* Prices may differ from that shown
I have taken the Heathrow Express so many times I have lost count, for both business and pleasure and in both standard and first class. I have been incredibly pleased with the service, and will probably never seek out another option to get from Heathrow to the city limits (unless I'm flying outside of its operating hours - 12am to 5am is its dead time). Whilst I might opt to get a taxi from there rather than the tube, I don't see the point in any other options of getting into Zone 1 - I'm always astonished at how quickly it gets to Heathrow and back again! STANDARD CLASS: Standard class, which I've ridden the majority of times, is very pleasant - I typically opt for the Quiet Car, which is - true to its name - quiet. The regular cars have a pre-recorded loop of BBC News, which allows you to catch up on the day's happenings - valuable for those early-morning flights when you can't really process reading a newspaper! The seats are very generously sized and, if you're paranoid, it's easy to keep an eye on the luggage racks whilst sitting in your seat. FIRST CLASS: As a silver-club Virgin Atlantic member, I was given two free upgrades to First Class. The only real differences between Standard and First Class are: 1. You get a free copy of the FT, and 2. The seats are bigger Also, I asked one of the stewards on the platform where the First Class car was, and he asked me specifically what Terminal I was flying out of. I believe I was flying out of 3, and he advised me to sit in the car closest to the Terminal 3 exit, which I thought was incredibly thoughtful of him! I'm sure that, if I had asked him which Standard Class car I should sit in, though, he would have been just as helpful. The last thing I have to say about the Heathrow Express is its location: I have previously written of my affinity for Paddington Station on this website - it's truly London's 'gateway to the West', offering loads of services to numerous locations across the UK, and is super easy to get to via the London Underground. It was probably an obvious choice for Heathrow Express' planners, as it's the closest train station to the airport itself, but as it's so incredibly easy to get to from all four corners of the city, it's an ideal option for business and leisure travelers to begin their journey with. It's also not really a pain to get to within Heathrow, with stops at all the major Terminals. I love the Heathrow Express - it has really improved my travels in and out of London considerably!
Heathrow express really is a rip-off for tourists, you can take the Heathrow Connect to Paddington for £6.90 one way vs. £16.50 on the Express. It takes only 5 or 10 minutes more! The Connect trains (although they have aircon) may not be as lux as the Express ones but I think that the Express really cannot justify their cost for a 5 or 10 minute time saving.
This is supposed to be one of the most expensive train rides per square mile in the world. But it is so convenient, it is worth the expense. Why waste your time on a crowded smelly tube when you go in a spacious, clean and comfortable train for only 15 minutes? The service runs regularly, so you never have to rush fearing that you will miss your train. It' great if you have kids too as the stress of the commute is minimal. The price is not that different from other airport to main city locations elsewhere in the world. My recommendation is to stay near Paddington Station in one of the many local hotels the night before your flight, roll out of bed into the Paddington Express the next day and then be surprised at how easy it all is. I will continue to use it when I travel to and from London from abroad.
The Heathrow Express does exactly what it says on the tin- gets you to Heathrow from Paddington, quickly. I have taken the Express numerous times, and every time it has been on time, good service, easy to use, find, etc. The Express leaves from Paddington station (bakerloo, hammersmith & City, circle and district lines on the tube), from platforms 6 & 7, very hard to miss with the big signs. There is a special ticket booth near those platforms, but note, they do not accept Solo cards. At the Heathrow end, follow the signs to the trains, and get a ticket from the automated ticket machines. A return is usually good for the next month or two, but if you are staying for a long time you might need to get two singles or they will expire. The only problem with the Heathrow Express is that the Heathrow Connect is nearly the same service for half the price! The Express round trip is about £30, whilst the Connect, which is a mainline train and takes 30 min (vs Express 15 min), costs £14 round trip. The Connect is much less well advertised but you can get tickets from the normal mainline ticket machines in Paddington, and then just find the appropriate platform on the board.
