lack of space in T5. I am sure it would suit BA better if there was a T5D built!
Obviously as a terminal T5 is far superior to T3.

I would say overall T5 is my favourite terminal in Heathrow, better than T2 in terms of design and aesthetics, and T4 is definitely the odd one out!
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by ahmetdouas View Post
I think its more to do with Demographics no? I mean I don't even know many Germans from Berlin!
we're almost 4 Million. 1 million more than Rome, 2.5 million more than ZRH, twice as many as vienna... and around 200k more in Potsdam.... and for the record: 3 million more than FRA, 2.5 Million more than MUC..... and Berlin has a net increase of around 80k habitants per year,
and it is really unusal for a city that big to have that little intercontinental flights. i'm only aware of the daily TXL-EWR flight from UNited, some QR flights to DOH and a scoot connection to SIN and one daily flight to China. not forget to mention the daily TXL-PHL AA flight in the summer.


and it makes me really really sad that it wont chance once BER will be opened. LH already announced that they wont chance their strategy.

Last edited by Nephoi; Feb 17, 20 at 1:49 pm
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Nephoi View Post
greeting from TXL...

LH flights either start or end in FRA&MUC. so there will be only TXL-MUC and TXL-FRA flights. LH has the same hub strategy as BA. And yeah, this is the reason I came to BA. i often travel to the US and LHR is in the right direction. both FRA and MUC arent...
I get the reasons why LH have the current policy regarding Berlin, and i also donít think that will change once BER opens, but i donít get why theyíre not challenging BA on this route at all. With BAís 7 daily flights i find it hard to believe that the route is not profitable.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Deckter View Post
I get the reasons why LH have the current policy regarding Berlin, and i also don’t think that will change once BER opens, but i don’t get why they’re not challenging BA on this route at all. With BA’s 7 daily flights i find it hard to believe that the route is not profitable.
because it wont fit to their strategy. i suppose, cost would be enormous. also: they dont have the slots in TXL.
and for the record: they have the same strategy for any other airport: DUS, CGN, HAM, STR...

and dont forget the 4 LCY flights. in total: 11 flights.

fun fact: after the bankruptcy of AB LH took over the TXL-JFK flight. sourced it out to EW a few moments later. EW canceled it after some times due to "half empty airplanes". i think (and pls pls pls correct me if I am wrong) its very hard to establish a new route as a new player.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by ahmetdouas View Post
OP, yeah, T3 is for the less trendy routes with less connections, but it's mainly because of a lack of space in T5. I am sure it would suit BA better if there was a T5D built!
Obviously as a terminal T5 is far superior to T3.
So BA are only operating from T3 because of lack of space in T5? I would have thought that it was part of their OW strategy, especially for connections to central and eastern Europe.

Originally Posted by Nephoi View Post
because it wont fit to their strategy. i suppose, cost would be enormous. also: they dont have the slots in TXL.
and for the record: they have the same strategy for any other airport: DUS, CGN, HAM, STR...

and dont forget the 4 LCY flights. in total: 11 flights.

fun fact: after the bankruptcy of AB LH took over the TXL-JFK flight. sourced it out to EW a few moments later. EW canceled it after some time due to "half empty airplanes". i think (and pls pls pls correct me if I am wrong) its very hard to establish a new route as a new player.
AB was OW, so JFK made sense. Why didn't LH move the flight to EWR where they could connect with UA's network? Instead, they gave the route to their LCC and expected planes to be full?
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Old Feb 17, 20, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Deckter View Post
So BA are only operating from T3 because of lack of space in T5? I would have thought that it was part of their OW strategy, especially for connections to central and eastern Europe.



AB was OW, so JFK made sense. Why didn't LH move the flight to EWR where they could connect with UA's network? Instead, they gave the route to their LCC and expected planes to be full?
Yes, why would they bother with 2 terminals otherwise? It's a logistical hassle. I don't think BA really cares about other OW airlines especially in their home airport! (maybe slightly the AA JV routes)
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Old Feb 17, 20, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Deckter View Post
I get the reasons why LH have the current policy regarding Berlin, and i also donít think that will change once BER opens, but i donít get why theyíre not challenging BA on this route at all. With BAís 7 daily flights i find it hard to believe that the route is not profitable.
No doubt itís profitable, in much the same way that KLM can fill 4 flights a day GLA-AMS or AF from EDI-CDG. Sadly, you wonít find those routes available on BA without a connection at a London hub.

LH would clearly rather funnel Berlin pax via their FRA or MUC hubs for intra-EU or long haul, rather than ferry them to another hub.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Deckter View Post
With BA being left to serve the TXL-LHR route on its own, wouldn't it make sense to move let's say 2 out of their 7 daily flights to T3 which is an OW hub? Around half of my incoming TXL flight were connecting in T3 that day, so I'm just guessing that it's a popular connection, especially for pax flying to the US or Central America.
Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
also consistency is important. You donít want some flights on the same route to go from 5 and some from 3 as that way chaos lies.


Originally Posted by Deckter View Post
if BA have no problem in selling flights that require changing airports in London, i donít see why they couldnít have a mixed use of terminals for connection purposes.
It would be a logistics mess for pax if one BA destination was split over the two terminals.

One example: think about IROPS - let's say you are on a service from T5, you're airside in the terminal, and the flight posts a long delay or cancel. The next service is from T3. So now to get to where you are going you have to switch to T3, and BA has move your baggage to the other terminal. It's bad enough when it's a destination that's shared between AA and BA, and split between the two terminals. No need to start having the same carrier split the same destination across the two terminals.

Then there's the complication of minimum connection times - much simpler if one destination is served from one terminal, instead of having to set MCTs based on each individual flight...
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