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Heathrow transfer time

My kids, with a toddler in tow, have 2:25 to transfer from T5 to T3 arriving Virgin Atlantic, leaving on British Airways. VA says the luggage will be checked through. Is this enough time for passport (will probably be in the back of the plane w/toddler) or should they rebook the flight that leaves 4:30 hours later? It's one itinerary but separate confirmation numbers for the two airlines who aren't partners.

Posted by
13225 posts

Hi Bets--- can you re-check those flight details? As far as I know, Virgin Atlantic uses T3; T5 is for BA only. So are they actually transferring T3 to T5? And what direction are they traveling---to Europe or toward North America?

Either way, connecting flights at Heathrow can be managed "airside" without going through passport control. They just follow purple signs to " flight connections". There is a dedicated bus that transfers passengers between terminals. They may need to go through security again---definitely if their flight is heading to the US. I am not sure about going the other direction.

I timed the transfer once, going from T5 to T3 for a flight to Spain, and it was 45 minutes gate to gate, but we were in the front of the plane, not the back. I did not check the " minimum connect time" on the LHR website for you but it should be either 60 or 90 minutes.

I would probably be OK with the 2 hours 25 minutes if both of these apply: (1) the flights are on one tickets on they are protected if their incoming flight is way late, AND 2) they are flying eastward, from the US to Europe. That way,there will be other flight options if they should miss the ticketed one due to lateness of the incoming flight.

Posted by
8515 posts

Lola, It's US to Nice. Thanks. My DIL is checking to see if the second flight is protected.

Posted by
13755 posts

The signage in Heathrow is very good and I believe the airport website has information on travel times between terminals.

Posted by
544 posts

2:25 is plenty of time. If you're delayed or have concerns ask politely for advice at flight connections. They may send you through the premium "FastTrack" line if they think you are short on time.

There's always a chance your bags my arrive on a later flight, but in that case they deliver it to your door for you. It's always nice to have a change and some basics in your carry-on bag in the event your bags are delayed.

Posted by
92 posts


We have made that same terminal transfer several times over the years usually in 50 min to 1 hour average. One time was just over 30 min. I do not think it was ever longer than 1 hour 30 min. Obviously it may take you longer with a toddler, but 2:25 sounds like plenty of time.