FAQ: Flying to London on DL

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LHR is a big place and terminals are not connected airside. Airside transfers are done by bus. Landside transfers can be made via the free Heathrow Connect train to T1/2/3. To get from T4 to T5, you can either take train and transfer at T1/2/3 or, depending on timing, use the local bus (free) from T4 to T5.



All Delta Flights depart from London Heathrow Terminal 3:
Check in for DL flights departing LHR T3 is in the same area of the terminal used by VS. This is the southside of the T3 check in area - if looking straight on at the building, go to the left. Business, DM, and PM can use the Upper Class Check in area.

Boston:
DL 58: BOS-LHR...A332.
DL 59: LHR-BOS...A332 (Arrives at Terminal E).

New York:
DL 401: JFK-LHR...A332.
DL 402: JFK-LHR...A332.
DL 403: JFK-LHR...A332.

DL1: LHR-JFK...A332.
DL2: LHR-JFK...A332.
DL3: LHR-JFK...A332.

Atlanta:
DL 30: ATL-LHR...A332.
DL 32: ATL-LHR...A333.

DL 31: LHR-ATL...A332.
DL 33: LHR-ATL...A333.

Detroit:
DL 16: DTW-LHR...A332.
DL 18: DTW-LHR...B763.

DL 17: LHR-DTW...A332.
DL 19: LHR-DTW...B763.

Minneapolis:
DL 10: MSP-LHR...B763.

DL 11: LHR-MSP...B763.

Philadelphia: No longer operates.
DL 194: PHL-LHR...75W.
DL 195: LHR-PHL...75W.

Seattle: Now operated by VS.
DL 4349: SEA-LHR...B789.
DL 4348: LHR-SEA...B789.

Some notes on seats: I have not discussed extensively, as it has been covered ad nauseam on the forum.

Comfort+ - LINK

764:
The J the configuration is 1-2-1. If traveling with a companion, the two middle seats work well, as they're next to each other. With the window seats, the seat console is between the passenger and the aisle on the odd seats, minimizing being bumped by someone in the aisle. Some people do not like the forward seats (1-3) due to galley noise while others like these seats for their privacy.

For Y seats, row 30 (exit row) has tons of space. Comfort+ are rows 15-18. Row 15 is the bulkhead C+ seat - opinions vary, but the legroom here is not as good as on the 763. Refer to the C+ FAQ for pictures.

763:
The 763s on this route are the modified a/c with lie flat J seats. The rows with C+ on the 76Ws typically used on LHR flights are 16-21.

DL Forum 763 Mod Tracking (lots of info on seats) - LINK

Beginning in spring 2018, many of Delta's B767 flights to London were switched to A330s instead, which is generally thought to be a more comfortable aircraft type, especially in business class.

Want to see London on approach to LHR?
If you want the chance to get a good look at London when landing @ LHR (assuming the weather cooperates), sit on the right side of the a/c. If winds dictate landing patterns over the city, you'll see it from this side. Pics from one of my landings.

Immigration & Baggage Collection @ LHR

The FA's will provide a landing card for those with non EU/EEA passports. If you're staying in the UK, you'll need the address (hotel, residence, etc.) for your landing card. Passport control will request the landing card and your passport.

Upon deplaning, you will head to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) checkpoint if remaining in the UK or follow the purple "flight connections" signage if you have an onward flight from any LHR terminal.

If you are connecting, refer to the Heathrow website for details on other terminals and specific flight connections.

When flying BE, the FA's hand out FastTrack passes, which often speed the process of entering the UK, the immigration queues can take a while.
  • T3: As you enter the immigration hall, the UK/EU desks are immediately to your left, keep going straight. The entry to the non-EU passport queue will be ahead on the left and FastTrack will be directly ahead. Keep an eye on the regular queue because it's often faster than FastTrack (more agents).
  • T4: If looking at the UKBA desks, the FastTrack lane has been moved to the center of the passport control area and is in between the EU and non-EU passport queues. In the absence of a FastTrack card, I try to be prompt in getting to passport control...closer to the front, the better!

**Also, be sure to have a copy of your itinerary with you as border agents sometimes ask for evidence of your planned departure from the UK.

Baggage:
After clearing passport control, pax head downstairs to collect their baggage (T3 or T4). LHR baggage is generally pretty good and the priority tags work most of the time^. There are cash machines, vending machines, and restrooms in the baggage hall.

