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Have you walked the tunnel between Heathrow Terminal 5, T5B and T5C?

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I was reminded this week that we haven’t talked about the ‘secret’ tunnel between the three parts of Heathrow Terminal 5 for a while.

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. Our last review of the British Airways lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 5B satellite is here.

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

Heathrow walkway tunnel 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 more recently by a reader.

Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 tunnel


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 and the doors on the departure side to open. By the time it is ready to board you can be halfway down the tunnel and well on your way to the Terminal 5B lounge.

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 5B 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.

Comments (53)

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  • SammyJ says:

    Used the tunnel for various reasons lately, but haven’t seen the travelators working for a while. They’re also only one-way (the useless way in my opinion) towards C gates.

    Flew to PHX 2wks ago on a flight that check in confirmed as from C gates. Told by BA at both Galleries N & S that they were too busy, so to use the B Gates lounge, which had been the plan anyway after a bit of shopping. When it was time to leave the B gate lounge, we checked online just to make sure there we’re no delays or further changes (our club suite had been changed to an old 777 2hrs earlier) and noticed just by chance that we were now departing from A gate (via a bus). No choice but to walk back through the tunnel – no provision at all by BA for people already at B lounge or,, presumably, waiting early at C gates to get back to A other than the tunnel. Wasn’t an issue for us, other than a bit of a rush, but I’d imagine that a lot of less mobile folks would find that incredibly stressful!

    • SamG says:

      Pretty unlucky – usually a US flight being bussed will go from B as that is where the SSSS security staff are mainly based

  • Mike says:

    On a related note, recently discovered the semi abandoned gates and long walkway at Heathrow Terminal 4. Makes for a good stretch of legs before a long flight — though the absence of people made it feel a little creepy!

  • Jack says:

    I always prefer to use the tunnel and often arrive at the same time or sooner than the train. It is also a good way to get your body moving before a long flight . Great especially if you are in a hurry and always very calm and quiet down there

  • Smid says:

    Worth mentioning that you might notice there are only up escalators in T5B for the tunnels, but the lifts go down perfectly well, so head for those heading back.

    For normal mobile person, I’d say 8 minutes B to A. Probably about 5 A to B due to travelators.

  • Geoff says:

    Not sure it is still the case that they are the ‘secret tunnels’ they once were. They are now well signposted and the lifts advertise the walkways as an optional level.

  • E4 Traveller says:

    Please could you refrain from publicising my private walkway.

    If this goes on, I’ll be exiting the lifts on Level -4 and finding the family from the ‘On The Beach’ adverts heading for the T5B lounge as well.

  • Ironside says:

    Walked the tunnels for the first time recently to get to the B lounge. Then, when it was time to move to the C gates for departure, walked them again because there was no information as to when the next train would arrive. Much more reassuring, being in control of my own destiny.

    On a related note, you can also do this at ATL – but it’s less of a secret since the tunnels are right next to the train.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Only person walking to B gates just now.

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