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Just when you thought that American Airlines and British Airways couldn’t get any closer to one another – they’re both members of the oneworld alliance, they’re both members of a transatlantic joint venture, and British Airways will soon be moving into American’s home at JFK – American Airlines has announced that this summer season will see it operate a significant number of flights out of BA’s terminal at London Heathrow.
American Airlines moves key transatlantic flights to Heathrow T5
As things stand, American Airlines operates its two daily London – JFK flights out of Heathrow Terminal 5 with all of its other London – USA routes operating out of Heathrow Terminal 3. Starting from 27 March, this will be changing.
For the northern hemisphere summer season (which runs through 30 October), American Airlines will operate up to 11 of its daily London – USA flights out of Heathrow Terminal 5. This will mean that all of American’s flights to the following 4 key US hubs will be moving away from Terminal 3:
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- Los Angeles
- New York (JFK)
American Airlines hasn’t said if it’s considering keeping this arrangement going for Winter 2022/23.
There are positive and negative aspects to this news.
On the positive side, most American Airlines flyers arriving into Heathrow from Dallas, LA, and Miami and who are connecting to BA’s European network, will have a considerably easier transfer experience than they have had in the past (connecting travelers from New York have already been enjoying a more seamless experience at Heathrow)*.
A complaint that a lot of frequent flyers have about Heathrow is that the connections experience is sub-optimal so this will be good news for some American Airlines flyers.
On the negative side, American Airlines flyers departing from Heathrow to Dallas, LA, and Miami will soon no longer be able to avail themselves of the good lounge options over at Heathrow T3.
The lounges at Heathrow T5 are nothing special while the lounges at Heathrow T3 include good offerings from Qantas and Cathay Pacific (First Class & Business Class), as well as an American Express Centurion Lounge, and all of these are better options than what BA offers over at its home terminal (most British Airways lounges are disappointingly basic compared to the lounges offered by the premium airlines).
If you’re connecting in London you’ll probably happily trade a good lounge for a mediocre one if it means that you can switch between flights with a minimum of effort. If, however, you’re originating in London and are flying to Dallas, LA, Miami, or New York on American Airlines, you’re probably not going to be too happy at the prospect of missing out on some of the better lounge options open to you at Heathrow.
*Be aware that British Airways operates a handful of European routes out of Heathrow T3 so don’t assume that all BA flights will depart from T5.
Starting on 27 March, American Airlines will be operating four of its London – USA routes out of Heathrow Terminal 5. As things stand, this arrangement is only in place for summer 2022 but with American Airlines and British Airways now working even closer than ever before, there’s a chance that this move may become more permanent than it currently appears.