Upon collecting baggage, pax pass through customs and then enter the arrivals hall. Booked taxi courier drivers are often waiting across from the exit doors.
  • T3: As you exit customs into the arrivals hall, follow the lane around - the ramp to the Underground and Heathrow Connect/Express will be on the left. Hotel bus shuttles (Hoppa bus) and the taxi rank are also to the left and outside.
  • T4: Go to the left for the Heathrow Connect/Express trains and go to the right for Underground trains (The Underground (AKA the Tube) is the cheapest way into London via the Piccadilly Line; Heathrow Connect to Paddington with a few stops in between is in the middle; the Heathrow Express is the most expensive direct service to Paddington). Rental car and limousine desks are to the right. Rental car and hotel shuttle buses (Hotel Hoppa) are outside of the terminal - follow posted signs.


Baggage storage is also available outside of security.
  • T3: Left Luggage is near the WH Smith in the arrivals hall.
  • T4: Exit to the right and it is across from the escalators that go down to the Tube station.
It currently costs 5GBP/item for 0-4 hours, 11GBP/item for 4-24 hours storage, and 5GBP/item for each additional 24 hours.

Lounges:

Arrivals @ LHR T3:

D1, DM, and PM can use the VS Revivals Lounge on the mezzanine level. Unlike with departures lounges, DM and PM are not allowed to bring a guest along to the Revivals Lounge (unless flying in D1/Upper Class).

Departures:

LHR T3: Delta One passengers, DMs, and PMs have access to the VS Clubhouse lounge. DMs and PMs may bring one guest who is traveling on the same flight. A 3rd party lounge (the "No. 1 Traveller" Lounge) is offered to GM traveling in economy or Premium Economy.


NOTE: Although the dl.com Sky Club Locations page states that Sky Club members get access to the SkyTeam lounge at LHR, I've had agents at the desk there tell me that my SC card does not matter and my ST Elite+ status is what gets me access unless flying in J.
FT Discussion:
Paid SC Member Denied Access to LHR Sky Team Lounge

Check in and security at LHR T4 (AF, KL, and other SkyTeam partners):
Check in for SkyPriority and J pax is at the desks used for SkyTeam pax.

As far as time for check in, Delta Check In Time Requirements. On that note, I have family (Medallions) who have checked in (with checked baggage) right at 60 minutes before the flight and made it through security and to the plane with a few minutes to spare.

FastTrack for the security checkpoint - The FT lane is to the left if looking at the main security queuing point. Pax flying in J can use FT. I have been able to use FT when flying in Y by showing my DM card. Not sure if it is the policy, but I last used it on March 2013 with no issue. Others have also reported success using the FT lane by showing their credentials.

NOTE: Increased security measures at LHR security checkpoints are creating delays - Email I received from DL LINK

If flying AF or KL from LHR, the latest check in time changes effective 1 Feb 2012: Changes to Latest Check-in Time at LHR on AF/KL
More discussion on London and the UK:
FT UK & Ireland Forum - LINK
UK Air Passenger Duty

DL paid ground transfer JFK-EWR/LGA on TATL flights - LINK

Delta and Virgin Atlantic (VS) Partnership:
dl.com: VIRGIN ATLANTIC PARTNERSHIP FAQS
FT thread: Delta Virgin Atlantic Partnership

NOTE: At LHR, DL and VS use T3 while other SkyTeam carriers use T4. These terminals are not connected air or landside.

VS Fare Classes:
VS fare classes do not align with DL fare classes. VS fare buckets:
Upper Class - J, C, D, I, Z, G (G is an award & upgrade fare class)
Premium Economy W, S, H, K, P
Economy Y, B, R, L, U, M, E, Q, X, V, N, O

Note that because Virgin Atlantic uses the same G fare class for both award tickets and upgrades, if using miles or GUCs to upgrade a Virgin Atlantic flight, it will be rebooked in G and may thus show up to Delta as ineligible for mileage earning with SkyMiles. This is incorrect, as upgraded tickets should earn miles based on the original coach ticket -- so if upgrading Virgin Atlantic flights, pay close attention to your SkyMiles earning and be ready to follow up with Delta to get the miles credited correctly.

dl.com - earning miles on VS (VS is a Tier 1 partner.): LINK

Medallion Benefits flying on VS (DM, PM, GM):
- Priority Check-In
- Priority Baggage Handling
- Priority Security
- Priority Boarding
- Baggage fee waiver for one additional piece up to 23kg (~50lbs)
- VS Clubhouse access with a same-day TATL flight on DL or VS (GMs: only at BOS/EWR/IAD/JFK/LAX/SFO, not LGW/LHR; PM have access at LGW, but not LHR unless in J; DM have access at LGW and LHR)

NOTE: VS J pax (and presumably Medallions) are now eligible for Fast Track security for connections, departures, and arrivals at LHR T3: LINK.

