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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Heathrow Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 transfer experience

  • Vit 173 posts

    Hello, I understood the min. connection time for T5-T3 is 90 mins. Assuming our domestic flight into LHR arriving at the gate on the dot as it is rather early morning (hence less likely to delay, hopefully) then we would have a total of 100 mins. We can also go through Fast-Track. Do you think we will have enough time to use the lounge?

    Last time I did, it took me less than 30 mins in total, Waiting on the connection-bus upon arrival at T5 did feel a bit long though. Not the end of the world if we don’t have time and I guess we just going to play by ears but just wanna change little one’s nappy and get him settled for the long haul and was hoping to hear other people’s experiences. Many thanks.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,388 posts

    The MCT is not the actual minimum time it takes to do the connection but the time the airlines and airport agree is sufficient time for most people to complete the process and have bags etc transferred as well as some flex for delayed arrival.

    Your 30 mins on a previous trip fits in with many peoples experiences. The vast majprity take less than an hour.

    Things would be really messed up for people to miss their onward flights

    At present I don’t think there is fast track in connections security but as the times I’ve used it people seem to move through at a good pace and the only people where it takes longer are because they are slow or who don’t follow the staffs instructions!

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,187 posts

    I’ve also experienced no fast track security on recent T5 to T3 transfers. You can be fine and fly through. Or you can get stuck behind the rarely travelled. Pot luck really and surely better for everyone to thus have a fast track line. Part of the reason the rarely travelled create delays at security is because they have a road warrior breathing down their neck who has only his laptop to put in a tray and no liquids or other bits. So they feel pressured and forget to take things out. The fast track line is really a humane measure as much as it is a time saving one.

    NorthernLass 8,501 posts

    I’ve been through T3 security 3 times this year at peak holiday periods and there was barely a queue, totally different experience to T5 (and MAN!)

    Froggee 1,001 posts

    Just to check, it’s T5 to T3 as the subject is the other way round?

    Anyway, I’d be sorely tempted to exit T5 with the arrivals stream (ie don’t go to flight connections), take the free train to T2/T3 and walk to T3 from there.

    That way, you have control and can also then use T3 fast track. It may or may not take longer but will be less variable and I hate the bus transfer and amateurish transfer security setup which can’t cope with surges.

    But if your inbound flight is late then do not do this as presenting yourself at flight connections having been late will get you rebooked whereas at T3 security when late might see you stuffed.

    QwertyKnowsBest 301 posts

    I wonder what it would take for LHR to introduce transfers for ‘clean’ domestic arrivals to other terminals so no need for a second security screen at LHR. Or should it be reintroduce, as I am pretty sure some years ago I used to only pass security at my UK domestic departure airport, not again at LHR, this may have been pre T5.

    NorthernLass 8,501 posts

    It is a bit bonkers that you can do (e.g.) MAN-T5-XXX with only 1 lot of security, but if you transfer to another LHR terminal you have to do it again.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,388 posts

    It would likely require a change in government policy and a change in regulations.

    But it’s mainly an issue of how to keep domestic arriving passengers totally separated not only on arrival at T5 but also when they arrive at the other terminals.

    There would need to be an easy route at the Domestic gates to enable transferring arrivals to be directed to a waiting area for a bus and kept separate from other arriving passengers from non domestic arrivals.

    On arrival at the other terminal there would also need to be a route directly into the departures lounge that avoids the current security set up.

    It’s not impossible – VS and HAL managed to work a system out where arrivals into T2 on Little Red who were connecting onto VS flights at T3 were directed to a bus to take them direct to T3 and avoiding security. But this was for less than a dozen flights a day and in the scheme of things very few passengers and may not be easily reproducible.

    QwertyKnowsBest 301 posts

    I guess unless domestic connections are of significant importance to BA (it’s mainly BA passengers who connect) then no pressure on LHR for them to address.

    SamG 1,735 posts

    I think the most likely scenario would be as @BA Flyer IHG Stayer mentions – the busing idea. They could monitor the loads on flights and where there were a good number of T3 connections (morning I’d have thought onto AA flights) then intercept at the jetbridge and down onto a bus to be decanted straight into departures at T3.

    Doing anything more permanent is a lot more tricky as you need to keep them segregated all the way through to the departure lounge at the other terminals which would require infrastructure changes which very likely won’t happen until a day they decide to follow the EU model of considering all US/EU origin etc travellers as clean.

    Vit 173 posts

    @Froggee yes it was a typo. I did mean T5-T3. What you suggested up there is interesting and will keep in mind. I notice @SamG comments which could be a busy connection time due to AA flights. Something to watch out for!

    Froggee 1,001 posts

    @Vit I suspect it’s down to personal preference, assuming your flight arrives in good time, whether you transfer airside or landside.

    I’m the type of fellow who likes to keep moving rather than hang around waiting on a bus. And also I’m still scarred from a similar experience at CDG where I got decanted into a holding pen behind hundreds of other poor souls waiting for a bus which meant a missed connection and a resulting personal best for time spent in an airport lounge.

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