London Heathrow Airport
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our London Heathrow Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
The terminal remained at full brightness all night, so no night-time cosiness, and there were quite a few people working, fixing stuff, etc. - Mo.Si
There are three potential sleeping areas in this airport: the commons, the gates, and the paid lounges. The lounges are obviously extremely expensive and accessible only to business class travelers, so if you have access to them, you don't even need to be on this website.
The commons are IMPOSSIBLE to sleep in. A ring of shops and walkways surrounds a tightly crowded island of chairs. No matter what time of day you find yourself at Heathrow, this area is SWARMING. Because all airport traffic encircles this area, you will be surrounded by a ring of human activity. Additionally, almost all the chairs have bars between them, and there is so much traffic that even if you are hearing impaired enough to sleep here, trying to sleep under the seats will result in getting your hands stepped on.
The last possible area you might try to snag a nap are the gates. These are spacious areas full of pleasant nooks and long rows of seats. It's quiet. It seems perfect. However, airport personnel apparently have a policy of waking sleeping travelers. I was able to nap for 15 minutes before a woman came up to me and demanded to see my boarding pass, before telling me that if I wanted to sleep, the ONLY area I was allowed to do so in was the lounges. Apparently this boils down to money for the airports: pay for the lounges, or don't sleep at all.
I tried to enter another gate area, but I was stopped again by someone who said that I could only enter if I was boarding the flight. (I wonder why they have chairs in this spacious area if only boarders are allowed to pass through?)
I had been awake for almost 24 hours by the time I got to this airport and had expected to get at least a few hours sleep in a corner, but there was literally not a single corner in the entire airport where I could sleep. I wandered for two hours, searching, and finally gave up. Horrible.
Do NOT count on sleeping here.
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In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
There are several pay-per-access lounges at Heathrow airport. I haven`t included the airline lounges on this list, but they exist too.
- Servisair Lounge - Location: Terminal 1, airside, 2nd Floor. Hours: 500am - 1030pm. Lounge Access: £17.99 per person for 3 hours (online) to guarantee that you have a seat. » book lounge
- Plaza Premium - Location: Terminal 2A (Departure Level), Airside, Level 4. Showers and private relaxation rooms are available. Lounge Access: £38 for 2 hours.
- No. 1 Heathrow- Location: Terminal 3, airside, near gates 13-22. Showers are available. Hours: 430am - 1030pm (Daily). Lounge Access: £30.00 per person (at the door) for 3 hours or book online to guarantee that you have a seat. » book lounge
- Servisair Lounge - Location: Terminal 3, airside, near Gates 12-42 Airline Lounges F-1. Hours: 500am - 1030pm. Lounge Access: £18.99 per person for 3 hours (online) to guarantee that you have a seat. » book lounge
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge has two lounge locations:
- Terminal 3 - Departures - Location: Airside. Hours: 530am -10am (Daily). Rates: $ 30-55 (depending on your fare)
- Terminal 3 - Arrivals - Location: Landside, Arrivals Level. Showers are available. Hours: 6am - 130pm (Daily)
- American Admiral's Club - Location: Terminal 3, Airside on the Departure level, Lounge area H. Hours: 6am (Sun - Fri) 6am - 630pm (Sat). Rate: US$ 50
Free WiFi is available at London Heathrow Airport for 45 minutes. As of Jan 2014, if you register for the airport's free Heathrow Rewards program, your WiFi time will be doubled to 90 minutes.
Internet Terminals can be found in all terminal.You can pay using pre-paid vouchers, coins, or credit cards.
If sleeping in the airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels at Heathrow airport inside Terminals 4 and 5....
- Sofitel - direct access to Terminal 5 via covered walkway. Day rooms are available 9am-6pm.
- Hilton Hotel - direct access to Terminal 4 by covered walkway.
- Yotel - cube style rooms located inside Terminal 4 near Arrivals on the Mezzanine Level. Day rooms/hourly rate from 4-24 hours are offered.
- Renaissance Hotel - located between Terminals 1 and 3, this hotel is accessible by the Free red London Transport bus.
- Arora Hotel - located 5 minutes from the airport. Free airport transfers to Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4. Public bus to Terminal 5
To find a cheap room, here is a list of hotels near Heathrow Airport that can be sorted by price.
More Services, Facilities & Things to Do at the Airport
- Art Gallery - Location: Terminal 5, Landside, near Premium Check-in counters
- ATMs / Cash Machines - Cash machines are located landside and airside in all terminals.
- Luggage Trolleys - Available for Free.
