Welcome to the Heathrow Airport Guide – a practical guide of do’s and don’ts for easy passage through one of the world’s busiest airports. Situated in West London’s borough of Hillingdon, almost 70 million passengers fly via Heathrow airport every year – that’s more than the population of the UK itself. Taking pride of place at number three of the world’s busiest airports of 2012, Heathrow airport is an international hub brimming with excited holiday-goers, eager tourists and tired business travellers. All of which, for the less-frequent traveller, can be a little daunting to say the least.
Most airlines give you the opportunity to check in online before arriving at the airport. This will enable you to avoid the initial lengthy queues – and trust us, there’s plenty of queuing to be done before you reach the departure lounge.
Be sure to arrive for your flight within the recommended time frame. Having time to spare will allow you to find your terminal without rushing. Heathrow recommends three hours for long-haul flights, two hours for European flights, and ninety minutes for UK and Irish flights.
Checking which terminal is advised for anyone flying out of Heathrow. With five busy terminals, turning up at the wrong one could cost you a lot of time. An airport map can be found on their website .
Knowing what you can and can’t take on board in your hand-luggage is extremely useful. It will save you time when going through security, and mean that you won’t have to bin your belongings which can end up being an expensive affair. You can find a list of all the items which can’t be packed in hand baggage or hold luggage on Heathrow’s website.
Airport security becomes tighter each year and there are a number of items you can do without wearing to avoid setting off the alarms. Belts, jewellery and watches can be carried in your luggage instead. Opting for slip on shoes rather than ones with laces can also save you time and effort.
With 45 million bags travelling through Heathrow airport every year, it’s important to make your luggage easily identifiable. This will prevent someone else walking off with it. Plus, in the bothersome event that it goes missing, luggage labels will make locating your luggage much more straightforward for airport staff.
Although many look forward to the luxury of duty-free shopping, it’s important to note that many holiday items such as toiletries and sun cream can be expensive at airports. Also, if you’re not a fan of Richard-and-Judy style summer reads or chick-lit, it’s worth picking up books before you arrive at the airport.
Airport car parking can be time consuming if you don’t plan in advance and choose a reputable company, like Happydays. We offer a personal, no worries solution to parking in the Heathrow area for both individuals and companies alike. You can either choose the: