How To Navigate Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport is the biggest airport in Europe and, during the daytime, seems to be the most crowded spot on earth.  Even if you have a strong command of the English language, you may have problems understanding the complicated signage and the layout of the airport. Do not be afraid to ask questions of anyone in the airport about getting around Heathrow. Here's how to get around Heathrow Airport.

Materials Needed

If your plane is departing or arriving at night, you should arrange for a map of Heathrow Airport before you get on the plane, because there will not be many employees available to assist you.  These maps can be downloaded from the Internet, but there are also many maps available in Heathrow itself, placed at about every fourth or fifth gate.  If you are using a travel agent, have the agent send the maps to you with your flight itinerary.

Before you fly, be sure you know which terminal you need to go to.  This is incredibly important in order to navigate Heathrow Airport, because the terminals are so far away from each other that you are likely to need a taxi to get from one terminal to another.  Bring extra money for taxi fare, as well as for snacks and any over the counter medication you may need.

Ask Questions

You can change your money, order a cab or find a customer service information booth every few gates or so.  The customer service booths will not be as fully staffed in the evening as they are during the day, but even a cleaning lady will be able to give you directions inside of Heathrow Airport.  They get asked every day. If you can pick a main object inside of Heathrow that you know is close to your destination - such as the train station or the British Airways terminal - then that will make it easier for the person who is trying to give you directions inside of Heathrow.

Walk With Confidence

It can be nerve-wracking getting around Heathrow, because you will be inside of a moving hoarde of people who all seem to know exactly where to go.  Keep walking as confidently as you can, and at the same speed as the other people around you.  Don't move your head around as if you are trying to find something; there are pickpockets at Heathrow just as there are at any airport, and looking completely lost will mark you as an easy target for a thief.


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