Travellers embarking on an intercontinental journey often need to change planes once or more before they reach their final destination. London Heathrow airport in the UK is one of the international hubs in the world with the highest volume of passengers in transit who will go through its terminals only to catch a connecting flight to another airport, that is, to make a connection. The time spent in transit may go from a couple of hours to an entire day, so you are advised to plan for your layover accurately and well in advance, just like you search for accommodation months or weeks ahead of your trip.
Making a connection in Heathrow airport (London, UK)
Transferring to another flight in Heathrow airport of London should not be a concern as long as your inbound flight is not delayed and the totality of your journey has been purchased as a single ticket with stopovers/layovers. Provided that this is the scenario, the airline will have informed you of the estimated time you have to make it from the arrivals zone to your next boarding gate and, in the majority of cases, you won’t need to collect your bags as they will be sent straight through to the last airport you will be landing at. Nevertheless, prior to boarding your outbound flight in London Heathrow, it is mandatory that you clear security once again, regardless of the fact that you have already done it at the beginning of your trip. All you have to do is make sure you check the information screens upon landing and confirm your boarding time and gate and, ideally, keep taking a look at them along the way towards your designated boarding area since modifications might occur.
Catching a connecting flight in Heathrow airport (LHR)
Once you have landed in London and checked your boarding time and gate in Heathrow airport, you must follow the purple signs leading you to the international connecting areas. Whether you need to travel from one terminal to another or not, you will be guided through the building so that you can take the next step of your journey as smoothly as possible. In case of having to commute to another building, London Heathrow provides specific free shuttle bus services for those passengers who are about to transfer to a connecting flight. As you will always encounter members of the staff offering indications and guidance, you will be asked to show your passport and boarding pass in order to be able to help you in a quick and effective manner.
Travel between terminals in London Heathrow
Should you need to commute between passenger terminals in Heathrow airport, rest assured that you will be waiting at your assigned departure gate in time: terminal 2 and terminal 3 are pretty close to each other and you can cover the distance separating them on foot. On the contrary, if you are travelling from terminal 4 or terminal 5 of Heathrow, we recommend you take a complimentary bus to the other buildings or the tube; services run very frequently throughout the day. This applies even if you are catching an outbound flight that you have booked independently, although in such case, unfortunately, you are solely responsible for making your connection in time.
Long layover in Heathrow airport of London
Will you have more than two hours of waiting time before departing Heathrow? All terminals of this airport in London boast a wide array of dining and shopping options; however, if you have been travelling across time zones and want to arrive well-rested and refreshed to your destination, you may consider making a reservation at a capsule hotel in Heathrow. This will enable you to take a nap, shower or get some good rest during an overnight layover without leaving the transit area.
As a final note, take into account that even if you are not required to claim your baggage or leave the boarding concourse while transiting through Heathrow airport to change planes, it will be mandatory that your show your passport upon arrival as well as your travel permit or visa if that is the case. With this in mind, you can keep it handy and be ready to show it at any time.
Is London the final destination of your trip or are you planning a visit in the future? To save time and money, many travellers decide to find accommodation near London’s main attractions.