London Heathrow

Getting to and from Heathrow

London Heathrow is the worlds 3rd busiest airport for passenger traffic and handles the most international passenger traffic in the world.

Situated to the west of London, Heathrow started out as a military airfield during World War 1. It was mainly used to assemble and test aircraft in the early years and only opened to civil aviation in 1946.

The 50's and 60's saw massive development of the terminal buildings. The first terminal building which is now know as terminal two was opened in 1955. Terminal 3 which was known as the Oceanic terminal was completed in 1961 and finally Europa terminal (now know as terminal 1) was completed in 1968. By the end of the 60's Heathrow was handling more than14 million passengers a year.

In the 1970's the Piccadilly line was extended to Heathrow, connecting the airport to central London in just under an hour.

Due to the enormous growth in passenger numbers during the 80's there was a need to expand the terminals further. Terminal 4 was constructed next to the cargo terminal and away from the other 3 terminals due to a lack of space. Terminal 4 was opened in 1986 and that became the home of British Airways until they moved to T5 in 2008.

The newest addition to Heathrow is terminal 5 which was opened by the Queen in 2008. It's impressive design and state of the art facilities has heralded a new chapter and a vital addition to the Heathrow's continued evolution. The new terminal has provided Heathrow with much needed space and facilities to deal with the ever increasing number of passengers to the UK.
The building is the largest free standing building in the UK and is approximately 5 times the size of terminal 4.

Today London Heathrow is used by over 90 airlines who fly to over 170 destinations worldwide. It serves as the main hub for British airways, Virgin Atlantic and BMI and welcomes 67million passengers per year to the UK.

Terminal Info

All five terminals offer a comprehensive selection of shops, Bureaux de Charge and help desks.

All the terminal buildings have Wi-Fi hot spots provided by BT Openzone, The Cloud and T-Mobile. Free Wi-Fi is available in the various British Airways lounges, the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Clubhouse, the BMI (British Midland) Gold lounge and the KLM Holideck lounge.
Terminal changes

With the opening of Terminal 5 there is likely to be a long drawn out game of musical terminal swapping. British Airways are slowly moving all of its flights to T5. Whilst BA are moving, other airlines are being moved around to make better use of the freed up space. The ultimate vision is to have all the airline alliances in their own terminals thus minimising the need to change terminals when connecting to another flight.

Therefore it is essential that you check with the airline before leaving for heathrow to ensure that you have the correct departure details.