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Flight connections

t5-flight-connections-sign-bat5gen51.

Connecting within London Heathrow

There are five terminals at Heathrow:

  • Terminals 1 (currently closed), 2 and 3, which are connected and a short walk from each other
  • Terminal 4
  • Terminal 5; the A Gates are in the main terminal building, B and C Gates are in separate satellite buildings connected by a transit train from the main terminal

British Airways operates from London Heathrow Terminal 3 and Terminal 5. To find out where your flight is departing from or arriving into you can use our Which London airport and terminal tool, or check your boarding pass and the information screens once you're at the airport.

If you need any help, please contact a member of British Airways staff. The British Airways Customer Service desks for flight connections are located in:

  • Terminal 3: after Flight Connections Security.
  • Terminal 5: in the Flight Connections area before Security.
collapsedshowMinimum connecting times

We recommend that you allow the following minimum connection times:

  • 1 hour for connections within the same Heathrow terminal
  • 1 hour 30 minutes for connections that require travel between terminals at Heathrow

You must be at the gate for your onward journey at least 20 minutes before your connecting flight departs.

Please ensure you allow plenty of time, for example if you need to collect your bags or require additional support getting through the airport.

collapsedshowHow to connect within Heathrow

Connecting between flights at Heathrow airport will vary depending on where you arrive from and where you're flying on to. When you arrive at Heathrow, please follow the purple ‘Flight Connections’ signs, which will lead you to your next flight.

The following PDFs provide an overview of the connections process within Heathrow airport (English only).

Terminal 3
Terminal 3 – Terminal 3 Terminal 3 – Terminal 5
Terminal 5
Terminal 5 – Terminal 5 (Arriving on an international flight) Terminal 5 – Terminal 5 (Arriving on a UK domestic flight) Terminal 5 – Terminal 3

If you are travelling to/from Heathrow Terminal 2 or Terminal 4, you can find more information about the flight connections process by using the Heathrow Flight connections guide.

collapsedshowTravelling between Heathrow terminals

Follow the purple signs to ‘Flight Connections’ and use the dedicated Flight Connections buses that will take you to your departure terminal. These free buses provide step-free access, run every six to ten minutes and are the easiest way to travel between terminals.

Heathrow airport offers a dedicated bus for travellers with reduced mobility and those travelling with babies or children (called 'Special Assistance Bus'). This bus doesn't serve Arrivals so if you need to pass through this area, e.g. to collect your bags, please speak to a member of Heathrow airport staff.

The following options are also available for getting between the terminals:

From To How to transfer* Average journey time (incl. waiting time)

 

Terminal 3

 

Terminal 5

Heathrow Express 20 min
London Underground 16 min

 

 

 

Terminal 5

Terminal 3 Heathrow Express 20 min
London Underground 16 min
Terminal 5 A, B or C Gates Transit train 20 min
Moving walkway 20 min

*The Heathrow Express is free to use when travelling between terminals. London Underground is free if you use a Transport for London Oyster card.

collapsedshowDisability and mobility assistance at Heathrow

If you need additional help for your journey, e.g. for getting through the airport, boarding the aircraft, or reaching your onward travel connections, please let us know at least 48 hours before you travel using Manage My Booking and we can arrange this for you with Heathrow airport.

Please allow more time for reaching your connecting flight than the recommended minimum connection time, e.g. for leaving the aircraft or transferring between different terminals:

  • If you need to transfer within Terminal 5 (A, B or C Gates) we can usually arrange for you to travel in an electric buggy. The journey takes 10-15 minutes depending on the arrival and departure gates.
  • If you need to transfer between Terminals 3 and 5 you can use dedicated flight connections buses.

Help points are available in:

  • Terminal 3: additional seating area, behind World Duty Free
  • Terminal 5: British Airways Lichfield Suite opposite gates A20 and A21

The Lichfield Suite at Terminal 5 offers additional facilities for travellers with more severe physical or learning disabilities, e.g. a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, hoist and showers. You can request an escort to and from these facilities by contacting us at least 48 hours before you travel.

Wheelchair accessible toilets and induction loops are also available throughout the airport.

More about disability and mobility assistance

collapsedshowUsing the arrivals lounge

You will need to go through passport control (and customs if applicable) and then check in again as normal for your connecting flight, so please ensure you have enough time.

Terminal 5

If you're travelling in First or Club World, or are an Executive Club Gold Member travelling on a British Airways long haul flight, you can use the Galleries Arrivals Lounge on the first floor of Terminal 5A (the main terminal building).

The lounge is open 05:00 - 14:00 and can be reached using the green lifts.

Terminal 3

The American Airlines Arrivals Lounge is open to:

  • customers travelling in First or Club World,
  • Executive Club Gold Members arriving on a British Airways long haul flight, and
  • customers travelling in first or business class on an American Airlines operated flight
collapsedshowAirport hotels for longer stopovers

If you have a longer stopover between your connections then you may wish to check in at one of our conveniently located Heathrow airport hotels.

There are a number of shuttle buses that run between local hotels and Heathrow airport. Please check which shuttle bus you need to take with the hotel you are staying at.

