London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Facilities and Services
One of the most iconic airports in the whole world, London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) boasts five terminal buildings, each of which comes with their own set of facilities for travellers and visitors alike. A huge choice of shops and restaurants provide plenty to do if you arrive with time to spare, and a 'Shop and Collect' service now allows you to purchase good and have them stores ready for your return.
Although the terminals don't feature observation areas for visitors, passengers will be able to enjoy superb views of takeoffs and landings whilst having a bite to eat, and eateries such as Terminal 1's Caffe Nero and Tin Goose, and Terminal 4's Costa Coffee. On the northern side of the airport, the Heathrow Academy provides vantage points for non-passengers, and at the neighbouring Renaissance Hotel;. the Club Lounge is known for its superb vistas and comes with parking spaces and unlimited coffee.
Airport Information Desks
Tel: +44 (0)870 000 0123
London Heathrow Airport information desks are situated throughout the terminals. In total, there are more than 20 desks, together with many further related services. Passengers frequently make use of the British Hotel Reservation Centre (BHRC) in Terminals 1, 3, 4 and 5, where competitively priced accommodation can be arranged while you wait.
Shops, Duty-Free and Retail Outlets
If you're not catching a plane, you could certainly treat Heathrow as something of a glorified shopping centre. In each of the terminals are clusters of shops, both before and after security. With around 100 stores to choose between, popular shops include Accessorize, Bally, Boots the Chemist, Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Dixons Travel, the Excess Baggage Company, Glorious Britain, HMV, Jimmy Choo, M&S, Mulberry, Rolling Luggage and Tiffany & Co. In Terminal 5 there is now a flagship store for Vodafone, while passengers with children may well be expected to pay a visit to Hamleys in Terminal 1. In Terminals 1, 3 and 4 are branches of London's most famous and iconic department store, Harrods, where may luxury products await. In general, most stores open on a daily basis, between 06:00 and 22:00, or thereabouts.
Bars, Cafés and Restaurants
Spread around the five terminals are numerous places to eat and drink. Highlights and familiar chains include AMT Coffee, Apostrophe, Bagel Street, the Bridge Bar and Eating House, Caffe Nero, Cafe Rouge, the Caviar House Oyster Bar, Costa, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, Wetherspoon and Wagamama. Particularly popular is the Garfunkel's restaurant located in terminal 4 (post security), a famous chain that began its life in the West End of London. Another notable choice is Terminal 5's Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, where the superb runway views are almost as appealing as the food.
Currency Exchange, Communications and Banking Facilities
If you are in Heathrow and in need of currency exchange services, then several different companies present themselves. In Terminals 1 to 4 (before and after security, and baggage reclaim halls). American Express boasts some 15 stores, with over 50 currencies and preferential rates. Located in Terminals 1, 3, 4 and 5, Travelex is a well-known chain regularly appearing in airports around the world, and in Terminal 5, Thomas Cook provides further currency exchange services.
Business and Conference Facilities
Tel: +1 (0)20 8759 2434
Business lounges (Servair and No. 1 Traveller), payphones, fax machines, computer workstations and wireless Internet access and all provided as Heathrow. There are more than 20 meeting rooms, with comprehensive amenities located in the Business Centre - between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Stamp machines and postboxes are sited in all of the terminals, with a Post Office standing on the first floor of Terminal 3 (departures - before security). There are also lots of payphones and useful phone charging points.
Tel: +1 (0)20 8745 7495
If you think that you will require special assistance when you arrive, you should always inform your airline at least 48 hours in advance. Services include kerbside, forecourt and terminal assistance, porters and wheelchairs. If you have a guide dog, they must be registered as part of the Pet Travel Scheme before they will be allowed on the plane. Reserved seating areas are allocated for passengers with mobility problems, including spaces for wheelchairs.
Tel: +1 (0)20 8745 6655
Other facilities at LHR include an outside terrace area on the roof of the Terminal 2 building, showers in Terminal 1, Terminal 3 and Terminal 4, left luggage areas, lost property desks and there is also a quiet chapel in Terminal 2. Luggage trolleys can be used free of charge and are always in good supply within baggage reclaim areas and on the departures concourse.