COVID-19 and BA: Using Heathrow T5

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WHAT'S OPEN IN T5?

Current to 16 April 2021. Changes from previous week in red where applicable.
If listed below as open, food and beverage units are currently operating as takeaway only if landside and as full service (with the exception of alcohol) if airside.

Landside - Departures
Boots
Caffè Nero (takeaway only)
Excess Baggage (both units in Zones B and F)
Excess Baggage Wrap
WHSmith (Zone C unit only)

Landside - Arrivals
Boots
Bradley Smith Hair Express Bar
Caffè Nero (both units North and South, takeaway only)
Costa Coffee (takeaway only)
Hotel Reservations / Sim Local
Marks and Spencer
WHSmith

Airside - T5A
Be Relax
Boots (both units on Upper and Lower levels)
Bottega Venetta
Bulgari
Burberry
Cartier

Case
Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar
Chanel
Dior
Glorious Britain
Gordon Ramsay Plane Food
Gucci
Harrods
Hermès
Fortnum & Mason
Kurt Geiger
Louis Vuitton
Paul Smith
Prada

Pret a Manger (Main unit only)
Reiss
Rolex
Smythson

Starbucks
Ted Baker
Tiffany & Co.

Travelex (both North and South units on Upper level only)
Watches of Switzerland
WHSmith (Upper level and South Lower level units only)
WHSmith Bookshop
World of Whiskies
World Duty Free (both North and Main units)

Airside - T5B
Boots
WHSmith
World Duty Free

Airside - T5C
Boots

Airside - Arrivals
World Duty Free (tobacco only)

Other T5 Services
COVID-19 Testing Centre
Meet and Assist
Welcome / Information Desks


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Old Mar 29, 20, 2:33 pm
  #1  
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COVID-19 and BA: Using Heathrow T5

Having past through LHR T5 recently, I made a note what was operating and what has been stopped. This gives the situation as of 29 March 2020, I was quite surprised how much changed since my departure to the USA just over a week ago compared to my return yesterday.

General points
- All BA services now run from T5, along with a few Iberia services. No BA services operate from T3
- T5A and B are working, as are the transits. T5C is closed.
- Based on my experience LHR is quiet but by no means empty.
- There is little point in arriving early, getting through security takes seconds and there is little to do once airside.

Getting to / from LHR
Tube: working on an 8 minute service interval, now that T4 is closed - the T4 loop trains have been redeployed, so the service is now nearly normal.
Heathrow Express (HEX): short trains but running on a 30 minute interval
Buses (e.g. 423 and Night Buses): running as normal
National Express: running as normal, more or less. The staffed counter has been closed but the ticket machines are working. NEx services will close entirely from 6 April onwards, however.
Black taxis: available as usual
Uber: available as usual, assume a 10 minute wait time
Hotel Hoppa bus service: running but not necessarily to timetable
Car parks: open. The Pod is now closed.
Car hire: some are working, Europcar is staffed

Hotels
IHG, Marriott, Hilton and Accor have closed down online bookings for the Heathrow area, this accounts for over 90% of bedrooms in the Heathrow area.
However some hotels are open for those who book directly over the telephone with the front desk (not central reservations)
Sofitel is open on this basis The Sofitel is now closed 1 April 2020.
Hilton Garden Inn T2 and Hatton Cross are open for pre-booked reservations as is the DoubteTree in Bath Road. Online bookings are possible. The DT is often fairly well occupied, it has been sold out a few times. Of the 3 Hatton Cross is the most easy going, DT will email asking for travel confirmation. Most other LHR hotels expect to open on 1 or 4 or 7 July 2020.
Thistle is fully open, including room service hot food, and is available to book online. The Pod is still running. The Pod has been suspended, there is a bus service running to and from bus stop 28.
EDIT 22/4/20: The Thistle is still open for "key workers and Heathrow travellers" however bookings can no longer be done online for dates before 25 May 2020. You can call up the hotel and get a booking +44 80 0330 8086.

