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London Heathrow Airport

Find out about the airport's location, transportation options, terminals, airlines and more.

An aerial shot of London Heathrow Airport

Book Flights to London Heathrow Airport

Search and book flights to London Heathrow International Airport (IATA: LHR) with Alternative Airlines. We ticket 600+ airlines, including all major carriers. So, no matter where you are flying from, we can guarantee that you'll find the right flights for you. London Heathrow is a major airport serving the city of London, so if you're planning a trip to visit the capital of the UK, flying into Heathrow will be the easier and most convenient option if flights from your departure location are available.

Where is Heathrow? The airport is located 14 miles (23 km) west of Central London

Why fly to Heathrow? Heathrow Airport is the second busiest international passenger traffic airport in the world as well as Europe's busiest passenger traffic airport and the seventh busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. In 2018, it handled a record-breaking 80.1 million passengers, as well as having 480,339 aircraft movements. London Heathrow is the primary hub for British Airways and the primary operating base for Virgin Atlantic.

Use the search form at the top of the page to begin looking for flights to Heathrow. Enter your departure airport and city and enter 'London Heathrow' as your arrival airport.

A shuttle bus waiting outside an airport


After you arrive at London Heathrow Airport, you'll want to pick the best transportation option to get you from the airport to your final destination.

To reach London from Heathrow Airport, the quickest way is by the Heathrow Express train with a journey time of 15-20 minutes. Another option is TFL Rail - it's slightly slower but more affordable than the Heathrow Express, getting you to Paddington in 30-35 minutes. The Elizabeth Line is a popular option because it offers direct connections between Heathrow and Paddington, Farringdon and Liverpool Street. You can also catch the Tube via the Piccadilly Line, getting you into Central London in 1 hour.

The National Express coach service offers connections from Heathrow to various cities throughout the UK. Local buses can also get you to London and Greater London.

The famous London black cabs will be readily available outside Heathrow terminals. You can also use Uber taxis to get you to your destination.

If you've hired a rental car or booked a private car service, you can easily reach your destination as Heathrow is connected by major motorways (M4 and M25).

Luggage on a baggage claim conveyer belt

Security and Baggage Claim

Security Procedures

Heathrow Airport has several security checkpoints located throughout the terminals. You will need to go through security checks, which involve scanning your belongings through X-ray scanners and walking through metal detectors.

If you'd like tips on how to get through airport security smoothly, check out our blog - Guide to Airport Security.

Baggage Claim

Each terminal at Heathrow has its own baggage claim area. Look for your flight number on the information screens to find out which baggage carousel your luggage will arrive on.

Terminal 2 - Belts 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E and 2F
Terminal 3 - Belts 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E and 3F
Terminal 4 - Belts 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F
Terminal 5 - Belts 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E and 5F

Terminals and Amenities

London Heathrow Airport has 5 passenger terminals that serve domestic and international flights.

Terminal 2

This terminal, also known as "The Queen's Terminal", is primarily for airlines serving North America, including Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. It offers a wide range of shops, restaurants and cafes, with dedicated family check-in areas and a children's play area.

Terminal 3

Terminal 3 is home to the UK's first moving walkways and the Virgin Atlantic hub. It serves various airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Etihad Airways and some codeshare flights. It has a good selection of shops, restaurants and amenities.

Terminal 4

Terminal 4 has recently been refurbished and serves a mixture of airlines including Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and some low-cost carriers. There is a variety of shops, restaurants and cafes, including duty-free shopping options.

Terminal 5

This prestigious terminal is the main hub for British Airways and its Oneworld alliance partners like Iberia and Japan Airlines. It has the largest selection of shops, restaurants and cafes among all the airport's terminals. It also has a spa, a hotel and conference facilities.


There are over 40 lounges at Heathrow Airport! Below are the top 5 lounges in the airport that are popular with passengers passing through.

The Club Suite

This exclusive lounge, located in Terminal 5, is reserved for British Airways passengers travelling in First Class or who are top-tier frequent flyers. It offers unparalleled luxury with private work pods, a dedicated dining area with à la carte service and a personalised service.

The Clubhouse

This lounge, located in Terminal 3, is open to Upper Class Virgin Atlantic passengers and certain status holders. It offers a stylish and modern environment with comfortable seating, a dedicated bar area with mixologists and a relaxed atmosphere.

Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge

Situated in Terminal 4, this spacious lounge welcomes Business Class passengers on Qatar Airways and select Oneworld Alliance airlines. It has a dedicated prayer room, a children's play area and a variety of food/beverage options, including Arabic specialities.

Plaza Premium Lounge

This pay-in lounge offers a comfortable and convenient option for passengers flying with any airline. It has a variety of seating options, a good selection of food and beverages, and business facilities like Wi-Fi and charging points. You can find this lounge in Terminal 2.

No1 Traveller Lounge

This is another independent lounge offering access to passengers of any airline for a fee. It features a stylish design, comfortable seating arrangements, a variety of food and beverage options and relaxation areas with spa treatments. This lounge is in Terminal 3.

Did you know? You can add access to airport lounges when booking flights through Alternative Airlines! Take a look at our handy guide on how to add lounges to your booking right here.


Airlines that fly to London Heathrow Airport

Hub airport for:
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic

Major international airlines:
American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, Aeroflot, Air France, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air, Saudia, Vietnam Airlines, Air Canada, ANA, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

European airlines:
Air Europa, Eurowings, Icelandair, Norwegian Air, Vueling, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airlines, Iberia Express, SWISS and TAP Air Portugal.

Regional airlines:
Aer Lingus, Blue Air and Eastern Airways

Need a special service?

If you or a passenger on your booking require a special service to make the journey easier (such as wheelchair assistance or special medical equipment), we're here to help. Contact us today to discuss adding special services to your booking.

