If you’ve ever transferred flights between American Airlines and BA at London Heathrow Airport it might have annoyed you that you had to change terminals to/from Terminal 3 in order to catch your connection – this will now change effective tomorrow July 7, 2020 as the carrier moves into British Airways’ Terminal 5.
Terminal 3 where American operates for as long as I can think back is sort of a collection all all different airlines including most oneworld carriers such as Cathay Pacific that also operate their own lounges there (T3 airlines have temporarily moved to T2 in late April as part of a consolidation effort due to Covid-19).
London Heathrow has always been a hot mess and the way airlines were scattered over the entire airport never made a lot of practical sense as it’s often the case with old airports that were never designed to grow as big as they eventually became.
Terminal 3 where American Airlines usually operates out of (T2 since April) eventually complimented British Airways own Terminal 5 and oneWorld passengers regularly had to shuttle between T5 and T3 in order to make connections. British Airways also operated a selection of flights from T3 when the schedule was intact. Now with all the reductions all BA flights have been consolidated at Terminal 5 again and American airlines will finally join them as well.
Business Traveler Magazine reported the terminal change two days ago following an announcement by American Airlines & IAG.
American Airlines is moving from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 at London Heathrow from July 7, 2020.
The airline says that the move will “improve the customer experience and strengthen American Airlines and the International Airline Group’s (IAG) Atlantic Joint Business”
The announcement applies to all American Airline flights currently operating, which is four daily flights from LHR Terminal 5 to
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
- New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK)
- Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
- Miami (MIA)
“Moving American’s operations to Terminal 5 for the first time will greatly improve the customer travel experience, enabling faster and easier connections by working closely alongside our valued joint business partners,” said Rhett Workman, Managing Director Europe & Asia-Pacific. “While our surroundings may have changed, the safety of our customers and team members remains of paramount importance and we are working tirelessly with our partners and the airport to ensure we continue to offer a safe travel experience.”
American’s check-in desks will be located in Terminal 5 Zone C for Flagship Business, Priority and Main Cabin customers. Flagship First customers can check-in using British Airways’ exclusive First Wing.
Customers travelling on American or connecting onto a British Airways or Iberia flight from Terminal 5 will be able to enjoy the British Airways lounges – two of which are currently open (as of tomorrow).
John has already written about British Airways reopening their lounges last week (July 4th) and from what I can see online it makes everything at least slightly more comfortable again.
The only negative about this move from T3 to T5 will in fact be the matter of lounges. T3 had much nicer lounge options available, especially Cathay Pacific. Nevertheless considering the close partnership of AA/BA for transatlantic travel it just makes sense to move these two carriers under one roof.
I’m actually surprised it took that long to finally streamline the connection options at LHR for AA/BA connections but lets not forget that until recently even British Airways operated certain flights from Terminal 3 as well as an “overflow” from T5. I always hated these flights as a connection passenger and unfortunately Las Vegas was always among them.