I fly out and back from heathrow at least once every 15 days and nromally go there with the Paddington Express train. I take the tube to Paddington station and then come out of the stairs and go straight to the machines selling tickets, buy my return ticket for 27 Pounds with my Amex card (it goes on the expenses) and board the first available train. I prefer to find a seat in the coaches in the middle, because they are closer to the stairs when I arrive at Heathrow and go to my terminal. There are vagons which are mobile free, which I prefer since it is quite annoying to have all these business people who pretend they are busy and shout in their mobiles. The jouney is normally 15 minutes, although some time it takes a bit longer and there are trains every 15 minutes, which makes this train a fast service to Heathrow
Heathrow Express has some of the newest and plushest trains in the country. However, eventhough it only take 15/20mins to get to its destination, it is extortionate in price £27, and they don't seem to accept Young Persons Railcard for the 33% discount. Unlike it's Gatwick sister, the Heathrow Express doesn't allow through ticketing with some of the other Train Company's cheaper fares (e.g. Virgin Value Advances) Therefore, to buy a through ticket, you must buy a Saver Return if you're carrying on from London. A return to Manchester (I checked on thetrainline.com) is £90.10 for Adults, £59.45 for Railcard. Expensive, when you consider that for Gatwick, a £33 Adult, £21.80 Railcard fare is perfectly viable, and more often than not, available when booked in advance. Even if you book the Heathrow Express in advance, it's the same price. I have seen the trains though, and people I knwo what travelled on it and said it is luxurious, but to be honest, I'd rather save myself some money and take the Heathrow Connect. Yes, it's slower, but to be honest, I'd rather save myself the money. It is only £19 Adult return, and they accept YP railcard too, at £12.55 return. Bargainous. More than half the price of Heathrow Express. Take my advice, take the Heathrow Connect and save yourself some money, plus it only takes 15 mins more, and there's one every half hour.
When you compare the Heathrow Express to the price of similar services elsewhere in Europe, you will see that the Heathrow Express is about five times the price that it should be. When it first opened before its official launch in 1998, I used it a few times at a cost of £5 each way. That was a reasonable fare for the distance involved. It was unreliable even then, and I missed a flight as a result. Fortunately, I had annual travel insurance starting that day which paid for another flight. The fares when it officially launched rocketed up to £10 each way, although most people chose to buy their ticket on the train because it was the same price as buying in advance. Very often, the staff on the train only managed to collect fares from half the train before the 15 minute journey was over, so it meant you got a free journey sometimes (quite legally). The fares are now a ridiculous £12 each way or £14 if you buy your ticket on the train. This kind of fare is not justified and does nothing to encourage the use of public transport. It is high time that London fell into line with its European counterparts and offered a service for less than £5 each way. It won't be long before it costs more to get to the airport than the flight itself.
At last, a train operating in Britain to Continental standards. The service to Heathrow form Paddington is a god-send. It finally allows people to get to the airport without having to catch the tube (tried that with luggage??!!). You can check in at Paddington and just jump straight on the train. The service itself seems reliable, at least I didn't have any problem either way and the train is nice and comfortable. There's space for luggage and few TVs in each carraige showing information about Heathrow and a news program. the journey takes about 15 minutes and is suprisingly smooth given the current state of the tracks. They must be new. Once the train arrives at Heathrow, it's extreamly easy to get into the airport. The platform at the airport is clean and tidy and has plenty of automatic ticket booths. The price is around £12 one way and £20 return. A bit overpriced for the length of the journey, but I suppose they have to pay for it some way. After travelling to London with First Great Western the whole experiance seemed like heaven.
As a regular traveller I need to make my way to Heathrow quite frequently. I first discovered the Heathrow Express when the company I work for decided to send me on trips. The service runs from Paddington to Heathrow, all terminals are covered. If you are taking the tube to Paddington, try taking the Circle Line, if you take the Hammersmith line then you´ll need to walk a long way and climb up and down a few stairs while carrying your luggage. (As a side issue, this is one thing I hate about Paddington! They know that most people will be carrying lugage, why not build escalators?) You can buy your Heathrow Express tickets from automatic ticket machines (these accept all types of credit cards) before you get on board or you can also buy them while on board. However, there is a price difference. If you buy them before getting on, you pay 12 pounds but if you buy them while on board you pay 14! (By the way, this is for standard tickets, first class costs double!) I see this as one very smart way of making money as most people will jump on rather than wait for the next train. One nice thing though is that kids (anyone under the age of 16) travel for free. So families don´t get charged too much. You can tell this service is mainly aimed at business people as they don´t mind paying. The service runs every 15 minutes. There is no smoking on board. Once you are on board you feel like you just stepped into an airplane. The interrior is very clean, the seats are comfortable and there are places to put your luggage. The comfort level is comparable to the Eurostar actually! There are TV´s that display some music video to the tune of some modernised classical music and you also get to watch BBC news (updated throught the day). There is also plenty of information given. It is also a very quite and very smooth ride. There are also "quite" cars, which means you are not allowed to use your mobile phone. The journey to your first stop (Terminals 1,2 & 3) takes about 15 minutes. From there it is another 5 minutes to Terminal 4. This is the bit that I hate, no matter which train service you take into Heathrow you end up walking about 20 minutes just to get to your check-in desk (but I´ll save this complaint for another op coming soon). Overall, if you don´t mind the price, I totally recommend the service. As well as being convenient, it is a relaxing and time saving journey before or after a flight.
