Heathrow Airport is the largest and most convenient airport for travellers visiting London. Nearly 90 airlines fly to over 180 locations worldwide each day which is more than any other airport in the UK.
There are 5 terminals at Heathrow Airport:
• Terminal 1: Provides mostly domestic flights to the UK and Ireland but does fly to some European and long-haul destinations.
• Terminal 2: Is currently closed for redevelopment and will reopen in 2014 with a new modern layout.
• Terminal 3: Operates mainly long haul flights to destinations worldwide.
• Terminal 4: Mainly British Airways and KLM flights to long-haul and European destinations.
• Terminal 5: Is Heathrow’s newest airport exclusively for British Airways flights. It is the most energy efficient terminal at Heathrow due to the structure of the new building.
All 5 terminals offer great shopping and leisure opportunities for travellers to kill time while they are waiting for their flight. Purchases within Heathrow Airport are Duty Free which means visitors do not have to pay tax. Therefore it is a great place to buy luxury goods such as electrical items, cosmetics, alcohol and tobacco. If visitors do not want to take their purchases with them on holiday, they can collect them on their return to the airport. Some stores will also deliver products to traveller’s homes if they order them at Heathrow Airport.
Before visitors can enjoy the quality shopping experience at Heathrow Airport they will need to have checked in and got through Heathrow’s security inspection. Heathrow airport employs strict security measures to eliminate illegal activity and prevent any terrorist attack. This means each person and their luggage must be thoroughly checked using scanning machines. Quite often Heathrow Airport security can be exceptionally busy, especially in peak travel periods as each person must be checked. Therefore even if visitors have checked in online and have only hand luggage they must still leave enough time to get through security.
Visitors to Heathrow Airport need to be aware of the security rules in place for what luggage can be taken on the plane as hand luggage. Visitors must only have one piece of hand luggage which is no bigger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. This measurement includes bags’ handles, wheels and side pockets. Heathrow has stern restrictions on the amount of liquids visitors are aloud to carry in their hand luggage. This is because of attempted security infringements which have occurred over the years. Visitors must put all of their hand luggage liquids in 1 clear, re-sealable plastic bag maximum 1 litre in capacity. Each liquid container must be no larger than 100ml. Baby food and milk is the exception to the liquid rule for hand luggage but visitors may have to taste the products as they go through security to prove they are safe. There is no restriction on liquids carried in luggage which is checked into the hold, liquid restrictions are only in place for hand luggage you take on the plane with you.
There are various options for getting to or from Heathrow airport. If you are trying to get to central London National Express coaches offer a service from Heathrow Airport Central Bus station to London Victoria train station in central London. They also run services to locations around the UK.
Another option would be to get the train, however, to get the best deal for any train journey it is best to book in advance as it can save you up to 43% on your fare. A RailAir service operates from Heathrow Airport to Feltham station, Reading station, Woking station and Watford Junction station. This is a coach journey but tickets can be purchased from The Trainline.
If visitors choose to hire a car from Heathrow Airport there are 8 car hire providers located within the airport. Heathrow car hire services are quick, convenient and mean visitors are more mobile while they are in the UK. Non UK visitors need to be aware that in the UK cars drive on the left hand side of the road which is the opposite to most other countries. Visitors should also know that London is a very busy and congested city when it comes to traffic. Due to the immense traffic in London the UK government has brought in a congestion charge. Therefore if you drive in central London between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday you will be charged for driving in london. Overall Trips 2 London recommend visitors try to avoid driving in London and use public transport instead.
Heathrow Airport Guide provides more information on the best transport for getting to and from Heathrow Airport as well as more information about what services are at the airport.
Article by Hannah Bird from www.heathrow-airport-guide.co.uk
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