FAQ: Flying to London on DL

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Old Apr 7, 19, 1:29 am   -   Wikipost
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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 May 22, 18, 12:41 pm
  #1606  
 
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Originally Posted by flyerslc View Post
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.
You can check in at the UC desk if you are PM or DM, regardless of cabin. You will then be directed to the private security.
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Old May 22, 18, 12:43 pm
  #1607  
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Originally Posted by flyerslc View Post
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.
There is an Upper Class desk in the main check-in area downstairs, which you can use. Similar to how any Delta check-in area will have Sky Priority desks at one end. In theory you might be able to use the Upper Class Wing check-in desks (you'd just go through the magic door and keep walking straight rather than turning right toward the private security channel), but not sure.
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Old May 22, 18, 9:09 pm
  #1608  
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These last few posts have been exceptionally helpful. Thank you all!
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Old May 23, 18, 8:14 am
  #1609  
 
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
These last few posts have been exceptionally helpful. Thank you all!
Seconded! We will be leaving Heathrow later this summer and this is very useful info. Thanks.
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Old May 29, 18, 10:24 am
  #1610  
 
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
There is an Upper Class desk in the main check-in area downstairs, which you can use. Similar to how any Delta check-in area will have Sky Priority desks at one end. In theory you might be able to use the Upper Class Wing check-in desks (you'd just go through the magic door and keep walking straight rather than turning right toward the private security channel), but not sure.
Thanks for this post. As someone said upthread, it almost feels like a venn diagram would be helpful. I'm a PM and don't care much about private check in but I do like to avoid lines whenever possible. Especially since I'm traveling with the in laws and that adds a big multiplier to the stress factor so anything I can do to limit it is a plus. Sounds like I should just check on at the upper class line in the regular terminal and ask about what security line to go through.

I still am not sure what lounges I can access, and I can bring one guest in with me or not. But I've only read the first and last five pages of a 108 page thread. So maybe that info is in there somewhere.
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Old May 29, 18, 10:28 am
  #1611  
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Originally Posted by Zeeb View Post
Thanks for this post. As someone said upthread, it almost feels like a venn diagram would be helpful. I'm a PM and don't care much about private check in but I do like to avoid lines whenever possible. Especially since I'm traveling with the in laws and that adds a big multiplier to the stress factor so anything I can do to limit it is a plus. Sounds like I should just check on at the upper class line in the regular terminal and ask about what security line to go through.

I still am not sure what lounges I can access, and I can bring one guest in with me or not. But I've only read the first and last five pages of a 108 page thread. So maybe that info is in there somewhere.
PM gets self + 1 guest at the Clubhouse. If you're traveling in coach or premium economy with more than 1 non-elite traveler unfortunately there's no way for you all to get into the Clubhouse, your only option to get everyone in a lounge together would be if you have a Priority Pass membership with sufficient guesting privileges. Or you could pick your favorite traveling companion and go to the Clubhouse together and leave everyone else behind.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 11:38 am
  #1612  
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
PM gets self + 1 guest at the Clubhouse. If you're traveling in coach or premium economy with more than 1 non-elite traveler unfortunately there's no way for you all to get into the Clubhouse, your only option to get everyone in a lounge together would be if you have a Priority Pass membership with sufficient guesting privileges. Or you could pick your favorite traveling companion and go to the Clubhouse together and leave everyone else behind.
I see in the wiki that guest-of-PM access to clubhouse requires that the guest is on the same flight as the PM, but I cannot find this language on any of the DL/VS websites that I've searched for.

Is the wiki still current or did this rule change? Or is it an unwritten rule (and if so, strictly enforced or YMMV)?

Just learned that a colleague is departing LHR 30 mins before my flight home. She is on AA (which I gather also uses T3). Goal is to share a car from our office to LHR that day, but I'd a) like to go early to visit the clubhouse and b) would like to guest her in if at all possible, vs. thanking her for the ride and letting her languish in the terminal.

Not trying to circumvent lounge access policies or anything, just trying to understand what the current policies actually are!
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Old Jun 5, 18, 12:16 pm
  #1613  
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
I see in the wiki that guest-of-PM access to clubhouse requires that the guest is on the same flight as the PM, but I cannot find this language on any of the DL/VS websites that I've searched for.

Is the wiki still current or did this rule change? Or is it an unwritten rule (and if so, strictly enforced or YMMV)?

Just learned that a colleague is departing LHR 30 mins before my flight home. She is on AA (which I gather also uses T3). Goal is to share a car from our office to LHR that day, but I'd a) like to go early to visit the clubhouse and b) would like to guest her in if at all possible, vs. thanking her for the ride and letting her languish in the terminal.

