Heathrow Terminal 5 Baggage Status?

Apr 22nd, 2008, 08:44 PM
  #1  
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Heathrow Terminal 5 Baggage Status?

I've googled and used search functions here and on TripAdvisor, but am unable to find a current status report on Heathrow Terminal 5 baggage handling. Is the system finally working, or are thousands of pieces of luggage still getting lost?

I will be arriving Terminal 5 on May 14th and am trying to assess how bad the situation is these days.
marthag is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2008, 10:09 PM
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There have been no new stories about baggage problems at T5 (or anywhere else in Heathrow) for 2-3 weeks. I can't find any new complaints on FlyerTalk either.

Although BA still haven't fully restored the bags that disappeared in the first week, the evidence seems to be that the baggage system - and the people operating it - have been functioning properly, all the time, for at least two weeks now.

Given the hysteria in the British press about all this, it's 99.9% certain that any new cases of luggage problems would be publicly reported instantly.

flanneruk is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2008, 05:04 AM
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Thank you,flanneruk, for the very helpful update on the baggage situation. I'll try to keep current on the issue from now till my departure. However, I sure would appreciate it if you,being in the U.K., would update this post if any new information surfaces.
marthag is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 10:47 AM
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Hello flanneruk and others.....We leave for Heathrow in about 9 hours.Have there been any new horror stories about lost luggage with British Airways at Heathrow? Is the lost luggage situation back to the normal, pre-terminal 5 status....which wasn't very good, but acceptable?
marthag is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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I had no problems with bags at BA/LHR in several passes through in the past couple of weeks. Mind, I did not let BA transfer bags between flights, I always collected them and took them myself to the next check-in. No problems collecting bags checked to/from T5 on 3 flights.
Gardyloo is online now  
May 13th, 2008, 11:04 AM
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I've done both LHR-NRT and LHR-ZRH on BA T5 with checked luggage. My bags made perfectly ok on both legs on each occasions. Pick-up time is also shorter than the old T1.

Neither have I heard of lost luggage from my colleagues who used T5. It's actually quite a neat building, lots of shops. Security lines were also moving quickly when flying out. Non-UK/EU passport control looked a bit crowded but not much different from what I usually see in other terminals.
W9London is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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Thank you all for the encouraging update. I've been trying to pack light, but to no avail. I'm ending up checking two bags, one for each of us. I'm doing a small carryon with necessities in case the luggage is delayed.

But your insights have given me less concern about checking the bags. We fly PHX-LHR-CDG today. I figure the checked bags can catch up with us in Paris, if necessary.

Many thanks for this last minute, first hand advice.
marthag is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 12:55 PM
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We flew into T3 (on AA) and out T5, and return, a few weeks ago. I was very concerned but everything went just as planned. We checked our luggage and our bags arrived on schedule.

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 03:13 AM
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marthag,

YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY DOUBLE-CHECK WITH BA which terminal you'll be arriving from PHX. BA announced to delay moving many long-haul flights to T5, so they may be still using T4. (Some to be moving to T5 but that's not till 5 June). DON'T TRUST INFO ON YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENT.

LHR-CDG is definitely departing from T5.

So i believe you may have to transfer from T4 to T5. You take a shuttle bus for transfer, go through security. Your luggage should be through-checked to CDG.
How much time between the flights do you have?
W9London is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 04:17 AM
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W9 - I was going to mention the same thing then realized the OP left last night. Hopefully, they did fine if they had to transfer terminals.
dfr4848 is offline  
May 17th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Any further input on getting from T4 to T5 and problems encountered with booking luggage straight thru would be appreciated. We leave on June 30 from Australia and fly into T4 and have just over 3 hours before ongoing flight to Paris from T5. Is it clear where to get the shuttle, etc and is it ok to book our bags all the way through to Paris? About how long does the transfer take (will ideally need to grab a bite of breakfast as get in at 5.30 a.m. and fly on at 8.50).
Suedee is offline  
May 17th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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My husband just arrived through T5 (Edi-Heathrow-Chicago-Champaign) without luggage. Seems like it's an isolated case though! Just his luck...
pittpurple is offline  
May 17th, 2008, 06:13 PM
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We will test this route next week, fly into T4 on Qantas and out of T5 on BA, good to hear some positive reports as I was getting quite stressed!
Bad luck pittpurple, hope it works out OK.
ozgirl is offline  
May 18th, 2008, 04:00 PM
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Ozgirl, hope you will be back before we leave? would appreciate your comments on your experience, also whether it would be really burdensome to collect our luggage at T4, take it along on the shuttle and book it in at T5. How long/arduous a haul is it? My concern is that if T5 is taking on more traffic from June 5, we will be treading relatively unchartered waters in terms of coping with baggage transfer when we travel end of June and it may be better to keep it with us. BUT how cumbersome/difficult will this be? (We are a family of 4.. kids are adults though so can manage own baggage,etc).
Suedee is offline  
May 18th, 2008, 09:55 PM
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suedee, we will not be back until July 2 but I will try and post anything interesting on this thread once we have arrived in Europe if I think it will help!
Have a great trip.
ozgirl is offline  
May 18th, 2008, 10:37 PM
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Suedee needs to understand the Heathrow system.