Connecting between other London airports

Connecting times between London airports.

British Airways flights operate from four different airports in London. Click on the map to see the minimum amount of time you'll need to connect between all the London airports that British Airways flies from.

If you are connecting between airports, you'll need to check that you have the correct documents to enter the UK.

Check if you need a UK visa

 

collapsedshowTravelling between Heathrow and Gatwick

London Heathrow and Gatwick airports are located approximately 48km (30 miles) apart. We recommend that you allow at least 3 hours if you're connecting between these airports.

Your baggage will not be automatically forwarded so please collect all your bags before leaving Heathrow or Gatwick airport.

The best way to travel directly between Heathrow and Gatwick is to take a National Express coach. It is fast, frequent, safe and great value for money:

  • Heathrow to Gatwick coach services run 80 times a day, and the journey takes up to an hour.
  • Coach services arrive and depart from the lower level outside the international Arrivals area at Heathrow.
  • You can choose which Gatwick terminal you want to alight at, North or South. British Airways flights currently operate from Gatwick North Terminal until all flights have moved to the South Terminal by 25 January 2017. 
  • You can buy National Express coach tickets at the ticketing office in the international Arrivals area, or online to get a great fare using the link below.

Travelling with National Express between Heathrow and Gatwick

collapsedshowTravelling between Gatwick terminals

All British Airways flights currently operate from Gatwick North Terminal until all flights have moved to the South Terminal by 25 January 2017. If part of your journey departs from or arrives into the South Terminal, please follow the signs for Flight Connections to transfer terminals for your next flight. A shuttle service operates 24 hours a day between North and South terminals and takes just three minutes.

collapsedshowHow to connect within Gatwick

Arriving into Gatwick North Terminal

  • Follow signs to International Flight Connections.
  • If you do not have a boarding pass, go to the British Airways Connections desk to obtain one.
  • You must be at your boarding gate at least 20 minutes before your flight's scheduled departure time or you will not be accepted for travel.

International arrivals connecting to UK, Republic of Ireland or Channel Islands destinations

  • On arrival, follow the signs to Flight Connections.
  • Go through immigration and customs.
  • If you do not have a boarding pass please go to a check-in desk to obtain one.
  • You must be at your boarding gate at least 20 minutes before your flight's scheduled departure time or you will not be accepted for travel.

UK, Republic of Ireland or Channel Islands arrivals to international destinations

  • On arrival, follow the signs to International Flight connections.
  • You must be at your boarding gate at least 20 minutes before your flight's scheduled departure time or you will not be accepted for travel.
collapsedshowConnecting to/from London City

Your baggage will not be automatically forwarded so please collect all your bags before you leave to connect to or from London City airport.

We recommended that you allow at least:

  • 3.5 hours if you're connecting from London Heathrow or London Gatwick to London City
  • 3.5 hours if connecting from London City to London Gatwick, and
  • 3 hours if connecting from London City to London Heathrow.

If you do not have a boarding pass for your connecting British Airways flight, you will have to check in. Simply follow the Flight Connections signs and make your way to a Customer Service Desk where a member of British Airways staff will be able to assist you.

If your flight is with another airline, please contact their representative.

If you require assistance, your flight arrives late or you miss your onward flight connection, please see a member of the British Airways Customer Service team.

More information about connecting to London City

collapsedshowConnecting to/from London Stansted

Your baggage will not be automatically forwarded so please collect all your bags before you leave to connect to or from London Stansted.

We recommended that you allow at least:

  • 3 hours if you're connecting between London Stansted and London Gatwick
  • 3.5 hours if you're connecting between London Stansted and London Heathrow
  • 4 hours if you're connecting between London Stansted and London City

More information about connecting at London Stansted

If you do not have a boarding pass for your connecting British Airways flight, you will have to check in. Simply follow the Flight Connections signs and make your way to a Customer Service Desk where a member of British Airways staff will be able to assist you.

If your flight is with another airline, please contact their representative.

If you require assistance, your flight arrives late or you miss your onward flight connection, please see a member of the British Airways Customer Service team.

Connecting at non-UK airports

collapsedshowConnecting at New York (JFK)

British Airways flights arrive at and depart from Terminal 7 at New York JFK airport

If your baggage tag shows ‘JFK’, please follow the signs for 'Arrivals/Baggage reclaim' to collect your bags and check it in again as normal for your connecting flight.

Please allow 1 hour – 1.5 hours to transfer between terminals, clear customs and collect your baggage (if required).

You can use the AirTrain to transfer between terminals:

  • It operates between all terminals at JFK and stations that connect to the various New York railroad transportation systems (New York City Subway, Long Island Railroad).
  • It operates in both directions around all terminals at JFK airport.
  • The approximate travel time for a trip around the entire loop, including stops at all terminals, is 8 minutes. This doesn't include walking time between the airport and the AirTrain terminal itself.
  • Transport around the airport is free.
collapsedshow Connecting at New York (EWR)

All British Airways and OpenSkies flights arrive at and depart from New York Newark Terminal B.

If your connecting flight departs from a different terminal at Newark airport you can use the AirTrain to travel there for free.