Landside
Open services include
- Marks and Spencer Arrivals: fully stocked as far as I could tell, though sandwiches were less abundant than usual. Otherwise it was over 90% normal service I would say. Alcohol available. now closed
- WH Smith
- Boots: both arrivals and departure level, well stocked including wet wipes and hand sanitisers (the latter are kept behind the till)
- Excess Baggage: both arrivals and departure
- Royal Mail post boxes in departures
- toilets
- ATMs (though some are out of service, there are plenty in service)

Closed
Marks and Spencer
All catering and cafés. So Giraffe, Costa, Carluccio's, Caffè Nero, the George
Bradley Smith
Sofitel for non residents - open on a room only basis to those pre-booked there.
Travelex (but forex ATMs are working)
VAT Reclaim (drop box by Customs airside)


Check-in and departures
- All check is now consolidated to the central area
- Iberia checkin has moved to Zone D
- Longhaul or travel to countries with restrictions is Zone G
- First Wing - completely closed
- Club, First, Silver, Gold check-in = Zone H (or the end of G in the mornings).
- Special Assistance and Family check-in Zone G
- Bag drop and oversize = Zone G
The area is well staffed and plenty of BA ground staff are available to help, don't hesitate to ask.

Security
Only South Security is open for local passengers
North Security is used for staff security and Flight Connections (which is running as normal)
No Fast Track, or rather Fast Track is for everyone in that they have plenty of lines running and so no-one is queuing for more than a few seconds
Only 2 passengers can use a line, instead of the usual 4 passengers, the middle pair of tray fill areas are blocked
Shoes off for all passengers (to reduce the contact between passengers and security for non compliant shoes)
Passengers are asked to remove Personal Protective Equipment (with the exception of face masks) going through security. HAL, on their website, are discouraging the use of PPE.
There is a bank of hand sanitisers immediately before security.
Passengers need to wear face masks or face coverings during security. Face masks are available free of charge at the security checkpoints (this is contrary to the impression given by HAL's website).

Airside
All lounges closed, BA, Aspire and Premium Plaza
Concorde Room closed
Duty Free is closed.
All catering is now closed, including Starbucks, The Crown Rivers and Pilots. Food can be obtained from Boots and WH Smith only. This means there are no alcohol, hot food or hot drink options at all.

Shops open are Boots and WH Smith. Both have Meal Deal options going and between them a good selection of food to take away. Boots has a full range of products, including the pharmacy on the upper level. Hand sanitisers are for sale behind the till. The airside WH Smith open is on the lower departure level near A7, the Boots nearby is also open. The larger Boots by South Security is also open. There are no shops open at T5B.
Only BA Customer Service desk operating is the one by gate 13.

ATMs available and working
Royal Mail is still collecting post from the box by Hermes.
All toilets open
Moving walkways are all operating
Prayer Rooms open.
No staffed Travelex provision, just the forex ATMs.
There is no way to get alcohol airside, and you can only bring 100ml liquids through security. Presumably duty free bags from connecting services are still allowed but I haven't seen this happen.

Arriving into LHR
Arriving into LHR T5 is fairly close to normal. The transits are working, as are the e-passport gates.
Both exit areas to landside are open
Flight Connections operating as normal via North security
No retail sales in the arrival area, and no HEX sales there either
There are no systematic temperature checks, however some flights are being met by the Port Health Authority (PHA) staff.
The Senior Cabin Crew member will make an announcement about an hour before arrival into LHR asking for anyone with Covid-19 symptoms to make themselves known, so that the flight crew can contact the PHA.

Access into T5
Access is freely allowed however HAL is asking only travellers to enter the building, or those helping those travelling, between arrival at the building and the mobility assistance teams by Zone H. There is no systematic checking of this, but there are still plenty of police teams working the building and they would probably approach someone looking out of place.
For those who need mobility assistance, HAL are stressing their ability to meet people off tubes, trains, taxis etc. Use this email to ensure all is prepared in advance:
[email protected]

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; May 27, 20 at 5:10 am
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Old Mar 29, 20, 2:33 pm
  #2  
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There are plenty of these and similar signs from BA and HA:L up. There are also a lot of new red hand sanitiser boxes installed on the walls, including by security.



