I will be arriving with my toddler in Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 via British Airways, and leaving the next day from Terminal 5 also on British Airways. I have booked a room at Sofitel near Terminal 5 and applied for visas so we can exit the airport and go to the hotel.

  1. When we arrive at Terminal 3, should we follow the purple signs that say "connecting flights" and transfer to Terminal 5 and leave for the hotel from there?
  2. Or, should we go through Immigration at Terminal 3 and then proceed to the hotel in Terminal 5?
  3. My bags will be checked to the final destination; will that be a problem since I will be leaving the airport during transit?

2 Answers 2


You should leave the airport at the terminal you arrive.

When you have gone through immigration (passport control) and customs ('nothing to declare') you will find signs for the free transport between the terminals.

It is not strange to leave the airport with no more than just a little hand luggage. If asked about it, (customs can stop you if they have questions,) just tell them most of your luggage is checked through. There are even people traveling with less luggage than you will have, without hold luggage.


If the hotel is inside the boarding area, it might not be necessary do inmigration. To move from terminal 3 to T5, there are free trains every 15-20 minutes. You can get further information at: https://www.heathrow.com https://www.airportsdata.net/europe/united-kingdom/airports/london-heathrow.php https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathrow_Airport

  • 1
    Unfortunately Sofitel is not airside so the OP will need to clear security.
    – mdewey
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 14:43
  • Downvoting as none of the questions asked are actually addressed.
    – B.Liu
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 16:56

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