A guide to London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Take a look at our comprehensive guide to London Heathrow Airport (LHR), which serves as a crossroads for the entire world.

London Heathrow Airport. Image credit: ShutterOK/iStock
London Heathrow Airport. Image credit: ShutterOK/iStock

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is one of the busiest, most cosmopolitan airports in the world, serving almost 90 million passengers every year.

With 80 airlines sending passengers to more than 200 destinations around the globe, Heathrow provides plenty of amenities to make sure its customers are well-provisioned.

Airlines matched to LHR airport terminals

First things first: If you expect to be spending some time at Heathrow on a layover, you need to know which terminal you’ll be at before you can access services. Heathrow has four terminals, with specific airlines operating out of each. Terminals 2 and 3 are a quick 10-minute walk from each other, but you’ll need to take a shuttle bus or train to reach Terminals 4 or 5.

Check below to see which terminal you will be in based on your airline. Of course, all information is subject to change, so please check your own flight information before you fly.

Terminal 2 Airlines

Terminal 2 caters to long-haul airlines, including the members of the Star Alliance. Head to Terminal 2 if you’re flying:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Aer Lingus
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • Egyptair
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • Eurowings
  • Flybe
  • Germanwings
  • Icelandair
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS – Scandinavian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Swiss International Airlines
  • TAP Portugal
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

Terminal 3 Airlines

You’ll find members of the oneworld alliance here at Terminal 3, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul flights. This is your terminal if you’re flying:

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Finnair
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Iran Air
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATA Airlines
  • MEA Middle East Airlines
  • Pakistan International Airlines
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Sri Lankan Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Vueling

Terminal 4 airlines

If you’re headed to the European continent, Terminal 4 is likely to be your terminal. Some long-haul flights also originate or terminate here. Check this list of airlines to see if yours is among them:

  • Aeroflot
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Algerie
  • Air Astana
  • Air France
  • Air Malta
  • Air Mauritius
  • Air Serbia
  • Alitalia
  • Arik Air
  • Azerbaijan Airlines
  • Biman Bangladesh Airlines
  • Bulgaria Air
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern
  • El Al
  • Etihad Airways
  • Gulf Air
  • Jet Airways (India)
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines System
  • Oman Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Brunei Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Tarom
  • Tunisair
  • Turkmenistan Airlines
  • Uzbekistan Airways
  • Vietnam Airlines

Terminal 5

Terminal 5 exclusively serves British Airways and Iberia. The free Heathrow Express train connects you to Terminals 2 and 3 in about 20 minutes.

Airport lounges – relaxation even on the go

When you’re in-between flights or waiting for a delayed flight, nothing can make your trip continue more smoothly than having a luxurious airport lounge to go to. We have the basics below. For detailed information, check out our comprehensive piece on Heathrow airport lounges.

Terminal 2 Lounges

Heathrow’s Terminal 2 lounges are open to you if you’re flying first-class or business-class on Lufthansa, United, Aer Lingus, Singapore Airlines, or Air Canada. Star Alliance members can also take advantage of several of these lounges, all of which offer food and drink. Some also feature shower facilities and business services.

In addition, all other passengers can head to the Plaza Premium Lounges on levels 4 and 5 of the terminal. Both of these lounges, which are available for an hourly fee, offer shower and massage facilities. The level 5 lounge also has dedicated spaces for business meetings and for sleeping.

Heathrow Airport has a number of places to hold business meetings. Image credit: SARINYAPINNGAM/iStock
Heathrow Airport has a number of places to hold business meetings. Image credit: SARINYAPINNGAM/iStock

Terminal 3 Lounges

If you’re flying first or business-class on a oneworld airline, you can recharge at several airline lounges. Check out the American Airlines Admiral Club, or the lounges offered by Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas. Virgin Atlantic offers two lounges in this terminal, one just off the arrivals hall and one in the Upper Class wing. At these lounges, you can expect Wi-Fi, food and drink, and in some cases, shower and spa services.

