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Heathrow lounge wins customer award!

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Page last updated: 8th Dec 2016 - 02:53 PM

A huge congratulations goes to London Heathrow Airport’s terminal 2 “Plaza Premium Lounge” for picking up the Priority Pass Global Airport Lounge of the year award! The award, now in its 12th year, is based on ratings and reviews from members of Priority Pass, an independent lounge membership organisation, boasting over 1,000 airport lounges throughout more than 500 cities worldwide.

London Heathrow Plaza Premium operations manager Shereen Lee said: “Plaza Premium Lounge London Heathrow is honoured to be recognised as Global Winner in the Priority Pass Lounge of the Year Awards and also as winner in the Best Quality of Refreshments category.

“Such recognitions reaffirm Plaza Premium Group’s mission to create exceptional travel experiences and this win reflects our commitment to deliver consistently high levels of service.”

The Plaza Premium boasts 8,100m² of high class, professional interior design combined with contemporary British culture, with noticeable features including; private bedrooms, a spa and shower rooms! If that wasn't enough, the same lounge is also the proud winner of the Best Quality of Refreshments category, with a standout dish being “chicken tikka masala”

Want to keep up to date with all of the London Heathrow Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guideson Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Lowering noise levels at Heathrow Airport

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Page last updated: 15th Sep 2016 - 11:32 AM

Planes arriving at Heathrow airport have been instructed to change the way that they land on the West London airstrip in order to cut noise for local residents.

The change in technique means that pilots have to delay lowering the wheels upon landing. This change will cause wind noise to be decreased, therefore benefiting local residents. These changes will not affect the safety of the landing. This was confirmed by spokesman for Heathrow Airport saying that the wheels could be lowered 4.6 miles away from the runway without being unsafe, opposed to the current 8 miles from the runway.

El Al and Kuwait Airways were reportedly the 2 worst airlines in terms of noise pollution, while British Airways short haul planes were the quietest, all according to Heathrow’s most recent league table.

In a further attempts to reduce noise, other precautions such as phasing in more modern planes and using 50 monitors to measure noise levels are being introduced. Matt Gorman, the airport’s director of sustainability and environment, said there was “no single solution” but small changes can make a big difference. It is anticipated that Theresa May will announce who will benefit from the new runway (either Heathrow or Gatwick) within the next few weeks.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Heathrow Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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New rail route to connect Heathrow Airport with Surrey and Hampshire

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Page last updated: 31st Mar 2016 - 10:25 AM

A new Southern Rail proposal is getting closer to being accepted as an additional form of transportation between Heathrow Airport and Waterloo, Guildford and Basingstoke (potentially via Feltham and Hounslow).

The highly anticipated and long-awaited rail link would cost between £700m and £1.8bn but is likely to adjust slightly depending on which route is finally decided upon. The proposal is said to have been completely justified by Network Rail, regardless of whether the 3rd runway is built at Heathrow, claiming it is financially worthwhile.

Chris Joyce, Head of surface access at Heathrow Airport, said: "A new rail link connecting Heathrow to south London and Surrey is a huge opportunity to connect an additional 4.8m passengers and allow us to treble our rail capacity by 2040.

"This is great news for passengers who will have even more public transport options to and from the airport. It’s also really good news for Heathrow’s neighbours as it will minimise road traffic in the area.

"Southern rail access in addition to Crossrail, Western Rail Link, HS2 via Old Oak Common and an upgraded Piccadilly Line service will place Heathrow at the heart of an integrated rail system."

After completing research on the possible options for the selected route, Network Rail suggested a semi-fast train service from Heathrow to Waterloo and breaking this down into 2 potential options:

A stopping service to Waterloo, with two trains per hour via both Hounslow and Richmond

And a new tunnelled rail line linking Feltham to Heathrow Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 in four to five minutes

Network Rail have said that one of the main reasons for carrying out such extensive research was not only to decide on the best route option, but also to inform the government and allow potential funders to decide whether they believe that the project is financially reasonable. Research which began in February this year over the proposed Western Rail Link to Heathrow, which would cut journey times between the airport and Reading to 26 minutes.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Heathrow Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Handy Tips for First Time Flyers

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Page last updated: 10th Nov 2015 - 03:47 PM

Not sure what to expect from your journey through the airport? Are you a nervous flyer or know someone who is? Don't worry! Thanks to our friends at Airport Parking Shop, we have plenty of tips to help put you at ease.

Our Favourite has got to be this; Always know your hand luggage restrictions! There are certain items that are strictly prohibited, such as blades and flammables, whilst others, such as liquids can only be carried in certain quantities.

Want to know more? Head over to their blog, Tips for First Time Flyers for more great tips on all you need to know from leaving your house, to arriving at your destination!

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If you are lucky enough to have tickets to a game at the famous Stadium in Twickenham, well done! If you are coming from abroad for these great games during the Rugby World Cup, flying into Heathrow is your most convenient option.

