HEATHROW AIRPORT GUIDE



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GENERAL INFORMATION
Also see the general Heathrow advice page for more general UK visitor information


SMOKING
There is no smoking permitted at any area inside the airport. To smoke you must use an external designated area.

AIRSIDE AND LANDSIDE
Throughout this website we refer to airside and landside facilities. Landside means facilities that are located before the security checks that allow you to enter the departures lounge. Airside means facilities located after you have passed through the security checks and have entered the section of the website only available to travelling passengers.

INTERNET
WI-FI internet access hot spots are available throughout all terminals and provided by multiple suppliers. In addition you will also find fixed computer consoles with internet access.

HELP POINTS (and mobility impaired passengers)
Passenger help points can be found at key locations around the airport such as terminal forecourts, car parks, stations and baggage reclaim halls. Each help point has a map and an internal telephone which can be used to call a porter. This is also the point to call a Heathrow Help Bus. This is a free service for passengers with disabilities which operates between 06.00 till 23.00. This service can also be called direct on 020 8745 6261.

PORTER FACILITIES
Until the early 90's Heathrow airport provided a team of porters to assist you with your luggage free of charge. However in these privatised modern times this service is now provided by a private company, maclellan, and assistance will cost you from £8. You can pre-book the service on 020 8745 6011. click for Skycaps website.
Skycaps service both the drop-off points and arrivals baggage reclaim areas.
There also plenty of trolleys outside the terminal to handle your own luggage.

DROP-OFF AND PICKUPS
If you are taking passengers to Heathrow you can drop them off outside each terminal in the designated drop-off points. However please note that you cannot leave your car unattended for any amount of time. The police are very hot on this and you could well come back to find your car has a parking ticket or has even been towed away. If you wish to leave your car you must use the short term car park. Each terminal has its own car park which is just a short walk from the main terminal areas. For pickups you must use the short term car park. If you stop at the pickup points the police will move you on.

Heathrow Health Centre
If you need medical attention the airport has a health centre that is based on the ground floor of the Queens Building. The building clearly has the name QUEENS BUILDING  at the front. Its located between terminals 1 and 2. You will need leave your terminal and walk outside to the ground level to make your way over to it. The medical centre is open 06:00-22:00. Please note this is staffed by nurses and offers only basic medical help.

MEETING AREA
Each terminal has a clearly signed meeting area. This makes arranging with other parties a common place to meet up is much easier. You will find these meeting areas in the arrivals section of each terminal.

SMOKING
Smoking is not permitted in most public areas of the airport. However each terminal has designated smoking areas for those passengers with a need for a smoking area.

St GEORGES CHAPEL
Open from early till late is the airport Chapel. This is a multi-faith place of worship. Its located opposite the terminal 2 car park and adjacent to the control tower. A prayer room for all religious faiths can be found at ground level above Chapel of St George. Opened in 1968 the Heathrow chapel is actually built underground with a tall cross marking the spot above ground. Access is via a spiral staircase.

SHOPS
All terminals have an excellent range of shops and food outlets. Opening times vary but generally they open from about 6.00 am and close about 21.30.

VIEWING
You can view the airport runways and aircraft from the The Tin Goose and Cafe Nero at Terminal 1. The viewing area on the top of terminal is closed for the foreseeable future due to security concerns. You can get some decent views from the top of the short term car parks at terminals 2, and 3 although this is not actually allowed unfortunately. A popular viewing point is the car park at the Heathrow Academy which overlooks the northern runway. Also some enthusiasts book appropriate rooms at the Renaissance Hotel for runway views and photo opportunities.

SELF SERVICE CHECK-IN
All terminals have self service check-in facilities. These are used by selected airlines. Please see terminal information for more details. The facilities look like rows of computer access consoles which in affect they are. They are clearly marked as self service with the name of the appropriate airline.

LUGGAGE PACKING
There are a list of prohibited items. Some can be packed in your hold luggage but not your hand luggage. Others cannot be taken at all. Read more about luggage packing here.

VAT RECLAIM
HMCE have VAT desks for handling refund claims in each of the international landside departure areas. Of course this only applies to good being taken outside of the EU (European Union). To claim back VAT you must buy your goods from a retailer who advertises that they are part of retail export scheme.
Some requirements for using this scheme:
You must make the purchase in person and complete the VAT 407 form at the place of purchase
the items you buy must be exported from the EC by the last day of the third month following that in which the goods were purchased
You must get the VAT 407 form stamped by Her majesty's Custom and Excise and send evidence of this to the place of purchase of the goods or the company handling the refund

read more about VAT exports and refunds

FLIGHT CONNECTIONS CENTRE
1994 saw the opening of the Flight Connections Centre making Heathrow the first airport in the world to have dedicated facilities for passengers making transfer connections.
passengers arriving AT terminals 1 and 2 have access to the deciated centre. Passengers at other terminals have access to similar facilities and there's a coach service linking them to the FCC (Flight Connection Centre) which runs constantly at ten minute intervals. Covered walkways give connections to terminals 1 and 2.
There are 3 levels.
1: reception level for customs, security checks and airline desks.
2: comfort and care level with a passenger lounge.
3: coaching level where coaches between Terminals 3 and 4 start and stop.
Connecting passengers have access to the duty free shops in the departure lounge.

When making connections you can have baggage tagged through to the final destination. Items in hand baggage that are liable for duty need to be declared at customs red points in the Flight Connections Centre and other transfer lounges.

PETS
No animals or pets are allowed into the terminals apart from Guide dogs and hearing dogs. If you are travelling with your pet you must make sure they are in an
IATA approved pet carrier. Check to make sure your airline accepts pets and if they do how much they charge.  How pets are handled for travel depends on the airline. For example since 11th October 2006 British Airways only book pets through their own BA World Cargo and not via the standard passenger reservation system.

VISA AND PASSPORT INFORMATION
see the general Heathrow advice page

POLICE STATION
The airport police station is located close to the main tunnel entrance to the central terminals area. You take a left just before you enter the tunnel at the road opposite the Concorde Model. This applies to journeys INTO the airport. The police station is opposite the Renaissance Hotel, on the same side of the Northern Perimeter Road.

Heathrow Police Station
East Ramp, Heathrow Airport
Hounslow
Middlesex
TW6 2DJ

Telephone: 020 8897 1212
Minicom: 020 8897 4163
Opening hours: 0600 - 2200 / 0700 - 2300

LEFT LUGGAGE
This service is handled in each terminal by the Excess baggage Company. See terminal information for opening times and location.
http://www.excess-baggage.com/
Telephone +44 (0)20 8759 3344

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