Heathrow Airport is by the far the largest and best connected airport in the UK. Flights are operated to 178 destinations worldwide by 85 airlines. Every week there are direct flights to 61 destinations in Europe, 35 in North America and the Caribbean, 25 destinations in Asia and 14 in Africa. In 2010 nearly 66 million passengers flew through Heathrow Airport.
Most major international airlines which fly into the UK will fly into London Heathrow. Although there are extensive European routes (many of which among the 105 destinations served by British Airways,) there are very few Heathrow flights operated by budget airlines. Neither Ryanair nor easyJet fly from Heathrow.
It is always worth checking flight prices from Heathrow Airport compared to your local airport. Sometimes the price difference is negligible, but at times you may find the flight prices from Heathrow to be substantially lower.
Getting to Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport is located close to the point where the M25 meets the M4 making the airport very accessible by car. You will need to exit at different junctions depending on the terminal you are flying from.
For Terminal 1 and 3, exit at junction 4 on the M4 or junction 15 on the M25. For Terminal 4 and 5 exit junction 14 on the M25, if you are coming from the M4 then change to the M25 southbound at junction 4b. Depending on the terminal you are travelling to the postcode for your SatNav or for the AA route planner changes.
Terminal 1: TW6 1AP
Terminal 3: TW6 1QG
Terminal 4: TW6 3XA
Terminal 5: TW6 2GA
When planning Heathrow Airport parking remember to consider the terminal you are flying from. Unless you opt for a valet service (where you can just drop your car outside the terminal) then you will need to plan time for transfers from the car park to terminal. The cheapest parking at Heathrow Airport can be booked through Holiday Extras for £49.99 for one week (transfer time varies depending on which terminal you are flying from.)
Search parking by terminal if you are looking for the shortest transfer times. Terminals 1 and 4 have parking just a 3 minute transfer away, at Terminal 5 the closest parking is 5 minutes and at Terminal 3 the shortest transfer time will be 8 minutes.
Like most UK airports, Heathrow Airport parking is substantially more expensive when it is not pre-booked. A week at any of the long stay car parks at Heathrow will be approximately twice as expensive on the day compared to the pre-booked price.
If you need to park at Heathrow Airport you could also consider taking an airport hotel with parking deal. This can be particularly good if you have a long journey to the airport. Look at the Comfort Hotel which charges £112 for accommodation, parking for one week and includes transfer to the airport.
The only direct train services to Heathrow Airport operate from London Paddington. The well publicised Heathrow Express is a non-stop service to Heathrow costing £18 one-way. The much less well publicised Heathrow Connect also runs from Paddington and stops at several stations along the way. The journey takes around 25 minutes and costs £8.50 one way. Trains run between 05:10 and 23:25 from Paddington and between 05:07 and 23:42 from Heathrow.
If you are travelling by train from a train station with no direct link to London Paddington, then you will need to use the underground. Depending on what London station you arrive in, you may find that it is easier to use the tube for onward travel to Heathrow instead of making your way to Paddington.
The Piccadilly line of the London Underground serves Heathrow Airport. There are 3 stations (Terminal 1&3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5.) Journey time from Kings Cross Station is a little under an hour and the fare will vary between £2.70 and £5 depending on method of payment and time of travel. Underground trains run from central London between 05:47 and 00:32 (07:05 to 23:38 on Sundays.) Services from Heathrow to Central London run between 05:12 and 23:48 (05:46 to 23:39 on Sundays.)
National Express runs an extensive network of coaches from all over the UK to Heathrow Airport. Services operate from as far afield as Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Northampton, Leicester Cambridge, Norwich, Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol, Reading and Brighton. There are also direct coach connections with Birmingham Airport, Stansted Airport, Luton Airport and Gatwick Airport.
Staying at the Airport: Heathrow Airport Hotels
With direct flights to more international destinations than any other UK airport, you may be travelling a long way to get to Heathrow Airport. If you are travelling far, you may want to consider staying overnight before your flight.
All Heathrow Airport hotels will try and sell you tickets for the Heathrow Hoppa shuttle bus service which cost £4.50 per person. London buses in and around the airport are free, so you don’t need to pay, but more importantly the Hoppa can often be less convenient. Stopping at multiple hotels means that unless your hotel is one of the last on its route it can be quite slow. Great if you have lots of luggage and aren’t particularly mobile, but otherwise public transport is preferable.
If you want to stay at the airport, you can’t do a lot better than the Hilton at Heathrow Airport. The hotel is connected by a covered walk way to Terminal 4, so if you are flying out of Terminal 4 the Hilton could not be more convenient.
Relax in the hotel pool, sauna or steam room, or work up a sweat in the gym. An excellent touch is the BA check-in desk within the hotel so you can check in and print off your boarding pass before you even leave the hotel.
The Hilton has its own (free) shuttle bus to Terminal 5, but even if you are flying from Terminals 1 or 3 it remains very convenient. Both the Heathrow Express and the Heathrow Connect train services are free within the airport. Simply walk to the train station at Terminal 4 and board one of the regular trains to the station at Terminal 1&3.
Without staying on the airport premises, Heathrow Airport hotels don’t get much more convenient than the Radisson Edwardian. The hotel is lovely as are the staff. There is a free gym as well as sauna and steam room to help you prepare for (or recover from) a long flight.
The location on Bath Road is perfect for public transport, buses to all terminals stop just across the road from the hotel. Multiple buses go to Terminal’s 1 and 3 (they will be marked Heathrow Central Bus Station), the 140 goes to Terminal 4 and the 423 goes to Terminal 5.