The games being held at Twickenham are:

18th September - England v Fiji

19th September - France v Italy

26th September - England v Wales

3rd October - England v Australia

10th October - Australia v Wales

Are you dedicated and are coming from abroad? If so, flights from France and Italy are pretty plentiful coming into Heathrow, with several a day arriving from cities such as Paris, Nice, Toulouse, Lyon, and Marseille. If you are coming from Italy you can arrive at Heathrow from Bologna, Florence, Milan, Pisa, Rome, and Venice. You can even fly from Fiji and Australia (non-direct), if you are really keen on following the team!

Getting to Twickenham from Heathrow

Twickenham Stadium address:
Twickenham Stadium
Whitton Road
Twickenham
TW2 7BA

Bus
From Heathrow Airport Central Bus Station you can catch bus number 285, which you can ride until Feltham Station. From here you can catch the train to Twickenham Station. From there it is a 10-15 minute walk. The whole journey is likely to take around an hour. The bus fare should be under £5 for a single, and the train journey should only cost you around £3 and last 5 minutes.

You can also grab the 111 from Heathrow Central Bus Station to Hounslow, and change there to the 281 to Twickenham.

Your other option is the 490, which takes takes you to Richmond where you could take the RFU Shuttle Bus for 50p.

Train
The nearest train station is Twickenham Station, which has good connections to Waterloo and Reading. If you are coming from Heathrow it is probably easier to get the bus as mentioned above and join this line at Feltham.

If you are using the Underground, the local stations are Hounslow East and Richmond.

Remember, trains are likely to become very full around the time of the match, so do leave plenty of time for your journey.

RFU Shuttle Bus
When an event capacity is over 35000 people, the Rugby Football Union put on shuttle buses between Richmond and the Stadium. You can hop on this bus for just 50p! After the match this service is free.

Taxi
A taxi is likely to cost anywhere between £20 - £40 or more and take about 20 minutes depending on the volume of traffic. Do be aware that taxis will also be affected by congestion and road closures, so leave plenty of time and find out from the driver in advance where they can take you to.

Drive
You can drive to the stadium, however it is not recommended to do so. Car parking is limited and must be booked in advance, and there will be road closures in place, including a large stretch of the A316 and parts of other local surrounding roads, so expect congestion! If you must drive, leave plenty of time and arrive at the venue early.

There are 336 disabled parking bays, and 7000 seats in the stadium are wheelchair accessible.

Hotels
Coming into Heathrow the day before the match? There are plenty of hotels locally to accommodate you! Check out our page here for some of the nearby hotels. There are two hotels on-site at the airport (Sofitel and Hilton) but plenty within a short radius!

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A third runway for Heathrow?

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Page last updated: 2nd Jul 2015 - 12:36 PM

After years of heated debate as to which airport should get Britain’s new runway, we have been given an indication as to which airport will most likely win the battle.

Since a new runway in the north of England was quickly dismissed, Heathrow and Gatwick have been going head to head to secure the runway and on the 1st of July 2015, news broke that the Airports Commission report had chosen Heathrow as the preferred option. The Airports Commission is currently chaired by Sir Howard Davies and works closely with the Department For Transport, so it gives Heathrow a real advantage over Gatwick to be backed by such an organisation. However, there is still a long way to go and just because the all-important Commission has backed Heathrow, it certainly doesn’t mean they have won the battle for sure.

Heathrow still has a lot of opposition in the form of the general public and more importantly (in terms of the influence they might have) many Tory MPs, including Boris Johnson and Theresa May. David Cameron has recently been accused of being ‘bullied’ by members of his cabinet who oppose a third runway at Heathrow and reports suggest that the Airports Commission report, which had an estimated cost of £20m, could be ignored by the Prime Minister; whilst Boris Johnson has promised to ‘lie down in front of bulldozers’ should the plans go ahead.

On top of this, there is also a big legal issue for Mr Cameron to think about; Heathrow is already exceeding the legal limits of NO2 without a third runway and this is expected to continue up until 2030.

A Heathrow spokesperson quickly reacted to this issue by saying “Heathrow’s expansion will only go ahead within strict environmental limits on noise, local air quality and within the UK’s climate change targets. The expansion of Heathrow relies on managing our environmental responsibilities and working hard on our mitigation strategies.” The villagers of Harmondsworth, Longford and Sipson aren’t best pleased with the report either and who can blame them, for most of their houses and the majority of their towns will be wiped off the map should the plans go ahead. They, along with Boris Johnson, have vowed to fight fiercely against the expansion of Heathrow.

So there’s quite a few things for David Cameron and his cabinet to think about when making an executive decision about the runway, which according to Mr Cameron will be made by the end of the year. No one can be 100% sure about what the final decision will be, but at the moment a third runway for Heathrow looks likely, if not for definite.

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A consultation from the Airports Commission that started a day after the general election, wants feedback on evidence that shows Heathrow is already emitting too much pollution without a third runway. This comes after a supreme court ruling that stated Britain has to do more to tackle air pollution after it breached European limits.

So far, around 70,000 people have been involved in the consultation and now the public will be able to review evidence that shows air quality around Heathrow is far too high, compared to Gatwick who have never breached EU limits and according to its Chief Executive, never will. Stewart Wingate stated "Air quality has been a showstopper for Heathrow before and it is now clear that it will be again. In contrast, Gatwick has never breached legal air quality limits and its location means it can guarantee that it never will."