If you can get all your needs into carryon baggage, this doesn't apply. But if you need to check bags, you have two alternatives.

1. Check them through to Paris in Australia. Yes there's a risk, maybe that risk will be greater than average (but who knows? T4, for example, will have far, far, fewer flights by then, so the staff there may well perform MORE reliably than at present) so make sure you've got essentials in your carryon. At T4, take the airside bus to T5 and go to your gate after security.

2. At T4, go through immigration and collect your bags. Wait for the train to Heathrow Central, then at Heathrow Central wait for the train to T5 (as far as I'm aware, there's no landside "shuttle" between the two terminals, but I don't know what you think a shuttle is anyway). Then check yourself and your bags again, and go through security to the gate

With three hours between flights, there's a real risk you might miss the connection altogether (it's "legal" if you connect the way they tell you to, which is airside: not - as in your suggestion - if you choose to go on a scenic tour of London's railways)

Additionally, as you've pointed out, there's a risk the T5 baggage system might collapse all over again. But this risk is IDENTICAL whether you check in the bags yourself or get them transferrred. Virtually ALL the bags lost in early April belonged to people who'd checked them at T5. Claiming and rechecking your bag avoids no risk, but adds the risk of missing the connection.

Using T5 at all from June is a bit of a gamble. The only way to avoid the T5 risk is to fly to Paris on a Star Alliance or SkyTeam flight. If it really worries you, cancel and fly Air France or Singapore. If that's not possible, make sure you can survive for a few days without checked luggage.
flanneruk is offline  
May 19th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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As flanneruk pointed out, there is no direct landside connection between T4/T5. You'll have to "backtrack" to T1/2/3, so it can mean waiting for 20-30min total to make two train connections.

Not all long-hauls are moving to T5 come 5 June. The only ones moving are JFK, ABV, BLR, PEK, CAI, LOS, CPT, and PHX. (This is in addition to HKG, JNB, LAX, MIA, SFO, NRT and YVR already operating from/to T5). I suspect BA delayed the move for other long-haul to avoid overloading the sytem.
W9London is offline  
May 19th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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So what's a reasonable time estimate for making the T4 to T5 connection? In June, we're flying ORD to Heathrow (T4) and continuing to Berlin (T5). On the way back in mid July we're flying Rome (T5) to Heathrow and continuing to ORD (T4). Unfortunately we have separate tickets for business transatlantic and coach European flights, though they are all on BA. When I booked everything was going through T4.
Marija is online now  
May 19th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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So what's a reasonable time estimate for making the T4 to T5 connection? In June, we're flying ORD to Heathrow (T4) and continuing to Berlin (T5). On the way back in mid July we're flying Rome (T5) to Heathrow and continuing to ORD (T4). Unfortunately we have separate tickets for business transatlantic and coach European flights, though they are all on BA. When I booked everything was going through T4.

If BA will check your bags through (show them both tickets at check-in) then the connection can be made airside (inside security) and an hour to 90 min. ought to be sufficient. If you go landside (i.e. outside security) for example to claim and re-check your bags, then I'd think 2 hours is more comfortable. The 2-train HEX trip can take anywhere from 20 min. to 45 min. depending on how lucky you are with departure times from T4/T5 and connection times at Heathrow Central.
Gardyloo is online now  
May 19th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Thanks. We have 4 hours on the way over and 3 hours on the way back so we should be OK if there aren't big flight delays.
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