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Transferring through Heathrow - Do we need to go through customs?

We fly British Air from Phoenix, AZ, to Heathrow. We have a 4 hour layover until our connecting flight to Venice, Italy, also on British Air, and we arrive and leave from terminal 5. We only have carryon bags. Our tickets have the same confirmation code through to Venice, just for two separate flights. Do we need to go through customs at Heathrow or just the security check point?

Posted by
699 posts

Just security. If all is the same as last year, they typically want your 3-1-1s in the bag they supply. They are usually available before you get into the security lines. If not, there is a human that will get some.

Posted by
23237 posts

Single ticket, same terminal, same airline -- you should stay air side and behind security. Watch the signs carefully so that you do not wind up outside of security.

Posted by
7326 posts

We did this just 10 days ago. Came from Denver, not Phoenix, but it was still all Terminal 5. No customs, but everybody goes thru Security before getting to the departures lobby where you wait to find out what will be your gate for your ongoing flight.

Follow signs for Flight Connections. You’ll eventually go up an escalator, and Security will be right at the top of it.

Posted by
725 posts

Just follow the signs. Security, yes, everyone went thru security, again no matter what airline your ticket was with and they do limit liquids. Passport control, yes. They did check our passports. Sometimes I wonder if people confuse customs with passport control. The only time we’ve had to go through customs that I remember is when re-entering the US.

Posted by
14939 posts

Just because someone looks at your passport, it is not passport control/immigration. It is usually just an airline check.

If you are on an international flight, the airline must check that you have a valid passport or they can get fined.

This is NOT passport control. This is NOT immigration. Passport control and Immigration are the same things. It's what allows you to enter a country. If you are just connecting flights at Heathrow you are not entering the country.

Calling a simple passport check,,,,passport control..will confuse people.

Posted by
16171 posts

Nigel—-I assume British Airways will notify us if and when the ETA requirement is actually put in place? We will be connecting through Heathrow in both directions on our September trip to Italy.

Posted by
32699 posts

I don't know Lola. Simon Calder, the author of the linked article and author of the daily Simon Calder Independent Travel podcast had a meeting in the last couple of days and in a podcast this week confirmed that it was going ahead = he commented that it was very bad news for workers at the airport and travellers who were doing nothing more than changing planes.

Posted by
14939 posts

I think this is the key to the whole thing....

Yet the UK, which appears increasingly at variance with the rational world, has become an outlier by insisting all connecting travellers must obtain an ETA. The Home Office, which has imposed the requirement, says: “Requiring transit passengers to obtain an ETA will stop transit being a future loophole for people to use to avoid needing an ETA

That statement is mystifying. International-to-international transit at Heathrow is already regarded as something of a loophole, enabling connecting passengers to claim asylum in the UK. The government seeks to counteract this by requiring some nationalities to obtain a Direct Airside Transit Visa.