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London Heathrow Airport FAQs

Where is London Heathrow Airport?

London Heathrow Airport is situated in Hounslow, West London, England. It is approximately 23km (14 miles) west of London city centre. The closest town is Hounslow which is 3 miles away. The airport is easily accessible by trains, buses and taxis, making it a convenient hub for international travel to and from London.

How to get from Heathrow Airport to London?

There are several ways to get from Heathrow Airport to London.

The quickest option is by train on the Heathrow Express - this gets you to central London in 15 minutes. Other train lines are available like TFL Rail and the Elizabeth Line, which are slower but cheaper.

The Tube is another great way to get you from the airport to the city centre however it can take up to 1 hour of travel time via the Piccadilly Line.

You can also use buses or coaches such as the National Express which can connect you from Heathrow to various cities throughout the UK, including London.

If you'd prefer a more private journey to London from the airport, there are plenty of black London cabs waiting outside of the terminals.

How far is London Gatwick Airport from London Heathrow Airport?

By road, the approximate distance between London Gatwick and London Heathrow is 42 miles (68 km), ranging from 40 minutes up to 1 hour 15 minutes of travel time depending on traffic conditions.

By public transport, the distance and travel time can vary, but generally ranges from 1 hour to 1 hour 45 minutes, subject to potential delays and waiting times.

Where to stay near London Heathrow Airport?

Choosing a hotel near Heathrow Airport depends on your budget, priorities and travel style.

If you're aiming for a bit of luxury, consider staying at Sofitel London Heathrow - this 5-star hotel is directly connected to Terminal 5 via a covered walkway, and consists of luxurious rooms, multiple restaurants and bars, as well as a spa and swimming pool to help you unwind before or after your journey.

For mid-range accommodation, consider staying at the Hilton London Heathrow Hotel. This modern hotel is located directly opposite Terminal 2 and offers a variety of room options, a restaurant, a bar and a fitness centre. Another hotel to consider is the Renaissance London Heathrow, situated near Terminal 2, featuring stylish rooms, a restaurant with international cuisine, a bar and a spa.

If you're looking for budget-friendly stays near London Heathrow, a popular choice is Premier Inn London Heathrow. It's conveniently located across multiple locations near different terminals and offers clean and comfortable rooms at affordable prices. Or, you can try the Ibis London Heathrow - another budget-friendly option with various room types and amenities like a restaurant and a bar.

A popular option for travellers who just want convenience is the Aerotel London Heathrow - it's located directly inside Terminal 3, making it perfect for early morning flights or late arrivals. It offers compact but comfortable rooms and basic amenities.

Consider booking your stay in advance, especially during peak seasons. Many hotels offer airport shuttle services or are easily accessible via public transportation.

What to do in London Heathrow Airport?

To make the most of your time in London Heathrow Airport, there are many activities to keep you occupied:

  • Shopping - explore a wide range of shops, from luxury brands to duty-free options.
  • Dining - enjoy diverse cuisines at numerous restaurants, cafes and bars.
  • Relaxation - unwind at various lounges, spas and meditation gardens.
  • Entertainment - watch movies, play games or use the free Wi-Fi to stay connected.
  • Exhibitions - visit temporary art exhibitions or browse historical displays.
  • Family activities - take advantage of children's play areas and family-friendly amenities.
How many runways at London Heathrow Airport?

There are two runways at London Heathrow Airport:

  • Northern Runway - 09L/27R
  • Southern Runway - 09R/27L

The runways are quite long. The Northern Runway is the longest active runway in the United Kingdom at approximately 3,902 metres (12,802 feet).

How far is Heathrow Airport from downtown London?

London Heathrow Airport is roughly 23 km (14 miles) away from central London. The travel time ranges from 30-60 minutes depending on your chosen method of transportation.

Popular transportation methods include the Heathrow Express Train, the London Underground (Tube) and taxis.

How far is London Stansted Airport from Heathrow?

The distance between London Heathrow Airport and London Stansted Airport is approximately 65 miles (105 km).

If you're driving between the two airports, this can take a little over 1 hour under ideal traffic conditions.

National Express coaches can take 1 hour 20 minutes up to 2 hours to get from one airport to the other.

You can also reach London Stansted from Heathrow by train - this isn't a direct route though. It involves taking the Heathrow Express train to London Liverpool Street Station, then catching the Stansted Express train to London Stansted Airport. This journey can take 2-3 hours.

How to get from Heathrow to London City Airport?

The quickest way to get from Heathrow Airport to London City Airport is by taxi - this can take 50 minutes and roughly costs around £60-80.

Another way is by train and DLR. Take the Elizabeth Line from Heathrow to Woolwich, then transfer to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to London City Airport. This journey typically takes around 1 hour and costs £7-22 depending on the ticket purchased.

You can also take the Tube and the DLR. Get on the tube via the Piccadilly Line from Heathrow to Canning Town, followed by a transfer to the DLR for London City Airport. This journey is longer, taking up to 2 hours and costing approximately the same as the train and DLR option.

How to get from Heathrow to Luton Airport?

There's no direct train or public transport link between London Heathrow Airport and Luton Airport, however, there are 3 other ways to get from one airport to the other:

  • National Express coach - there is a frequent service between Heathrow and Luton throughout the day, taking approximately 50 minutes and costing around £14-20.
  • Train combinations - take the Heathrow Express train to London Paddington Station, then transfer to a Thameslink train towards Luton Airport Parkway. Finally, take the Luton DART shuttle from the parkway directly to the airport terminal. This journey takes around 75 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Taxi - this is the most convenient option with a journey time of 40 to 60 minutes, however, it's also the most expensive, with fares ranging from £85-110 or more. The price is dependent on the distance, time of day and the taxi company you ride with.