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Heathrow Airport general information

If you’re flying from Heathrow Airport, we’ve collected the essential 'must-know' information you’ll need to ensure your trip gets off to the perfect stress-free start. 

Which terminal

Heathrow has four terminals, so finding where you're flying from is essential information you'll need before setting off. Get the information by logging on to Heathrow Airport's terminal guide.

Heathrow Airport parking

Heathrow Airport Car Park Generic(2)

Flying from Heathrow can be a daunting experience, but booking your parking with APH will make it whole lot easier. Booking in advance will also bring huge discounts over turn-up-and park rates, while also guaranteeing a space at the UK’s busiest airport. With our outstanding range of Heathrow parking options, we’ll help guide you through the services on offer for your terminal and ensure you get the service that suits your needs. From on- and off-airport to meet and greet, we’ve all the options covered to make departure day as stress-free as possible.

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Heathrow Airport hotel and parking packages

Heston Hyde Heathrow Airport Double

APH offers a wide range of hotels at Heathrow Airport, from budget hotels to luxury hotels, so if you have an early morning flight or a long way to travel, why not stay the night before you fly and enjoy a relaxing start to your holiday. If you are travelling by car, save money by booking a package that combines your hotel stay and parking. If you are not driving, don't worry; we also offer room only packages at great rates.

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All about Heathrow Airport

Located 14 miles west of central London, Heathrow Airport started life as a small airfield in 1929. Originally called Great West Aerodrome, it was located near the hamlet of Heath Row. Large-scale development of the site began in 1944 when the MoD requisitioned the land to build a base for long-range bombing missions during the war. However, by the time work started, the war was virtually over. As a result, the land was handed to the Air Ministry on January 1, 1946, to be used as London’s new civil airport. Today Heathrow is used by more than 80 airlines and serves 180 destinations in 85 countries. More than 190,000 passengers use the airport on a daily basis, with a total of 75.7 million travelling through it during 2016. It is the main hub for British Airways and base to Virgin Atlantic. Heathrow has two parallel runways and five passenger terminals. The busiest of these terminals is 5 – from where 31.9 million passengers arrived or departed on 216,861 flights during 2016. Heathrow’s top five destinations are: New York (JFK), Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam.

Getting There

Along with a mainline railway and London Underground access from central London, Heathrow Airport is served by a plethora of parking solutions. APH.com offers 14 options from long-stay to short-stay, on- or off-airport and meet and greet parking. Just log on to APH.com now to get instant online quotes covering all these options.

Check-in information

Heathrow provides the following guidelines for when you should check in for domestic, European and non-European international flights:

Long-haul and El Al:

Three hours before scheduled departure

European flights:

Two hours before scheduled departure

UK and Ireland flights:

90 minutes before scheduled departure

Mobile check-in information

Many airlines operate an online check-in service to let passengers select seats, print boarding passes and save time at the airport. Heathrow advises customers to check with their carrier to see if an online check-in service is offered

Mobile check-in: Some airlines offer a mobile check-in service. Users of the service can have a boarding card sent directly to their smartphone. Once again, check with your airline to see if it offers this handy, time-saving check-in option.

Disabled Passenger Details

Heathrow Airport offers assistance to passengers with reduced mobility or special requirements. Find out more and plan your trip through the airport with the help of this online guide

Click here for details of how Heathrow Airport helps passengers with hidden disabilities such as autism.

Fast-Track security lane

The Fast Track service is available to a limited number of passengers. Check to see if you are eligible here

Family Assisted Lanes

These lanes give extra help to families travelling with young kids in buggies when passing through security. Just look out for the 'Family Assistance' lane signs.


There's no shortage of shopping at Heathrow, check out the terminal-based shop selector here. 

Where to Eat

As you'd expect, Heathrow has some great restaurants, cafes and fast-food outlets to suit all tastes and requirements. Check out the full list by visiting our restaurant selector.

Wi-Fi access

If you need to be connected, Heathrow Airport offers free unlimited WiFi. Find out how to connect here.

Viewing Areas

Airports are exciting places and nowhere in the UK has more to see than Heathrow. Various spectator options are on offer. Passengers travelling from the airport can choose between eateries and a dedicated observation deck in Terminal 4. Terminal 5 has a plethora of great views, but Gordon Ramsay Plane Food and wagamama offer particularly good vantage points. All these viewing points are located airside, but non-flying members of the public can visit the Heathrow Academy to view aircraft movements from a covered viewing stand. There’s a small charge to use the car park, but the observation area is free to enter. Alternatively, you can pay £35.00 to spend a day of plane spotting luxury at the Renaissance Hotel's Club Lounge. The price includes parking, free tea and coffee or soft drinks in the lounge and a great view of the runway action. Get full details of Heathrow Airport spectator options here.

Airport map

Heathrow Airport map

The Compass Centre, Nelson Road, Hounslow, TW6 2GW


Heathrow terminals all have direct access from the M25. Take junction 15 for Terminals 2 and 3 and junction 14 for Terminals 4 and 5. If you are using the M4, take junction 4 for Terminals 2 and 3. For Terminals 4 and 5 take junction 4b onto the M25 South and use junction 14.