If there is any airport in the world where you can get lost, it has to be the London International airports. Being lost does not mean that no one will help you out. You can encounter some of the coolest and most helpful people at the London airports. But, it is always better to be forewarned. Let us look at ten of the coolest things you must know about the London Airports.
1. It is a case of one too many.
How many international airports do you think London has? Your guess is as good as mine. London has six international airports. That sounds as one too many. Hence, if you have London as one of your transit airports, you might have to catch the connecting flight from a different airport. This does not happen every time, but there have been occasions when you would be stranded at one airport and struggle to reach the right one. The best way is to plan beforehand and know from where your connecting flight will take off.
2. Some airports can take you too long to complete the formalities.
Heathrow witnesses about 2 lakh passengers in a day. Therefore, you should make your own calculations about how much time it could take for you to finish the formalities. Keep aside sufficient time in case you have to travel to another airport to catch a connecting flight. Airports like Southend can see you catching your train within 15 minutes of landing from the plane.
3. You might need to have a transit visa if your flight halts at London’s Heathrow Airport during the course of your journey.
Indians need to have a UK transit visa if their flight stops at London en route to their destination. Knowing this fact before you commence your journey is advisable. Hence, it should be better to take a flight that does not halt at London.
4. Complete a landing card before you disembark from your flight in London
Any traveller from a non-European Economic Area (EEA) country should fill up the landing card before landing in London. You have to submit this card at the immigration desk. The flight you travel in provides these cards 20 minutes prior to landing in London. Fill it up and keep it along with your passport. Ensure to join the right queue at the immigration counter. Standing in the wrong queue can increase your waiting time in the airport considerably.
5. London’s Heathrow Airport is notorious for losing your luggage
When you cater to more than 2 lakh passengers and 1 flight per minute, the chances of losing your luggage always looms large. Innumerable people have lost their luggage at Heathrow Airport. Is this a cause for panic? The answer is an emphatic NO. Losing luggage is normal for Heathrow. However, there are ways by which you can trace your luggage. Fill up a lost baggage form and hand it over at the counter. The airport authorities are able to track the baggage 99% of the time. Now, that is a phenomenal success percentage.
6. Choose the right customs channel
All London International Airports have 3 exit channels. They are more popularly known as the Red, Green, and Blue Channel. If you have drugs or banned substances such as plants and food from outside the European Union, you should declare the same. Use the Red Channel to do so. It is compulsory to declare currency exceeding 10000 Euros or 6750 GBP or its equivalent in other currencies. If you do not belong to the European Union and have nothing to declare, take the Green Channel. In case you belong to the European Union, you should go through the Blue Channel if you do not carry any banned goods.
7. Know which train to catch to go to London
Many people confuse between the Heathrow Express and the Heathrow Connect. The former is the most comfortable train to travel to central London. The journey time from Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3 to Paddington Railway Station is just about 15 minutes. There is a train every 15 minutes. The Heathrow Connect is not an express train. This train has a frequency of half an hour and takes around 25 minutes to reach Paddington.
8. London City Airport does not have night flights.
This is the only airport in London that does not operate flights at night. There are many reasons for the same. One is the noise pollution and another valid reason is the short length of the runway. The other London International Airports do not have such restrictions.
9. Heathrow Airport employs more than 75000 employees
Other than the NHS England and Scotland and the British Army, Heathrow Airport is the largest employer of people in its premises. About 76000 employees work in the Heathrow Airport premises.
10. Heathrow Airport is 27 times as big as the Vatican
Heathrow Airport spreads over an area of 1,227 hectares. This is 27 times as big as the Vatican City that spreads over a minuscule area of 44 hectares. In fact, Heathrow is about 6 times as big as Monaco (202 hectares).
You have seen ten cool things about London International airports, especially Heathrow. It is natural because Heathrow is the largest of all the six international airports in London.