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Heathrow Flight Connections at a glance

Purple path diagram

Passenger AmbassadorTransferring between flights at Heathrow? We aim to make your connection as simple and enjoyable as possible.

For most connections* you won’t have to pick up baggage or check in for your departing flight, and if you’re connecting to an international flight you won’t have to clear passport control.

Here’s your at-a-glance guide to Heathrow Flight Connections.

Arriving at Heathrow

Purple signsWelcome to London! Heathrow is a large airport but don’t worry – just follow the purple signs for Flight Connections.

There are four terminals at Heathrow and you may need to transfer from one terminal to another. Just follow the purple signs to the coaching gates and hop on one of our regular, free transfer buses.

Keep following the purple signs until you reach the departure lounge. At that point you’ll know how much time you have left to relax and enjoy the facilities without having to rush for your flight.

Where to go

Flight screenJust keep following the purple Flight Connections signs! If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask one of our roaming Passenger Ambassadors for help. They’re airport experts and speak 39 languages between them. Just look for their purple uniforms.

You can find the latest flight updates – along with terminal maps and a connection plan tailored to your journey – at Or, use the routing features of our smartphone app.

Flight updates also appear on information screens in the terminal. Be aware that some flights operate under more than one airline's flight number – in that case the different numbers will be displayed in rotation.

Things you’ll have to do

Security officer


Wherever you’re travelling from and to, you will need to pass through security and your hand baggage must be screened. It may help you avoid delays if you’re prepared.

There are restrictions on liquids and sharp items, and you must remove laptops and tablets for separate screening. You’ll pass through a security archway so remove watches, coins and other metal items, and put them in a tray.

Border control sign

Border control

If you arrived on an international flight, and are connecting on to a UK flight, you will have to present your passport (and any visa you require) at Heathrow.

How long do connections take?

Airline deskIt depends on your journey – your airline should quote a minimum connection time, based on where you’re flying and whether you need to change terminal. That will usually be between 60 minutes and 105 minutes.

You can use or our smartphone app to keep track of time during your connection.

If you need to contact your airline at any point you’ll find airline desks en route. Or if you can’t afford to wait, here are contact details for all airlines.

Terminal transfer bus

What is there to do?

Shopping in departures

There’s plenty to do in our departure lounges. If you’re in the mood for shopping, experience the best brands at great prices – from the latest fashion to quintessentially British gifts. You can even book a complimentary personal shopper experience.

If you have time, why not check in to one of our independent lounges, where you can take a shower, enjoy a private bedroom or treat yourself to a spa.

When your departure gate is announced, you can find out how long you need to get there – look for the signs or check the time-to-gate finder.


Relaxing in the lounge

Useful links

Need more information?

Departing aircraft Enjoy your flight!

Thank you for connecting
at Heathrow

* Exceptions

If you bought separate arriving and departing flights, you’ll need to follow arrivals, pick up bags and check in again for your onward flight. If you need to transfer between terminals, you’ll find transport information here.

A few airlines aren’t able to transfer baggage to your onward flight. If you aren’t sure, please check with your airline.

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Connecting at Heathrow

Get through security

Make the most of your time

Heathrow Meet & Assist

Passenger with Meet & Assist agent

Our Meet & Assist airport concierges are at your service from the moment you step off the aircraft.