Terminal 3 also offers several lounges open to any ticketed passenger willing to pay the fee. The Regus Express Business Lounge is where to head if you need to hold a meeting before you board. At the Aspire Lounge, you can unwind in an individual pod while your electronics charge. Those traveling with children will be grateful for the child-friendly design of the Family Lounge. Or you can relax watching a movie or catching up on sports at the No. 1 Lounge.

Terminal 4 Lounges

First-class and business-class passengers on Gulf Air, Malaysia Airlines, and Qatar Airways can all enjoy dedicated Heathrow airport lounges, and oneworld members also typically have access to these lounges. Expect well-stocked buffets and bars and plenty of space to relax.

At the Skyteam Lounge, eligible passengers on Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air France, Alitalia, China Eastern, China Southern, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Saudia, Tarom, and Vietnam Airlines can enjoy meals, drinks, free Wi-Fi, and a business center.

Terminal 5 Lounges

Because Terminal 5 is devoted primarily to British Airways, it’s no surprise that British Airways premium, first-class and business-class passengers can enjoy several lounges here.

The Concorde Room offers a table-service restaurant as well as relaxation rooms. At the two Galleries lounges, you can also enjoy spa treatments. The Galleries Arrival Lounge also lets tired travelers freshen up with a shower and massage.

Heathrow business services – get your work done with ease

London Heathrow Airport (LHR)  offers many helpful services to help facilitate your journey as a business traveler. Take advantage of the following when you need them:

  • Meeting rooms: You can book meeting rooms by the hour at the Regus Express business lounge in Terminal 5 to get that last contract signed.
  • Baggage delivery: Use Transferbags to have your baggage transferred to or from London, and save yourself the hassle of lugging it through the airport.
  • Foreign exchange: In addition to foreign exchange services available in each terminal, Terminex lets you order Euros, USD, and pre-paid currency cards ahead of time.
  • Fast track: Frequent-flyer members and those flying premium classes may be eligible for the Fast Track service, which lets you pre-book an appointment to speed through security.
  • Porters: Porters are available in all departure and baggage halls to help you with your luggage. You can pre-book them for a small fee.

Among other services available to ease your time at Heathrow airport are ATMs, bag wrapping services, charging stations for phones and laptops, and postal services.

Dining at Heathrow – international cuisine

Heathrow offers a wide selection of restaurants, pubs, and quick eateries in all five of its terminals, appealing to the varied appetites of its international travelers. Take a look at some of the most popular restaurants in the terminal you’re flying from.

Terminal 2

If you’re flying from Terminal 2, you have quite a few dining choices, including:

  • La Salle Restaurant and Bar: Stop for a drink or a full French meal in this spot that feels like a transplanted brasserie from Paris.
  • The Gorgeous Kitchen: If half your party wants something light and the other half wants traditional British fare, this is the place to go — with a juice bar menu and a 15-minute menu to boot.
  • Wondertree: A special gluten-free menu is available, along with a wide array of vegetarian choices at this all-day restaurant.
  • YO! Sushi: This Japanese restaurant serves sushi and sashimi on a conveyor belt.

Terminal 3

Dining in Terminal 3 ranges from the quick to the sublime. Among the many offerings are the following:

  • Caviar House and Prunier Oyster Bar: The finest of seafood delicacies, with a 15-minute menu for those with a plane to catch. (You’ll find a partner seafood bar from Caviar House in Terminal 2.)
  • Oriel Grande Brasserie: Art deco style cafe with traditional French dishes including eggs Benedict and lobster Thermidor.
  • The Curator Bar & Dining: Artisanal cocktails and craft beers are the primary draw at this bar that also serves a seasonal menu.
  • Giraffe Stop: Fast hot dogs, salads, and juices speed you on your way at this quick-serve spot (with a duplicate Giraffe Stop in Terminal 5).

Terminal 4

Plenty of diversity awaits you when you dine at one of the following Terminal 4 eateries:

  • Comptoir Libanais: Lebanese delicacies, including mezze bites and flatbreads — and you can pre-order ahead.
  • The Commission: This full-service restaurant from Drake & Morgan serves up seasonal ingredients from breakfast to cocktails.
  • Pret a Manger: The name means “ready to eat” and yes, you can grab fresh sandwiches and salads to take on the plane here. (You’ll also find a Pret awaiting you in Terminals 3 and 5.)

