The busiest airport in the UK by far is Heathrow Airport in London and it is at its absolute capacity (hence why they are looking at an additional runway as an option). It is in fact the 7th busiest airport in the world. As a result of this, it can seem to be a very congested and sometimes stressful place. If you have never been to Heathrow airport then it would be wise to read up on it in advance to make sure your trip is planned effectively as there are a total of 5 terminals and there are all very different (and quite spread out).
The first thing you really need to be aware of is the parking. If you have chosen to drive down to Heathrow airport then you may choose to use companies such as Heathrow Parking where you can leave your car in safe hands. They offer a very specific meet and greet service at T5 Parking at Heathrow Airport, where you can leave your car with an attendant. The meet and greet option is directly outside terminal 5 therefore it is a 2 mins walk to the British Airways departures lounge. In addition to this, there is the option of getting your car cleaned by this company whilst you are away on holiday! So not only can you effectively dump the car with an attendant and walk off, you can expect to pick it up after your holiday all nice and clean (inside and out). There are also similar options for T3 Parking at Heathrow Airport and you can find all the details of this at the Heathrow Parking website.
Depending on what time of the year and time of the day you are travelling you could find yourself waiting in excessive waiting lines to go through security checks. There has been a lot of improvements to this recently to try and speed up the process however during peak times, long waits are to be expected. It is important for all passengers to listen carefully to the attendants in order to speed up the process as much as they can. If you are in a particular hurry there is the option of paying for a fast pass. These are not normally expensive however will get you through the security gates pretty quickly, avoiding most of the lines. If you are flying business or first class on any of the airlines, you will automatically receive a fast pass.
If you are arriving at Heathrow Airport and looking to get a transfer to central London we would normally advise you that in advance you should look at the different options online to get the best deal however when you land at Heathrow you can expect to see several different people selling good deals to get into London. They offer deals that include both the underground and the bus. You won’t be left stranded at Heathrow Airport if you require to travel on further.
Heathrow Airport is next to the M25 motorway which is known for being congested on a frequent basis. Although the majority of this motorway has 4 lanes, it is still a highly used one that can cause delays. You can get travel advice online prior to your journey to see if there are any delays but also set up your satellite navigation system to ensure that it takes into account travel issues. If you get stuck in congestion on this motorway it could be a difficult challenge to get of the motorway and find an alternative route. Make sure this is all taken into consideration and extra time is put aside in case it is needed.
When you arrive at Heathrow Airport you will see that their incoming security is mainly made up of machines. These machines are for the modern passports where there is facial recognition technology in place. These can be extremely efficient and save you waiting in a line to see an immigration officer therefore if your passport is not compatible for this it may be worth considering changing it. You will find this rolled out in the majority of airports now in the UK (and other countries). If for whatever reason, the machine does not work for you, it will ask you to “seek assistance”. There are more than enough attendants in place (usually wearing a purple top / jacket) who can support you in using the machine. If all else fails, they will divert you to one of the immigration officers where you will need to get through the security process using the old conventional route.
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