LHR

Heathrow Airport (T4)

London, GB

SHOPPING, DEALS AND OTHER SERVICES

Getting into town

Heathrow Express is quickest

Heathrow is quite far from central London, but it's still pretty straightforward to get into the city. Considering London's notorious traffic, the train is really the best option.

Heathrow Express train

The Heathrow Express is one of the world's best airport connections and will get you to central London (Paddington Station) in a speedy 15 minutes from Terminals 2 and 3, 19 minutes from Terminal 4 (including a four-minute free shuttle to Terminals 2 and 3) and 21 minutes from Terminal 5. It leaves around every 15 minutes (less often off-peak) from:

Terminals 2 and 3: Mon-Sat 05:12-23:48 and Sun 06:05-23:53
Terminal 4: Mon-Sat 05:23-23:41 and Sun 05:53-23:41
Terminal 5: Mon-Sat 05:07-23:42 and Sun 06:00-23:48
Paddington back to London Heathrow: Mon-Sat 05:10-23:25 and Sun 06:10-23:25 

• Morning Peak 06:30-09:30 
• Evening Peak 16:00-19:00

Tip: You can save a lot of money by buying your ticket 90 days in advance (paying as little as GBP 5.50 one-way at the weekend). Also, if you use this route a lot, buy a Carnet 12 ticket, giving you 12 trips for the price of nine, or a Carnet 6, giving you six trips for the price of five. 

Cost: One way: GBP 22 (off-peak) or GBP 25 (peak) when bought online (GBP 27 on board). Return: GBP 37 (GBP 42 on board). Peak times: Mon-Fri, 7-10am and 4-7pm.

Buying tickets: Online (cheaper), at vending machines in the station or on the train
Location: Terminal 5 and Terminal 2-3 stations (from Terminal 4, catch the shuttle train to Terminal 2-3)

London Underground

It's a longer trip, but it's convenient and a lot cheaper to take the London Underground, locally known as the Tube, directly into the city. This is the best option if you're going to West London, as the Heathrow Express doesn't stop anywhere en route. Bear in mind, you may have to carry your luggage up and down the stairs in the Underground system. If this is going to be a problem, check Transport for London (TfL) for stations with lifts and escalators: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/avoiding-stairs-tube-guide.pdf 

Journey time on the Piccadilly Line to Piccadilly Circus is around an hour. Trains leave from around 05:45-00:30. (Check the LHR website before travelling.)

Tip: It's worth buying an Oyster top-up card if you're staying in London for a while. You'll save money on regular fares and it covers the bus network, too. In fact, the card (GBP 5) can pay for itself in just a couple of trips. Buy one at the airport or have it posted to you before you travel

Cost: GBP 6 one-way (travelling from Heathrow (Zone 6) to Zone 1); with Oyster Card: GBP 5.10 (Mon-Fri, 06:30-09:30) or GBP 3.10 (other times)
Buying tickets: 
Vending machines or manned kiosks in the stations
Location: Three stations: Terminals 2-3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5

Taxi

If you have time and money or are staying near Heathrow, you can take a famous (and famously expensive) London black cab. The journey will take around 42 minutes, but can take longer in rush hour.

Cost: Around £45-70
Location: Taxi ranks outside each terminal

LATEST TRAVEL INFORMATION

For the latest updates about travelling to and from Heathrow, check out the airport's Twitter feed: twitter.com/heathrowairport

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Save on your car rental

Lowest price guaranteed

You'll find car hire desks in all four of Heathrow's terminals, provided by Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National and Sixt. The companies provide shuttle buses to get to the car parks. 

You can book a car at the airport, or save money by booking online before you travel.

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Getting around the airport

Four terminals, with trains in between

London Heathrow Airport lies 23km from central London, and is the busiest of six airports serving the city – and the fifth busiest in the world. It's pretty large and sprawling, and can be crowded, but is well-signposted and fairly navigable thanks to its shuttle train.

It has four terminals in separate buildings:

  • Terminal 2: The newest terminal, hosting all Star Alliance airlines, and some others. It has a satellite building, T2B.
  • Terminal 3: Hosting the Oneworld Alliance and handling mostly long-haul flights. Due to be demolished in 2019 after expansion to Terminal 2 is finished.
  • Terminal 4: Hosting the SkyTeam Alliance.
  • Terminal 5: A new, modern terminal exclusively handling flights by British Airways and partner airline, Iberia. The main building contains Concourse A, and there are two satellite buildings, B and C, reachable by an underground people mover. 