Terminal 5

You won’t mind a flight delay in Terminal 5 when you check into one of these tempting restaurants or bars:

  • Fortnum & Mason Bar: A dedicated Champagne menu lets you celebrate before you fly, or you can choose from other drinks and delicacies.
  • Huxleys Restaurant and Bar: This classic spot serves the best of traditional British fare, from sausages to fish and chips to sticky toffee pudding, and there are dedicated tables for solo travelers.
  • Carluccio’s: Italian coffee and pastries in the morning, pasta and other Italian specialties at dinner, and panini during the day.
  • Itsu: Healthy Asian food that looks beautiful and gives you plenty of energy.
  • Pilots Bar & Kitchen: This speedy spot from restaurateur rhubarb serves up kid-friendly choices like burgers and pancakes.
  • The George: British pub grub, coffee specialties, and plenty of beer on tap draws travelers to this airport pub.
  • Wagamama: Asian noodles and rice dishes make for a quick bite in the airport, or ask for an in-flight picnic.
Explore a range of cuisines at London Heathrow Airport. Image credit: uchezar/iStock
Explore a range of cuisines at London Heathrow Airport. Image credit: uchezar/iStock

Shopping at Heathrow – practical, decadent, elegant

Shopping at Heathrow is an adventure all on its own. You can choose from high-end clothing and jewelry purveyors, pick up entertainment for the flight, or sample some one-of-a-kind shops. Check out your browsing options, and make some notes for those last-minute gifts for your hosts or your family back home.

Terminal 2

In Terminal 2, you can treat yourself to a new outfit at Paul Smith, Kurt Geiger, or Burberry, or pick up those forgotten toiletries at Boots. Excess Baggage Company sells travel accessories, and they’ll also be happy to ship your baggage or wrap your purchases for transit.

The children in your life will be thrilled with toys that you pick up at Hamleys, or treat someone special with a gift from the Harrods Fine Watch Room or the Rolex shop. Fine stationery from Smythson of Bond Street makes for an excellent gift, and you’ll find reading material for your flight at WH Smith.

Terminal 3

The 45 shops at Terminal 3 include some high-end choices for jewelry and watches, such as Bulgari or Swarovski, or pick up the latest in designer clothing at Fendi. Jack Wills and Mulberry are the places to go for youthful wardrobe classics.

If you need to pick up an always-appropriate gift, stop at the Mont Blanc pen shop or pick up a rare bottle of single malt at World of Whiskies. Those last preflight accessories that you forgot at home are all available at Rolling Luggage.

Terminal 4

Forty shops await you at Terminal 4, where designer clothing and accessory choices include Bally, Ted Baker, Longchamp, and Louis Vuitton — or you can order a bespoke shirt at Pink. In addition, the Harrods boutique features designer shops such as Yves Saint-Laurent. Treat yourself to something whimsical for the home at Cath Kidston, or grab a pair of sunglasses at the Sunglass Hut before you board your flight to the tropics. The World Duty Free shop offers surprising prices on liquor and fragrances.

Terminal 5

Terminal 5 is Heathrow’s shopping mecca, with 60 shops available. Fashionistas will naturally be drawn to top designers like Dior, Stella McCartney, Armani Collezioni, Hermes, Prada, and Salvatore Ferragamo. Give your eyes a feast when you browse the T5 Gallery — one of the few fine art galleries to be located in an airport anywhere in the world. The Bookshop presents you with many intriguing choices for in-flight reading, and Travelex makes it easy to take care of your foreign exchange needs. Purchase a special gift at Tiffany and Co. or Watches of Switzerland.

Whether you’re taking off from London Heathrow (LHR) airport or landing there, your trip flows more smoothly when you have a peaceful trip to or from the airport. Book a reliable Blacklane car service for London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to make the trip to or from the airport comfortable and relaxing.