Clubhouse (Lounge) Access:

DL/VS J passengers get access to VS Clubhouse lounges at LGW/LHR and BOS/EWR/IAD/JFK/LAX/SFO with a same-day TATL flight on either DL or VS.

GM in W or Y have access to the BOS/EWR/IAD/JFK/LAX/SFO lounges but not LGW/LHR.

DM or PM in W or Y may use the LGW and LHR Clubhouse lounges as well as BOS/EWR/IAD/JFK/LAX/SFO, and may bring 1 guest traveling on the same flight with them.

DM/PM/GM in W or Y at LHR T3 have access to "No. 1 Traveller" lounge instead of, (for DMs in addition to), the VS Clubhouse.

LHR T3:
al330729's pics from the VS Clubhouse at LHR T3 - LINK

JFK:
As a DM flying JFK-LHR, I was able to use the VS Clubhouse at JFK. For pics, please see:
- Lounge - LINK
- Food - LINK
- Showers/Spa - LINK

VS Revivals (Arrivals) Lounge at LHR T3:
alee0729 had no issues accessing the VS Revivals Lounge following a DL arrival into T3. Shower pic - LINK

On Dec. 21, 2013, I stopped by the Revivals Lounge to get clarification on access for DL Medallion members. Per the agent, only pax flying Upper Class (Business) can currently access the lounge due to space issues; DL Medallion status does not = access. This may change once some DL flights start using T3 in Spring 2014.

Upgrading on VS-Operated Flights:
Virgin Atlantic Code Share Flight Questions
Using SM to Upgrade on VS

Access to Extra Leg Room Seats / Exit Rows on VS-operated Flights:
Possible Improvements to the DL-VS Relationship
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Old Nov 21, 17, 5:47 am
  #1591  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by C W View Post
If you are PM or DM you and a companion can use the entire Upper Class Wing, including private security, immigration, and the Clubhouse. No fee for 1 Clubhouse guest.
Excellent, thank you.
shipitkthx is offline  
Old May 19, 18, 4:38 pm
  #1592  
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Originally Posted by C W View Post
If you are PM or DM you and a companion can use the entire Upper Class Wing, including private security, immigration, and the Clubhouse. No fee for 1 Clubhouse guest.
It's been a few months, so can someone confirm that this is still true?

In my particular case I will be a DL PM flying in PE on VS metal. As I understand it, I can use the VS Clubhouse on departure only from both JFK and LHR, but I can also use the Upper Class Wing ("private" drop off) when getting dropped off at LHR for my LHR-JFK flight? The language on the DL website suspiciously leaves off mention of the UC Wing, talking only about PM/DM access to the Clubhouse and Revivals.

From other threads, it seems that I should ask the FA on my JFK-LHR flight for a Fast Track pass, though getting one is a bit YMMV.
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Old May 19, 18, 6:14 pm
  #1593  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL GM, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 7,966
Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
It's been a few months, so can someone confirm that this is still true?

In my particular case I will be a DL PM flying in PE on VS metal. As I understand it, I can use the VS Clubhouse on departure only from both JFK and LHR, but I can also use the Upper Class Wing ("private" drop off) when getting dropped off at LHR for my LHR-JFK flight? The language on the DL website suspiciously leaves off mention of the UC Wing, talking only about PM/DM access to the Clubhouse and Revivals.

From other threads, it seems that I should ask the FA on my JFK-LHR flight for a Fast Track pass, though getting one is a bit YMMV.

