Heathrow Airport delays reopening of Terminal 3

May 5, 2021

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While international travel out of the U.K. is still due to resume on May 17, Terminal 3 at London Heathrow Airport will not reopen in time.

Airport officials blame the delay in reopening the terminal that’s home to several Oneworld carriers such as Qantas, American and Cathay Pacific, as well as Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines on continued uncertainty over the impact of rolling travel restrictions from the British government.

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As of now, the earliest Terminal 3 could resume operations is May 24 — and that date isn’t set in stone, either. The airlines that typically operate within Terminal 3 and airport are working to make the transition back to expanded operations as smooth as possible and needed more time to do so.

The delay in the terminal’s reopening means Heathrow will continue using solely Terminals 2 and 5 for flights going in and out, as it has for more than a year since the pandemic began. Since then, British Airways and some of its partners have operated out of T5, while most other airlines have been operating out of T2.

Putting another terminal back in play is seen as crucial to handle the expected boost in passenger traffic at the airport from the resumption of non-essential travel, helping it to manage passengers during the peak summer travel season.

The delay in reopening is particularly impactful for flyers who travel with Virgin Atlantic and Delta. Those airlines were expected to be the first to resume flights in and out of Terminal 3.

Virgin’s Upper Class passengers looking forward to enjoying the airline’s top-flight Clubhouse lounge located in the terminal will have to wait a bit longer, even when T3 does reopen. Virgin Atlantic says the Terminal 3 lounge will remain temporarily closed for a time even when operations start up again. Upper Class passengers will continue to use the Virgin lounge located in Terminal 2 until T3 reopens.

Featured photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy.

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