London Heathrow International Airport LHR - is the United Kingdom's most prominent - and the largest Airport serving London (the others are LGW, STN, LTN & LCY), and is one of the world’s busiest airports - presently only trumped by Beijing's PEK - handling more international passengers than any other airport in the world. In June 2015, ACI Europe awarded LHR its 'Best Airport' accolade - with the highest passenger satisfaction in the over 25-M passenger category.
LHR Airport is located near the southern end of the Borough of Hillingdon, about 12 nautical miles from Central London, England, U.K., and covers an area of over 12 square km. It is accessible:
- via nearby motorway M4, and by four parallel tunnels under a runway connecting the M4 and A4 to Terminals 1 & 3.
- via motorway M25 leading to Terminals 4 & 5, and
- the A30 road to Terminal 4.
With two extra-long runways and 76M passengers in 2016, London Heathrow International Airport is primary hub for BMI, British Airways & Virgin Atlantic, and is served by a host domestic and international airlines, offering countless destinations with connections worldwide.
- If using the Heathrow Airport Express to LHR Airport note that trains depart from platforms 6 & 7 at London Paddington (for more information and timetable open: www.heathrowexpress.com):
- heading to Terminals 1 or 3: take any train, getting off at Heathrow Central - taking 15 mins.
- heading to Terminal 4: change at Heathrow Central and use the free transfer service by connecting trains, departing every 15 mins and taking 4 mins. to get there.
- heading to Terminal 5: board London-Heathrow train at Paddington to Heathrow Central and take any train thereafter to Terminal 5, an added 6-minutes.
- British Airways passengers may use its new 'AirPortr & bag check-in service - collecting bagage from anywhere in London at a fee, and transporting it to the passenger's destination airport.
- Heathrow Airport is now on 'Weibo' - the Chinese social media platform - promoting UK tourism & relevant real-time journey information.
- On-Airport hotels are within walking distance of Heathrow's passenger terminals. The hotel reservation center maintains desks in the arrivals area of all terminals and in the London Underground concourse between T1 & 3. (National Express runs a shuttle bus to nearby hotels.)
- Near Terminal 5 is the Sofitel London Heathrow Hotel with 2 restaurants & conference facilities;
- Near Terminal 4 is the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Hotel with 3 restraurants, business and fitness centers; and
- At Terminal 4 is the YOTEL - a capsule hotel with 32 cabins, bookable for a few hours or more.
- The Renaissance Hotel reopened Feb. 2016 with a 32,300 sq.ft conference & events space, new restaurant, bar & lounge and additional 61 bedrooms (totaling 710).
- T4 is to get two new hotels: The Crowne Plaza London hotel with 300 rooms and business facilities, and the Holiday Inn Express London with 450 rooms. Both hotels are to be connected to T4 by an air bridge.
- Passenger dropoff: follow 'Departures' signs; for T5, use either of the two lanes on the departures forecourt; for T1 to T4, use outside lane.
- Due to recent security changes (you may be asked to open your bags for thorough search) it is advisable to arrive for check-in for European flights 2 hours, and long-haul and El Al flights three hours prior to scheduled departure.
- Visa requirements for travelers from India: Tourists, travelers on business & other eligible visitors from India will now be able to visit both the UK and Ireland (North & South Ireland) - moving freely between the two countries on a single visa.
- Due to Heathrow /Emirates new partnership, members of their customer loyaly programs (Heathrow Rewards & Emirates Skywards) gained increased earning & redemption options.
- 'AirPortr' concierge baggage service may be booked from any device are now available in Terminals 3 - 5. It will deliver two bags (any size, weight) to/from any London destination at 30 pounds.
- Domestic flight charges per passenger have now been reduced by a third as of Feb. 2016
On-Airport Hotels: Groundbreaking took place in October 2016 for two new hotels at Terminal 4 named Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express (with 300 & 450 rooms each) - scheduled to open 2018
London Heathrow International has five passenger terminals - T1 through T5 (for extensive terminal details, please refer to 'Terminal maps.)
Present and future Airport Developments:
- Heathrow's long-ongoing endeavor for Government approval of its third runway and subsequent second phase of Terminal 2 construction hinged on the Government's final decision to approve or reject its third runway - which was received October 2016 . While a draft national policy statement was on public view in early 2017 and by late 2017 the House of Commons is scheduled to vote on it.
- By Dec. 2016 seven companies were selected to design the Airport expansion plans.
- By Mid-Feb. 2017 a polling firm concluded that two thirds of the pubic consider a third runway a demonstration of 'open for business' policy after Brexit.