LHR transits

Old Oct 27, 2022, 10:20 am
  #1  
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LHR transits

I would have a couple of trips towards end of November for which changing planes at Heathrow would be an option, in both cases between Terminals 3 & 5.

Any practical experience on how smoohtly or horribly LHR has functioned now in the fall, after the (they say problematic) summertime? Especially for transfers between these terminals.

OWE, tickets with BA or AY, both connections probably but not necessarily on the same ticket (anyways hand luggage only), end destinations between EU and EU (in the other case Ireland), EU citizen.

A related question on 1st class lounges for OWEs @LHR: T3 has apparently currently open CX (still best I suppose?) and BA (AA closed). But how is T5: does one BA lounge have a 1st class segment, and what about any other ones?
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Old Oct 27, 2022, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by Ksytsi
I would have a couple of trips towards end of November for which changing planes at Heathrow would be an option, in both cases between Terminals 3 & 5.

Any practical experience on how smoohtly or horribly LHR has functioned now in the fall, after the (they say problematic) summertime? Especially for transfers between these terminals.

OWE, tickets with BA or AY, both connections probably but not necessarily on the same ticket (anyways hand luggage only), end destinations between EU and EU (in the other case Ireland), EU citizen.

A related question on 1st class lounges for OWEs @LHR: T3 has apparently currently open CX (still best I suppose?) and BA (AA closed). But how is T5: does one BA lounge have a 1st class segment, and what about any other ones?
There are plenty of threads on the BA forum about LHR transit but Ill answer some of your questions here.

After taking the bus from T3 to T5 youll need to follow signs to UK domestic connections (Ireland counts as that) where an immigration officer will process you and take your picture (given that UK & IE departures mix with all other transit pax), after that youll clear security. Whether this is enough time or smooth depends on how long your connection is and what time of day, and you do realize youre on your own should you misconnect on separate tickets.

Youll have access to the BA Galleries First Lounge as OWE.
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Old Oct 28, 2022, 10:02 am
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Based on recent arrivals and departures from LHR - three of each in the last month, I wouldn't go near it if I didn't have to. Security and everyone in transit has to go through it at LHR even in fast tracks has taken 50-75 minutes and their baggage handling is a mess, there really are better places in the third world. Beware also that BA FTers seem to have a different existence to the rest of us when there, they seem to have problem free travel 99% of the time.

Be wary and look at the options carefully.
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Old Nov 30, 2022, 7:35 am
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I decided to have only one of these four Nov flights via LHR. So one datapoint here, from Monday early evening:

Transfer time, measured from stepping out of the plane in T3 to entering the lounge in T5, was 75 mins. I waited 15 mins for the inter-terminal transfer bus for connecting flights that had 10 min departure interval :-( But the biggest bottleneck was the passport control in T5, I was continuing to DUB so domestic segment where there is no fast track. In the beginning they did not have enough staff to operate the self-service passport-reading machines(!) Once a 3rd security person arrived and they could open the self-service side, the queue cleared fast. I can believe that on a good day 45 mins would be sufficient, as some UK colleagues had estimated, not the 75 mins I needed.

BA T5 First-class lounge (A gates South) which I had not visited earlier, was overall same quality as HEL Plat Wing. Not enough to compensate the less pleasurable LHR terminal-hopping experience IMHO. Whereas to the other direction I could well do it if schedule was relaxed, thanks to the brilliant CX First lounge in T3. (LHR allows you to be airside only in your departure terminal, including transit passengers.)
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Last edited by Ksytsi; Nov 30, 2022 at 11:27 am
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Old Dec 1, 2022, 1:04 am
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LHR allows you to be airside only in your departure terminal, including transit passengers
This applies to T5 but not to T3 (i'm not sure about T2 or T4). At T3 I've arrived from HEL with flight from T5 later in the day but went through T3 transfer and back to T3 airside (to visit the lounge for breakfast). T5 has a different system and you would not be able to get into T5 airside without a boarding pass to depart from T5. They do not use that system at T3. The T5 system is known as "ready to fly".
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Old Dec 1, 2022, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by riku2
This applies to T5 but not to T3 (i'm not sure about T2 or T4). At T3 I've arrived from HEL with flight from T5 later in the day but went through T3 transfer and back to T3 airside (to visit the lounge for breakfast). T5 has a different system and you would not be able to get into T5 airside without a boarding pass to depart from T5. They do not use that system at T3. The T5 system is known as "ready to fly".
Thanks, very useful info! I have a T5 -> T3 transfer next week (LAX-LHR-HEL), and was pondering the option of visiting the BA F lounge at T5. However, the T3 CX F lounge is really my first option, too.
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Old Dec 1, 2022, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by BlueCross
Thanks, very useful info! I have a T5 -> T3 transfer next week (LAX-LHR-HEL), and was pondering the option of visiting the BA F lounge at T5. However, the T3 CX F lounge is really my first option, too.
I think calling the BA lounge at T5 a first class lounge is an offence to the real first class lounges Was so crowded last time i was there, could barely find a seat, plus the food selection was far from great. CX F lounge, on the other hand, is really good, the dining menu was excellent. Also worth noting that T3 transfer security is a pain, so slow and they still require to take out the liquids and electronics, strangely they don't require that at T5 transfer security.
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Old Dec 1, 2022, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Clarity_
I think calling the BA lounge at T5 a first class lounge is an offence to the real first class lounges Was so crowded last time i was there, could barely find a seat, plus the food selection was far from great. CX F lounge, on the other hand, is really good, the dining menu was excellent. Also worth noting that T3 transfer security is a pain, so slow and they still require to take out the liquids and electronics, strangely they don't require that at T5 transfer security.
dont worry, the BarelyAverage Galleries lounges are dumps, even the CCR is bad service wrt what one would expect for First and GGL
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Old Dec 6, 2022, 8:12 am
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Just a heads up: Baggage handler strike (Menzies) at LHR will affect Finnair operations Dec 16th to 18th. Don't leave your christmas presents at your checked luggage.
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