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 Sep 17, 16, 1:21 pm
  #1426  
 
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What is the actual 'lowest' biz class award tier? 62,5000 each way it sounds like? Seems 140K round trip on Virgin(ATL starting) is what is coming up the most? Pre-Planning miles usage for 10yr anniversary trip with wife to Europe next year. She has never flown in the lie-flat/premium cabin and want to set that up. She doesn't travel for work and doesn't fly that much.
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Old Sep 17, 16, 2:46 pm
  #1427  
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
What is the actual 'lowest' biz class award tier? 62,5000 each way it sounds like? Seems 140K round trip on Virgin(ATL starting) is what is coming up the most? Pre-Planning miles usage for 10yr anniversary trip with wife to Europe next year. She has never flown in the lie-flat/premium cabin and want to set that up. She doesn't travel for work and doesn't fly that much.
For flights starting Jan 1, 140k round trip is the new lowest Europe award price for business class. Partner flights, including Virgin, should only ever show up at a single price (the lowest one).

For flights on its own metal, Delta has sometimes offered sales below the prevailing "lowest" price for business class to Europe, though.
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Old Sep 17, 16, 3:06 pm
  #1428  
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Starting Jan 1, bookings in J to LHR should have at the lowest 70k each way. I believe you can still get 60k though as long as you book before Jan 1.

Note that if the reservation contains both DL and partner flights (say VS, or AF/KLM) then the amounts can get screwy. If the connecting DL flights aren't available at the lowest level, it'll still let you book a mixed DL/partner itinerary. However instead of just charging you the higher priced award level, DL penalizes you. In that case DL will price it as an award for the DL flights at whatever price that is, plus an award for the partner flight.

Example.

You book SAT-(DL)JFK-(VS)-LHR or SAT-(DL)JFK-(KLM)AMS-(KLM)LHR.
As always with partners, there's only one level available, so that means it's the lowest level. However for this example, the DL flight from SAT-JFK is only available at highest level. Instead of simply paying for an award at the highest US-Europe J class rate, you are made to pay for a US-Europe J class saver award, plus an US Domestic F class award. However if instead you flew SAT-(DL)-JFK-(DL)-LHR and SAT-JFK was only available at the highest level, you would only be charged the mileage for the higher priced J class US-Europe award.

Those of us that use DL Skymiles, commonly refer to it as the DL penalty. Basically you're penalized because of having a DL flight in the mix.
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Old Sep 17, 16, 3:13 pm
  #1429  
 
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Gotcha. Thanks for info!

I was seeing the 140K RT number. Doesn't seem crazy considering the actual cost of the ticket.
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Old Sep 17, 16, 8:17 pm
  #1430  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Starting Jan 1, bookings in J to LHR should have at the lowest 70k each way. I believe you can still get 60k though as long as you book before Jan 1.
That's how many other programs work but not DL. Any flights traveling after Jan 1 will cost at least 70K each way, no matter when you book. (And of course, since there's not an award chart and no guarantee of pricing, in theory they could change it again on us at any time for any effective date.)
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Old Sep 17, 16, 11:12 pm
  #1431  
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
That's how many other programs work but not DL. Any flights traveling after Jan 1 will cost at least 70K each way, no matter when you book. (And of course, since there's not an award chart and no guarantee of pricing, in theory they could change it again on us at any time for any effective date.)
Normally DL changes pricing based on the booking date. Such as recent change to US-ZAR pricing for J awards. However sometimes they do just change it right away for any after a certain travel date. If one thing is consistent about DL, it's the inconsistencies.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 10:25 am
  #1432  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Normally DL changes pricing based on the booking date. Such as recent change to US-ZAR pricing for J awards. However sometimes they do just change it right away for any after a certain travel date. If one thing is consistent about DL, it's the inconsistencies.
Since Delta does not announce award price increases in advance, there is never a situation where you could know "for a fixed set of travel dates, I have to *book* by Date X or the price will be higher," in the way that people did for example when AA recently raised award prices. But often you might know that "I have to *travel* by Date Y or the price will be higher." If you can't / don't want to travel before Date Y, though, you're out of luck.

This was typically true for Delta in recent years even when they did have an award chart--the same thing happened when Europe business class went from 100k to 125k in 2013; one day they announced that prices would go up for travel starting Jan 1, but if you were fixed to travel after Jan 1, you had no opportunity to book at the old prices once the announcement was made. The only recent case I can recall where you knew in advance "I have to book this award by date X" was when stopovers and RTW awards were discontinued in late 2014.
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Old Sep 18, 16, 11:05 am
  #1433  
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They might not say the exact pricing, but DL does say from time to time that levels are going up. Its how knew to book some J awards to ZAR before levels went up.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 7:30 pm
  #1434  
 
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Looks like LHR Clubhouse access for DM/PM has just been enhanced.
I wonder if we still get the private security channel...

Clubhouse Lounge Access: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge access is available at select locations to Delta One™ passengers, Upper Class passengers, and Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion Members with a same-day nonstop transatlantic flight between North America and the U.K. that is operated by Delta or Virgin Atlantic. Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members may access Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in London-Gatwick, New York-JFK, Newark, Washington-Dulles, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco Airports. Gold Medallion Members may only access Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses within the U.S. (New York-JFK, Newark, Washington-Dulles, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco Airports). Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion Members are allowed to bring one guest. While access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in London-Heathrow is not available to Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion Members, these Members may enjoy access to No1 Lounges, Heathrow at LHR’s Terminal 3. Please travel with and be prepared to show proof of your Medallion status to the Virgin Atlantic representative to receive these benefits.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 8:16 pm
  #1435  
 
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I still think that at the very least, DMs and PMs should have access to the Clubhouse lounge at LHR, particularly if they are flying on Delta One/Upper Class from the UK>NA.

Last edited by audidudi; Sep 29, 16 at 8:24 pm
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Old Sep 29, 16, 8:44 pm
  #1436  
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Well, if they're flying upper class from UK>NA, they do.

From the way it's worded, it seems D1 pax would also.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 9:51 pm
  #1437  
 
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What lounge is available at Boston and LHR for a Delta Sky Club member flying coach on VS?
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Old Sep 29, 16, 10:50 pm
  #1438  
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Originally Posted by Lomapaseo View Post
What lounge is available at Boston and LHR for a Delta Sky Club member flying coach on VS?
Only BOS Skyclub. There's no lounge part in LHR for SC members. Outside the US except for NRT/SCL there's no SCs and only AF/KLM lounges are included in SC membership.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 10:52 pm
  #1439  
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Originally Posted by thesaints View Post
Looks like LHR Clubhouse access for DM/PM has just been enhanced.
I wonder if we still get the private security channel...
This was announced a few weeks back and was effective I believe the 14th.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 10:54 pm
  #1440  
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Originally Posted by audidudi View Post
I still think that at the very least, DMs and PMs should have access to the Clubhouse lounge at LHR, particularly if they are flying on Delta One/Upper Class from the UK>NA.
All D1 passengers get Clubhouse access. I think this is partially why they had to change the access rules. Now that all DL flights use T3 there's way too many people in the Clubhouse. Until it can be expanded they have to send elsewhere.
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