Despite the emergence of Dubai International Airport, The Telegraph still ranks London Heathrow as one of the ten most active landing fields in the world. According to statistics in 2015, this west London airport saw a 1.4% spike in travel growth, resulting in annual passenger traffic of a little over 68 million. From these numbers alone, you, just like any other local or tourist, can easily be overwhelmed by the immensity of Heathrow Airport. Fortunately, however, expert travelers have come up with airport tips and hacks for a more efficient time in London.
On the Way to the Airport
Say your flight leaves during the early hours of the morning or late at night, common knowledge suggests you take an Uber or a taxi. On the other hand, if you have a lot of check-in luggage and opt to drive to Heathrow, reserving an airport parking space 24 to 48 hours before departure is your safest bet. But if you were travelling without the limiting aspects of time and baggage, the best choice would be to take the train. Parking4Less points out the fastest way is via the Heathrow Express, which only takes 15 minutes from central London to the airport and vice versa for £22. Another course of action would be to take the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground. Though it may take longer for you to reach Heathrow, single tickets go for £3.10 during off-peak and £5.10 during peak hours. Remember to get an Oyster Card for added convenience.
You should’ve known by now about the importance and handiness of online check-ins. Not only does it save you precious time and effort, you’ll also have one less queue to worry about. Speaking of long lines, if you’re passing through Heathrow’s Terminal 5, know that the far-right hand side of the check-in and baggage drop is typically the shortest. Contrary to Fox News Magazine’s recommendation, T5’s right lane is the quickest, as the London Underground’s exit is on the left. Once you’ve accomplished all the pre-boarding requirements, it’s time to relax and take advantage of Heathrow’s many amenities. Aside from the usual fashion boutiques and restaurants, you can watch a movie, hang out, or get a massage at Terminal 3’s No.1 Traveller Lounge. Best of all, they offer free drinks and snacks to customers.
Additional Pros of London Heathrow
You’ll have more than enough time to update your status on social media, as London Heathrow gives 45 minutes of free Internet access to its passengers. The airport also has baggage offices inside Terminals 2 to 5, so if you’re on a long layover or have a delayed flight, you’ll have a suitable place to leave your main luggage. Conversely, if unfortunate events call for urgent solutions, Terminal 4 has a Yotel branch where you can rent a room with a small shower, fast Wi-Fi, and free drinks. You can even make the most of hourly rates for a fairly reasonable price.