London’s Heathrow is not only England’s largest airport, but also the major hub for international travel in and out of Europe. The large airport has five terminals, four of which are active as of 2012 — terminal 2 was closed in 2009 with plans to remodel it and reopen in 2014. Heathrow Terminal 1 operates out of the centre of the airport, near to terminal 3, which is the terminal that handles most of Heathrow’s long haul flights to the United States.
Flights from Heathrow Terminal 1
Terminal 1 has both domestic and international flights. Travellers who are going to another location within England, or to nearby Ireland, are likely to depart and arrive from this terminal. A few longer flights, like those to San Francisco, sometimes depart from terminal 1 as well. Just like all terminals at Heathrow, you can drive to terminal 1 and drop off or pick up passengers, or take the Heathrow Express train to and from Paddington Station in central London. If you are flying on a long haul flight out of this terminal, you should arrive at least three hours before your plane is scheduled to leave. Domestic flights, on the other hand, only require that you get to Heathrow’s terminal 1 about an hour and a half before your departure time.
The domestic flights leaving out of Heathrow terminal 1 operate from the first floor — both the check in desks and departure gates can be found here. The domestic portion of the terminal is on the left side of the concourse. Passengers that are leaving on an international flight will depart from the first floor, but these check in points and departure gates are in the middle and on the right side of the concourse. In terminal 1, international flight arrivals operate out of the ground floor, while domestic arrivals operate from the first floor.
A number of airlines utilize terminal 1 at Heathrow, including Aer Lingus, Croatia Airlines, South African Airways, and United Airlines. Some of these airlines offer a self-service online check in, so you don’t have to wait in long lines on the day of your departure. If you are traveling on Swiss, South African, BMI, or Lufthansa airlines, you can either check yourself in online before you leave for the airport or use one of the kiosks near the terminal 1 standard check in desks to check yourself in for the flight.
Because the check in times for flights — particularly international flights — are so far before the departure time, travellers are bound to have extra time on their hands while they wait for their boarding time. Luckily, a variety of shops exist in terminal 1 at Heathrow, where people can grab some last minute souvenirs or gifts before they get on the plane. Retailers at terminal 1 include Burberry, Clarks, Hugo Boss, and Harrods. For those travellers who are not interested in spending a ton of cash in a designer shop, the World Duty Free (WDF) shop affords less expensive options. WDF sells things like perfume, make up, and sunglasses, as well as many British snacks and candies. Anything bought in a store marked duty free means that the traveller will pay no taxes on the purchase, and doesn’t have to claim it at customs. People who are arriving in Heathrow terminal 1 cannot access the departure terminal shops, but will find similar options in the arrivals concourse.
Places to Eat in Heathrow Terminal 1
When passengers get hungry, terminal 1 also has several dining and drinking venues. Cafe Italia, The Bridge Bar, and The Tin Goose (which features a 1930′s theme and extensive wine menu) are all located within terminal 1 past the security check point.