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Clearing customs at Heathrow

Our plane arrives at Heathrow at approx. 07:30. We plan to catch the bus to Bath at approx 10:30. Is this enough time to clear customs? Thanks

Posted by
8876 posts

No one can ever tell how long it is going to take to clear immigration at LHR.

I arrived at 10:30am last Friday. Long long lines. Took an hour.

My colleague arrived 48 hours earlier at 9;30am and it took her 20 minutes.

I think you’ve got enough time.

It’s immigration/border control rather than customs that will take the time.

You’re arriving at a busy time but you’d be unlucky not to make the bus in time allowed.

Posted by
1837 posts

The LHR immigration hall at T3 was very crowded when we arrived at about 7:30 on a September Monday morning.. It took us about 45 minutes to get through. Also FYI the hall gets VERY hot - plan accordingly.

Posted by
1282 posts

"It took us about 45 minutes to get through."

45 minutes is, I think, the target for processing non EEA foreigners through immigration and allowing (or not), you to enter; so you were spot on! But, obviously, in practice some foreigners make it much faster, others much slower. I suspect it partly depends who (i.e. nationality as much as numbers), is ahead in the queue and where their aeroplane arrived from.

Jim - I'd have thought your three hours was fine, based on my experience (though I've a British passport, so my experience may not be relevant to you).

Posted by
6113 posts

Unless you have something to declare, customs is a walk through that will take c 30 seconds unless you get stopped for a random search (unlikely).

Immigration lines will take anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how long the lines are at the time of your arrival. Assuming that your plane is on time, you should make the 10.30 bus.

Posted by
6816 posts

You should have enough time assuming your plane lands on time and you can deplane right away. The shortest amount of time I spent in line waiting to go through terminal 5 passport control was 15 minutes this past December. The longest it has taken, was almost 2.5 hours. On one occasion I spent 45 minutes on the plane waiting for the busses to take us to the terminal.

Posted by
341 posts

We arrived at Terminal 2 this past Monday (1/21) at 06:30, joined the line for immigration at 07:00, and walked to baggage claim at 07:30.

Posted by
4012 posts

Customs is a walk through. You should have no problem unless you have something to declare. Only you know that.

The lines at passport control? You could wait over 2 hours; you could wait 20 minutes.

Posted by
14263 posts

I'll just add one thing that slowed my brother and SIL down in May. The Delta FA's handing out the landing cards on our flight indicated 1 card per family so my brother and SIL filled out one. They got to the UK border control desk and had to go back to fill another one out for SIL which delayed them (agent was very nice about it). Meanwhile SIL's sis and I each had separate cards and were thru in maybe 15 -20 minutes - which I think was the quickest time I've ever been thru there.

Posted by
3392 posts

Same story here...into Heathrow 3 times last year. Shortest time was 15 minutes...longest was 90.

Posted by
14580 posts

My experience with LHR has been that it depends on when you arrive. Almost always in the morning, say by 10:20 or so, I am in line. The shortest time was ca 15-20 mins, hardly noticed I was waiting. The longest time was ca 1.5 hrs since on the flight I arrived in the afternoon. What you do is that you go through Border Control, not clearing customs.

Posted by
15697 posts

No date has been set nor have there been any updates since this was announced last October.

Posted by
8293 posts

Well! Finally, someone other than I, who wonders at the appeal of Bath. Visited a brother-in-law who lived there several times, as well as a friend who lived on a hilled area overlooking Bath. If it is convenient to visit, then do so. If not, then do not. Small loss. If you have a particular interest in city planning, Bath is your cup of tea, though.

Posted by
15684 posts

Will you have checked luggage? On one trip, I happened to be on the same plane as several friends. One got her bag within 5-10 minutes of getting to the luggage carousel. Others, including me, waited nearly an hour.

Posted by
4066 posts

Rome2Rio site indicates National Express bus service every two hours. You might have to wait, have breakfast\lunch, but still reach Bath in decent time. The site also suggests train connections. I too think that an afternoon, evening, morning in Bath would do me. Very pretty town in good weather, though.

Posted by
4595 posts

If you are looking at National Express as the 'bus', you have 2 options. You can add an extra 5pounds to get a changeable ticket (changeable for 24 hours prior or after), or just wait to buy upon arrival.
I booked a bus with only 1.5 hours between published air arrival and bus departure. Some said I would make it, but my flight delay had me deboarding after the bus had left. I had paid the extra money, so knew I could just change the ticket for the next bus leaving 2 hours later.

Busses don't seem to be entirely full, but if you have a big family going, then pay the extra 5 pounds and pre book. If only 2 of you, I would just book on arrival. No price benefit booking ahead.
I had not left Heathrow before, so I ended up in the wrong bus park first try, and it takes about 15-20 minutes to walk, so you also have to account for human error and travel time. I would say 3 hours should be ample, but you might feel better with that 5P protection plan.