Not trying to circumvent lounge access policies or anything, just trying to understand what the current policies actually are!
If she were traveling on a different DL or VS flight I think you'd probably be able to get in. But with her flying AA I think officially you are not eligible in this case, but worth a try anyway. I'd recommend presenting your boarding pass and DL elite card prominently, and say "and I have a guest" and hope they don't ask to see their boarding pass -- this has often worked for me at the Sky Club (and may even be Sky Club policy based on how often it's worked for me, not sure). But I think they are likely to ask.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 12:34 pm
  #1614  
 
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Went through late last week. No issues using the Upper Class line for check in and security (in the general terminal, I didn't try the Upper Class Wing checkin) as a PM +3 all on the same reservation. And also no issues getting in to the Clubhouse with a +1.

I will say though that Heathrow might have the worst signage of any major airport I've been to. They sure don't make it obvious where things are.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 9:24 pm
  #1615  
 
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I had a bad experience upon landing at LHR on Thursday 24 May, but a great experience prior to takeoff on Tuesday 29 May.

I was on VS 46 JFK-LHR and had a very uneventful flight in PE. I slept most of the way and didn't get to know any of the FAs, and as a result didn't ask for a Fast Track pass. I deplaned on schedule at 0725, but didn't reach my checked bag beyond the UK Border until 0910. The line through non-EU immigration stretched out of the immigration hall and well back around the corner and into the corridor between the escalator and the entrance to the immigration hall. The UK immigration officer was pleasant and I got through talking to her with no problems, but because of my onward travel schedule I missed out on the Revivals lounge.

Returning to LHR (I had taken the Caledonian Sleeper overnight train from Inverness to Euston Station), I reached LHR around 1030; my flight, VS 9, departed at 1545. I arrived at LHR via the TfL Rail (formerly Heathrow Connect) train from Paddington (I went from Euston to there via the 205 bus), and the downstairs joint Delta/VS check-in area was the most convenient for me. Interestingly, VS doesn't subject you to the 20 questions session in line for check-in that Delta does. Only had to wait for one person in the Upper Class check-in area (I was on a 25k mile upgrade from PE to UC). I got a cardstock BP which worked in the scanner which opened the glass door to VIP security. Got through security without any issues, and got to the VS Clubhouse ("Lounge H") easily; the elevator has a sort of couch in the rear, reminiscent of the Duke & Duke building in "Trading Places". Got a warm welcome from the concierges there, and then asked about the famous jacuzzi (sadly, they took it out), and ended up being able to take a shower (highly recommended, the shower I was assigned had a "steam shower" function along with a large overhead shower head reminiscent of Holiday Inns). This made me feel really refreshed and relaxed. I really enjoyed my clubhouse time, which warmed me up for a great flight to JFK.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 9:58 pm
  #1616  
 
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
PM gets self + 1 guest at the Clubhouse. If you're traveling in coach or premium economy with more than 1 non-elite traveler unfortunately there's no way for you all to get into the Clubhouse,
It was 3-4 years ago and I know the rules have changed many times since, but I was traveling with 2 friends and I asked what the rules were. The lady said I can bring one in for free and the 2nd would cost 80. I owed one of them big time, so I guested him in and told the other he could pay it if he wanted (he still does talk to me, but occasionally reminds me of this)

Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
I see in the wiki that guest-of-PM access to clubhouse requires that the guest is on the same flight as the PM, but I cannot find this language on any of the DL/VS websites that I've searched for.
In 2016 I was in that situation -- I was flying LHR-JFK-LAX (Y over the pond with an RUC successfully applied JFK-LAX) and my companion (different than the two above) was on the VS non stop. I tried to get him in, but no luck. I felt bad because his flight left a couple hours after mine and we had gotten to the airport earlier than normal so I could enjoy the Clubhouse.

Last edited by TheMadBrewer; Jun 12, 18 at 12:31 pm
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Old Jun 5, 18, 10:59 pm
  #1617  
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Thanks all. I may need to think through strategy. I selfishly don't want to skip the clubhouse after what will be a very long work trip, but if we attempt and are denied entry, I will certainly be obligated to hang around the terminal with her.

Perhaps I should schedule a business meeting that morning instead...
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Old Jun 12, 18, 6:15 am
  #1618  
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@gooselee, please share your results; I'm flying JFK-LHR on VS next month around the same time that my +1 is flying a DL flight departing from T4 and I'd like to have breakfast with her in the Clubhouse, if possible. Thanks!

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jun 12, 18 at 6:28 am
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Old Jun 12, 18, 6:25 am
  #1619  
 
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I was flying out of LHR on Delta metal a few weeks ago. I'm a lowly Silver Medallion and thus not entitled to Clubhouse access. I was flying with my wife however who is Platinum Medallion. They let both of us in - she has legit access and I'm her +1.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 7:39 am
  #1620  
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Originally Posted by dmac7273 View Post
I was flying out of LHR on Delta metal a few weeks ago. I'm a lowly Silver Medallion and thus not entitled to Clubhouse access. I was flying with my wife however who is Platinum Medallion. They let both of us in - she has legit access and I'm her +1.
To clarify, you and your wife were on the same flight? If so, then that access is to be expected. Still, good to know there was no trouble with guest access.

My flight is in 2.5 weeks. Will report back if I try to guest my colleague in (and I will of course be polite and deferential to the lounge agent's decision, whatever it may be).
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