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Is my Heathrow layover long enough?

About to purchase tickets to Oslo via Heathrow. (Unfortunately, the Heathrow website is not helpful since the tickets are for June, which is evidently too long of a lead time to get accurate information.) My question is, if we arrive at Heathrow at 6:25 AM and depart for Oslo at 7:55 AM, is that too short of a layover for comfort? Those of you who know… Is this a good option, or not? I can’t get a handle on what terminal we arrive at, what terminal we have to change to, if security (within/behind customs) will take a long time, etc. Our luggage should be checked through, but the rest seems perilous. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
8641 posts

Our luggage should be checked through,

This implies it is a single booking ( ticket), correct?
If so then the airline believes it is adequate and would be responsible to get you on another flight if you miss the connection due to the 1st flight being late.

You will likely be on the move the entire time and you will go through a security screening before getting to your onward flight.

I would use the restroom on the inbound plane as close to landing as possible, to avoid having to make a stop while moving through the airport.

Posted by
34 posts

Joe32F, thank you. It is a single booking—one ticket from the US to Oslo via London Heathrow. I am still unclear/slightly concerned about how to get through Heathrow from T3 (I think this is where my flight arrives) to T5 (the departure terminal for Oslo?).

I’m wondering if 90 minutes is sufficient time for the train from one terminal to another plus the security gate plus whatever other requirements might arise—and you can bet I will use the airplane lav before deplaning, haha! Excellent advice. Thank you!

Posted by
167 posts

Hi Debbie
90 min isn’t enough time. For Heathrow, I would recommend a minimum of 2 hours and even that makes me nervous.

As for which terminal you will go in and out of, I suggest plugging the flight number into Flight Aware. It gives you the most recent flights and where the arrived/depart.

Amanda

Posted by
4697 posts

Are you on a single ticket? You did not say what airlines, so it is not clear what terminals are involved. On the Heathrow website, try checking to see what terminals the airlines are currently using for your routes. For example, Tomorrow I see flights from LHR to Oslo on BA out of T5 and on SAS out of T2. Odds are the same terminals will be used in June (although some airlines are currently using T2 rather than T3, but the connection process won’t be that different).

That being said, 90 minutes should be enough time if your flight lands on time. There won’t be any immigration, just a security check. Assuming this is all on a single ticket, I’d risk it (others may feel differently). There are multiple flights each day between Heathrow and Oslo and if you miss your connection you should be able to be put on a later flight. I’ve missed connections at Heathrow twice, but never due to a short connection. In my cases it was because my inbound flight was delayed many hours. In both cases, I was put on a flight the same day and continued on my way. I don’t mind rushing through an airport to catch a flight if it means I don’t have to sit around for hours in the airport and I prefer short connections.

Posted by
4697 posts

wondering if 90 minutes is sufficient time for the train from one terminal to another plus the security gate plus whatever other requirements might arise—and you can bet I will use the airplane lav before deplaning, haha! Excellent advice. Thank you!

You won’t be using a train between the terminals. It will be a shuttle bus.

Posted by
34 posts

Thanks, Laura, Amanda, and Joe. I appreciate all the advice and the links!

Posted by
3215 posts

Where are you flying from? Heathrow is one of my least favourite airports and my recommendation is to avoid that airport and find another route.

Posted by
34 posts

Badger, I’m coming from Dallas, Texas, and the flights are few. Either it’s gigantic layovers of 6-7 hours or lots more money than we have to spend. If you have other suggestions, I’m open to them.

Posted by
3215 posts

Have you looked at SAS? They are usually a pretty good choice to Scandinavia. They fly from New York to Oslo so they should be able to sell you a reasonable one stop connection.

Posted by
34 posts

Excellent idea, Badger, and we would have loved that. But we discovered Dallas to NYC was a budget-breaker. I think we are stuck with Heathrow as a connection. I don’t mind Heathrow usually—we are just going to have to run like mad once we get there. The on-time reports are pretty high, though, so we are hopeful.

Posted by
3215 posts

But we discovered Dallas to NYC was a budget-breaker.

As in buying those flights separate? You do know that SAS code shares with several US airlines and can sell you Dallas-Oslo on one ticket?

Posted by
171 posts

We had a one hour layover at Heathrow back in 2019. Flying AA from Bucharest-London-OHare. The incoming flight was about 10 minutes late. We were met at the Gate by a representative. I think he was an airport person. Anyway he guided us thru a maze of halls and elevators to our next flight. We had to go thru Security and of course they "randomly" checked my bag. They were calling our name over loudspeaker at the check-in but we made it. Then they checked my bag again I think because we were late. We were flying Business Class but I don't know if that made any difference or not. If we ever fly again we will have longer layovers. Hurrying thru airports is nerve racking to me. Good luck with your planning.

Posted by
2914 posts

Assuming your flights are into and out of Terminal 5, you should be fine. I find recently into departures takes about 45-60 minutes. Then there is enough time to get to the gate…sometimes they are a bit away. I always plan 2 1/2 to 3 hours when transmitting without an overnight stay as I hate the suspense. However, I see you might need to change terminals so you need to know exactly where you are going before you get off the plane, no checked baggage unless checked through, and sit in the front of your travel class.

The good is that if you miss your flight, it is at least not the expensive long haul flight to replace.

Posted by
5194 posts

I think a good question to ask is how many flights to Oslo there are following your flight on that same airline. If, for some reason, you miss the connection, what are the next alternatives?

I would be tempted to keep the connection and accept that if "the worst" happens, I would be scheduled on the next flight with available seats.

Posted by
306 posts

Hi Debbie17 - pre-COVID, I did the T3-T5 shuffle quite a bit. 90 minutes is sufficient (even with a quick restroom break), but dont linger. Follow the signs to Flight Connections and you'll get to the bus you need to go between terminals. From getting off the plane in T3 to being through security in T5 is usually 45-50 minutes (or was for me) at a steady pace. This was before the electronic gates were in operation, so it may be slightly quicker now. After that, its just a matter of finding your departing gate.

Posted by
34 posts

Thank you to everyone for the detailed and helpful replies! We decided to be brave and go for it—and I’ve taken good notes for all the solid advice. Hopefully all will go well, and if I have any insight post-flight, I’ll pay it forward to the next traveler.

This forum is so helpful—I really appreciate the wisdom here!