Travelling through Heathrow

As always, we’re looking forward to welcoming you to the airport and we’re working hard to make sure your trip runs as smoothly as possible. To help with this process, please be aware of the following:


Consider your arrival times

Allow 3 hours to check-in before your flight and make sure all your travel documents are up-to-date. Please do not turn up significantly early for your flight though, as this can cause unnecessary congestion in the airport.


Terminal Drop-Off Charge

A £5 charge applies to vehicles dropping off passengers at the designated drop-off zones, located directly outside the terminals. Discounts and exemptions apply. Free drop-off is available at our Long Stay car parks.


Terminal 4 airline moves

Terminal 4 has re-opened and up to 30 airlines are moving there during the summer. You should always keep in touch with your airline to confirm which terminal your flight departs from before travelling to the airport. 

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  • Testing equipment to make Heathrow faster and safer 

    Heathrow Departures, until April 2020

    We're running a series of tests and assessments on biometric cameras and face-recognition systems.

    The tests, which run until April of 2020, are voluntary, and we will request your consent to take part as required. If you don't want to take part, just let us know.

    Some tests are helping us automate systems which will make Heathrow faster and more efficient. Others are helping us make Heathrow safer.

    The assessments will take place in various locations and at different times. If you come across one when you next travel through Heathrow, we will be there to answer your questions

    Your data and privacy

    UK Border Force already uses biometric data and facial-recognition software at Heathrow for immigration purposes, for example in our e-gates for arrivals, and for domestic travellers departing from Heathrow.

    For those passengers travelling on US bound flights, your facial biometric image will be captured and shared with the US Customs and Boarder Protection’s (CBP) Traveller Verification Service. This image will be used for an attempted match against a gallery of passenger images for your flight populated from an existing database. The match attempt will determine whether the passengers can proceed at that touch point. CBP will immediately dispose of images following the completion of any match attempt. 

    The current tests do not link with any existing systems. We are using the data we capture to evaluate the performance of biometric equipment and processes. All data gathered from the passenger will be held and destroyed within 30 days and not shared with any third parties.

    Should an individual wish to exercise their right to access their personal data or have their data deleted, or if you have any questions about the use of your information, before or after you travel, please email