What to do if you get stuck at Heathrow Airport
Heathrow airport sees more than 67 million visitors from around the world each year, and a third of these are simply passing through on a quick stop as they fly somewhere else. With 5 terminals, this huge airport is well-equipped, and ready to handle layovers and connecting flights at all hours of the day and night.
If you’ll be flying out of Heathrow Airport, take advantage of the airport parking, and save yourself some time. This will prevent you from needing to arrange for a lift to the airport, or wrestle with your bags on public transport.
If you’ll only be stopping over for a few hours, you’ll be pleased to know that the terminals resemble huge shopping malls, with plenty of opportunities to give the credit card a workout and grab some tax-free bargains.
For those who simply want to grab some food or a coffee, the airport has options ranging from a caviar house and seafood bar, to TGI Fridays, along with Chez Gerard for French food, Yo! Sushi, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
If you’ve had a long flight (or you’re about to) be sure to buy a day pass for the spa at Sofitel hotel by the airport. Bring a change of clothes and take advantage of the jacuzzi, steam room, gym and sauna, or have a wander through the Terminal 5 expo, which features showcasing British artists.
If you have more than a few hours up your sleeve, grab the Tube or the Heathrow Express Train to the centre of London for a day of sightseeing. Give yourself at least a couple of hours longer than you think, as there can sometimes be delays, although the city is just an hour away by the Tube, and 15 minutes if you take the express train (however this is significantly more expensive).
There are plenty of things to see in London, so take the chance to wander around the city. Try the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, or V&A, the museum of decorative arts. Windsor is just a 20 minute taxi ride, and you can explore both Eton College and the castle or visit the Royal Botanic Gardens which is in the opposite direction.
Shopping in Harrods is a must if you get the chance, or go for a wander in South Kensington where you’ll find the majority of the museums. Grab the Piccadilly line to see Convent Garden or Leicester Square.
If you suddenly find yourself in London for longer than expected due to a severely delayed or cancelled flight, there are plenty of hotels both within and around Heathrow Airport, so you’re sure to find somewhere to sleep after a long flight.
For something a little different, try Yotel, which is a pod-style hotel in terminal 4, and is actually designed to look like a first-class airline cabin-giving those who are usually stuck in economy a taste of the good life.