If your connecting flight departs from New York JFK or LaGuardia airports, you can use the AirTrain to connect with other train services, or use one of the private shuttle operators. Please allow at least 1.5 hours travel time.

collapsedshowConnecting at Paris Orly

All British Airways, OpenSkies and Iberia flights arrive at and depart from Paris Orly Terminal West.

If you're connecting to a domestic Air France flight and you bought your ticket together with an OpenSkies flight, please allow at least 1 hour to connect within Orly West terminal.

For connections between Terminal West and Terminal South, take the free ORLYVAL shuttle train from exit A on the departures level. This service runs every 4-7 minutes between 04:30 and 00:30.

FAQs

collapsedshowWhich gate is my flight departing from?

Please check the information screens at regular intervals and make sure that you’re at the gate no later than 20 minutes before the flight departs so you don't miss your flight.

Gate information at Heathrow airport becomes available shortly before the flight opens. 

If your flight departs from Terminal 5, please be aware that this terminal is made up of three buildings: the main terminal building (A Gates) and two separate satellite buildings (B Gates and C Gates) connected by a transit train.

Please wait in the main terminal (A Gates) until your gate is announced. It takes approximately 20 minutes to get to B Gates or C Gates so please always ensure your flight is displayed on the screens before leaving the main terminal. Then please follow the signs to the transit train or use the moving walkway that offers easy escalator/lift access. The journey time is the same for either option.

If you use the British Airways app you will receive gate notifications directly on your mobile (iPhone only).

collapsedshowDo I need to collect my bags?

If you're connecting at an airport that requires you to clear your baggage at the first point of entry and you are connecting to a domestic flight in that country, please follow the signs for 'Arrivals/Baggage reclaim' to collect your bags and check it in again as normal for your connecting flight.

If you have booked all your flights under one booking with the same ticket number, you only need to check in your bags once when you start your journey then collect them at your final destination.

If you have booked two separate flights to reach your final destination, for example Edinburgh to London followed by London to New York, you will need to:

  • Check in your bags for your first flight e.g. Edinburgh to London.
  • Follow the signs for 'Arrivals/Baggage reclaim' in London to collect your bags.
  • Check them in again for your second flight e.g. London to New York.
  • Allow sufficient time to connect to your next flight – see recommended check in times.
If you're not sure, please ask a member of staff when you check in your bags in at the start of your journey.
collapsedshowCan I leave the airport?

If you have less than six hours until your flight departs, we strongly recommend that you wait at the airport. If you choose to leave, you will need to pass through passport control (and Customs if applicable). Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have all the appropriate documents required to enter the UK.

When you return to the airport, you must check in again as normal for your connecting flight, pass through airport security and be at the boarding gate at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time of your flight.

collapsedshowCan I meet someone who’s transferring flights?

Unfortunately it's not possible for you to go through customs and passport control to meet the person transferring flights unless you’re also checked-in for a flight leaving that airport terminal that day.

However, the person travelling can exit through 'Arrivals' to meet you, or leave the airport if they have enough transfer time between flights (more than 6 hours for Heathrow and Gatwick) and the necessary documentation to enter the UK. Please note that it is always the traveller's own responsibility to check their passport and visa requirements for each airport/country in their itinerary.

When the person travelling returns to the airport they will need to go through the usual security checks, including a full screening of their hand baggage because they are re-entering the airport. The liquids and hand baggage restrictions for that airport will apply.

collapsedshowWhere can I leave my bags?

For security reasons there are no storage lockers for baggage at the airport.

Left baggage services are operated by the Excess Baggage Company at Heathrow and Gatwick and are only available to customers arriving into the UK, i.e. you will need to pass through passport control (and customs if applicable) and then check in again as normal for your connecting flight.

There are also left luggage facilities at London City and Stansted airports once you’ve cleared passport control and customs.

collapsedshowWhat if I miss my connecting flight?

If you miss your connecting flight at London Heathrow, please go to the British Airways Customer Service desk in the Flight Connections area to rebook.

Being part of the oneworld alliance, we can provide support through the oneworld Global Support teams at key airports. They can help with your journey e.g. provide up-to-date travel information, new boarding passes and, if required, overnight accommodation.

At other London airports, please speak to a member of the British Airways Customer Service team.

If you booked your connecting flight separately with another airline, please contact the airline that you booked your flight with.

collapsedshowWhat happens with the liquids I buy at the airport or on board?

If you buy any liquid, gel or cream products of more than 100ml at a Duty Free shop or on board, you may carry them through Security to your connecting flight provided the items and the receipt are sealed inside a Security Tamper Evident Bag at the point of purchase. If you buy items on board, please ask cabin crew to do this for you.

If necessary, Security will reseal items in a new bag. We cannot accept liability for any products opened or confiscated during transit or disembarkation.

Please keep in mind that any items you buy at the airport or on board count towards your hand baggage allowance for your next flight. If you exceed this, you may need to check the items in and be charged a fee.

collapsedshowWhat happens if my baggage is lost, delayed or damaged?

You can report and track, or make a claim for lost, delayed or damaged baggage.

Help and contacts

Cabin crew.

See our FAQs and contact information for any questions about your journey.

Help and contacts