Every day more than 1300 flights take off and land at Heathrow. This means that crowds at Heathrow Arrivals can quickly become overwhelming. Being well-prepared and knowing your way around the terminals will make things easier for you.
In this article you will find all the information you need to know about arriving at Heathrow. Find information about your arrival terminal, read below about the passport control process, the restaurants and duty-free shops available and all your transport options from the airport. Plus we will explore your parking options in case you’re driving to the airport or if someone is coming to pick you up.
Read on for our extensive guide for Arrivals at Heathrow Airport and follow the links for more in-depth information from our blog.
*Due to COVID-19, all flights operate from Terminal 2 and Terminal 5.
Heathrow is a big and busy airport and you will benefit from knowing in advance which of the four terminals your flight arrives at. With ninety airlines operating from Heathrow Airport including 26 based at Terminal 2, 18 at Terminal 3, 35 at Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 being a hub for British Airways and Iberia, you can just imagine how confusing it can be if you don’t know where you need to be.
To find your arrival terminal you can simply check the live updates for Heathrow Airport Arrivals on the official airport website to find out which terminal your flight will land at. See whether your flight is expected to arrive on time or if it is delayed. Look for the flight number, the departure airport, the airline, and the Arrivals Heathrow terminals. Prepared with this information, you can then plan your arrival in terms of pick-ups, taking public transport or collecting your vehicle from the airport car park.
Keep in mind that while you can walk between Terminals 2 and 3, you will need to take the free train service to get from, for example, Heathrow Terminal 4 arrivals to Heathrow Terminal 5 arrivals. You can take the free inter-terminal shuttle train for no extra charge using an inter-terminal transfer ticket, an Oyster card, or a contactless credit/debit card.
Currently, all Arrivals Heathrow flights land at Terminal 2 and Terminal 5 until further notice. Check regularly the live airport updates to stay-up-to-date for any changes.
Upon arrival at Heathrow, you will have to clear passport control. As soon as you leave the plane, have your passport ready so that you can show it at one of the security booths. See below if you’re entitled to use one of the electronic passport gates (e-gates) to scan your passport and pass fast through security.
If you’re travelling from outside of the EEA you will need:
If you’re a citizen of the EU/EEA (including Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway)*:
Besides your passport - ID, you will also need to have completed the UK Government passenger locator form, regardless of where you’re coming from. This form is part of the current coronavirus travel measures. Visit the official government website to download and fill in the form.
*From 1 January, all British nationals travelling to the EU, should have a renewed passport, valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel, and less than 10 years old.Visit the official UK government website for more information.
There are numerous transportation options from and to Heathrow Airport. Based on your end destination, budget, and other preferences, you can choose among train, bus or coach, taxi or minicab, or driving to the airport.
Four train services operate to and from Heathrow Airport. These are TfL Rail, Heathrow Express, Rail-Air bus links, and the London Underground.
Whether your end destination is London or any other city or town in the UK, there’s a bus or coach service that will get you there.
You can book a licenced fixed-price minicab to take you anywhere in mainland Britain or catch one of the typical London black taxis. All Heathrow flight arrivals terminals have an authorised taxi rank. Before getting in a cab, ask the driver about the cost of your journey. A ride from Heathrow to central London takes around one hour, and the fare ranges from £45–£70.
If you decide to travel from and to the airport, make sure that you’re heading to the right Terminal.
The airport is 24km (15 mi) west of London. It is easily accessible from the M4 motorway (junction 4) or M25 (junction 15). Once you’re approaching the airport, follow the signs for Terminals 2 & 3 and Terminal 4.
When heading to Terminal 5, you can take the M25 (junction 14) or M4, exit at junction 4b, and then follow the M25.
For your convenience, enter the postal address of your Terminal into your GPS:
There are many on-site parking options for all purposes: short term, long term, business, meet & greet, and valet. You can always check the trusted off-site car parks close to Heathrow Airport, which offer parking services at great prices.
When coming to the airport to pick up your passengers, you’ll need to park at any of the four short stay car parks. You are not allowed to park curbside while waiting for passengers to exit the airport. If you do, your vehicle risks being towed by the airport staff.
Each of the short stay car parking facilities is a 2 - 5 minutes walk to their corresponding terminal. Heathrow short stay car parks fares are £4.50 for the first 30 minutes and £7.80 for an hour. Read our updated Heathrow Short Stay Parking guide to see a full price table and your alternatives for short term stays.
Heathrow Airport has over 150 retailers, but most of them are located in the Departure halls. There are, of course, some duty-free shops situated in Heathrow Arrivals in case you need to grab some last minute gifts or take advantage of the duty-free prices.
Continue shopping tax-free at all four terminals:
Read our complete Heathrow Duty-Free Shops guide to see the updated list of the available retailers.
If you feel hungry after a long haul flight, there are a few restaurants and cafes at Flight Arrivals Heathrow. You can find everything from sandwiches, salads, snacks, drinks to a full menu.
See what your options are at:
Upon landing and after clearing passport control and any other necessary security checks, you can use a number of facilities located within Heathrow Airport Arrivals buildings.
At all Arrivals Halls you will find:
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While the contents of this article were compiled with the greatest possible care, there is the possibility that certain information will become outdated or incorrect by the time of reading. Last updated in December 2020.