General view of Departures. Quiet but not empty.



Not many departures, but note the new destination, to IOM on a Loganair turbo prop. This is the combined T3 and T5 flight schedule for a Sunday afternoon and evening.




This sign is outside the lounges and Concorde Room.




I still got the usual BA customer service survey, but maybe it is a sanity checker:



Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Mar 29, 20 at 3:02 pm
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Old Mar 29, 20, 2:50 pm
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Thanks CWS - a comprehensive overview!

Does anyone know if the T5 Avis/Budget is still operating? Looking at car hire they currently only quote from/to their off-site facility.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 3:17 pm
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Thanks CWS ... really interesting. I had to raise a smile when I noticed that the only flight with a gate had ended up as Gate A10.... surely not?!
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Old Mar 29, 20, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by ThatT1Feeling View Post
Thanks CWS ... really interesting. I had to raise a smile when I noticed that the only flight with a gate had ended up as Gate A10.... surely not?!
Actually the airbridge gates are full of aircraft. They just aren't going anywhere.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 3:23 pm
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Security screening in T5B and T5C is now closed, so connecting passengers (the few that there are) will have to travel to T5A for Flight Connections.

T5C was due to close entirely today.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 3:32 pm
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A link to this thread has been added to the BA Forum COVID-19 Dashboard
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Old Mar 29, 20, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
Security screening in T5B and T5C is now closed, so connecting passengers (the few that there are) will have to travel to T5A for Flight Connections.

T5C was due to close entirely today.
A380’s continue to arrive until tomorrow, so T5C will be closing to all staff and customers starting on Wednesday.
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Old Mar 29, 20, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by CKBA View Post
Does anyone know if the T5 Avis/Budget is still operating? Looking at car hire they currently only quote from/to their off-site facility.
It's been closed for a while. I turned up there on 20th March and it was closed, I was told it was closed earlier that week.
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Old Apr 1, 20, 3:11 pm
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The HGI Hatton Cross appears to still be open since they have just emailed me about an upcoming reservation to ask whether I am still coming.

If it of any use this is the letter they have attached explaining what procedures are in place at the hotel https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zn7...ew?usp=sharing
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Old Apr 1, 20, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
no HEX sales there either
The one silver lining in all of this!!
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Old Apr 2, 20, 12:10 pm
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Not directly BA-related (LGW/LHR unlikely to be needed!) but I've just had an email from National Express
  • From 23:59 on Sunday 5 April all of our coach services will be temporarily suspended until further notice
  • With immediate effect we are no longer selling coach tickets on our website or through any sales channels for journeys after this date
  • We will contact you again, ahead of time, when this situation changes
For those of you that have an upcoming journey with us, if you would like to amend your booking, you can do so for free, for travel any time in the next 12 months. There is no need to contact us straightaway, just complete our ticket amendment form before your original outward journey.
If you do not wish to amend your ticket to another date, we will fully refund you. If you haven’t already done so, please complete our refund form and we will process your refund within 28 days.
* My red highlight.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 12:50 pm
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To add to the detailed notes from CWS, concerning getting to and from LHR. National Express will suspend all services from 5th April at 23.59. I assume that RailAir from Woking etc would also be affected, as this is operated by National Express.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 1:31 pm
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A note on coaches Megabus have ceased operating in England from today and National Express from Sunday. With NX no coaches can now be booked.

Amazed you’re still managing to travel CWS - do take care
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Old Apr 2, 20, 1:38 pm
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I thought the Sofitel would be the last hotel to close, in and around the airport.

But I suppose the thistle is connected to t5 , by the pods and much cheaper. For now the pods are running still, I assume.
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