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LHR & Transferring from 1 terminal to another

We are scheduled to fly from PHX to GVA, transferring from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 in LHR & only have 2 hrs between our connecting flights, is this enough time & what is the fastest option between terminals? Do we only do passport control on arrival but need to do security at Terminal 5?

Posted by
371 posts

If this is one ticket, then, even if you are delayed you are protected and the airline will get you to your destination

If it is two, you could have a problem. It is a non-protected connection, if flight one is late neither the first airline nor the second airline have any responsibility to get you to your next destination.

And considering the terminals involved, I have a very strong feeling this is two different tickets. So another think to consider is will you have checked luggage. Because if you do, you probably aren’t going to make it, you need to be doing carry-on only for this to work terminal 5, the British Airways terminal where you’re going, has something called conformance And it’s two tickets your chances of making it with the conformance which I think means you have to be through security 35 minutes before your flight.

If you do not have checked luggage and you are able to get your boarding pass by checking in remotely, you can follow the transfers. You will have to go through security because Heathrow requires everyone to go to security. And understand they are very strict about liquids. It’s one baggie per person, and they may very well make you take your liquids out of your bag and repack them into their baggie. The TSA is much more generous than the security people at Heathrow (my friend the flight attendant complains because Heathrow is the only place she flies where they actually make the crew by the liquid rules. ). In that case, if everything goes well, you should be able to make it but it’s closer than I’d like

Posted by
15574 posts

Use the link Joe32F has provided. It will give you step by step instructions if this is one ticket.

Please let us know...

Is this one ticket?

Will you have checked luggage?

What airlines are involved? (I'm guessing from Term 3 to Term 5 it's either British Airways for both or an American Airlines/British Air combination.)

If one ticket, you will follow the "Flight Connections" signs and will stay airside. You will be bussed to Terminal 5 and not have to go through passport control. You will go through security but it is faster than regular security.

If you have checked luggage, it will automatically be transferred to your next flight.

If it is two separate tickets....the process is more complicated and takes longer.

Posted by
371 posts

You can actually follow the flight connection sign if it’s two tickets as long as you have your second boarding pass. I have done this quite often. But you cannot do it if you have checked luggage or if you cannot get your boarding pass in advance.

At the Delta terminal there used to be agents who could help you if you follow the flight connection sign but I believe those went away with Covid and I’m not 100% sure they’ve come back so it might be a little iffy to follow that and discover you can’t actually do it and then have to go back. I wouldn’t try unless I had a boarding pass or could confirm there was somebody who could help me otherwise they won’t let you through the next security checkpoint

Posted by
14 posts

Our ticket was purchased thru American Airlines although our 2nd flight of the trip shows operated by British Airlines, we will only have carry on luggage, no check in luggage. Shouldn’t they give us boarding passes for both flights or have electronic passes before we leave from Phoenix? & American Airlines booked us with the 2 hours between terminal 3 to 5, but ? If our flight runs late?

Posted by
8543 posts

So one ticket, that is good! There is a bus that takes people transferring airside from terminal to terminal. No passport control.
The trick is to follow all the "connecting flights" signs. Heathrow website says to allow 90 minutes for the transfer from one terminal to another. I think 2 hours will be fine unless there is a delay. Worst case scenario, you get put on the next available flight.

One way to save a great deal of time is to be prepared for security. Have all your liquids easily accessible in your quart size plastic bag. Have electronics ready to take out of bag. Finally, make sure that any water you picked up on your first flight is taken care of. If you get pulled for secondary screening at security it is a big time waster.

By the way, there should be no problem checking bags all the way through with these two code share partners. It may seem counter intuitive that checking can save time, but reducing the load you are carrying through the distances in the airport and putting through security can speed up the transfer process. Do make sure you keep money, documents, meds, electronics, and 1 change of clothes with you.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you,
One more ? re liquids - Is the 100 ml limit per item in the 8” TSA bag, not 100 ml total in the bag? Is there a limit as to how many items are in the TSA bag as long as nothing is over 100ml?

Posted by
548 posts

Liquids in max 100 ml containers, all fitting inside a bag of 1 liter maximum capacity. That's the rule. My wife violated this rule as she had two gallon-size bags filled with her various concoctions, which caused delay at security, but after 15 minutes or so we were back on our way. We still connected within 75 minutes of landing from the US.

Posted by
14 posts

1 more ?!
It doesn’t matter how many little containers are in our our 1 liter bag, just so all the liquids only add up to 1000ml or less?