The No. 1 Lounge at Heathrow Airport (Terminal 3) is arguably one of the most luxurious in the country. Standard entry costs £25 per person and includes all the nice little treats you would expect from lounge access, from free drinks and nibbles (including one dish from the bistro menu) to WiFi and newspapers. You might not expect (but you do get) access to showers, games rooms and a mini cinema as standard too.
No. 1 still goes one better though with a hairdressers and spa within the lounge. Spa treatments such as massages, facials, manicures and pedicures start at £15. You can also pre-book a package which includes one free spa treatment, or the champagne package.
|Vienna (BA + bmi + Austrian)||Prague (BA)||Bangkok (BA + Thai + Qantas)|
|Amsterdam (BA + bmi + KLM)||Reykjavik (Icelandair)||Singapore (BA + Singapore Airlines + Qantas)|
|Geneva (BA + bmi + Swiss)||Rome (BA + Alitalia)||Bandar Seri Begawan (Royal Brunei)|
|Brussels (BA + Brussels Airlines)||Rotterdam (KLM)||Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines)|
|Dublin (bmi + Aer Lingus)||Salzburg (bmi)||Chicago (BA + Virgin + American + United)|
|Dusseldorf (BA + Lufthansa)||Seville (Vueling)||Los Angeles (BA + Virgin + American + United + Air NZ)|
|Frankfurt (BA + Lufthansa)||Shannon (Aer Lingus)||New York (BA + Virgin + American + Continental)|
|Funchal (TAP Air Portugal)||Sofia (BA)||Toronto (BA + Air Canada)|
|Hamburg (BA + Lufthansa)||St Petersburg (BA)||Boston (BA + Virgin + American)|
|Istanbul (BA + Turkish Airlines)||Stavanger (SAS)||Miami (BA + Virgin + American)|
|Lisbon (BA + TAP Air Portugal)||Stockholm (BA + SAS)||San Francisco (BA + United)|
|Stuttgart (BA + Lufthansa)||Toulouse (BA)||Washington (BA + Virgin + United)|
|Zagreb (Croatia Airlines)||Venice (bmi)||Houston (BA + Continental)|
|Moscow (BA + bmi)||Vigo (Vueling)||Montreal (BA + Air Canada)|
|Larnaca (BA)||Warsaw (BA + LOT)||Philadelphia (BA + US Airways)|
|Helsinki (BA + Finnair)||Zurich (BA + Swiss)||Seattle (BA + Virgin + United)|
|Milan (BA + Alitalia)||Hong Kong (BA + Virgin + Air NZ)||Vancouver (BA + Air Canada)|
|Athens (BA)||Colombo (Sri Lankan Airlines)||Atlanta (BA + Delta)|
|Barcelona (BA + Iberia)||Male (Sri Lankan Airlines)||Baltimore (BA)|
|Basel (BA)||Seychelles (Air Seychelles)||Calgary (BA + Air Canada)|
|Belgrade (BA)||Taipei (China Airlines + Eva Air)||Dallas (BA + American)|
|Berlin (BA + Lufthansa)||Tokyo (BA + Virgin)||Denver (BA + United)|
|Bilbao (Vueling)||Delhi (BA + Virgin)||Detroit (Delta)|
|Bucharest (BA)||Mumbai (BA + Virgin)||Edmonton (Air Canada)|
|Budapest (BA)||Shanghai (BA + Virgin)||Grand Cayman (BA)|
|Cologne (Lufthansa)||Beijing (BA + Air China)||Halifax (Air Canada)|
|Copenhagen (BA + SAS)||Osaka (Japan Airlines)||Honolulu (United)|
|Cork (Aer Lingus)||Seoul (Korean Air)||Las Vegas (BA)|
|Dresden (BA)||Sydney (BA + Virgin)||Mexico City (BA)|
|Eindhoven (KLM)||Auckland (Air NZ)||Minneapolis (Delta)|
|Gibraltar (BA)||Melbourne (Qantas)||Nassau (BA)|
|Gothenburg (SAS)||Tel Aviv (BA + bmi + El Al)||Ottawa (Air Canada)|
|Hanover (bmi)||Dubai (Emirites + BA + Virgin)||Phoenix (BA)|
|Kiev (BA + bmi)||Amman (bmi + Royal Jordanian)||Portland (United)|
|La Coruna (Vueling)||Casablanca (Royal Air Maroc)||Providenciales (BA)|
|Lyon (BA)||Doha (BA + Qatar Airways)||San Diego (United)|
|Madrid (BA + Iberia)||Tangier (Royal Air Maroc)||Rio de Janeiro (BA + TAM)|
|Malta (Air Malta)||Cairo (BA + bmi)||Buenos Aires (BA)|
|Munich (BA + Lufthansa)||Abu Dhabi (BA + Etihad)||Sao Paulo (TAM)|
|Nice (BA + bmi)||Agadir (bmi)||Cape Town (BA + Virgin)|
|Oslo (BA + SAS)||Bahrain (BA + Gulf Air)||Johannesburg (BA + Virgin)|
|Palma (bmi)||Beirut (bmi)||Mauritius (BA + Virgin)|
|Paphos (Cyprus Airways)||Muscat (BA + Oman Air)||Nairobi (BA + Virgin)|
|Paris (BA + Air France)||Tehran (bmi)||Addis Ababa (bmi)|
|Pisa (BA)||Freetown (bmi)||Dar-Es-Salaam (BA)|
|Porto (TAP Air Portugal)||Tunis (Tunisair)||Entebbe (BA)|