During this year I had connected many times at Heathrow Airport in London. In most of those cases, I was traveling with British Airways. Connecting in Heathrow always takes time, especially when you are changing Terminals so saving as little as 10 minutes in your connection might make the difference between catching your next flight or losing it.
Whenever you are connecting in this airport, you need to follow the signs that say Flight Connections.
If you are arriving to Terminal 5, it’s important for you to know that it actually has 3 sub-terminals A, B and C; the last two are not connected to the main building so you need to use an underground train to get to the main distribution area. From there, you usually need to take an internal bus to get to the next terminal.
However, there’s a little trick that will save you time, and it’s not that obvious to everybody. When you are arriving to terminal 5B or 5C, you have two options to get to the underground train: taking the elevators or the escalators. If you take the first option, you will reach the underground station directly, but if you choose to use the escalators, you will need to go through another level before getting to the station… and there’s the trick.
Taking the escalators will allow you to reach an area where the internal buses stop for passengers connecting to other terminals. Most travelers don’t know that so they go straight to the elevators and lose around 10/15 more minutes; if you take the escalators, you will see a bus stop area that will connect you to the other terminals without you needing to get to the main Terminal 5 building. Taking the bus directly in the Terminal 5B area save me a lot of time when I was there last weekend, almost 20 minutes compared to previous connections I made in Heathrow.
So, next time you are connecting in Heathrow and you arrive to Terminal 5B or Terminal 5C, don’t use the elevators; use the escalators to the intermediate level, go to the bus stops area and enjoy your extra 20 minutes. 😉
[Images courtesy of Heathrow official website & essential travel.co.uk]