London Heathrow Airport
More international passengers fly out of the London Heathrow terminals than any other airport in the world, a pattern that developed gradually through the 20th century. Once a quaint row of cottages on Hounslow Heath, the region began to change in the early 1900s when the first military airfield was built to support World War I.
The gradual addition of new runways disrupted the tiny hamlet until all of the cottages disappeared in the mid-1940s. New construction that allowed civilian use created a boom in air travel and the airport expanded to meet the demand. Today the air fields are used by over 90 airlines and include extensive international destinations. Although the original hamlet is gone, noise abatement policies restrict some flights to protect the comfort of nearby residents.
London Heathrow, airport code LHR, is located 15 miles from London with access from the M25 and M4 motorways. The airport consists of five terminals, where 1 and 3 are in close proximity and terminals 4 and 5 feature separate roadside access.
Full passenger services and amenities including fine dining or casual food choices, duty free shops, convenience stores and currency exchange booths are scattered throughout the airport. Business lounges, child services and special facilities may be booked ahead for a nominal fee.
Heathrow Airport Parking
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Short stay car parking, typically recommended for five hours or less, is available next to each of the terminals. A CCTV security system operates continually throughout the parking lots. Assistance for disabled passengers is provided by using a call system. Long stay car parks are serviced by a free shuttle to the airport and also feature security surveillance.
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Several major car hire companies maintain desks at the terminals and may be booked ahead or upon arrival. The companies represented include Hertz, Avis, Europcar, National, Alamo, Enterprise and Budget.
Heathrow Airport Hotels
The Hilton London Heathrow Airport, located adjacent to terminal 4, receives a four-star rating for extensive services including a fitness centre, meeting rooms and restaurants.
The Sofitel Heathrow at terminal 5 provides over 600 luxury rooms and complete amenities. Travellers who need a quick break may be interested in the Japanese style Yotel that may be booked for a few hours or overnight.
Each terminal is equipped with a hotel reservation desk that provides assistance in locating vacancies at local hotels. An extensive bus system connects passengers with nearby hotels.
Of the over 65 million passengers flying through Heathrow each year, the majority travel on international flights. Passengers travelling from LHR are able to reach over 180 destinations in the world.
As a British Airways hub, major cities in Asia, North America, Africa, Australia, India and Europe are serviced daily. Both economy air carriers and luxury airlines arrive and depart from Heathrow and the airport capacitates large aircraft including the Airbus A380. Major U.S. airlines including American, Delta, United and Continental access LHR and travel to West Coast, East Coast and Canadian destinations. Virgin Atlantic travels to Cape Town, Hong Kong, LA, New York, Delhi and Sydney among other cities. Passengers travelling within Europe typically have a choice of two or three carriers.
The Heathrow Express provides a fifteen minute direct rail service to Paddington Station with trains leaving throughout the day at fifteen minute intervals. The underground Piccadilly Line arrives in central London on a 60 minute trip from the airport terminal.
Local coaches transport passengers from the central bus station, located walking distance from the terminals, to hundreds of destinations in the region.
There are several taxi companies in the London area that can take you to and from Heathrow Airport. You can always prebook a private hire taxi, or hail a black cab on any highway.
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