- Car Rentals - Alamo • Avis • Budget • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National
- Children's Play Areas - In addition to the family lounge in Terminal 3, families with small children can use the Stay & Play areas in Terminal 1 (Airside, near Caffè Nero and Dixons), Terminal 4 (Airside, on the way to Gates 1-6) and Terminal 5A (Airside, near Gate A7).
- Family Lounge - The family lounge has play areas for children aged 0-2 and 3-9, game zone for for the 10-15 year olds, as well as a children's quiet room. Location: Terminal 3, Airside, near the Ted Baker Store. Hours: 6am - 9pm. There may be a time limit during busy times. Rate: Free.
- Food & Drinks -
There are many food concessions throughout the terminals. HBelow you will find the 24 hour food options at Heathrow airport.
Terminal 1 - Landside: Costa Coffee (Arrivals and Before Security)
Terminal 1 - Airside: 24 hour food options are not available
Terminal 3 - Landside: AMT Coffee • Costa Coffee
Terminal 3 - Airside: 24 hour food options are not available
Terminal 4 - Landside: Caffe Nero
Terminal 4 - Airside: Costa Coffee
Terminal 5 - Landside: Costa Coffee (Arrivals)
Terminal 5 - Airside: 24 hour food options are not available
- Information Desks - Locations: Terminal 1 (Landside, Arrivals, near car rentals / Hours: 6am-11pm) • Terminal 3 (Landside, Check-in Area, Zone D / Hours: 7am-930pm) • Terminal 4 (Landside, Arrivals, near taxi desk / Hours: 530am-1030pm) • Terminal 5 (Landside, Arrivals). During off hours, use the courtesy phones to ask for help.
- Luggage storage / Lockers -
Rates per item: £5 (up to 4 hours) • £9 (4-24 hours) • £18 (24-48 hours) • £27 (48-72 hours). Maximum storage time is 90 days. There are no lockers.
Terminal 1 - Arrivals, next to lifts for Heathrow Express. Hours: 6:00am - 11:00pm.
Terminal 3 - Arrivals. Hours: 5.30am - 11:00 pm.
Terminal 4 - Arrivals and Mezzanine levels. Hours: 5.30am - 11:00 pm.
Terminal 5 - Arrivals near UK arrivals. Hours: 5.30am - 11:00 pm.
- Mobile Charging - Free Power Pole charging stations are available before and after security in all Heathrow terminals. Use them to charge up to eight electronic devices. They are compatible with UK and European plugs as well as USB cables.
- Prayer Rooms - St. George's Chapel - There is a chapel located between Terminals 1 and 3. It is underground, so you need you descend the stairs. Hours: 07:30-20:00 The prayer room is located street level. There are other prayer rooms located in the terminals, but you have to stumble upon them or ask the Information Desk where they are located.
- Observation Areas -
The best spots to watch the action on the runway are the following:
Terminal 1 - The Tin Goose, Caffè Nero and Costa Coffee
Terminal 4 - The AMT, Costa Coffee and many of the gate seating areas.
Terminal 5 - Almost everywhere. The Gordon Ramsay Plane Food and wagamama offer particularly good vantage points.
- Pharmacy - Boots has locations in all terminals, before and after security. Ther locations in Terminals 1 and 5 dispense medications.
- Showers - Location: Terminal 3 (Airside, No. 1 Traveller's Lounge) • Terminal 4 (Landside, near the Heathrow Express Station) • Terminal 4 (Airside). Rate: Showers in Terminal 4 are free. A towel pack (including shower cap, shampoo and shower gel) is available for a small charge.
- Smoking Areas - There are no designated smoking areas once you get past security. if you are in transit, smoking is not permitted during the connection process. You will have to exit the terminal and pass through security control to return to the departure lounge.
open 24 hours
Airport Transportation: Getting There
All of your land transportation needs will start or end at the central bus station (open 24 hours), located between Terminals 1 and 3. To buy tickets and get directions to places beyond the airport, go to the travel centre (hours: 06:00-22:30) at the station. Follow the link for comprehensive transportation information to/from Heathrow Airport.
For inter-airport transportation, there is frequent coach service to:
- Stansted - departs every 30-60 minutes. Journey time is 90 minutes. Fare £23
- Gatwick - there are 100 buses between Gatwick and Heathrow per day. Journey time is 75 minutes. Fare £19.50-
Airport Transportation: Getting Around
Heathrow's 4 terminals are connected by trains and buses. To move between Terminals 1 and 3, you can walk.
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Last Updated: 05 Jan 2014
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you du ring your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.