London Heathrow is located to the west of London. This is Europe's busiest airport and is always crowded. Just walking from the arrivals gate to the luggage carousel can take half an hour and the long queues at immigration are famous across Britain. Four different terminals are currently in use and the airport has capacity to handle 90 million passengers a year.
Terminal 1 has recently closed. Terminal 2 is the airport's newest and is used by Star Alliance airlines. Terminal 3 is predominantly used for long-haul intercontinental flights, including those by Emirates and Qantas. Terminal 4 is the home of SkyTeam airlines, along with Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. British Airways and Iberia have exclusive use of Terminal 5.
London Heathrow divides opinion. It has regularly featured in awards for the world's worst airport, due to the chaotic crowds and lack of seating in waiting areas. Yet the new Terminal 5 has won awards for the world's best airport terminal.
Terminals 2 and 3 are within walking distance, while access to Terminals 4 and 5 are via the free Heathrow Connect train service. Taxis and car rental services are available outside all terminals.
London Heathrow is the only London airport on the Underground system. The Piccadilly line goes directly from here to central city stops like Piccadilly Circus and Kings Cross, taking 60 – 90 minutes. It's comfortably the cheapest means of travelling to and from Heathrow. Two faster rail services run directly from Heathrow to Paddington in Central London. The Heathrow Express takes 21 minutes while Heathrow Connect takes 33 minutes. Tickets can only be used on their respective services.
Arrive at London Heathrow and it's hard to imagine that the surrounding area was mostly farmland when the airport opened in 1929. Passengers used to arrive at the airport via a long country lane past market gardens and orchards.