Heathrow terminal confusion as British Airways moves flights to T5 at short notice

Heathrow terminal confusion as British Airways moves flights to T5 at short notice
Normally changes of terminal are made at the ‘seasonal boundaries’ in late October and late March

With just two weeks’ notice, British Airways is sharply reducing its presence at London Heathrow Terminal 3 and moving two-thirds of “T3” routes to its main home, Terminal 5.

From 12 July, all long-haul flights currently operating from T3 – to destinations including Barbados, Buenos Aires, Las Vegas and Orlando – will return to T5 . Many short-haul flights, in particular to central Europe and the former Yugoslavia, will also move.

News of the change was broken by the frequent flyer site Head for Points. The editor, Rob Burgess, said: “There is something a little odd about this. The changes are happening quickly – passengers will get just 14 days notice in some cases.”

Normally changes of terminal are made at the “seasonal boundaries” in late October and late March. The short notice may mean that some passengers with existing bookings will mistakenly turn up at Terminal 3.

Mr Burgess said: “It also makes little sense in terms of trying to manage queues and lounge capacity in Terminal 5.”

While confirmation has not yet been received from BA, test bookings made by The Independent indicate the report is correct.

British Airways has made around 15,000 planned flight cancellations so far this summer, and it appears the airline can fit almost its entire Heathrow operation into a single terminal.

Its partners Iberia and American Airlines have substantial presences at Terminal 5 currently. But the Flyertalk forum is reporting: “American Airlines will consolidate all AA LHR operations Terminal 3 effective July 1, 2022.”

The Independent is seeking comments from both British Airways and American Airlines.

Links from Terminal 3 have traditionally been those with the smallest proportion of connecting traffic to other BA routes. An “airside” bus connection or “landside” rail connection is required by passengers with transfers to and from Terminal 5.

The news emerged as the Civil Aviation Authority said it wants passenger charges at Heathrow to fall every year until 2026.

Routes believed to be affected

Long haul flights moving from T3 to T5

  • Accra
  • Austin
  • Barbados
  • Buenos Aires*
  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Phoenix
  • Sao Paulo*

(* Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo are currently operated as a single service)

Short haul flights moving from T3 to T5

  • Algiers
  • Brindisi
  • Bologna
  • Budapest
  • Faro
  • Krakow
  • Ljubljana
  • Marseille
  • Nuremberg
  • Olbia
  • Prague
  • Pisa
  • Split
  • Toulouse
  • Valencia
  • Zagreb

Short haul flights staying in T3

  • Bastia
  • Billund
  • Bucharest
  • Gibraltar
  • Gothenburg
  • Lyon
  • Naples
  • Oslo
  • Porto
  • Pula
  • Tirana
  • Vienna