If you are heading to Heathrow Airport to catch a flight, you can actually check in at Paddington Station, then jump on a Heathrow Express to the airport and go straight to the departure lounge to board your plane. The whole process could take just 30 minutes! I first tried the Heathrow Express in June 1998 when Tony Blair officially launched the £455 millions airport-link in London. I was very impressed! Since then I have used the service many times (partly because I have worked as a contractor for BAA). The high-tech trains are fast and comfortable with air-conditioning and onboard TV. They are very quiet as they run on the specially built tracks for electric trains. The journey time between Paddington and Heathrow Airport is only 15 minutes (further 7 minutes to/from Terminal 4). The service runs from 05:10 to 23:50 every day in the year (including Christmas Day) with four departures every hour. There are two Heathrow Express stations in the airport; the Heathrow Central station is underneath Terminal 1 (from the station you walk to Terminal 2 and 3), and the Heathrow Terminal 4 station is obviously underneath Terminal 4. By the way, the train rides between Terminals in the airport are free. When you come to Paddington Station, look for the electric trains with futuristic look and smoky glass windows (at Platform 6 and 7). Get on board and you'll be seeing the blue sky sooner than you think! ============================================ FARES ============================================ Express Class: Single £12 / Return £22 First Class: Single £20 / Return £40 £2 surcharge if you buy ticket onboard. Return tickets are valid for one month. Up to 4 children (15 yrs old and under) travel free per adult. ============================================ AIRLINE CHECK-IN DESKS AT PADDINGTON STATION ============================================ Air Canada Air New Zealand All Nippon A irways American Airlines Austrian Airlines British Airways British Midland Finnair LOT (Polish) Lufthansa Manx Airlines Qantas Scandinavian Airlines Singapore Airlines Sri Lankan Airlines Thai Airways International United Airlines Varig (Brazilian) NB The check-in area is near the cafes at the back of the Station. E&OE
Recently I had to make the short hop to visit a supplier on the outskirts of Paris. My first thought was to use Eurostar from Waterloo but the overall journey time was going to be in excess of 4 hours. So flying was our only real choice, most of my colleagues live to the west of London so Heathrow was chosen for a flight to Orly airport on the south eastern side of Paris. My journey from the east end was going to be a long one, after carefully studying the route it became apparent that the Heathrow express might be an option. The Heathrow Express project started in 1993 led by Laing construction in consortium with most of the major utilities companies. The route from Paddington to Heathrow uses some 10km of tunnels mostly at the Heathrow end. The construction cost 450 million pounds and took some five years and including a 6-month delay after one of the tunnels collapsed during heavy rain. Finally the service to the public began in June 1998 with predictions that it would remove some 3000 car and taxi journeys per day from the highly congested M4 Heathrow spur road. So after much indecision I plumped for the Express and headed for my local tube station at some unearthly hour, the journey via tube to Paddington is like any other journey on London Underground depressing! On arrival at Paddington I headed for check in, now for me this is the single biggest attraction of the express as you can check in for your flight at Paddington. Even though I only had hand luggage good old BA insisted that I must check in an hour before take off, this is a constant pain in the neck for any regular traveller so the ability to soak up some of this time while still travelling to the airport is great. Currently 27 airlines have check in desks at Paddington, the routine is identical to that at the airport 1 hour check in for hand luggage and 2 hours for the full blow suitcase scenario. Once you have checked in normally with only a small queue, it 39;s only a short trot across the newly modernised Paddington Concourse to the Heathrow Express Ticket office. A standard single ticket is £12 and a return is £22 and 1st class tickets are £20 and £40 respectively, this for a 17-mile journey seems a bit steep at first but if you book via telephone or Internet you can save another £3. Also Children under 16 travel free when accompanied by an adult paying the full fare. The staff seemed friendly and quite jovial for 6am, the purchase was made via credit card and took only seconds, soon I was wandering along the platform with only 5 mins to wait for the next service. The Express runs from 5am to 11:45 pm Monday to Saturday and roughly the same for Sundays except that train times within each hour change. The trains run every 15 minutes regular as clockwork with a journey time of 15 mins to terminals 1+2+3 and approximately an extra 7 mins to terminal 4. Soon the silver outline of the express slithered into the station and I've got to say the trains do look a lot better than your average BR runabout even though they are based on the same chassis as the networkers that run many commuter services. The trains consist of 8 carriages 2 of which are for first class, these more expensive seats are very nice and come with complimentary papers and magazines etc.... but on a fifteen minute journey