British Airways moving flights between Heathrow Terminals 1 & 5

By John Walton, July 16 2012
British Airways moving flights between Heathrow Terminals 1 & 5

In just a few months, British Airways will change the London Heathrow terminal for many of its flights -- so if you're connecting from Qantas, British Airways or Cathay Pacific in London Heathrow to a UK or European flight, check now whether your flight is changing terminal.

With more flights to some destinations, you may be able to cut down your connection time, while a trans-terminal transfer will add time, meaning that it may well be worth your while changing your booking to a later connecting flight.

Elsewhere in London, there are also more flights from the financial district city-centre airport at London City, with extra services from BA's second hub at Gatwick too.

The flights changing are those to: Aberdeen, Agadir, Basel, Belfast, Bergen, Bologna, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Faro, Gibraltar, Glasgow, Hanover, Ibiza, Luxembourg, Lyon, Malaga, Manchester, Marrakech, Marseille, Oslo, Palma, Salzburg, Stavanger, Toulouse, Turin and Zurich.

Changes come into play from 28 October 2012, when BA's winter schedule begins. If your flight or route is one of those changing, you'll want to check with the airline or travel agency from whom you purchased your ticket. 

But bear in mind BA's advice: "Due to the volume of changes being made, these new routes and frequencies will be available to book... over the next few days" -- so best to check now and then in a couple of weeks once the schedules have all been updated.

It's all a result of BA's acquisition of former rival BMI. With more planes and some route overlaps, BA is shifting around its schedules, with some former BA routes heading over to the old BMI Terminal 1, and some former BMI routes now using BA's home in Terminal 5.

Terminal and flight changes by destination

Flights using Terminal 5 from 28 October:

  • Aberdeen (also more flights)
  • Agadir
  • Bergen
  • Bologna (all flights from Heathrow, also more flights)
  • Edinburgh (also more flights, larger aircraft)
  • Manchester
  • Oslo (also more flights)
  • Stavanger
  • Zurich

Flights using Terminal 1 from 28 October:

  • Basel
  • Belfast (new timetable)
  • Düsseldorf
  • Hanover
  • Luxembourg (also more flights)
  • Lyon (also more flights)
  • Marseille (move from Gatwick, also more flights)
  • Toulouse

There are also more flights from the very convenient London City Airport to Glasgow, Frankfurt, Ibiza and Palma.

From BA's secondary hub at Gatwick, you'll find more flights to Faro, Malaga and Marrakech, with all BA Marrakech flights leaving from Gatwick.

Gibraltar, Salzburg and Turin will see further flights for the winter schedule, with Gibraltar flights departing from Terminal 3.

What the changes mean for you

If you're travelling on these routes, check now to see whether your flight has changed. It might be at a new time or a more convenient flight might have opened up -- or your previously tight connection may now be unworkable.

British Airways (or whichever airline you booked through) should be sympathetic if the terminal changes mean that it makes sense for you to take a different flight, even if you have an "unchangeable" ticket. 

Most Australians connecting to and from BA flights at Heathrow will be familiar with arriving  into Terminal 3, the oneworld alliance terminal, on Qantas, British Airways or Cathay Pacific.

Check out our insider tips to pick the best oneworld business class/Qantas Gold/oneworld Sapphire lounges and first class/Qantas Platinum/oneworld Emerald lounges in Terminal 3 -- they might not be what you expect!

However, Terminal 1 is likely to be unfamiliar to many Australians -- at least recently.

Before Terminal 5 opened, T1 used to be BA's Europe terminal, but since then it's turned into Star Alliance land, dominated by the now-part-of-British-Airways BMI.

Here's the lowdown on the lounge situation, together with a refresher of what's available in Terminal 5.

Lounge access in Terminals 1 & 5

If your connecting flight leaves from Terminal 1, it'll be a shorter and simpler connection since T1 and T3 are closer than T5, which is on the other side of the airport.

At Terminal 1, business class passengers and frequent flyers (Qantas Gold/Platinum, Qantas Club members, oneworld Sapphire/Emerald) on BA international flights will have the use of the British Airways International Lounge, which is actually one of the better business class lounges around.

However, at Terminal 1 Qantas Platinums/oneworld Emeralds get something of a raw lounge deal in comparison with Terminal 5 flights: there's no separate first class lounge in Terminal 1.

If your Terminal 1 BA flight is to the UK or Ireland and you're (a) either connecting from business or first class or (b) one of the frequent flyers above, you should be able to use the slightly less impressive UK and Ireland lounge that used to be the London Room. (Check out BA's full rules on Terminal 1 lounges -- arrangements are a little complicated.)

If you're using Terminal 5, the BA lounge situation remains unchanged: Galleries Club for business/Qantas Gold/oneworld Sapphire, Galleries First for Qantas Platinum/oneworld Emerald, and the Concorde Room for first class passengers.

More changes to come...

These won't be the last changes to British Airways' terminals and schedules following the BMI acquisition.

There are still several overlapping or BMI-only routes that haven't been altered, as well as new BA flights to Leeds, Aberdeen and Belfast.

For the very latest, make sure you keep up with Australian Business Traveller's continuing coverage, here and on Twitter: we're @AusBT.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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