Connecting within London Heathrow
There are four terminals at Heathrow:
- Terminals 2 and 3, which are connected and a short walk from each other.
- Terminal 4
- Terminal 5. 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.
Check which London airport and terminal your British Airways flight will depart or arrive. Alternatively, 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.
We recommend that you allow the following times when connecting between terminals:
- Within Terminal 3: 60 minutes
- Between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5: 90 minutes
- Within Terminal 5 (UK domestic and international flights): 60 minutes
You must be at the gate for your onward journey at least 20 minutes before your connecting flight departs to be able to travel.
Please ensure you allow plenty of time to collect your bags, or if you require additional support getting through the airport.
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.
- When connecting between flights, normal rules for liquids in hand baggage apply. You may carry duty-free liquids provided they remain sealed with the receipt inside their Security Tamper Evident Bag.
- If you need to collect any boarding passes, please go to a kiosk or customer service desk, then follow the appropriate signs – either International or Domestic – for your flight. Staff will be happy to help with any queries you may have in the connections area.
- If you're connecting to a UK domestic or Republic of Ireland flight, you will need to present your passport at Passport Control, then Security will take a facial biometric picture before you go through Security screening.
- Free dedicated Flight Connections buses will transfer you between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5.
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.
Follow the purple signs to ‘Flight Connections’ and use the dedicated Flight Connections buses to take you to your departure terminal. These free buses provide step-free access, run every 6-10 minutes and are the easiest way to travel between terminals.
Heathrow airport offers a dedicated Special Assistance Bus for travellers with reduced mobility and those travelling with babies or children. This bus doesn't serve Arrivals, so if you need to pass through this area to collect your bags, please speak to a member of Heathrow airport staff.
The below options are also available for getting between the terminals.
The Heathrow Express is free to use when travelling between terminals. London Underground is free if you use a Transport for London Oyster card.
Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 /
Terminal 5 to Terminal 3
|Heathrow Express: 20 minutes
London Underground: 16 minutes
|Terminal 5 to Terminal 5 Gates A, B and C||Transit train: 20 minutes
Moving walkway: 20 minutes
If you need additional help for your journey, such as getting through the airport, boarding the aircraft or reaching your onward travel connections, please let us know at least 48 hours before you travel on 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.
- Transferring within Terminal 5 (A, B or C Gates): you can arrange to travel in an electric buggy, which takes 10-15 minutes depending on the arrival and departure gates.
- Transferring 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 offers additional facilities for travellers with more severe physical or learning disabilities, including 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.
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: Galleries Arrival Lounge
|Travelling in First or Business (Club World)
Executive Club Gold Members travelling on a British Airways long-haul flight
|Terminal 3: American Airlines Arrival Lounge
||Travelling in First or Business (Club World)
Executive Club Gold Members arriving on a British Airways long-haul flight
Travelling in First or Business on an American Airlines operated flight
If you have a longer stopover between your connections, you can stay at a conveniently-located Heathrow airport hotel.
There are a number of shuttle buses that run between local hotels and Heathrow airport. Please check which shuttle bus you need to take for your hotel.
Connecting between other London airports
British Airways flights operate from three different airports in London, including London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City.
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 visa.
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 simplest way to travel directly between Heathrow and Gatwick is to take a fast and frequent National Express coach.
- 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.
- All British Airways flights operate from London Gatwick South Terminal, so you can alight here or another Gatwick terminal should you choose.
- You can buy National Express coach tickets at the ticketing office in the international Arrivals area or online.
All British Airways flights operate from London Gatwick South Terminal.
If you're arriving or departing on another airline's flight from the North terminal, you can use the shuttle service between North and South terminals. These operate 24 hours a day and the journey takes just 3 minutes.
Arriving into London Gatwick South Terminal
- Follow signs to International Flight Connections.
- If you do not have a boarding pass, go to the British Airways Flight Connections desk or Self Service Kiosk.
- You must be at your boarding gate at least 20 minutes before your flight departs to be able to travel.
- Liquids over 100ml are not permitted through Security unless placed in a tamperproof bag provided by the duty free retailer.
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.
- You must be at your boarding gate at least 20 minutes before your flight departs to be able 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 departs to be able to travel.
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 recommend that you allow 3.5 hours to connect between London City to both London Heathrow and London Gatwick.
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
British Airways flights arrive at, and depart from, Terminal 8 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 1-1.5 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.
All British Airways 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.
Frequently asked questions
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 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).
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, such as 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.
If you have less than 6 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).
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.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have all the appropriate documents required to enter the UK.
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 the same airport terminal on the same 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). They will also need the necessary documentation to enter the UK. It is always their own responsibility to check their passport and visa requirements for each airport/country in their itinerary.
When they return 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.
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 are connecting onto another flight, you can check your bags through to your final destination, providing:
- All your flights are on one booking reference with the same ticket number, or
- All your flights are with oneworld® airlines booked under the same booking reference, even though you may hold separate ticket numbers.
If you have booked two separate flights on separate booking references to reach your final destination, you will need to:
- Check in your bags for your first flight.
- Follow the signs for 'Arrivals/Baggage Reclaim'.
- Check them in again for your second flight.
- 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 at the start of your journey.
For security reasons there are no storage lockers for baggage at the airports.
Left baggage services are operated by the Excess Baggage Company at Heathrow and Gatwick and are only available to customers arriving into the UK. 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.
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.
You can report and track, or make a claim for lost, delayed or damaged baggage.
If you need to stay overnight, we offer a wide range of conveniently-located hotels.
Disability and mobility assistance
Tell us what assistance you need at least 48 hours before your flight departs.