Monday, September 13, 2010

Heathrow Express: From Airport to City

Trains will stop for a good couple of minutes for your to stow your bags and find a seat.
First Class seats offer passengers more room.
The Heathrow Express is probably the most convenient way to travel from airport to Paddington Station in central London especially if you have several or large pieces of luggage in tow.

Some on a budget may use the Piccadilly Line that takes you to London via the underground. It is much cheaper but inconvenient for two reasons. It takes you to the nearest tube stop and with the rush of possibly hundreds of people at major stations, it will be a struggle to navigate the the tunnels and escalators or steps with your bags becoming an obstacle to other passengers. Secondly the underground trains are not designed to have lots of storage places for large pieces of luggage.

With that said the Heathrow Express costs more and even thought the trip from the airport to London Paddington is a quick 15 minutes, the price ultimately is for convenience. Taxi or private car is the most expensive method to travel to London with costs from £70-£85 (US$105-$130) each way.

Below is the ticket chart as of September 2010.

Heathrow Express Ticket Prices

Travelling between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport

Ticket NameAdult FareChild Fare*                    
Express Class Single online
From ticket machine/office
Purchased onboard
£16.50
£18.00
£23.00
£8.20
£9.00
£11.50
First Class Single online
From ticket machine/office
Purchased onboard
£26.00
£26.00
£26.00
£13.00
£13.00
£13.00
Express Class Return online
From ticket machine/office
Purchased onboard
£32.00
£32.00
£37.00
£16.00
£16.00
£18.50
First Class Return online
From ticket machine/office
Purchased onboard
£50.00
£50.00
£50.00
£25.00
£25.00
£25.00


* Children between five and 15 years old inclusive. More info at heathrowexpress.com.
Since I used the Heathrow Express in 2007, there is a slight change when purchasing tickets online. Your email confirmation is now your train ticket. Prior to this online buyers were issued a code that was entered at a Heathrow Express ticket kiosk to retrieve the paper ticket. The email printout serves as both your ticket to London and return to Heathrow. It's your choice if you would like to print separate copies for each journey provided you have purchased a return ticket. Tickets can also be purchased upon arrival at Heathrow from the Heathrow Express ticket desk or kiosk.

The bustle of London Paddington Station.
All Heathrow Express trains travel to London Paddington Station. From there it is your choice how you travel to your final destination: taxi, transfer to the underground or walk. During peak times in the morning, there is a taxi share program. Let the dispatcher know your destination and he will see what can be arranged. The purposes of the program is to move as many people as possible with the limited number of taxis available. The number of bags you have may affect your chance of finding a shared taxi.

Outside of peak times, just line up in the taxi queue. From exiting the Heathrow Express trains, walk up the platform to the exit and turn right then another right until you see the exit to the taxi stands. Taxis are expensive in London. With tax and tip my taxi fare (about 2 miles) from Paddington Station to my hotel was £18 (US$27). It is customary to tip your driver.

Click on the following subject titles below for previous posts from 2007:
Padding Station
London Taxis
Heathrow Express

Exit the trains to the taxi stand or underground.

On board staff will verify your ticket so enter the cabin based on the class of service purchased.

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