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Recommended Minimum Flight Connection Time at Heathrow

Planning a trip to Glasgow from Nashville later this year with a connecting flight at Heathrow.
Is 90 minutes sufficient time between flights on American/British Airways?

Also, will I have to go through Customs/Immigration between flights at Heathrow?

Finally, can I check my bag from USA through to Glasgow or will I have to retrieve it at Heathrow to take through Customs?

Posted by
13095 posts

Go to this website and plug in your flight information to get step by step instructions:

You will go through immigration but a separate one for people connecting to flights within the UK. Follow the Flight Connections signs. You will also have to go through security.

If you buy it on one ticket, then if your plane into Heathrow is late, the airline has to get you on the next available flight.

The only nonstop from Nashville to London is on British Airways.

Posted by
7141 posts

You have probably heard that most major airports are experiencing disruptions this summer. You will want to keep this in mind. If your flights are on one ticket, I would accept a 90 minute transfer. When you arrive at Heathrow, you will follow the signs that say “flight connections”. You will arrive at a location where there are two different lines. One for connections that are not UK/Ireland and one for connections that are UK/Ireland. You will go through immigration in the UK/Ireland line and then be sent on through security before your next flight. As soon as you are through security, you will want to look at the monitors to see what is the gate for your departing flight. These are not announced as far in advance as we are used to in the US. If your gate is listed, head there right away. Your bags will be checked through to Glasgow.

Posted by
13095 posts

BA exclusively uses Terminal 5,

BA also uses Terminal 3

The procedure at Terminal 5 is simple. All international arriving passengers must go to the main terminal for processing. First stop is immigration. That is either the main area or for connections in the UK or Ireland. Once past immigration, the passenger then goes through security. Once through security, they are in the main terminal like any other passenger and then can proceed to their gate.

Posted by
270 posts

You may be scheduled to land and depart from one terminal but if there is any change of plans, plane late or stuck at the gate or whatever you may not. I am only comfortable at LHR with a 3-hour window in the same area, 6 hours to change areas. My experience with BA is they are timely, however it looks like you are flying on their partner American to London. American is usually 2 hours late to the party. I prefer to go with a long connection time then worry about making the connection. J

Posted by
9881 posts

If your flights are on one ticket,

That is the critical issue, that OP needs to clarify.

Posted by
3643 posts

Heathrow was the first airport where I saw indicator signs that gave the time in MINUTES that it would take you to reach a particular gate or terminal. Pretty useful, I've since seen it elsewhere.

But I remember thinking, damn that's gonna be a long walk I'm glad they warned me.

Posted by
10 posts

Hi Frank and/or Carol, thanks for the info as we are connecting to Shannon via Heathrow in August. Rookie follow up question if I might. The branch you mention for Ireland/UK or all other, is "Ireland" for Northern Ireland and the Republic? Thank you kindly...

Posted by
457 posts

Last month, we flew on BA from our home city to LHR and connected to Milan. We had a four hour layover which ending up being good. It looked like we were staying in Terminal 5 but be aware that there are different areas of Terminal 5. I think we landed at the C area and our next flight was A. I was jetlagged; it might have been the other way around. There is a train in between. Lots of walking but not particularly bad. If you wanted to hussle and knew where you were going, it would be close but ok.

The very worst part was the security into the other section. It's been a long time since I saw such a stringent fluid check and I wasn't prepared. Everything, and I mean everything, had to go into the liter-sized baggie. Toothpaste, lotion, even the little sunscreen I keep clipped to my bag. We combed our carry-on for stuff and will not be fooled again. On a previous trip from Dublin to LHR to the USA was not nearly as bad. On that trip, we used a shuttle bus to change terminals and did make it in 75 minutes.