Mar 13th, 2013, 06:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8

I have a question for some more-seasoned air travelers, especially those who frequently use Heathrow. I am going to be landing at London Heathrow Airport around 5:15 in the morning. I was just wondering, approximately how long will it take me to get off the plane, retrieve my baggage, go through immigration (or any other necessary lines), and be on my way?
I understand every situation can't be accounted for, but I'm just looking for a general idea. Thanks!
Karachka is offline  
Mar 13th, 2013, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes. The biggest variables are where you deplane in relation to Immigration/Passport control and how long it will take for your luggage to be off loaded and reach the carrousel in the baggage claim area.

In all likelihood you should be on your way in 30 to 40 minutes.
RoamsAround is offline  
Mar 13th, 2013, 08:01 PM
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To be out the door to ground transportation, I'd calculate 90 minutes, just to be on the safe side.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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>>In all likelihood you should be on your way in 30 to 40 minutes.<<

IME that is very optimistic. I've had as long as a 15 min walk just from the gate to the beginning of the arrivals processes.

A lot depends on which terminal, how many other long haul flights are landing at the same time, what passport you carry, if your luggage is checked through or not, etc. Early AM is a very busy time.

From your other thread you are doing a day trip to Oxford during your layover. If so, you'll have to stow either just your carry on, or all of your luggage at Left Luggage. That alone can take 10 minutes.

Count on 90 minutes and be happy if it takes less time.
janisj is online now  
Mar 14th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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Which terminal?
Smeagol is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 05:40 AM
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I think the variables are the number of planes arriving at the same time, where they are from, and whether or not you have been thru the current UK screening procedures.

If your irises have already been scanned, you will get through more quickly than if that is part of your entry through immigration.

Heathrow does a better job of early morning staffing than many airports, but 5:15 is 5:15. If a bunch of 747's arrive at once, the lines will be long. God forbid an Airbus 380!

Finally, some countries traditionally generate more illegal entries than others, leading to more questions and slower lines.

None this applies, of course, if you are traveling on an EU passport, though your luggage may still take a while to arrive.
Ackislander is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 08:53 AM
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I didn't know that non EAA travellers can enter the UK via the Iris recognition system. I also don't think it is available in all terminals.
Odin is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 03:54 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
janisj -- I've changed my travel plans slightly (as I haven't bought my ticket yet) so that I can have 1 more day in London and 2 days in Oxford. I'm actually just traveling through on my way back from South Africa, but I want to make the most of my trip!
I am still planning on purchasing the ticket that lands me at Heathrow around 5:15 in the morning.
For right now, I will land around 5:15. I will have to get my baggage, since I am staying for a few days. My passport is American. What I'm trying to calculate right now is how long it will take just to get off the plane and on my way to actually get to see the city. Realistically, I need a giant neon sign that says "novice traveler" on it. The travelers that I know personally have given me very vague answers, and I thought I'd take advantage of more seasoned travelers on here.
I will be arriving from OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, and I'm not sure what terminal -- I think it'll be Terminal 5, though. The flight I'm planning on is American Airlines, but it's a codeshare flight with British Airways, so I think I'll technically be on a British Airways flight.
Karachka is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 11:17 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
It's going to be at least an hour - you are on a flight that will have a large number of non-EEA people and who require visas in order to travel to the UK. You also have to take into account the large number of long haul flights that reach LHR first thing in the morning.

And it won't be "technically BA", it WILL be BA.

But why are you interested, it will take as long as it takes and there's very little you can do to alter it short of upgrading
alanRow is offline  
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