London Heathrow Airport essential travel guide
Postcodes for GPS: TW6 1AP, TW6 1EW, TW6 1QG, TW6 3XA

London Heathrow is the UK's biggest international airport, connecting passengers with 176 destinations in 90 countries around the world.

Located in the west London borough of Hillingdon, the hub sees an average of 180,100 passengers arriving and departing each day.

London 2012

As well as being popular with people catching cheap flights to Thailand and other destinations, it is the official host airport for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London this summer. 
 
Nearly 80 per cent of all athletes, officials, media and spectators are expected to pass through its terminals on their way to the event.
 
The London airport has four operational terminals and two runways, although the case for a third runway continues to be made by business groups who favour increased capacity at Heathrow.

Terminal 5

 Terminal 5 is the newest area of the airport, having been opened by the Queen in March 2008.
 
It is currently used exclusively as a hub for British Airways (BA) flights, but this is set to change in March when Iberia services will also start to depart and arrive from the terminal.
 
As a result of the merger between Spain's national carrier and BA in November 2010, the two airlines have operated many flights under a code share agreement.
 
Terminal 5, which took six years to build at a cost of more than £4 billion, is known for its distinctive "wave-form" roof designed by leading architects the Richard Rogers Partnership.
 
Inside the building, passengers will find a variety of stores and boutiques, including outlets for fashion brands such as Burberry, Gucci, Mulberry and Ted Baker.
 
The terminal contains 22 restaurants and bars, with Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food offering a la carte dining and a diverse wine list with spectacular views of the runway.
 
For those looking to enjoy a quick snack on the run before their cheap flights to India or elsewhere, there are also branches of Bagel Street, Caffe Nero, Starbucks and Pret A Manger in the terminal.

How to get to London Heathrow

Situated 15 miles west of central London, Heathrow is easily accessible by car and public transport. 
 
Train
The Heathrow Express offers the quickest way to travel from the capital, as this non-stop train from London Paddington takes just 15 minutes to arrive at the airport.
 
Motorists
Motorists should make sure they know which terminal they are heading to before setting off, as the buildings are located in different parts of the airport site.
 
Terminals 1 and 3 are close together at the centre of the site, with drivers leaving the M4 at junction 4 or the M25 at junction 15 to get there.
 
A separate entrance is used for people flying from Terminal 4, which is in the southern part of the airport site. Drivers should exit the M25 at junction 14.
 
To reach Terminal 5 by road, travellers can use a separate access road reached from junction 14 of the M25. Those coming from the M4 should exit at junction 4b and follow the M25 south to junction 14.
 
London Underground
Like Terminal 4, Terminal 5 also has it own station on the London Underground. Catching the Tube is the most affordable option for people needing to reach the airport from central London.
 
All three Heathrow stations - Terminals 1, 2, 3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 - are on the Piccadilly Line in Zone 6.
 
Passengers can catch Piccadilly Line trains to the airport from central London stations such as King's Cross St Pancras, Holborn and Leicester Square.
 
Car
For drivers, the airport offers several long-stay car parks with a free coach service connecting them to the terminals. These services run every ten minutes, with transfer times ranging from five to 15 minutes.
 
Long-stay parking can be booked by travellers in advance, or on the day of departure.