Heathrow Express Airport Rail Link to London – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 23 April 2014
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Heathrow Express began life in 1998 as the Heathrow FastTrain, when it started to offer service from London Paddington Station to a temporary station near Heathrow.  Recently, all trains were completely refurbished, receiving new seats, luggage storage areas, and electric outlets at each seat.

But one thing hasn’t changed: it still takes 15 minutes to get from Heathrow to London’s city center.

Tickets may be purchased on line although prices have increased considerably.  A one-way ticket that now costs £21 or $35.27 cost only £16.50 in 2010.  A return ticket now costs £34, but if a 12-pack is purchased, the price comes down to £15.75 each.

The first train of the day leaves Paddington at 5:10 a.m. and trains start to depart Heathrow Airport around the same time, although passengers leaving from Terminal 4 have to use a shuttle train from that terminal to the Heathrow Connect station between Terminals 1 and 3.


Taking the Heathrow Express to central London can be faster and more convenient than staying at a hotel near the airport, given that most of the so-called airport hotels are not really close to the airport and many do not have free shuttles to and from Heathrow.


Passengers boarding from the Heathrow Connect station, located between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, have a 15-minute journey and trains run on a 15-minute schedule.  The journey from Terminal 5 takes 21 minutes and from Terminal 4, it depends on the connection.  My flight arrived in Terminal 3 so after visiting the arrivals lounge, and having already purchased my ticket on line I headed to Heathrow Connect, roughly a 10-minute walk.

Electronic signs at the platform alert passengers to the next train and its destination (some of the trains are the shuttle to Terminal 4).


Heathrow Express offers the Heathrow Rewards program for frequent travelers.  For every £1 spent with Heathrow Express, the member receives one point in his account.  The points can be used instead of cash on trips; for example, 500 points is worth £5 towards a ticket.

Click here to continue to Page 2Heathrow Rewards, Seat Comfort, and the Journey

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