Part of any traveller’s life is the inevitable scenario of being on a prolonged layover. During this moment, you will regularly find yourself exploring an airport and even some of the nearby places outside (if there are any) for the quintessential things-to-do and places-to-see. Other than being at the start and end point of huge commercial aircrafts, major aviation hubs around the world have made drastic improvements to provide passengers the added comfort and convenience they demand. So if Dubai, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles have its respective, iconic, internationally recognised – not mention busy – landing fields, then London has Heathrow.
London’s Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport is a massive, 1,227-hectare establishment nestled in the westernmost borough of Greater London. On average, this major European aviation centre sees close to 200,000 passengers depart and arrive through its doors each day. As a matter of fact, in 2015, Heathrow set a new record for the United Kingdom’s most active and congested airport, as it welcomed nearly 75 million passengers, according to Tanya Powley of The Financial Times. This, along with the city’s congested roads, highlights overcrowding problems not just inside its departure areas, but also its airport parking spaces.
Based on numbers by the Express, airport parking is one of the key contributors of Heathrow’s estimated £2.3 billion yearly profit. For local and business travellers who are flying from said landing field, common knowledge suggests reserving a parking spot 24 to 48 hours ahead of their flight schedule and to leave early. At the other end of the spectrum, Parking4Less lists a couple of alternatives for budget travellers. As stated on the website, you can go to Heathrow from central London via a 15-minute Express train ride or the Piccadilly Line of the Tube, which is a cheaper yet longer option as well as renting car parking spots that are determined by the exact amount of days we are out of the country.
Once you’ve arrived at Heathrow and finished all our pre-flight requirements, we can now take advantage of its many amenities. This London airport has plenty of options that can ease the agonies of lengthy flight delays and extended layovers. One of the top priorities of travellers these days is a reliable Internet connection. Whether it’s for updating our social media accounts or business purposes, they offer 45 minutes of free connectivity, with paid extension options upon consuming the allocated time.
Another facet to consider, aside from Heathrow’s bevy of fashion boutiques and food joints, is plane spotting. It’s a visually appealing and emotionally satisfying activity you can do without breaking the bank. For Terminal 1 passengers, you can head over to The Tin Goose or Café Nero and revel in majestic views of airplanes. In addition, Terminal 4 presents the View Heathrow Observation deck, an area that allows guests to view 270-degrees of this London airport.
At the end of it all, solo travelling underlines a type of freedom brimming with unexpected adventures, fascinating people, and impressive financial versatility. For the average person, it’s a chance to look at life and the world differently, enriching our minds and hearts through experiences – good or bad. These simple Heathrow Airport tips aren’t just for the purpose of “beating the system,” but rather it molds us to practice resourcefulness when travelling. For more suggestions about planning a travel, be sure to check out Travel Hysteria.