Qantas Terminal 3 to BA Terminal 5 transfer at Heathrow

By mern2001 | Jul 30, 2018, 11:11 PM

Hello all. I would appreciate your advice on a transfer between Terminal 3 to 5 in Heathrow. I arrive on QF9 at 5.05am and have 3.45 hours to transfer to terminal 5 to catch a flight to Edinburgh using BA. The flights are bought on separate bookings. I have only carry-on luggage. I’m also QF P1 – so I can use priority lanes etc. I’m travelling business on both legs.

I have plenty of time, but I am always keen to avoid long queues. A few questions:

1) Will QANTAS issue me with a boarding pass for the BA flight even though it’s on a different booking – and booked through BA?

2) Is it easier to goe through immigration etc, exit terminal 3, get the tube and enter terminal 5 via the first-class entry?

3) Or, do I get the connecting bus airside?

Sorry, many details here – but some advice would be helpful.

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By whoppersandwich | Jul 30, 2018, 11:21 PM
The connecting bus is fairly easy to use and transits directly to T5 without stopping, I don’t think you’ll get a separate BA boarding pass from QF, but what i would recommend is using the BA smartphone app and loading your boarding pass electronically. I’m pretty sure it will work for all domestic and EU flights (not an exhaustive list!) from Heathrow.
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By PB57 | Jul 31, 2018, 03:12 AM
I entered the (UK) at T3 off a QF flight four weeks ago. The queues were horrific but with an express pass got through the immigration fast lane in about 20 to 25 minutes. However I have previously experienced delays of over an hour, and that was in the express lane! On the most recent time I also had to transfer to T5, but this was to collect a rental car, rather than connect with another flight. It probably took 20 minutes from bag collection to arriving at T5 on the Heathrow train.

18 months ago we had to transfer on arrival from T3 to T5 to a connecting flight. We used the airside bus. That probably took about an hour, but no more. We had a frustrating queue at T3 waiting for the bus and then another queue at T5 to go through security.

All considered both processes are prone to waits and frustration, but I’d probably do the airside bus transfer if I had to do it again.

As has previously been suggested, I’d download BA boarding pass before departure if I were you. Otherwise you risk another queue at the transfer desk.
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By mviy | Jul 31, 2018, 09:51 AM
I would take the transfer bus. I’ve taken it before when travelling with just carry-on connecting from a non-OW carrier to a BA flight on separate bookings. After taking the bus you can use the priority lane at T5 to go through security.
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By Martin Haynes | Jul 31, 2018, 10:23 AM
You will have plenty of time but I agree that the transfer bus is a fast way to go. Exiting immigration, going down to the Tube, catching a train and then back through immigration again is a pain, especially by the time you get there is will be start of morning peak for T5. QF won't give you a BA boarding pass but get the BA app on your smartphone, get the boarding pass on this and you will be fine. And don't get too worried about any queues, you will have enough time, just relax and don't let yourself get too stressed.
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By mern2001 | Jul 31, 2018, 11:29 AM
Thanks everyone. Very helpful suggestions. I will get the internal bus and download the App.
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By patrickk | Jul 31, 2018, 11:58 AM
I did it the other day of QF9 which get in close to 4.30 then 5 and at that hour the queues in terminal five for immigration are quite short (five people in front of me). Use immigration in terminal five than terminal three and make sure you do it as you are not automatically channelled to it as international flights use the same space. There is facial recognition used as you board so you wold be caught out at boarding if you tried it.
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By mviy | Jul 31, 2018, 04:14 PM
Good point.

When I changed to Terminal 5 I was transferring from an international flight to another international flight. I wasn't connecting to a destination in Britain.
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By JJ1 | Jul 31, 2018, 09:04 PM
Hello ... Not sure how you made your booking but Qantas will issue you with a boarding pass if one of your bookings is a redemption booking with points and the other is a paid booking or vice versa. If this is the case then the best way to do this is to check in at the airport, have a copy of your connecting BA flight details so that the QF staff can add it and then you should be set with your BA boarding pass as well.
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By Nick Sydney 2 | Aug 01, 2018, 03:26 PM
All the transit tips given above. One thing to note is that the lounges at T5 are packed. Last couple of times I gave up on the T5 main lounges and made my way to the smaller lounge at T5B. Much quieter and great showers are what is needed after that long flight up form Perth. Enjoy
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By Kentown45 | Aug 01, 2018, 05:30 PM
As the OP is connecting to a UK Domestic flight access to T5B is not an option.

Also 6am to 7 am is not really busy for T5 Lounges

Providing Qantas arrives at the scheduled time i.e 5 minutes after Heathrow opens there will be very few Domestic Connections at T5 so Airside lines will be minimal. Plus of course there is the unique UK system where there are no Customs at LHR for UK Domestic connections. Also unlikely to be any at EDI.

Just the messy photograph situation.

So 3 lines

1] Conformance and Photograph

2] Immigration

3] Fastrack Security

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By Rezzadogs | Aug 01, 2018, 07:35 PM
Definitely use the bus connection for flight connections. As a P1, the BA first lounge is upstairs at the southern end of terminal 5A - although access is from the lower level. The lounge at the northern end is similar to a domestic Qantas Club.

For those who are already landside and need to change terminals - don't use the tube as you will need to pay, go to the Heathrow Express station / platofrm, and you can transfer between T1,2,3 and T4 or T5 for free. Trains normally run every 15 mins on this line
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By mutley | Aug 01, 2018, 08:09 PM
The Heathrow app is very helpful, because it can calculate transfer times between terminals. You just plug in your flight details and it recommends the best transfer method.
Earlier this year we flew in to LHR T5 from New York, and transferred to LHR T3 for a flight to Prague. Transit time was slightly less than 2 hours, and included very officious border security checks, but we had time enough for very expensive coffee on the way through T3, and were reunited with our luggage in Prague.
I think you are best to use the transfer bus and will have plenty of time. I recommend the Heathrow smartphone app.
Enjoy the trip.
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By mern2001 | Aug 01, 2018, 09:50 PM
I hope some of the respondents check this - but just to say thanks for your helpful advice.
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By Granto | Aug 04, 2018, 07:47 PM
Have done this three times in the last year via QF1 each time transferring to UK flights including Edinburgh all of which resulted in lengthy delays at Immigration . NOTE they channel you to a specific area for UK flights that does not have a priority lane ! last time it took 90 minutes to clear
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By Pegasus | Aug 08, 2018, 05:24 PM
I'm an Australian now living in Edinburgh and sadly too familiar with Heathrow. The lounge in T5 is simply unfriendly. Too crowded and not zoned properly; the "flow" is awful. I think it was designed by someone who never had to sit for more than two hours in a lounge. However, heaps of power plugs.

BA only issues paper boarding passes upon request, otherwise, it's on the BA app. Not sure what happens if you've booked on a QF ticket. It's very easy to take the Heathrow Express from T5 to T3. It's free, uncrowded (generally) and quick and comfortable. Good signage to help you on your way.

The queues can be unwieldy at Immigration although they seem to wave Australians through fairly quickly. (I'm now a Registered Traveller...see other article...and it's really worth the price if you do this trip regularly.)

Welcome to Edinburgh! We are in the midst of our Festival season and the place is hopping. Or heaving, depending on your point of view... Hope you get to enjoy some of our gorgeous city. Safe travels.

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