How to get to Twickenham from London Heathrow

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.

Let’s get you to the game! Continue reading…


The answer for angry UK air passengers

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. Continue reading…


Heathrow Airport, a return to the summit?

For the first time ever, Heathrow Airport passengers have recognised the airport as the ‘Best in Western Europe’ at the 2015 World Airport Awards.

The airport’s award winning facilities were also recognised, as it went on to win the ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ for a sixth time, whilst also picking up an award for the best Terminal; Terminal 5 has now won this award for the fourth year running.

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Heathrow airport parking can now be compared on a mobile app

From autumn 2014 users of smartphones and tablets can compare real-time prices and availability of airport parking at 30 leading airports across the UK, available from 8 car parking providers.

Speaking of the app, Paul Maunders, the director and co-founder of Fubra Limited, said "The free Airport Parking Shop app is an exciting extension of our existing website, which has been a trusted booking companion for over a decade to many leisure and business travellers”.

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Heathrow to Swansea western rail link could be completed by 2021

Network Rail revealed on February 5 that it had developed plans for a new rail link between Reading and Slough on the Great Western Main Line to London Heathrow airport.

The Western Rail Access to Heathrow study was undertaken in response to a request from the government in which they expressed support for the plan in July 2012.

Heathrow Express train on similar lines to Swansea

Network Rail had taken into consideration four separate plans before opting for a junction between Langley and Iver stations as well as a 5 km tunnel to Terminal 5 at the airport.

A steering group consisting of Network Rail, the Department for Transport, Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Slough Borough Council and Heathrow Airport is now working to develop the scheme.

The new link will make it possible for businesses to connect directly with Heathrow, which would open up fresh opportunities for trade abroad and make it considerably faster and easier for leisure travellers to catch flights.

It also will mean that passengers in Cardiff and Swansea could have their travel time to Heathrow decrease by up to 45 minutes and 53 minutes respectively to get to Heathrow.

Travellers originating in Reading could possibly have as much as 27 minutes shaved off their journey. Subject to a satisfactory business case and agreement of terms with the aviation industry, planning authorisation could be sought.

If granted, Network Rail would most likely begin rail construction at the end of 2016, with construction of the 5km tunnel beginning in early 2018. The project could tentatively be completed in 2021.

Watch this space but it looks like getting from Heathrow to Swansea is going to get easier and easier!


League table for airline noise revealed today

Noise levels near airports are a headache for local residents and also one of the biggest factors in the controversy of whether Heathrow should get a third runway.

This summer the Fly Quiet survey tested noise levels from fifty airlines using Heathrow over the period July to September, with a view to naming and shaming the worst offenders. The ignominy of noisiest airline went to the Polish carrier LOT, with Israel’s El Al and Thai Airways coming close behind. The accolade of quietest carrier went to BA (short haul) with Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red service (domestic flights) and the Irish carrier Aer Lingus in second and third places respectively.

It seems that the age of the plane is significant in determining how noisy it will be, as well as the way in which it is flown. For instance, a steep descent is less noisy than a long steady descent because it needs less engine thrust and also keeps the plane higher in the sky for longer. Forty out of the fifty airlines surveyed met the airport’s minimum noise regulations with forty-seven satisfying five out of the six criteria.

The full report was available on Heathrow’s official website and it was easy to see by means of a “traffic light” system used in the league table just who are the offenders and in which areas. For instance, BA (long haul), Cathay Pacific and Vueling get the thumbs down for unscheduled landings before 6 a.m.

A spokesperson for HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) has hailed the league table as a “constructive move to improve the noise climate”.


Can Couriers really be cheaper than checking-in luggage?

Louis Vitton hand luggage for checking-in at Heathrow Airport

If you are happy to travel light there are some great bargain airfares to be found with the budget airlines and you avoid checking-in luggage. However, if you are travelling as a family, or have sports equipment that you need at your destination, it is sometimes just not possible to avoid checking luggage into the hold and that is where the charges start to add up.

With some airlines charging passengers £35 to check-in a suitcase and an eye-watering £500 to carry a bag of golf clubs weighing up to 30kg, it should perhaps come as no surprise that it is often cheaper to use a courier service.

Crazy though it sounds, passengers can save hundreds of pounds by using services such as FetchMy or MyParcelDelivery to transport their baggage to their holiday destination.

At the weekend the press found various examples of the savings that could be made on travelling with and checking-in luggage, taken from research carried out by Which? magazine.

For instance, a golfer travelling on Ryanair from London to Malaga could pay as little as £140 using a courier, as compared to the £500 charged by the airline. If the passenger were flying with FlyBe the saving would be £196.

Savings of various amounts would also be made if travelling with Jet2, Monarch or Thomson.

Looking at suitcases, the savings are less. A passenger travelling to Rome would save £12 (£23 by courier as opposed to the £35 charged by Ryanair).

The downside of using a courier service is that it will normally take at least three working days for the baggage to arrive and not all hotels will be able or willing to accept delivery.


Heathrow looks at rural Buckinghamshire for new airport

Heathrow is looking at areas in rural Buckinghamshire and Berkshire for possible expansion of its west London base.

Having faced strong opposition to expansion of the existing site over aircraft noise, the airport is doubtless looking for a softer target, a fact that will be seen as a major victory by activists.

However residents’ indignation is likely to run equally high, say councillors representing the two proposed areas. Continue reading…