Travel review: Heathrow airport

London is served by 4 major airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and City) though Easyjet is trying to dupe unwary foreign flyers into believing that Southend on the east coast is in London

Heathrow still retains the cachet for foreign airlines and most fly there though a few now do also use Gatwick

Belying its military airfield beginning, Heathrow’s position in the middle of a dense residential area has limited its expansion over the years and the government are about to decide on which London airport gets a new runway. If it’s Heathrow, expect many years of disruption with building work

Dad and I have watched Heathrow develop over the last few decades and having watched it languish for so long, the enforced sale of other airports to competitors by the monopoly commission has finally spurred BAA, the airport’s owners to put some must needed investment into the infrastructure, which is now seriously lagging behind its European competitors, never the super-airports of the Far East

The newest terminal, the Queen’s Terminal 2 now has a modern feel to it and a nice range of eateries and shops even if seating is still limited. Terminal 1 has just been demolished to continue the development of this area

 Dad and I fly most often from Terminal 3, where most foreign airlines depart. The emphasis here seems to be more on high end brand name shops than passenger comfort, which is in sharp contrast to places like Singapore’s Changi airport where free movie theatres and piano recitals make the traveller feel wanted

 Terminal 4 used to be a pariah terminal but we were pleasantly surprised last year to find that it’s been hugely expanded and now more pleasant than Terminal 3

 British Airways have Terminal 5 all to themselves. For such a new building, it’s surprisingly small airside

The overall atmosphere at Heathrow is one of keeping passengers corralled though we have hope with the recent redevelopments of Terminal 2 and 4. The security and immigration queues still need improvement

Travel-wise, Heathrow has a good choice of train, Underground and bus links. Be aware if you drive that the section of M25 next to the airport is euphemistically known as the biggest car park in Europe, so allow plenty of extra time

Ultimately, very few of us choose a flight based on airport, so we have to put up with wherever our chosen airline has decided to use. Heathrow has a lot of catching up to rival the top airports but we’ve seen recent encouraging signs of progress


6 thoughts on “Travel review: Heathrow airport

  1. Pingback: Travel review: Virgin Atlantic Airways | Teddy Rambles

  2. Oh my gosh, I just noticed the header of your blog has you and Teddy looking at Half Dome in Yosemite! Pookey and I have the same picture (but it’s from before digital cameras came out so I don’t have the pic scanned). Pookey has been all over the USA….he’s seen the redwoods and sequoias of California, the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, the ocean in Florida, and many, many national parks. He’s never been outside of the US though (much too expensive and we can never get time off work). It’s so good to see another teddy who loves to travel!


      • Since I don’t know how to paste a photo in a comment, I’ll email you a few of Pookey’s favorite spots! It might be a few days as I’m super busy with work (I’m a private duty RN).

        Loving your blog posts!


  3. Pingback: Travel review: Newark Liberty International Airport | Teddy Rambles

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