Recent measurements of N02 (Nitrogen Dioxide) at Heathrow showed that the airport was emitting 117 ug3 (microgrammes per cubic metre) of NO2 and it is predicted that this would treble, should the West London airport expand. It’s for this reason that councillor Pamela Fleming is against a Heathrow expansion. “One of the key arguments against expanding the airport is the detrimental environmental impact it will have on our borough - including the quality of the air that we breathe. The government has a duty to ensure that we all breathe clean and safe air”.

Heathrow claims that 100,000 local residents support the airport’s expansion including 60% of London businesses, but this news will surely be damaging for the airport and unless it manages to lower its N02 output to legal limits, Gatwick could well win the battle for Britain’s new runway.

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The answer for angry UK air passengers

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Page last updated: 16th Apr 2015 - 11:04 AM

The Civil Aviation Authority has recently announced plans to create an independent ‘Aviation Ombudsman’ for UK air passengers to vent their anger and resolve disputes with many airlines.

Under current regulations, airlines are in no way obliged to comply with rules put in place by the CAA, but after they had heard from plenty of disgruntled passengers about the way airlines had responded (usually leading to a legal battle) it was decided that an independent complaints body should be introduced.

The body will focus on flight delays, lost bags and denied boarding; whilst dealing with a variety of other issues. The CAA hopes that the ‘ombudsman’ will allow passengers to get "quick, fair and binding solutions". The group director of the CAA, Iain Osborne, said, “we are moving forward with these proposals to make sure consumers get the very best level of support when in dispute with an airline. It can't be right that many air passengers have to go to court to get a concrete resolution to their complaint - especially when they can easily go to an independent ombudsman with an unresolved telecoms, energy or financial services problem”.

The service won’t be free however, each complaint is predicted to cost around £25 but the CAA have stated that this fee will be waived should the passenger win his or her case. The body is expected to be a cheaper alternative to the current system and surprisingly UK airlines are funding around 80 percent of the cost needed to run the current complaints service, which stands at around £1.3 million.

It is also still unclear as to when the organisation will be set up, whether or not an existing company will take the task on board, or if the complaints body will be created from scratch.

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Airport chiefs pleased with proposal to cut air fares

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Page last updated: 8th Apr 2015 - 03:28 PM

Airport chiefs across the country are welcoming plans for Heathrow to cut air fares by a third for regional airports. The announcement was made by Heathrow shortly after the Airport announced plans to reopen old routes and introduce more frequent flights to regional airports should they win the battle for Britain's new runway.

The Airport hopes that the cuts will “reverse a lost decade of connectivity” within the UK; a huge percentage of flights from Heathrow are now for long haul destinations due to the fact that they are more profitable for airlines and airports, but the Airport understands that this issue has to be addressed in order for businesses within the UK to take advantage of the connections to growth markets. If the plans are to be successful, then the price that airlines are charged per passenger to fly from Heathrow to regional airports would be slashed to £19.59 instead of £29.59.

“We’re serious when we say Heathrow is committed to making sure that businesses across Britain can benefit from the connections to growth markets that only the UK’s hub can provide, whilst incentivising only the quietest and cleanest planes to operate from Heathrow,” said the CEO of London Airports, whilst the National Connectivity Task Force stated back in March that a Heathrow expansion would be more positive for airports such as Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley.

The battle for Britain’s new runway is slowly coming to a conclusion and Heathrow have now made the biggest move in sweetening the deal for regional airports across the UK; many believe that this move from Heathrow could spur them on to a new runway success.

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Heathrow announce new plans to connect UK regions

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Page last updated: 25th Mar 2015 - 03:30 PM

Heathrow have announced new measures to connect UK regions, which could see the reopening of Plymouth Airport and improved global growth if Heathrow becomes the chosen airport for a new runway. This announcement couldn’t have been timed better, after it was recently announced that Amsterdam’s hub airport Schiphol has more links to the UK’s nations than Gatwick and Heathrow combined, which is having a negative effect on the UK’s economy.

The plans would see 7 existing routes improved by implementing ‘better timed’ and more frequent flights; Liverpool, Aberdeen and Newcastle are likely to be included in these 7 routes. In addition to the improved routes, 9 other domestic routes that are not currently available for Heathrow passengers would be made accessible, meaning that 16 regional airports will have direct links to the UK’s hub airport.

Airlines would also benefit from the proposed measures, not only from more frequent flights, but Heathrow will also commit to a £10 million startup capital for airlines, so they can help support the new routes for three years.

Heathrow also claim that if the airport gets the go ahead, 179,000 new jobs will have been generated by 2050, compared to 49,000 at Gatwick, whilst GDP impacts would be visibly greater with a Heathrow expansion.

Heathrow’s CEO said in a formal statement, “Expanding Heathrow could deliver close to 80,000 jobs and up to £114 billion of GDP outside London and the South East. We have been listening to businesses, politicians and now to the National Connectivity Task Force, and today’s announcement shows that we have a plan to deliver what Britain needs. Only Heathrow can connect all of Britain to global growth. That’s why we are best for Britain and backed by Britain. Let’s get on with it.”

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