Buying prepaid SIM Card for US at LHR

Old May 21, 2022, 7:14 am
  #1  
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Buying prepaid SIM Card for US at LHR

I just realised that I left my prepaid SIM card for the US at home. Is ist possible to buy one (or a British one that works in the US) at LHR? Im staying there tonight and travel to the US tomorrow, so airside or landside would be ok for me.
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Old May 21, 2022, 7:48 am
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Are you sure you do not have a phone that takes e-sims? Downloading one from an app like Airalo is much easier, and you can set it up that data goes through that sim, while still having your main number active to receive calls if needed.
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Old May 21, 2022, 7:48 am
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There are some SIM card vending machines, if I remember correctly, but I tend not to pay much notice to them so can't offer much more help than that. Hopefully someone more useful will be able to tell you more!
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Old May 21, 2022, 7:56 am
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3 but some people say it's slow there. An esim is the way to go if you can
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Old May 21, 2022, 7:58 am
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Thank you all.

Unfortunately no ESIM possible.
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Old May 21, 2022, 8:00 am
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There is also the SIM Local "shop" in the arrivals hall but that might be UK centric. If you have time, it might be worth a 5 minute detour to ask?
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Old May 21, 2022, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by sammyg901
3 but some people say it's slow there. An esim is the way to go if you can
I've just googled esim for travel and never realised this was a possibility. Anyone got any recommendations?
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Old May 21, 2022, 9:30 am
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Where are you going in the US? Some airports (JFK comes to mind) have SIM card machines available on arrival.
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Old May 21, 2022, 10:50 am
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Any UK SIM will work in the US but the cost will make you cry. I cannot believe that you will have a problem buying a local SIM at the airport in the US. Even the poorest/least developed countries in the world can manage that.
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Old May 21, 2022, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by steveholt
Where are you going in the US? Some airports (JFK comes to mind) have SIM card machines available on arrival.
Connecting at MIA to IAH. Buying a SIM at MIA would be ok, but I‘d prefer to have the SIM before IAH because we will arrive there very late.
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Old May 21, 2022, 11:19 am
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If you can buy and top up a 3UK sim card at LHR it should let you roam for free within your allowance as long as its activated first in the UK. This may not be the best option for traditional calls and texts but I tend to just use data so it works fine for me.
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Old May 21, 2022, 12:24 pm
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Just bought a 3 sim card at sim local in the arrivals hall. Valid for 30 days. No US calls but plenty of data valid in the UK and the US.

thank you all again.
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Old May 21, 2022, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by ceej123
If you can buy and top up a 3UK sim card at LHR it should let you roam for free within your allowance as long as it’s activated first in the UK. This may not be the best option for traditional calls and texts but I tend to just use data so it works fine for me.
New joiners to 3 no longer receive free roaming. Existing customers keep it but only until they move (or are moved) onto a new contract.
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Old May 21, 2022, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by abraxias
I've just googled esim for travel and never realised this was a possibility. Anyone got any recommendations?
Airalos pretty easy via app - have used in Barbados and Tanzania in the last year.
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Old May 21, 2022, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by DaveS
Any UK SIM will work in the US but the cost will make you cry. I cannot believe that you will have a problem buying a local SIM at the airport in the US. Even the poorest/least developed countries in the world can manage that.
You'd think that right 😁 I haven't seen a SIM card shop at Chicago O'hare nor recall seeing the same at other big US airports.
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