London Heathrow is one of six airports servicing London, and it's by far the biggest. In fact, Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport.
There are four active terminals at the airport, numbered 2 through 5. Terminal 1 closed in June 2015 when British Airways moved their flights to terminals 3 and 5. Terminal 1 is set to be demolished, with Terminal 2 to be expanded.
The division of airlines between the terminals isn't strictly observed, but as a general rule they are split between alliances:
- Terminal 2: Star Alliance (e.g. Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways)
- Terminal 3: Oneworld members (e.g. American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas) as well as some British Airways flights and non-affiliated airlines such as Emirates.
- Terminal 4: Skyteam airlines (e.g. Air France, Alitalia and KLM)
- Terminal 5: Most British Airways flights and all Iberia flights.
Terminals 2 and 3 are connected by underground walkways, while a free rail service links T4 and T5.
There are currently no direct flights to London Heathrow from New Zealand, but there are plenty of options with one stop along the way – whether that's a short airport transit or spending a few days in a different country.
Getting to London city centre
London's famous Underground system links Heathrow Airport to the city from tube stations at T4, T5 and a shared station for T2 and T3. These stations are on the Piccadilly Line, and trains stop at many major stations including Hammersmith, Leicester Square and King's Cross St Pancras. Fares depend on how many zones your journey passes through.
As well as Underground services, there's a quicker rail service from the stations at T5 and T2/T3. This service leaves every 15 minutes and costs £21.50 if you buy your ticket before boarding the train.
National Express coaches leave the airport every half hour, going to Victoria Coach Station. Tickets start at £6 and the journey time is around 45 minutes.
During the day, there are no local buses into central London, but a night service replaces the Tube from 11.55pm (11.35pm on Sundays).
Each terminal has its own taxi rank. The half-hour journey into the capital is likely to cost up to £80.
There are eight car hire companies at London Heathrow, which can be found in all of the terminals. By booking your car online, you can save time and money compared to doing this at the airport.
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Please note: all information is correct as of December, 2016.