Travelling between terminals

You can walk between all terminals, but distances can be long. Terminals 2 and 3 are beside each other and easily walkable. For the others:

  • Train: Take the Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect trains for free between terminals. You have to pay to use the London Underground.
  • Bus: Local buses will take you between terminals for free (tell the driver your destination when you board).
  • Airside: There are free shuttle buses to transfer you. 
  • ULTra (Urban Light Transit) Personal Rapid Transport: Individual, automated pods taking up to four adults and two children from Terminal 5 to the business carpark.
  • Underground people mover: Taking you from the main Terminal 5 building to the two satellite buildings.
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Free mobile charging

At the Power Poles

The airport provides free 'Power Pole' charging stations. These are located throughout all of the airport’s four terminals, before and after security, and can be used 24 hours a day.

Each Power Pole can charge up to eight electronic devices at once, and is compatible with UK and European plugs, as well as USB cables. 

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Kew Gardens

A leafy London layover

Layover in London? Don’t head straight for the West End. If the sun is shining, stow your baggage, jump on the Tube (One-Day Travelcard costs GBP 8.90) and visit Kew Gardens. 

This huge Victorian-era park has a treetop walkway, tropical glasshouses and the world’s largest collection of living plants (more than 30,000). 

Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 09:30-18:00
Cost: GBP 15, free for children 16 and under 
Getting there: From Heathrow, take the Tube (Piccadilly Line) to Hammersmith. Change onto District Line, westbound towards Richmond. Get out at Kew Gardens station. Travel time is around 45 minutes.

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Lounges

Premium spaces in every terminal

You'll find Heathrow's many comfortable lounges here:

Terminal 2

  • Plaza Premium Lounge, before security, Level 1, arrivals hall, public area near UK/Ireland Arrivals. Hours: 05:00-23:00. Cost: GBP 25 for a one-hour stay.
  • Plaza Premium Lounge, after security, departures, Lounge A3. Hours: 05:00-23:00. Cost: GBP 35. 
  • United Club, airside, opposite Gate B46. Hours: 05:00-22:00. Cost: USD 50.
  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, before security, Arrivals Hall. Hours: 06:00AM-13:30. Cost: CAD 25/50.00, with membership to Air Canada Maple Leaf Club.

Terminal 2A

  • Plaza Premium Lounge, after security, Level 4, departure level. Showers, spa and private relaxation rooms with beds are available at extra charge. Hours: 05:00-23:00PM. Cost: GBP 30

Terminal 2B

  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, after security. Hours: 05:30-22:00. Cost: CAD 25/50 with membership to Air Canada Maple Leaf Club.

Terminal 3

  • No. 1 Traveller Lounge, after security, near Gates 13-22. Showers and private rooms with beds available. Hours: 04:30-22:30. Cost: GBP 30. 
  • Servisair Executive Lounge, after security, near Gates 12-42, Lounge E. Hours: 05:00-22:30. Cost: GBP 14.99.
  • American Airlines Admiral's Club, after security, Departure level, Lounge H. Hours: 06:30-21:45. Cost: USD 50 with American Airlines Admiral's Club membership.
  • British Airways Galleries First Lounge, after security, Zone F. Hours: 05:00-22:30. Cost: Free for customers travelling in First Class, Executive Club Gold members (plus one guest) and OneWorld Emerald members (plus one guest).
  • British Airways Galleries Club Lounge, after security, Zone F. Hours: 05:00-22:30. Cost: Free for customers travelling in First Class, Club World or Club Europe, as well as Executive Club Gold members (plus one guest) and OneWorld Emerald and Sapphire members (plus one guest).

Terminal 4

  • Plaza Premium, after security, Level 1, near Gate 1. Hours: 05:00-22:30. Showers and spa treatments available. Cost: GBP 35.
  • SkyTeam Lounge, after security, departures hall, opposite Gate 10. Hours: 05:00-22:00. Cost: GBP 30.

Terminal 5

Available to all:

  • Aspire Lounge and Spa, after security, departure lounge, near Gate A18. Showers and spa treatments available (06:00-20:00) for an extra charge. Hours: 05:00-23:00. Cost: from GBP 29.99.

The Aspire Lounge offers comfortable Rest Pods, a good working area with power outlets with UK, US and USB ports, free Wi-Fi, various massages and treatments, shower facilities (for an extra GBP 20.00 for 30 minutes), and a vast food and drinks selection.

Open to all travellers, no matter which airline or class of travel. Admission: From GBP 29.99 for a stay of three hours (adults as well as children).

This lounge can get very crowded. Travelers have reported not being granted access due to capacity problems as well as limited offers at the food buffets. 

