Heathrow Terminal 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Heathrow Terminal 3
Terminal 3 Forecourt - geograph.org.uk - 1289915.jpg
Entrance to the departures area at Terminal 3
Heathrow Terminal 3 is located in Greater London
Heathrow Terminal 3
Location within Greater London
Alternative namesThe Oceanic Terminal
General information
TypeAirport terminal
Coordinates51°28′15″N 0°27′36″W / 51.470833°N 0.46°W / 51.470833; -0.46Coordinates: 51°28′15″N 0°27′36″W / 51.470833°N 0.46°W / 51.470833; -0.46
Inaugurated13 November 1961
ClientHeathrow Airport Holdings

Heathrow Terminal 3 is an airport terminal at Heathrow Airport, serving London, the capital city of the United Kingdom. Terminal 3 is currently used by Oneworld members and a few other non-affiliated airlines. It is also the base for Virgin Atlantic.


An aerial view of Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport.
Terminal 3 arrivals area

Terminal 3 was opened as the Oceanic Terminal on 13 November 1961; it was built to handle flight departures for long-haul routes.[1] Renamed Terminal 3 in 1968, it was expanded in 1970 with the addition of an arrivals building. Other facilities added included the UK's first moving walkways. BOAC and the two US airlines, Pan American World Airways and Trans World Airlines (TWA), dominated operations at the terminal throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1969 the terminal was renovated to handle the new Boeing 747 which was introduced to the airport on 23 January 1970. Pan American sold its Heathrow landing rights to United Airlines in 1990 and TWA sold its to American Airlines in 1992.

The terminal was refurbished between 1987 and 1990 at a cost of £110 million.[2] In 2006, the new £105 million Pier 6 was completed[3] to accommodate the Airbus A380 superjumbo; Emirates and Qantas now operate regular flights from Terminal 3 using the Airbus A380. Redevelopment of Terminal 3's forecourt through the addition of a new four-lane drop-off area and a large pedestrianised plaza, complete with canopy to the front of the terminal building, was completed in 2007. These improvements were intended to improve passengers' experiences, reduce traffic congestion and improve security. As part of this project, Virgin Atlantic was assigned its own dedicated check-in area, known as 'Zone A', which features a large sculpture and atrium. As of 2013, Terminal 3 has an area of 98,962 square metres (1,065,220 sq ft).[4]

Heathrow Airport Limited also has plans for a £1bn upgrade of the rest of the terminal over the next ten years[when?] which will include the renovation of aircraft piers and the arrivals forecourt. A new baggage system connecting to Terminal 5 (for British Airways connections) is currently under construction. In addition to the baggage system, the baggage claim hall is also set to undergo changes with dedicated A380 belts and an improved design and layout.[5]


The main presences in Terminal 3 are American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, which Heathrow is a focus city for. British Airways, Emirates, Delta Air Lines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas are the other major users of the terminal.


Terminal 3 is used by the majority of the members of the Oneworld airline alliance: American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, SriLankan Airlines, LATAM and British Airways (which also uses Terminal 5). However it is not used by Iberia (Terminal 5 only), Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways (both Terminal 4 only). It is also used by Vueling, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Airlines Group, the parent of British Airways and Iberia, but is not itself a member of Oneworld. Vueling, British Airways, and Finnair are the only airlines offering short-haul flights from this terminal.


The principal non-aligned airlines are Emirates and Virgin Atlantic; others include Iran Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines.


Two SkyTeam member airlines use Terminal 3: Delta Air Lines and Middle East Airlines. Delta moved all flights to Terminal 3 on 14 September 2016 to ease connections with partner Virgin Atlantic.

Star Alliance[edit]

Today, no Star Alliance airlines use Terminal 3[6]. Most Star Alliance airlines now use terminal 2.

In the past, a number of Star Alliance airlines used this terminal: Air Canada, Air China, All Nippon Airways, Egyptair, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, and Turkish Airlines.

Ground transportation[edit]

Inter-terminal transport[edit]

Terminal 3 is connected by an underground walkway to Terminal 2. Terminals 4 and 5 can be reached by the free Heathrow Express rail service. London Underground services can also be used to transfer to Terminals 4 and 5 (the former requiring a change of train at Hatton Cross), but this service is only free to Oyster card holders.[7]

In addition, numerous buses ply between the Central Bus Station (for Terminals 2 and 3) and the other terminals. However, using the train service is much quicker and easier for passengers with luggage. The bus service is free between terminals.

Road links[edit]

As part of the three central terminals at Heathrow, it is well linked to the M4 motorway via the M4 spur road and through a tunnel under the north runway.

Rail links[edit]

Terminal 3 is accessed by the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground from Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 tube station, with trains towards Cockfosters via Central London. The Terminal is also accessed by TfL Rail and Heathrow Express from Heathrow Central where services go to Paddington. TfL Rail services are due to be replaced by Crossrail when it finally opens at some point in the future and services would be increased from two trains per hour (about every 30 minutes) to four trains per hour (about every 15 minutes).

Bus links[edit]

Terminal 3 is accessible to both bus and coach services from Heathrow Central bus station.

There are also several coach services operated by National Express operating to other London airports such as Gatwick, Stansted and Luton; and other cities in the United Kingdom.


  1. ^ "Heathrow's history". Heathrow Airport. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Transport". 11. London: City Press Limited: 151. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Debut A380 flight lands in London". BBC News. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  4. ^ "Heathrow facts and figures". Heathrow Airport. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  5. ^ "BAA Heathrow unveils plans to re-develop Terminal 3". BAA Plc. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  6. ^ https://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/which-terminal.
  7. ^ "Travel between terminals - Heathrow".

External links[edit]

Media related to Heathrow Terminal 3 at Wikimedia Commons