terminals and left luggage at Heathrow

Feb 2nd, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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terminals and left luggage at Heathrow

I'll be arriving in terminal 2 and leaving from terminal 3 at Heathrow, and hoped to go into London during my 8-hour layover. I know that left luggage facilities are at departures in Terminal 2, and Arrivals in Terminal 3. How far is Arrivals from Departures in Terminal 3, and will I have to check in (but somehow not check my luggage?) and go through security to leave my luggage in Terminal 3? I don't know if American Airlines will let me check luggage that early, and I would also not want to do this because I think it will increase the likelihood of my bag being lost--I also want to leave my laptop in there for the day. Any help you can provide appreciated.

a1802 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:44 PM
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All Heathrow left luggage facilities are, in the jargon, landside (ie in the areas open to everyone). Heathrow doesn't operate one of those "show your ticket and get your bags searched to get into a terminal" systems, so anyone can leave things at left luggage.

Which means you have to allow time in your plans both to get your bags scanned before they'll accept them and to wait while everyone else gets their scanned as you come to collect them.

Incidentally, don't assume AA won't accept bags 8 hours prior. And you're no more likely to see things go missing if you check in early. Just check with AA.

I'm sure I've seen a left luggage at T3 departures, and the Excess Bag company, which operates them all, claims on its website (www.excess-baggage.com) they're at Departures too. Arrivals is actually a wing of T3, which leads to Departures, but it'd be about a 50-100 yd detour to go to Arrivals, then Departures, on the way back - which is probably one more hassle you could live without. I'd give them a ring and check.

Bloody BAA - never-ending in its quest to make life that little bit grislier for its customers - publish wonderfully illustrated maps of the terminals on its site. Meticulous in telling you the precise location of every branch of every stupid "queue up for three days while everyone demands their coffee with vanilla essence, 3.2 spoonsful of sugar and a damnfool fake Italian name" joint.

But equally meticulous in pretending none of the left luggage facilities exist. Which is a dirty Spanish lie. Place has gone to the dogs since they took over.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 01:14 AM
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Thank you! I will plan accordingly.
a1802 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 02:26 AM
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If you can't either check through or check your luggage before leaving the airport I'd recommend storing your luggage at the DEPARTURE terminal as you then won't have to change terminal AFTER recollecting your luggage - one less thing to worry about
alanRow is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Thank you for all of your suggestions.

I just wanted to let you know that you must go to Arrivals in Terminal 3 to leave luggage; Excess Luggage is in Departures, but I think they just sell luggage and might pack it up to send on to destinations. I was directed to Arrivals, where there was no line at all (but it was early Sunday morning). I spent a few enjoyable hours near Tower Bridge, and it took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to get from the Tower Bridge tube station back to the Left Luggage counter.

Please note that American was willing to check in my luggage eight hours early, but when they expressed sympathy at my having to stay in the airport for that long a period of time, I mistakenly told them I was going into town. They refused to check my luggage after that, saying that even I intended to get back hours before my scheduled departure, something beyond my control could prevent me from returning in time, and it would be a lot of effort to pull my luggage off the plane if I didn't turn up.
a1802 is offline  
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