London Heathrow Airport Guide
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.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at London Heathrow airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- Plaza Premium Lounge - Location: Terminal 2A (Departure Level), Airside, Level 4. Showers and private relaxation rooms with beds are available at extra charge. Hours: 5:00AM - 11:00PM. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (£38) • Book Online (from £40) • Priority Pass.
- Plaza Premium Lounge (Arrivals) - Location: Terminal 2, Landside, Level 1, Arrivals Hall. Hours: 5:00AM - 11:00PM. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door •Book Online • Priority Pass.
- United Club - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, opposite Gate B46. Hours: 5:00AM - 10:00PM. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • United Club Membership.
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Location: Terminal 2B - Queen’s Terminal, Airside. Hours: 5:30AM -10:00AM (Daily). Lounge Access: Book Online ($25.00/$50.00) • Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Membership.
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge (Arrivals) - Location: Terminal 2, Arrivals Hall. Showers are available. Hours: 6:00AM - 1:30PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Book Online ($25.00/$50.00) • Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Membership.
- No. 1 Heathrow - Location: Terminal 3, airside, near gates 13-22. Showers and private rooms with beds are available at extra charge. Hours: 4:30AM - 10:30PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Book Online (£30) • Priority Pass.
- Servisair Lounge - Location: Terminal 3, airside, near Gates 12-42 Airline Lounges F-1. Hours: 5:00AM - 10:30PM. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Book Online (£14.99).
- American Airlines Admiral's Club - Location: Terminal 3, Airside on the Departure level, Lounge area H. Hours: 6:30AM - 9:45PM. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • American Airlines Admiral's Club Membership.
- Plaza Premium - Location: Terminal 4, Airside, 1st Floor, near Gate 1. Hours: 5:00AM - 10:30PM. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Book Online (£35.00) • Priority Pass.
- SkyTeam Lounge - Location: Terminal 4, Airside, Departure Hall, opposite Gate 10. Hours: 5:00AM - 10:00PM. Lounge Access: Book Online (£18.99) • Priority Pass.
Free WiFi is available at London Heathrow Airport for four hours. If you register for the airport's free Heathrow Rewards program, your WiFi time will be doubled to 8 hours.
Internet Terminals can be found in all terminal.You can pay using pre-paid vouchers, coins, or credit cards.
If sleeping in London Heathrow Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels inside Terminals 4 and 5 as well as other nearby airport hotels:
- Sofitel - Direct access to Terminal 5 via covered walkway, and free transfers to the other terminals. Day rooms are available from 9am to 6pm.
- Hilton Hotel - Direct access to Terminal 4 via covered walkway.
- Yotel - Cube-style rooms located inside Terminal 4 (landside) near Arrivals on the Mezzanine Level. Day rooms/hourly rate from 4-24 hours are offered. Transit (airside) passengers will need valid entry into the UK in order to stay at this Yotel.
- Renaissance Hotel - Located by Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Airport shuttle bus available for GBP 4.50 per person (roundtrip).
- EasyHotel Heathrow - A budget hotel located 10 minutes from Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and 15 minutes from Terminals 4 and 5. Transfers are not available. Average taxi fare is £10 and £15 or take the Heathrow Hoppa Bus from Terminal 3.
- Leonardo Hotel London Heathrow Airport - (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle
- Plaza Premium Lounge & No. 1 Heathrow - both of these lounges have private napping areas with beds. Packages start at 3 hours.
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.
- Baby Care - Boots Drugstore is located Airside and offers pre-order service for baby milk, simply place your order 5 days before your travel and pick up post security, freeing up space in your hand luggage for other essentials.
- Baggage Trolleys - Available for Free.
- 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 2 - Landside: Costa Coffee (Arrivals and Before Security)
Terminal 2 - Airside: 24 hour food options are not available
Terminal 3 - Landside: AMT 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 2 - Arrivals, next to lifts for Heathrow Express. Hours: 5:00AM - 11:00PM.
Terminal 3 - Arrivals. Hours: 5:00AM - 11:00PM.
Terminal 4 - Arrivals and Mezzanine levels. Hours: 5:00AM - 11:00PM.
Terminal 5 - Arrivals near UK arrivals. Hours: 5.30AM - 11:00PM.
- 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 4 - The AMT, Costa Coffee and many of the gate seating areas. At Gates 15 and 16, there is a 270-degree panoramic view of the Southern Runway and is equipped with binoculars and touch screens to track flights.
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 and Airside). Rate: Showers in Terminal 4 are free. A towel pack (including shower cap, shampoo and shower gel) is available for a small charge. See also Airport Lounges above.
- 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.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport
All Heathrow car hire operators offer a wide range of products and services and have desks at the airport. Companies currently at the airport are: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National.
The UK's largest coach operator offers frequent direct services to and from hundreds of destinations. Coaches call at all Heathrow terminals. National Express also provide inter-airport between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. For more details visit the National Express web site.
An extensive bus network operates around Heathrow and to destinations in west London and the Thames Valley. Cash payment is no longer accepted on Transport for London buses and you need to use a contactless payment card. Further details/travel information visit the TFL web site.
Buses to rail stations
Luxury coaches and buses connect Heathrow with the national rail network at Feltham, Watford, Woking and Reading.
Hotel Hoppa: A convenient way to travel between hotels and Heathrow Terminals 1-5. Tickets are £4.50 each way for adults. One child aged five to 15 can travel free with every fare-paying adult, and travel is free for under-fives. Hotel Hoppa buses operate from 4am- midnight. The hotels served are all close to the airport.
Heathrow Express: With a journey time of 15 minutes between the airport and London Paddington, and departures every 15 minutes, Heathrow Express offers the fastest journey time. Trains run between 05:10 and 23:25 from Paddington, and between 05:03-23:58 from Heathrow. Tickets are available online, at the station or on the train. The standard-class single fare is £26.50 on board or £21.50 in advance. Returns are £40 on board, £35 in advance. Visit the Heathrow Express web site.
Rail-air bus links: Bus services link Heathrow with the national rail network at Feltham, Reading, Woking and Watford Junction.
Underground: London Underground's Piccadilly Line provides the most cost-effective rail route between Heathrow Airport and the capital. Journey time by Tube is under an hour. Heathrow has three London Underground stations – one for Terminals 1, 2 and 3, one each at Terminal 4 and Terminal 5. Tickets are available at all stations. The single fare to central London (Zone 1) is £5.70. A one-day Travelcard, giving unlimited travel in Zones 1 - 6, costs £17 (Anytime) or £8.90 (off-peak). For more information visit the TFL web site.
Heathrow taxis and minicabs
Heathrow endorses three fully licensed services: a classic black cab, private hire car or a personal chauffeur service.
London Black Taxis
London black taxis stop at the taxi ranks outside all Heathrow terminals. All drivers are fully licensed and have passed the world famous 'Knowledge of London' examination. All taxis operating at Heathrow have wheelchair access.
Private hire minicabs
These offer a fixed price to and from any UK destination from Heathrow. All private hire minicabs will need to be pre-booked online or by telephone and the drivers will meet you from your flight in the arrivals area.
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: 13 August 2015
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 during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.