Yes, you can. Ask to be dropped off there. They will say your name to security and then buzz you in. It's utterly fabulous.
gooselee likes this.
jdrtravel is offline  
Old May 20, 18, 9:40 am
  #1594  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: UK
Programs: VS Gold
Posts: 499
Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Yes, you can. Ask to be dropped off there. They will say your name to security and then buzz you in. It's utterly fabulous.
Going to have to be a buzzkill here and say unfortunately no he cannot - the drive-thru checkin is for Biz passengers only, status (be it VS Gold or DL DM/PM) alone does not give you entry. You'll have to go through the usual T3 entrance and check-in at the bagdrop desks, but status passengers travelling in Y/W can still proceed up the lift and then through the magic door into the private security wing.
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Old May 20, 18, 11:52 am
  #1595  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,079
Originally Posted by SlimpyJones View Post
Going to have to be a buzzkill here and say unfortunately no he cannot - the drive-thru checkin is for Biz passengers only, status (be it VS Gold or DL DM/PM) alone does not give you entry. You'll have to go through the usual T3 entrance and check-in at the bagdrop desks, but status passengers travelling in Y/W can still proceed up the lift and then through the magic door into the private security wing.
Originally Posted by C W View Post
If you are PM or DM you and a companion can use the entire Upper Class Wing, including private security, immigration, and the Clubhouse. No fee for 1 Clubhouse guest.
Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Yes, you can. Ask to be dropped off there. They will say your name to security and then buzz you in. It's utterly fabulous.
​​​​​​​
We seem to have "alternative facts" here. So which is it? Who is Kelly Anne Conway?
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Old May 21, 18, 3:10 am
  #1596  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: UK
Programs: VS Gold
Posts: 499
This would be one of those times for a Venn Diagram! Alas I have no time nor means to make one, haha.

Right, I'll try and clear this up.

There are two ways into the Upper Class wing, the first is...

Drive-Thru Checkin: For clarity, this is the private lane off the Terminal 3 ring-road that takes you into the Upper Class wing, starting with a separate check-in area where you are greeted by a VS rep when your car pulls up and your bags taken away. This feature is for Upper Class or Delta One passengers only, status has no bearing on being able to use this.

The second way in is..

The "Magic Door": This is accessible from the upper level of departures and takes you into the Upper Class wing in between the check-in desks and private security. This area is open to Upper Class/Delta One passengers who did not use Drive-Thru checkin as well as VS Gold and qualifying Delta folks (DM/PM/GM too I believe?) who are travelling in Premium & Economy.

Hope that clears it up.
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Old May 21, 18, 7:43 pm
  #1597  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL GM, Bonvoy Gold
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Originally Posted by SlimpyJones View Post
Going to have to be a buzzkill here and say unfortunately no he cannot - the drive-thru checkin is for Biz passengers only, status (be it VS Gold or DL DM/PM) alone does not give you entry. You'll have to go through the usual T3 entrance and check-in at the bagdrop desks, but status passengers travelling in Y/W can still proceed up the lift and then through the magic door into the private security wing.
Originally Posted by SlimpyJones View Post
This would be one of those times for a Venn Diagram! Alas I have no time nor means to make one, haha.

Right, I'll try and clear this up.

There are two ways into the Upper Class wing, the first is...

Drive-Thru Checkin: For clarity, this is the private lane off the Terminal 3 ring-road that takes you into the Upper Class wing, starting with a separate check-in area where you are greeted by a VS rep when your car pulls up and your bags taken away. This feature is for Upper Class or Delta One passengers only, status has no bearing on being able to use this.

The second way in is..

The "Magic Door": This is accessible from the upper level of departures and takes you into the Upper Class wing in between the check-in desks and private security. This area is open to Upper Class/Delta One passengers who did not use Drive-Thru checkin as well as VS Gold and qualifying Delta folks (DM/PM/GM too I believe?) who are travelling in Premium & Economy.

Hope that clears it up.

A few months ago I was flying back to the states in Premium Economy with my spouse who is DL PM. We asked our Uber black car driver to bring us to the Drive thur check in. He happened to be a former Virgin employee and we explained that we were flying PE but had elite status, he said no problem. The driver stated our names to the person on the intercom (and that's all he said, there was no questioning at all) and we were buzzed in right away and warmly welcomed by agents. Our bags were taken at curbside. So perhaps this was not the official policy but I can promise you that we used this check in service with no problem whatsoever.

