This guide is intended to provide information for arriving and departing passengers on UA at LHR Terminal One. CO uses Terminal Four, which will require a different guide. Terminal One is slated for demolition and rebuilding in an amalgamation with Terminal Two which has been demolished and is being rebuilt, so expect these details to alter as progress on the project occurs. However, the new Terminal Two will not be completed for a couple of years, so much of this should hold good for some time. Arriving at Terminal One UA uses gates in a newly constructed stand a considerable distance from the main terminal. There are about six moving walkways along the route but even so it is about a ten minute fast walk to Immigration. There are restrooms on the route. Immigration Non-EU citizens are dealt with on the right hand side of the modern immigration hall, FastTrack in the center and EU citizens on the left. Transfer passengers are on the extreme left. There is also IRIS scan available. Although Terminal One has a preponderance of EU flights arriving, lines can be long if the UA flight arrives after one or more other intercontinental flights. Non-EU citizens can wait for 30 minutes at bad times but often there is no significant line. EU citizens are processed very quickly. The UK Border Agency seems quite efficient at getting more staff on duty when lines get long. Transfer passengers are dealt with separately and most reports are that the process is fast. For connections to other airlines operating in T1, you are normally in the departures area in 5-10 minutes. Baggage Reclaim and Customs This happens after Immigration and is in an old and shabby hall which is too small for its intended purpose. Because the UA gates are so far away, generally the bags are already on the belt when passengers arrive - Priority bags have often been removed to a side area to make space for the rest. To go through Customs, choose between the Green (Nothing To Declare) Channel or the Red (Something to Declare) Channel. Do not use the Blue Channel which is for EU arrivals. Onward from T1 Customs squirts you through your first encounter with LHR's obsession with tacky shops, where you will be faced with LHR hawkers trying to sell you bottles of whisky and tickets for the Heathrow Express. Once outside, go left for cabs and buses or straight and left for the Underground and Heathrow Express. There is a trolley ramp and an escalator down, but it's easy to miss in the general crowd. The Underground is about two minutes' walk and the Heathrow Express about six minutes' walk. The Underground runs about every 5 minutes and takes 40 minutes to Earls Court (where many of the tourist hotels are) and a further 15 minutes to the smart West End hotels. Get yourself an Oyster Card and it's the cheapest, easiest way around town. The Heathrow Express runs every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes to Paddington. From there it's easiest to get a cab to your final destination. It's fast but expensive and, depending upon your final destination, may not be any faster than taking the Underground. Both systems make limited allowance for luggage. Departing Check In The UA check in area dominates the left front of the terminal. General check in is at the left of the area, Premier in the center and Business and 1K to the right. First and GS are further right in their own little island perpendicular to the main check in. Before you can reach the check in desks you are interviewed by US Government mandated security agents who ask questions about your possessions. If you pass the exam, they affix a sticker to your passport. No sticker, no flight. Check in itself is pretty efficient with few lines, except at weekends or in high summer. Security Security is to the right of the check in area. Fast Track security is on the far right and, in theory, is limited to Business and First passengers only, although as a 1k in E+, I am sent that way about 1 in 4 times. Plastic bags are available at the very start of the process. The security area is massive with up to about 15 lanes. There are rarely any significant lines - again probably only high summer and weekends - or very early in the morning for first flights out to Europe or early evening for last flights out to Europe - generally not when UA is operating. Waiting Area and Lounges The waiting area is large and packed full of high street shops. You can buy "Duty Free" but the prices are generally higher than at your local supermarket in the US. Because of all the shops, there is limited seating and it's always full. The restaurant / cafe choice is mediocre, particularly if you want a space near a window. However, if you can grab a quiet table, guard it with your life as it's the only way to make your time in the Departure Lounge tolerable. *Gold, Business and First customers have a choice of two lounges, the Star Alliance Lounge and a BMI lounge. The Star Alliance lounge is a five minute walk from Security at the far right of the terminal and is en route to where the UA gates are located. It has a good range of food and drinks but can be crowded and has only a few seats near natural light. It has showers, wifi and computers. The BMI lounge is at the far left of the terminal, five minutes in the wrong direction. It also has a good range of food and drinks and benefits from an excellent view of Runway 27R/9L. Neither Lounge makes boarding announcements and neither is an RCC. If you are transferring from another flight, you will enter the terminal near the Star Alliance Lounge, where there is a large UA transfer desk just outside the lounge. Gate Area The United gate area is in a new building just beyond the former Europier, a good ten plus minutes walk from the Star Alliance lounge and 15+ from the general waiting area - if you are a fast walker. Three moving walkways cover about a third of the distance. The Gate Area itself is modern and spacious with good policing of the red carpet. As a 1K, if I leave the lounge 45 minutes prior to departure, I arrive at the gate shortly after boarding has started. Departure LHR T1 is pretty good up to being onboard and then it all falls apart. Just because you are on board and the door is closed, don't expect to leave on time. It's very common to have a 30-40 minute delay before the plane is permitted to pushback and then a lengthy line at the end of runway. If you are in the air within an hour of your stated departure time, count yourself lucky - on the plus side, schedules are padded accordingly!