BA members only:

  • British Airways Galleries First Lounge, Terminal 5A (South), after security. Hours: 05:00-22:30. Cost: Free to customers travelling in First Class, Executive Club Gold members (plus one guest) and OneWorld Emerald members (plus one guest).
  • British Airways Galleries Club Lounges, Terminal 5A (North and South) and Terminal 5B, after security, Departures. Hours: 05:00-22:30 Cost: Free to customers travelling in First Class, Club World, Club Europe or Business UK, Executive Club Gold and Silver members (plus one guest) and OneWorld members with Sapphire status or better (plus one guest).
  • British Airways Arrivals Lounge, before security, Level 2. Cost: Free if travelling BA First Class or Club World, are a Gold Executive Club Member on a BA long-haul flight or are a OneWorld Emerald member (no guests allowed).
  • Concorde Room, Terminal 5A (south). Hours: 05:00-22:30. Cost: Free to customers travelling in First Class and Concorde Room cardholders.
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Showers

Freshen up

Most of Heathrow's showers are in the lounges, which charge a fee to enter. However, there are some free showers in Terminal 4:

Terminal
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, before security, Arrivals Hall. Cost: CAD 25/50 entry to the lounge

Terminal 2
Plaza Premium Lounge, after security, Level 4, Departures level. Cost: GBP 38 entry to the lounge

Terminal 3
No. 1 Traveller's Lounge, after security, Departure Lounge F. Cost: GBP 30 entry to the lounge

Terminal 4

  • Public showers, before security, in the toilets near the Heathrow Express station
    Cost: Free (plus small charge for shower cap, shampoo and shower gel)
  • Yotel (hotel cabins to rent by the hour), before security, level 0, Arrivals, opposite WHSmith
    Cost: From GBP 35 for a minimum 4-hr stay
  • Plaza Premium Lounge, after security, level 1, near Gate 1
    Cost: GBP 35 entry to the lounge

Terminal 5

  • British Airways Galleries Lounge North, after security, Departures. 
    Cost: Free to OneWorld members with Sapphire status or better), plus one guest.
  • British Airways Arrivals Lounge, before security, level 2. 
    Cost: Available for free if travelling BA First Class or Club World, are a Gold Executive Club Member on a BA long-haul flight or are a OneWorld Emerald member (no guests allowed).
  • Sofitel Heathrow hotel, before security, short walk from terminal through covered walkway. 
    Cost: GBP 30 for spa day-pass.
  • If you are a business class traveller or hold a BA silver card or equivalent, you can obtain a free shower, from the Elemis Spa in the South lounges. As waiting times vary from 10-30 minutes, this isn’t a good idea if your flight is departing from Gates B or C.
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Kids eat free at Comptoir, with FLIO

A great Lebanese canteen

Comptoir, located after security, offers Middle Eastern dining in a casual and trendy setting. The menu has plenty of choice with everything from breakfast plates, dips to mezze bites, savoury flatbreads, tagines, wraps, salads, pastries and cakes. Plus, freshly made lemonades that come in a variety of flavours.

Kids eat free when an adult main meal is purchased from the main menu, only with FLIO, available all day.

To claim your discount, simply unlock the offer below and present your FLIO code at the time of ordering.

To unlock this benefit download FLIO App

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Play areas

For young children

In Terminal 4 you'll find the Stay & Play area, which includes slides, soft play areas and separate baby and junior zones. It’s free to use, and suitable for children up to the age of nine. As Stay & Play is unsupervised, children need to be accompanied by an adult at all times. 

Location: Terminal 4, after security, departures lounge, on the way to Gates 1-6
Opening hours: 06:00-21:00

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View Heathrow observational deck

Do some plane spotting while you wait

The only place for plane watching at London Heathrow is inside Terminal 4. The 'View Heathrow' area has a 270-degree panoramic view of the southern runway, and is equipped with binoculars and flight-tracking touch screens. Great place for geeks and kids.

Location: Terminal 4, after security, next to Gate 15 

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Travelex VAT Refund

Save your receipts and get your sales taxes reimbursed

Travellers returning to their non-EU country of origin can apply to have the VAT (sale's tax) refunded for the purchases that they made while in the UK. Save and collect all of your receipts and fill out the tax refund forms before arriving at the airport, and head to the Travelex desk. You can also book a VAT refund appointment for £120 in advance.

Travelex Locations:

Terminal 2, before security, check-in level 5, Zone A
Terminal 2, after security, level 4, next to LEON 
Hours: 05:00 - 22:00

Terminal 3, before security, check-in level, next to Zone D
Terminal 3, after security, level 1
Hours: 06:30 - 22:00

Terminal 4, before security, level 1, use the lift near Zone G
Terminal 4, after security, level 2
Hours: 05:00 - 22:00

Terminal 5, before security, check-in level 3, Zone G
Terminal 5, after security, level 2, opposite to Customs

For VAT pre-booked refund appointments: Before security, check-in top level, Zone H
Hours: 06:00 - 22:00

For the exact rules about what you can expect to get a refund on please visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-7041-tax-free-shopping-in-the-uk/vat-notice-7041-tax-free-shopping-in-the-uk

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