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Top travel tips for Heathrow travellers

As one of Europe’s busiest airports, we make it our priority to make sure all of our passengers have a smooth experience whilst travelling through our terminals to their holiday destinations. Here are some of the things you can do to have the best airport journey and get your holiday started in the best way possible. 

Plan your journey in advance 

Planning your airport journey before you get there is a great way to reduce your stress levels and allows for a much smoother journey. Here are some of the things you can do to save time and effort during your travels. Here are simple ways you can plan your journey through the airport before leaving your home.

Air passenger travel guide

The Government's air passenger travel guide sets out passenger rights and responsibilities when flying. Laid out in stages, it includes; booking, travelling to and through the airport, your flight and returning to the UK. It also covers what you can expect from your airline, travel agent, tour operator and airport, and what happens if things go wrong.

See the Government's air passenger travel guide

Download the Heathrow app

The Heathrow app can be thought of like your one stop shop for everything you need to be airport ready. You will find live security and immigration times, so you can get an idea of wait times and when best to go to each area. There is a Reserve & Collect section where you can reserve any items you’d like to purchase and then pick them up at the airport before your flight. You can also prebook parking and pre-order food for a quicker and more seamless journey with everything ready for you in advance.


Get your timings right

No one wants to be cutting it fine before a flight, equally, we’re sure you don’t want to be waiting around the airport for check in to open. With that in mind, double check your flight time. Make sure you arrive at the airport:

  • at least 2 hours before a short-haul flight
  • 3 hours before a long-haul flight.

That’ll give you enough time to clear the check in, make your way through security and enjoy some duty-free shopping before making your way to your gate.

Request assistance if needed

The airline that you are flying with is required to provide any additional or special assistance if you are in need of it on the flight. So, make sure to book any assistance you need with your airline before you travel. If you need special assistance at the airport before flying, then Heathrow is on hand to help with that.

Be prepared for security

Travelling through security can be the most daunting and stressful part of an airport journey for most passengers due to how busy it can get at various times. You can do your part in reducing this by being prepared for security before making it to the trays. Here are a few ways in which you help a quicker and more consistent flow through security:

  • Place all liquids in a small transparent bag (making sure they’re all under 100ml)
  • Removing all larger electronics from carry-ons (laptops, game consoles, tablets etc.)
  • Be prepared to take off additional items such as belts or shoes.

Take advantage of our kid-friendly facilities 

Let’s face it, travelling with kids isn’t always fun. From tantrums to tiredness, it can be a lot to deal with above the usual stresses of travelling. That’s why we have a number of things at the airport, from games and entertainment to kid-friendly meals, for your little ones to enjoy and to make your journey that little bit easier.

Kids eat free

During school holidays, parents should look out for the Kids Eat Free offer. It’s a simple concept: when an adult chooses an item from the main menu your kids can eat for free. With great restaurants to choose from and a wide range of dishes, they'll be spoilt for choice.

if you’re in a hurry you can pre-order food and drink from selected restaurants via the Heathrow app (see below). It'll save you time queueing, which means more time to enjoy yourself.

Kids travel for free

Your kids can also travel to and from the airport for free on the Heathrow Express, the easiest and most comfortable way to travel from Heathrow Airport to Central London. It takes only 15 minutes to get from the airport to Paddington Station. Kids aged 15 and under can ride the Heathrow Express for free when with a paying adult, even in Business Class! So, start your family holiday in style without breaking your budget this summer.

Mr Adventure and Little Miss Explorer mobile game

Enjoy playing our Mr. Adventure & Little Miss Explorer game, where kids can access online games and activities to keep them entertained during their airport journey. From travel themed quizzes to colouring and spot the difference games, there is so much fun to be had. Gone are the days of boredom during check-in, whilst waiting for your flight.

The new game also features a parent zone that is filled with useful information such as locations of changing rooms, play areas, essential shops and safety tips. Simply look out for and scan the QR code which can be found on signage and screens located around the airport.

If your child is still a bit too young for electronics or online games, then check out the list of soft play areas in each terminal to ensure your child, no matter their age, has a fun-filled time travelling through Heathrow.


Mr. Men™ Little Miss™ © 2023 THOIP (a SANRIO Company). All rights reserved.

Consider pre-booking an airport service for your comfort 

Book a night at a Heathrow hotel ahead of an early flight 

Catching a flight can be a stressful process for anyone, and early flights can cause even the most organised passenger unwanted stress and anxiety. So why not alleviate some of the pressure by staying at one of our on-site hotels the night before? 

You’ll be able to relax exactly how you want, get a prompt wake-up call, enjoy some tasty food and get to your terminal with the minimum of fuss.

  • Book Aerotel Terminal 3
    Book Aerotel Terminal 3

    Walking distance to Terminal 2 and Heathrow Express, making it easy to travel between all terminals.

    Book now
  • Book Hilton Terminal 4
    Book Hilton Terminal 4

    Seven minutes to Terminal 4 via a covered walkway and less that 15 minutes to Terminals 2, 3 and 5.

    Book now
  • Book Sofitel Terminal 5
    Book Sofitel Terminal 5

    Five minutes to Terminal 5 via a covered walkway.

    Book now


Lounge around in luxury before your flight 

Why not give yourself a treat by relaxing and refreshing in style before take-off in one of our premium lounges?

They are less expensive than you think, children are welcome and you have access to a delightful array of complementary foods and beverages 

It’s a slick way of indulging and regrouping before take-off, and everyone should try it once. 


Be kind when travelling

We know that catching a flight can be a demanding, pressured time and that Heathrow can be a busy place, but being nice really is a superpower. A kind word can mean a lot and good vibes really do help a journey run smoother.

Our staff will always try their absolute best to make your time at the airport as comfortable as possible, so try and be nice to them where you can – and look out for other passengers too.