Meeting a friend

Old Jul 19th, 2011, 07:34 AM
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Meeting a friend

I am traveling to the U.K with a friend. I am from the United States and he is from Australia. We arrive at Heathrow airport, but at different terminals. Is it possible to go from one terminal to the other and wait at the gate, or do i have to pass through customs first and that wait at baggage claim.

Thanks
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 08:04 AM
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Is it possible to go from one terminal to the other and wait at the gate
No


, or do i have to pass through customs first and that wait at baggage claim.
Of course not. You can't possibly go through Customs till you have your bags.

Whoever arrives first goes to the other's terminal, and waits OUTSIDE Customs, which the 2nd will go through after going through baggage claim.
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 08:47 AM
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Thanks very much for answering my question.
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 08:49 AM
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I wasnt planning on a checking a bag, but since ill have to go thru customs first anyway, I guess it wont matter.
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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"I wasnt planning on a checking a bag, but since ill have to go thru customs first anyway, I guess it wont matter."

This bit really doesn't makes sense. I think you are confusing "Customs" w/ "Immigration" (Passport control). Everyone goes through passport control whether you have a checked bag or not. Customs is basically a formality -- you just walk through a doorway w/ a green sign re 'Nothing to Declare'. It doesn't take any add'l time.

How much time between the two flight arrivals? What time of day? And which terminals? Are you heading into London from LHR or somewhere else? These details could make a big difference re where to meet up . . .
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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If you are meeting to go into London together and are staying at the same hotel, plan to meet at your hotel instead of at the airport. Not only is LHR a vast complex, it could be that either of your flights is very much delayed for reasons of weather, etc. Someone traveling from Australia may be quite tired, and if your flight were delayed for several hours, it really is no fun at all to hang around that airport.

Even if somehow you can pinpoint a good meeting place ahead of time, at least have a back up plan that if you haven't found each other by xx hour, you are each heading to the hotel and will meet there.

However, if the idea is to meet at LHR and then board a train or bus for someplace other than London, I guess it does getmore complicated. (Bring cell phones as your first line of defense.) If you are planning to catch a flight later in the day, agree to meet at the wait-area for the flight you will both be taking.
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 04:47 PM
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I actually planned my flight around my friends flight and i get in 1 and 1/2 hours before him so waiting isnt an issue. What I wanted to know was if i could just go from terminal 1 to terminal 3 after getting off the plane and meeting him at the gate. Once you go thru customs/immigration (and getting your bags from baggage claim) whatever..you cant get back into the airport (the gates) with out a valid ticket. Nevermind, Ill figure it out. Thanks for the help.
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 10:55 PM
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With that little time between flights there's a significant chance that your friend will be landside before you - their flight is early, yours is late, they get straight through immigration, you don't. There's no information at a terminal that tells you what is happening at other terminals so there's no way they'd know if your flight has arrived without physically going to the other terminal or using the internet to look at the Heathrow Airport website.

So what happens if things go wrong? What are your plans?
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 01:31 AM
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You can't really meet at the gate (the point where passengers enter the terminal building from the plane) - there are substantial physical barriers to separate the traffic flows of passengers from and to the planes.

So yes, you both need to clear immigration, pick up your baggage, go through the customs channel, and then meet at or outside the landside exit point in one or the other terminal, like everyone else. I don't think there's any earlier point in either of your journeys that you could both get to: why complicate it by trying?

What you need to do is decide on a meeting point in one or the other terminal. There are terminal layout maps at www.heathrowairport.com.
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 01:54 AM
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You could check which cafes are at the terminal where the latest flight arrives and agree to meet there, e.g. 'meet at Costa Coffee next to W H Smith in Arrivals in Terminal 3'. I would also recommend a Plan B just in case mobile phones don't work or flights are delayed etc.

Kay
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 03:42 AM
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Terminals one and three are connected by an underpass, so you can walk from one to the other.
Say either you'll meet at the coffee place next to Boots and to the right as they leave baggage reclaim, or to sit in the seating just by the exit to luggage reclaim if they don't see you standing waiting for them.
If one of you isn't there by a certain time agree the other will proceed to the hotel alone.
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 05:25 AM
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Where are you staying? Read alanRow's post again. You may have significant issues finding each other - even w/ a set meeting point. If you are staying in central London, I'd simply plan on going to the hotel and meeting up there.

(Checking bags has no bearing really on where you meet)
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