Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Have you walked the tunnel between Heathrow T5, T5B and T5C?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

A reader reminded me this week that we haven’t talked about the ‘secret’ tunnel between the three parts of Heathrow Terminal 5 for a long time – four years to be precise.

This is a good time to mention it again, because British Airways has recently re-opened the Galleries lounge in Terminal 5B. Open between Thursdays and Mondays inclusive, it is easily the quietest of the BA lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5. Our last review of the British Airways lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 5B satellite is here.

When travelling between the main building in Terminal 5 and Terminal 5B or 5C, you are likely to take the train. You may also find yourself taking the train from 5B to 5C if you have a 5C departure and are using the Galleries Terminal 5B lounge.

You don’t need to take the train, however.

Max Burgess Molly Burgess

If you press the bottom button in the lift in 5A, 5B or 5C then you go below the level of the transit train and into this tunnel.  It has travelators so the walk is surprisingly quick.

The photo above is from 2017 and shows my gang. The photos below were sent by a reader this week.

Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 tunnel

and

Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 tunnel

and (someone has clearly decided to liven up the walls to make the tunnel less intimidating!):

Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 tunnel

It can often be just as fast to walk, since you are not waiting around for the train. When the train does arrive, it takes a minute or two for passengers to unload first anyway. By the time it is ready to board you can be halfway down the tunnel and well on your way to the lounge.

As the coments pointed out, using the tunnel is also the ONLY way to get from Terminal 5B to Terminal 5 to take a flight. You might do this if you decide to use the quieter lounge in 5B. Taking the train from T5B to the main building drops you at immigration and you cannot get back to the departure gates.

The tunnel is also a good way to stretch your legs before sitting for many hours on a long haul flight. Give it a go and see what you think.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (62)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Dominic Barrington says:

    I’m not sure I’d call it a secret – the signs and lift/elevator buttons mention it. I enjoy it for the reasons given above and usually do it if my hand luggage is not too cumbersome.

  • John says:

    It looks as if the moving walkway goes in one direction only?

    • Phillip says:

      Correct, from C to B to A but you can walk the tunnel in the opposite direction without using the travelator.

      • John says:

        Thanks!

        By the way, FRA has a similar tunnel between T1A and T1B. Among frequent flyers, it is known as the “tunnel of terror”. It used to be pretty dark and dismal but nowadays, the design is not unlike the one in LHR including moving walkways and improved lighting. There is a people mover alternative (called Skyline), too.

    • Bob says:

      Yes. They do only go in one direction. From T5A and then on to B and then C. However, there are actually two tunnels. The second tunnel is for arriving passengers and takes you through to immigration. You are not going to see this tunnel unless you are arriving.

      As for the images on the walls, I am sure they have been in place for as long as I can recall. They look ‘dated’ and I always thought they were there from when the terminal opened.

    • John says:

      There is one in the other direction in the arrivals stream

  • Phillip says:

    Don’t even need the lift. The stairs are clearly marked for getting down to the tunnel. If I’ve just missed a train I’ll always walk the tunnel. Good stretch after a flight.

  • Chris says:

    Also helpful if you arrive at B and have a connection from A. If you ask nicely (and sound like you know what you’re doing!) you can go through the quiet security lane for connections in B, use the lounge there, then walk through the tunnel to A for your next flight. Much more civilised than going though flight connections in A.

  • Lou says:

    I always take the tunnel route when leaving from 5C. It’s my last chance to stretch my legs before sitting on a long haul flight! Equally, I always use it when I return to 5C as it’s my first chance to stretch my legs after a long haul flight!

  • John McLusky says:

    Every time I’ve had to get to 5B or 5C I’ll take the walkway rather than the train. You avoid the crush in the trains, it takes a similar length of time and it’s a great way to stretch your legs before a long period sitting – what’s not to like!

    I have rarely seen anyone else do the same, though!

  • Dubious says:

    I like the headline! The answer from me is a distinct YES 🙂

    “someone has clearly decided to liven up the walls to make the tunnel less intimidating” – I hope this is not an example of gold plating…

    I do like having the tunnel access – it’s a lot more convienent than being packed into a shuttle and as pointed out, it can be quicker than waiting for the shuttle. That was certainly the case the last time I walked from B to A.

  • Andrew says:

    Maybe BA can follow LH and AF and provide a car service from the aircraft for First passengers. Walking through tunnels hardly screams premium travel.

    • John says:

      But BA doesn’t do premium travel

    • Rich says:

      Air travel is polluting enough without adding this kind of extra – even if they use electric cars, which are not as saintly towards the environment as people make out.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.