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5 hour layover

Austin, Texas
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139 reviews
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5 hour layover

We have a 5 hour layover in London and I was wondering is this enough time to take the tube to some sight and wander the streets for an hour or so and make it back in time for our next flight? Or is it best to just sit tight?

Chicago
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1. Re: 5 hour layover

I was at Heathrow recently and had a five hour layover. It was an odd experience with the Customs agent. When I told the guy I planned to take the tube into town given the long layover, he began asking endless questions about my final destination, where did I live, the purpose of the trip, where did I live, why I wanted to visit London, where did I live. (Umm, we've covered that I think.)

He worked diligently: The tube often runs late ... You'll might miss your connecting flight ... You must be back two hours before take off ... It's quite a distance to London and back. Perhaps if he could stall me in Customs, I'd have less time for an excursion into London and have to hang out in Heathrow(??). It was an odd experience.

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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2. Re: 5 hour layover

You may have five hours between flights, but that time may not allow you to do much except get from point to point.

With which airline(s) are you flying, and to what airport(s)? If you're on separate tickets to your final destination, are the flights within the same airline alliance, so your bags will be checked through, or will you need to go through passport control, collect your bags, then check in for your next flight?

At what time of day is your flight scheduled to arrive, and is it on a weekend or week day? If there are planned works on an Underground or rail line into London your time could be limited because of that.

So do please let us know the answers, as you may be able to spend a bit of time in the city, but it really does depend on a number of variables.

Austin, Texas
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3. Re: 5 hour layover

We are going from Dallas to Toronto-American Airlines

Toronto to London - British Air

London to Istanbul - British Air

Flying on a weekday - arrive London 10:00 a.m. leaving London 3:30 P.M.

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: 5 hour layover

Oops - I forgot to add that I didn't think about customs or if we need to claim luggage and maybe even terminals? Just figured B.A. would take care of all that....maybe not.

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: 5 hour layover

Globe: Did you end up staying at the airport? or did you go into the city? If so, was it worth the time and trouble?

Portsmouth, United...
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6. Re: 5 hour layover

Your 5h 30mins will be cut down to 3h 30m as you will have to check in 2 hours before the flight.

Plus the time from landing to exiting customs.

If it was me i'd sit tight, but someone else might have other ideas. Anyway have fun.

Panama City Beach...
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7. Re: 5 hour layover

IMHO, it's not worth it. You'd be like Clark Griswald - get wherever, stand there and admire it for 15 seconds, then turn around and hurry back to the airport!

Why not have a nice, relaxed lunch, shop a bit, and stay stress free? Before you know it, you'll be expected at your departure gate.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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8. Re: 5 hour layover

AA should - stress that word - be able to check your bags through to IST, but may be reluctant to do so. If that's the case and you have to collect them at YYZ and check in with BA there, then BA should check your bags through to IST.

The flight from YYZ will probably land at the T5 satellite terminal, a bit of a schlep from T5 main, taking about ten minutes if you walk at speed and catch the people mover train rather than wait.

In theory, you could be through passport control and at the T5 Underground station by 1100, and at Green Park station by noon, but you'd have precious little time to sightsee, not much more than an hour.

It might be less stressful to simply go through the Flight Connections Centre at T5 and head straight to Departures. If you wanted to push the boat out you could have a meal at Plane Food (a Gordon Ramsay establishment, for what it's worth) or eat elsewhere then find a comfortable place to wait until your next flight.

If you do stay at T5, there seems to be a bit more seating near the escalators up to the South Galleries lounges - there's a quiet area there with a handful of seats away from the crowds.

London, England
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for Solo Travel
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9. Re: 5 hour layover

Have a look at "6 hours in London" which deals with a very similar question.

Chicago
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10. Re: 5 hour layover

Bart,

I didn't go into London much to the glee of the customs agent no doubt. I've taken the tube to Heathrow a few times and it does take a while. In the end, I thought the same as others have said: By the time I get into London, I'll have 20 minutes and will have to turn around and head back to the airport.

Heathrow is a busy international airport. The queues are long and they are strict. Rules are non-negotiable. On the plus side, carry-on bags can be stored (upstairs) for a fee. Makes it a lot easier to walk around.