Thank you

Posted by
15574 posts

It's doesn't matter how many containers you have as long as:

1) no single container is more than 100ml/3.4 oz;

2) You can seal the bag. If it doesn't close, something has to come out.

You should be able to get both boarding passes when you check in at PHX.

Go to the Heathrow Flight Connections webpage, plug in your flight information, and it will give you step by step instructions on how to make the connection.

Do not follow the crowd to passport control. Follow the purple signs.

If you miss the flight out of Heathrow, the airline is obligated to get you on the next available flight. No charge for this. In fact, if it is a lengthly delay, you may be entitled to compensation.

But don't worry about that now.

Posted by
548 posts

Again: bag capacity can be no more than 1 liter (essentially 1 quart) to comply with the rule. And you won't fit anywhere near 10 100-mL containers into that bag. More like 4 or 5, max. Again, that's to comply with the rule; not complying may or may not lead to delays in my experience.

Posted by
371 posts

So since it’s one ticket, even if your first flight is late, you’ll be fine because it will be up to British Airways to get you to your destination. I’m glad to hear that

The thing with liquids is a lot of us are using the clear plastic containers you buy that are being sold all over the United States. Those are not the right size. Heathrow security will make you take your bottles out and fit them in the approved baggie. If you want to be close to the approved baggie, go get a Ziploc quart bag that’s as close as you’re probably going to find at your local grocery store and if it doesn’t fit in there leave it.

The other thing that an earlier poster point that is a lot of Americans have gotten away with, especially with pre-check, is a couple of bags that are just a little oversize. Yeah you can’t do that. It’s not actually even allowed in the United States It’s one bag per person. I know a lot of people that have a bag for their personal item and 1 for their carry-on and they get a little upset when they get to London and discover that it’s not one bag per piece of luggage, (which is not supposed to be in the United States either but Since the whole thing is theater anyway no one cares. )’

Posted by
414 posts

I'm not sure that I'm understanding, Carol. I believe most airlines allow 1 carryon bag, and one personal item (which will fit under the seat). Am I missing something new, or just reading your post incorrectly?

Posted by
15574 posts

CanAmCherie---Carol is referringg to only one "liquids" bag per person.

I flew through Heathrow a couple of months ago and they weren't as strict with using their bag for liquids. As long as it was sealable and approximately the right size, you will be okay.

Later this year, Heathrow will be doing away with the liquid restrictions as will many UK airports. Some already have.

Posted by
371 posts

Sorry, I wasn’t clear. On most airlines You are allowed a carry-on and a personal item. You are not allowed a liquid baggie for each of those items- it’s one liquid baggie per passenger.

A lot of Americans have figured out that the TSA is not paying attention and you can have a liquid baggie in each of your pieces of luggage. This is particularly true if you have pre-check because you don’t have to take your baggie out of your suitcase

Posted by
14 posts

Another ?
We have a bag that holds our medicines & vitamins, it will be in my husbands “personal item” bag, any suggestions for bringing our medicines?

Posted by
919 posts

Another ?
We have a bag that holds our medicines & vitamins, it will be in my husbands “personal item” bag, any suggestions for bringing our medicines?

Are any of these meds or vitamins in liquid form?

Posted by
14 posts

Re : liquids in our medicine bag
We want to take 6 little travel size (1oz each) Dayquil
1 container of Flonase .62 Oz
1 container of Vertigoease 1/3 oz
1 container of deep relief essential oil .34 Oz
1 container of headache relief essential oil .34 oz
The rest is some oral medications & vitamins

I usually keep this in a Magallanes small medicine case that fits in my husbands personal item bag

Posted by
919 posts

The liquids go in 311 bag (liquids bag). If you can fit them all in his liquids bag with the rest of the liquids go for it.

Posted by
15574 posts

Heathrow is fairly strict. Make sure all your liquids are less than 100 ml/3.4 oz each and can fit into a quart size ziploc bag. It must be able to close

Liquids include gels and pastes. So toothpaste, lipstick, etc.

Pills should be separate and do not have to be removed from your bags.

Posted by
14 posts

My husband has a sore knee so walking distances can be painful, is there a people mover between Terminal 3 to 5?

Posted by
15574 posts

Dorothy, I'm guessing you did not go to the flight connections page to get instructions, did you?

Okay, I will spell it out:

When you land at Heathrow, follow the purple signs that say "Flight Connections."

