Heathrow Airport Transportation Between Terminals

The London Heathrow Airport’s Transportation Between Terminals

Airports like this are the busiest in the world; London Heathrow Airport (LHR) served over 80 million people in 2018, making it one of the busiest airports. As a major hub where flights from all over Europe connect. LHR has set up efficient ways for flights to connect on the airside.

Even though the only way to get between Terminals 2 and 3 is to walk. It’s easy to get between the other terminals by taking one of the free train services. One of these is the London Underground, which makes it easy for people who are going to or coming from London.

Terminals 2 and 5 are the newest and most modern. They have satellite terminals that can fit larger planes and help keep the main terminal buildings from getting too crowded.

The layout of London Heathrow Airport

LHR’s terminals are spread out, except for Terminals 2 and 3.

Terminals 4 and 5 are at the Heathrow airport edge, while Terminals 2 and 3 are between the airport’s two runways. Due to the underground tunnel solely used by road traffic, connecting by pre-security free bus can take a while. Luckily, good underground train systems can help you get from one terminal to another.

Passengers who need to connect flights can also take an airside bus. The routes of these buses are shown on the map above by the thin grey lines between the terminals.

LHR Ground Transportation Before Security/Landside Free Travel Zones at London Heathrow Airport. The picture comes from heathrow.com.

You may have to move between terminals outside the secured area if you need to get to your next flight without an official connection. There are many ways to get around LHR, depending on which terminals you need to get to.


On the map above, you can see the free ways to get around Heathrow airport. The dark blue and light purple lines show where the trains run between the terminals.

Passengers can choose between using the normal London Underground trains that link the terminals and also provide continuing service to London or a shuttle train that departs four times each hour. The shuttle train requires an inter-terminal transfer ticket, which can be bought inside the station or by tapping in with an Oyster card or contactless credit/debit card. Both options are free. This doesn’t cost anything; it’s just a way to track where people enter and leave.

Terminals 2 and 3 are served by Heathrow Central station. Terminals 4 and 5 each have their station. And 4 and 5 are 16 to 20 minutes away by train from Heathrow Central Station. Which also serves Terminals 2 and 3. This includes the time it takes to walk around the station and wait.


You can also take a public bus for free if you need to get from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5.

From bus stop 7 at Terminal 4, take either bus 482 or bus 490 to Heathrow Terminal 5.

From Terminal 5, bus stop 7, take either bus 482 going to “Southall Town Hall” or bus 490 going to “Pools on the Park.


Terminals 2 and 3 are close, and you can walk from one to the other using a pedestrian underpass. With the moving walkways, it takes about 10 minutes to walk from one terminal to the next.

Take the elevator or escalator to Level -1, exit the building. And go via the pedestrian underpass to reach Terminal 3 from Terminal 2 by avoiding the London Underground station and following the path around.

From the ground check-in level of Terminal 3, take the stairs near the Virgin Atlantic check-in desks or the elevator/escalator across from Zone D down to Level -1. From here, you can walk to Terminal 3 by going through the pedestrian underpass. The way is well-marked.

LHR Transportation on the Ground After Security/Airside

When you book a flight with more than one stop and a connection. You should be able to stay on the plane to get to the departure terminal for your next flight. Once you get off your first flight at LHR, follow the signs to the flight connections area. Where a shuttle bus will take you to the terminal for your next flight. Buses depart every 6-10 minutes.

How LHR’s terminals are set up

LHR Terminal 2

The smallest terminal, divided into many floors and zones, is Terminal 2 (T2). T2 is mostly used for flights to and also from Europe. But some long-distance international flights also use the terminal.

Check-in: Level 5

The check-in area is on Level 5, directly accessible from the T2 parking lot. If you arrive by bus, taxi, or private drop-off, you must take the escalator/elevator from Level 0 to Level 5 departures.

If you are connecting to T2, you probably won’t need to go through the check-in area because the flight connections bus will take you into the airside.

Level 5: Departures

After passing through the primary security checkpoint, you will enter the Level 5 departures area, where shops, restaurants, and the Air Lingus and Lufthansa lounges are located. From this level, you can’t get to the gates.

Level 4: A Gates for Departures

For entry to the A gates and further access to the B gates, go from Level 5 departures to Level 4 departures by using the stairs, an escalator, or an elevator. Level 4 Departures has 10 gates labeled A16–A26. They are about 650 feet (200 meters) or 5 minute walk from security.

On this level, there are more shops and restaurants, the Plaza Premium Lounge, and also the point of entry for connections to T2.

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Gates at Terminal 2B, B

If your flight leaves from one of the B gates, you must follow the signs for these gates and turn left at gate A16. Take the escalator or elevator to Level 2, enter the underground passageway with moving walkways, and then return to Level 1 at the B gates.

Security is about a half mile (800 meters) from the B gates, so it takes about 20 minutes to walk there. Terminal 2B has 14 gates with the numbers B31–B33, B36, B38, B39, B41–B44, and B46–B49.

Level 1: Arrivals

If you’re coming in on an international flight, you’ll have to go through immigration on Level 1 and, if you need to, get your bags. Once you’ve gone through customs, you’ll come out into the area for passengers and people who aren’t traveling.

There are a few stores, eateries, the United Arrivals Lounge, and Plaza Premium Lounge on this level.

Ground Floor: Arrivals to Onward Travel

From Level 1 Arrivals, you can take the stairs, escalator, or elevator down to Level 0. From there, you can take buses or taxis to your next destination, or you can keep going down to Level -1 and walk to the London Underground and also Terminal 3.

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