Airport Guide: London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport is one of the biggest airports in the world and serves over 75 million passengers a year. Even though there are several other airports in London with millions of passengers each, none comes even close to London Heathrow. In all regards, from lounges to shopping, from transportation to hotels, London Heathrow Airport really is world class.

London Heathrow Airport is so big that pretty much all important international airlines fly to the airport. There’s rarely any city in Europe you can’t reach from London Heathrow. Moreover, nearly all important international destinations are connected with London through Heathrow Airport.

British Airways 747

British Airways is by far the biggest carrier at London Heathrow Airport

The most important airline by far is British Airways which operates most of its flights from London Heathrow Airport. Other important carriers include the three big American carriers and Virgin Altantic Airways.

Most important carriers at London Heathrow Airport:

  • British Airways: Dozens of destinations all over the world
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways: Long-haul destinations in North America, Africa and Asia
  • American Airlines: Several destinations in the United States
  • Delta Airlines: Several destinations in the United States
  • United Airlines: Several destinations in the United States

Shopping and dining at London Heathrow Airport

The sheer size of London Heathrow Airport makes it a real shopping paradise. Especially in Terminal 5, you’ll feel like you are in a shopping center rather than in an airport. Yet, all the other terminals come with a decent selection of shops, too.

London Heathrow definitely is a shopping paradise

London Heathrow definitely is a shopping paradise

Additionally, there are several restaurants, bistros, cafés and fast food outlets at the airport. There’s rarely any brand you won’t find at London Heathrow Airport. So if you are into shopping, plan some extra time!

Sleeping at London Heathrow Airport

It may happen that you have to spend a night at London Heathrow Airport. Early departures and late arrivals are nothing special at London Heathrow. Yet, the options for sleeping without paying for a hotel are actually quite limited. There are some comfortable benches, but no dedicated sleeping areas. If you want more comfort, you should definitely opt for a hotel.

One Aldwych London Executive Room

Luxury hotels in the inner city are just an option if you stay longer

The most convenient option definitely is Yotel London Heathrow which is located inside Terminal 4 and offers very small, but clean and comfortable rooms with a private bathroom. Other options around the airport include several three and four star hotels as well as the luxury hotel Sofitel London Heathrow. All major hotel chains like Hilton or Marriott offer accommodation close to London Heathrow Airport.

Lounges at London Heathrow Airport

Usually, we tend to list all lounges available at an airport in this section. When it comes to London Heathrow Airport, this mission gets way more complicated than usually. Due to the number of passengers, there’s an equally high number of lounges. Airlines offering lounges include Air Canada, Air India, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

BA Galleries First Lounge London Heathrow

British Airways offers several different lounges at the airport

Moreover, there’s a SkyTeam lounge serving all alliance airlines. Additionally, there’s a bunch of independent lounges which you may access by either using Priority Pass or a comparable membership or by paying cash.

Lounges at London Heathrow Airport:

  • Emirates Lounge (EK FC, EK BC, EK Platinum, EK Gold)
  • Etihad Airways First and Business Class Lounge (EY FC, EY BC, EG Platinum, EG Gold)
  • Several oneworld lounges with different access criteria (check this page for more information)
  • Several Star Alliance lounges with different access criteria (check this page for more information)
  • Several independent lounges (PP, $)
  • SkyTeam Lounge (ST FC, ST BC, ST Elite Plus, ST Elite)
  • Virgin Alantic Clubhouse (VA UP, FC Gold)

Transportation at London Heathrow Airport

There are several different ways to get from London Heathrow Airport to the city center. The Heathrow Express is by far the quickest way to the city as it just takes 15 minutes from the airport to London Paddington. Heathrow Connect, the slower train with several stops, takes 31 to 49 minutes. Depending on where you are going, the underground (Piccadilly Line) may be another good option as it stops several times in the city center.

Underground London

The London Underground is a fast and convenient option to get to the city center

There are also different national and regional coach services and city buses which are another option. Last but not least, taxis are available at London Heathrow Airport. However, it’s not recommendable to take a taxi as these are way more expensive and also slower than the Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect or the underground.


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