At the Flight connections desk you will board a bus that will take you to Terminal 5. You don't have to worry about finding it, you will be told which bus to get on.

When you arrive at Terminal 5 you will be ushered through airport security. After security you go to your departing gate. No immigration. No customs.

There will be both airport and airline personnel along the way to help but it's impossible to get lost.

If you husband has trouble walking, call the airline and they will make arrangements to meet you at the gate, take you to flight connections, and then meet your bus when you arrive at T5. But you have to call the airline to arrange this.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you kindly for the details. If my husband decides he can walk the distance - Following the purple route to the transfer bus, is there a moving walkway or is this a long route to walk to the bus?

Thanks again

Posted by
15574 posts

If I remember correctly, there are some moving sidewalks but not the entire route. And they are also known to break down.

Call to have them meet you at the gate and take you to Flight Connections. It can be a very long walk depending on your arrival gate.

The same is true for Terminal 5. There is the main terminal building and two satellites. An underground tram takes you between the terminals. (This is not the Underground or the tube. Just a special tram transferring passengers between the different T5 buildings.)

Posted by
1843 posts

I would suggest you arrange with the airline to get transfer assistance at Heathrow. Why take a chance on tweaking and aggravating the knee before you even get to your destination?

Posted by
14 posts

We have Global Entry with TSA pre check, will this help us save time in LHR?

Posted by
15574 posts

We have Global Entry with TSA pre check, will this help us save time in LHR?

No, those are only for the USA

Posted by
427 posts

I hope Dorothy will allow me to piggy-back onto her thread with a separate but related query. In July I shall be transiting between T2 and T5 on separate tickets (Singapore Air to BA). I don't think I shall have a boarding pass in advance for the BA flight. I have rquested wheelchair assistance within the airports from both airlines but I can't find out how to obtain this assistance between the terminals.

Posted by
14 posts

We will be on our flight to LHR tomorrow & I can reply with what we find with our experience. Our Transfer between T3 to T5 will be on Wednesday, May 15.
Hope all goes well with our experience & I can share details with you.

Posted by
14 posts

We transferred from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 & simply followed the purple signs showing connecting flights, there were several people movers, Escalators, quite a distance & a lot of people waiting at the end for the transfer bus to our Terminal 5, then security at Terminal 5 quite extensive, but we made our connecting flight just in time. If you have requested a wheelchair the assistant wheelchair person should know the route with elevators & you might reach the transfer bus sooner than we did. I’m sure all will go well with your transfer.

Posted by
427 posts

Thankyou, Dorothy. Sounds as if it would be easy if able to use the connecting flight route. But I have separate tickets and would not be travelling on from T5 until early the next morning. I don't expect to be short of time but I don't think I can manage without assistance if having to exit T3 and use rail or bus transport to get to T5.

Posted by
14 posts

Sounds like you will do well, we have to return & reverse our route from Terminal 5 to terminal 3 in 10 days.

Posted by
427 posts

Thankyou, Frank. Your third link was especially helpful.

You may connect in the same terminal or connect to another terminal using a fully accessible transfer bus. Either way a member of the Assistance team will escort you.

Sounds as if the connecting bus may be available to me with assistance, even though I'll have separate tickets.

Posted by
15574 posts

Sounds as if the connecting bus may be available to me with assistance, even though I'll have separate tickets.

Just be aware this is a bus that you get AFTER passport control. The person helping you at Terminal 3 will get you on the bus and you will be met by someone from Terminal 5 when you arrive.

What are you doing between flights?

Posted by
427 posts

Thanks for your concern, Frank. I have booked a night at the T5 Sofitel as my flight the next morning leaves rather early. But I think I shall be able to check in with BA the evening before and I have requested wheelchair assistance with them.

Posted by
414 posts

cgichard, we just returned from London. We stayed at the Sofitel and went over to BA the night before to see the route to check-in/luggage drop off. Escalator/elevator then a long walk. Does the airlines provide assistance from the hotel, or only once in the terminal? Perhaps Sofitel can advise from their end. The terminal was dead (about 7:30 pm). Tried to check in online while at the terminal. Had issues so got assistance (still had to have more assistance the next morning). The BA folks were great.

Posted by
427 posts

Many thanks for the additional info, @CanAmCherie. Good to know that BA were helpful about early check-in. I should be at T5 earlier than you were so I'm hoping it won't be so deserted. As for assistance from the Sofitel, I shall try asking when I make my booking there, but good to know in advance that it might be a problem for me, not the lift but the long walk.