Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow[2] (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL), is a major international airport near London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic, as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. It is one of six international airports serving Greater London. In 2018, it handled a record 80.1 million passengers, a 2.7% increase from 2017 as well as 480,339 aircraft movements, a 4,715 increase from 2017.[1] Heathrow lies 14 miles (23 km) west of Central London,[3] and has two parallel east–west runways along with four operational terminals on a site that covers 12.27 square kilometres (4.74 sq mi). The airport is owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings, which itself is owned by FGP TopCo Limited, an international consortium led by Ferrovial that also includes Qatar Holding LLC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, GIC Private Limited, Alinda Capital Partners, China Investment Corporation and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).[4] London Heathrow is the primary hub for British Airways and the primary operating base for Virgin Atlantic.

LONDON HEATHROW International Airport: World Class Travelling On A Shoestring

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Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow, is a major international airport near London, United Kingdom.

Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow (IATALHRICAOEGLL), is a major international airport near London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic, as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. It is one of six international airports serving Greater London. In 2018, it handled a record 80.1 million passengers, a 2.7% increase from 2017 as well as 480,339 aircraft movements, a 4,715 increase from 2017.

This composite photo shows planes taking off from Heathrow on November 2, 2016. A total of 42 planes were captured during a one hour period

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
This composite photo shows planes taking off from Heathrow on November 2, 2016. A total of 42 planes were captured during a one hour period
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Heathrow Airport is used by over 90 airlines flying to 170 destinations worldwide. The airport is the primary hub of British Airways, and is a base for Virgin Atlantic. With 190,000 passengers arriving and departing every day, Heathrow handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world.

Of Heathrow’s 69 million passengers in 2011, 7% were bound for UK destinations, 41% were short-haul international travellers and 52% were long-haul. The busiest single destination in passenger numbers is New York, with over 3.8 million passengers between Heathrow and JFK / Newark airports in 2011. The airport has five passenger terminals (numbered 1 to 5) and a cargo terminal.

Full body scanners are now used at the airport, and passengers who object to their use after being selected are not allowed to fly. These display passengers’ bodies as a cartoon-style figure, with indicators showing where concealed items may be. The new imagery was introduced initially as a trial in September 2011 following complaints over privacy.

Hand luggage restrictions at Heathrow airport:
Hand luggage at Heathrow airport
Only one piece of hand luggage with most airlines
Maximum size for most airlines: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm
You can take a handbag as well as your hand luggage
Liquids are permitted in containers of up to 100ml
They must fit into one transparent resealable bag no bigger than 20cm x 20cm
Anything bought after security is allowed on the plane

One of the latest security rules include turning on electronic devices to see if they work normally. If you are flying to the US please make sure any of your electronic devices are charged before you travel. If your device does not switch on you may not be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions

Heathrow’s Terminal 2 closed for renovations in late 2009 after nearly 60 years of operation. The new and improved Terminal 2 is due to reopen in 2014. 

Heathrow Airport Arrivals can be found on the ground floor of Terminals 1, 3, 4 and 5. After you leave the aircraft, you’ll pass through passport control, baggage reclaim and Customs. In the arrivals hall, you’ll find shops, restaurants, currency exchange, car rental and hotel reservation desks. 

Heathrow Airport departures can be found on the first floor of Terminals 1 and 2, the ground floor of Terminal 3 and the top floor of Terminal 5. All passengers must clear security control before entering the departure lounge, where you’ll find shops, bars and cafes. 

The Heathrow Express is the fastest way to travel into Central London. Trains leave every 15 minutes and the journey takes about 20 minutes. Trains to London leave Heathrow Airport from approximately 5am until 11.45pm. Standard adult fares are £21 for a single ticket purchased online or at a ticket office/machine (or £26 when purchased onboard).

Heathrow Connect services run from London Paddington, calling at Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Central (Terminals 1 and 3). For Terminals 4 and 5, there’s a free Heathrow Express transfer service from Heathrow Central. Heathrow Connect journey time is about 25 minutes from Paddington to Heathrow Central and adult single tickets cost £9.50.

There are usually taxis queuing for customers at London’s airports. Only use a black cab or reputable minicab and never use unauthorised drivers. Ask the driver or minicab company how much your journey will cost beforehand. A metered trip in a black cab to/from Central London generally costs from £50 to £80 and takes 30 minutes to one hour. All Heathrow Terminals have an approved taxi desk and authorised taxi rank.

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