I think I'll rough it and go chicken class. The standard carriages are clean, classy and have plenty of legroom the air-conditioning makes for comfortable travel at any time of the year, there is of course ample room for luggage and facilities for the disabled and families with small children. Now when it comes to food I normally get very picky but alas not so with the Heathrow Express as there is no catering service, not even a BR cheese sandwich with its legendary rubber filling, the decision was taken that the journey was too short to make it viable. Many of my early morning com rades had purchased coffee at Paddington to get around this problem. One of the first things that strikes you once seated are the TV displays at the end of each carriage, as the doors shut and the train begins to leave the platform they burble into life with a nice young lady explaining how long the journey will take etc. Then once the formalities are over it's a mixture of adverts, pop videos and news and weather form BBC World. This seems like quite a unique idea and one that I enjoyed, it saved fighting with a copy of the times or the embarrassment of trying to read the Daily Sport in front of others. The train is whisper smooth and reaches speeds of 100mph on its 15 minute sprint to Heathrow, the only distraction from the Express TV service was to have my ticket checked. If you really want peace and quiet 2 carriages 1 1st class and one standard are marked as quiet zones with big Q's on the doors and windows. These carriages do not have the Express TV service and seemed ideal if you have a hangover! The stations at Heathrow are directly beneath the main check in halls and a short walk and a lift journey later brings you into the heart of Heathrow, as you've already checked in you can walk straight to your flights gate or to a bar if you're like me! The return journey is just as simple and expensive sadly, but overall it is a high quality service and probably worth the expense compared to a tortuous Victoria Line tube journey of over an hour or a ride with one of London’s vocal cabbies! For more details and savings on tickets visit the express website @ www.heathrowexpress.co.uk this provides all the information you need including timetables, ticket information and check in details. The site is a simple affair but with a nice use of flash / Java to make navigation a synch, the site uses SSL encryption for transactions or you can browse for information and give them a call on 0845 600 15 15 to make the purchase. I found the level of service and overall quality of the Heathrow Express impressive, it is expensive costing me 22 pounds for 2 fifteen-minute journeys, but compared with the rest of the day's journey courtesy of London Underground and British Airways it justified the money. I will certainly use the Express again and if the need arises I would have no qualms about using the BAA operated Gatwick or Stanstead Express either. Lordpercy ©2001 www.heathrowexpress.co.uk 0845 600 15 15
This train service runs from Paddington to Heathrow and I used it for the first time recently. It's a fast but very expensive way to get to the airport. The journey time is 15 mins to Terminal 1,2,3 and 20 mins to Terminal 4. This is a huge benefit if you want more time in London as the tube/buses usually take up to an hour. I got a one way fare to the airport for £12, the return fare is about £20 as far as I can remember. You pay £2 extra on most fares if you buy your ticket onboard the train! The trains are impressive to look at outside, the interior is clean and comfortable with plenty of space for luggage. Checking in bags at Paddington is a really excellent service. You are lead to believe that you must use the Express to check in there, but from what I've been told several times by British Midland, you can do this whether you take the tube, Express or walk. Maybe it's another story with the other airlines so you should phone them to check that one out! Overall the Express is a very good fast way to get to Heathrow, but insanely expensive compared to other ways to get there. So in the end it's up to you and how much you want to spend, and at least you have plenty of options!
An economy class airfare to New York can cost you as little as £183. That's approximately 5p a mile, or 41p a minute (one way). A standard class rail ticket on the Heathrow Express from Paddington to Heathrow costs £12. That's approximately £1 a mile, or 80p a minute. Hmm, which one's the better value for money then? Okay, so the Heathrow Express only takes 15 minutes. That's a lot faster than the alternatives, both coach/bus and tube take approximately 1 hour from central London. However, these are cheaper, with the tube costing less than £4, and the Airbus costing £7. Apart from the speed of the Heathrow Express, there is of course another advantage over tube or bus. You can now check-in at Paddington Station, thus meaning you don't have to be at the airport as early, and also meaning that you don't have to lug your own luggage to the airport, it's all done for you. So, in conclusion. If speed and the ability to check-in in central London are important to you, and money is no object, then travel by the Heathrow Express. If however, you don't feel you can justify the price, then don't. Although the trains looked nice when they were first introduced, the interiors have quickly started to look shabby, with the material on the seats starting to sag, and the aluminium luggage racks getting very dented.