Last edited by jdrtravel; May 21, 18 at 7:48 pm
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Old May 21, 18, 9:32 pm
  #1598  
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I'm so confused... I may just have to upgrade my return trip to UC so I don't have to figure this out.
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Old May 22, 18, 3:23 am
  #1599  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: UK
Programs: VS Gold
Posts: 499
Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
A few months ago I was flying back to the states in Premium Economy with my spouse who is DL PM. We asked our Uber black car driver to bring us to the Drive thur check in. He happened to be a former Virgin employee and we explained that we were flying PE but had elite status, he said no problem. The driver stated our names to the person on the intercom (and that's all he said, there was no questioning at all) and we were buzzed in right away and warmly welcomed by agents. Our bags were taken at curbside. So perhaps this was not the official policy but I can promise you that we used this check in service with no problem whatsoever.
Hah, how odd! Well I suppose there's always some exceptions to the rule. Maybe it is worth gooselee giving it a try and reporting back!
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Old May 22, 18, 9:01 am
  #1600  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by SlimpyJones View Post
Hah, how odd! Well I suppose there's always some exceptions to the rule. Maybe it is worth gooselee giving it a try and reporting back!
I think the thing is that it's not fully clear. VS advertises the UC wing as being for UC & D1 customers. However, DL DM's and PM's are also told they are able to check at UC check in. So it's vague.
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Old May 22, 18, 9:50 am
  #1601  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: UK
Programs: VS Gold
Posts: 499
Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
I think the thing is that it's not fully clear. VS advertises the UC wing as being for UC & D1 customers. However, DL DM's and PM's are also told they are able to check at UC check in. So it's vague.
Indeed, to the uninitiated that would sound like the drive-thru checkin, though I suppose to more seasoned VS travellers this would mean the business class checkin desks in the main departures area, which is my interpretation. I agree, it is vague.
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Old May 22, 18, 9:55 am
  #1602  
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The way that the drive-through check-in is set up, if your driver enters the area where you buzz up to be let in and the agent determines you're not eligible, it could be quite a project to get back out, especially if there is a car waiting behind you. So they may just let you in even if officially you're not supposed to be allowed.

I wouldn't necessarily press your luck, but just an observation ...

The drive through check-in is cool and fairly unique, especially with the staff taking your luggage out of the trunk of the car for you as if you were arriving at a luxury hotel, which AFAIK doesn't generally happen anywhere else, even if flying first. But it's ultimately not a big loss to miss it, and if you were going to choose to arrive at LHR via train there's no way to make use of it anyway. The real value proposition is the private security channel, which is definitely available to PM/DM flying coach via the magic door in the terminal, and the Clubhouse, which (despite Virgin's marketing implying the Upper Class Wing feeds directly into the Clubhouse) is on the other side of the terminal and requires a walk to get there for everyone.
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Old May 22, 18, 11:21 am
  #1603  
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sorry for the naive question but i am not clear. i'm arriving at LHR from Seattle on VS in premium economy (delta ticket stock). i'm PM, but will have a non-status companion.

do we have any arrival lounge options?
will we be able to utilize fast track immigration?
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Old May 22, 18, 11:40 am
  #1604  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by PV_Premier View Post
sorry for the naive question but i am not clear. i'm arriving at LHR from Seattle on VS in premium economy (delta ticket stock). i'm PM, but will have a non-status companion.

do we have any arrival lounge options?
will we be able to utilize fast track immigration?
Guests are not granted arrivals lounge access, only you would get it. When we flew in PE last time they did not automatically pass out fast track passes, but when we asked the FA for two and explained that one of us is Delta PM, he cheerfully gave them to us. My advice: Don't make it the first thing you ask for. Identify an FA who seems friendly and helpful, and make some small talk with them, then ask for the pass later once you are "friends."
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Old May 22, 18, 12:38 pm
  #1605  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
The way that the drive-through check-in is set up, if your driver enters the area where you buzz up to be let in and the agent determines you're not eligible, it could be quite a project to get back out, especially if there is a car waiting behind you. So they may just let you in even if officially you're not supposed to be allowed.

I wouldn't necessarily press your luck, but just an observation ...

The drive through check-in is cool and fairly unique, especially with the staff taking your luggage out of the trunk of the car for you as if you were arriving at a luxury hotel, which AFAIK doesn't generally happen anywhere else, even if flying first. But it's ultimately not a big loss to miss it, and if you were going to choose to arrive at LHR via train there's no way to make use of it anyway. The real value proposition is the private security channel, which is definitely available to PM/DM flying coach via the magic door in the terminal, and the Clubhouse, which (despite Virgin's marketing implying the Upper Class Wing feeds directly into the Clubhouse) is on the other side of the terminal and requires a walk to get there for everyone.
Where do you go to check in if you want to use the private security? Do you get to check in at the Upper Class desk, or do you have to check in with everyone else if you are a Platinum or Diamond flying Economy on Delta? Thanks.
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