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NOW CLOSED: How do you travel to the airport? Share your comments with Heathrow and you could win one of four £100 Heathrow Shopping or John Lewis vouchers.

(314 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Oct-12 10:18:08

Do you (or have you recently) flown off on your hols? If so, the team at Heathrow would like to know how you and your family travel to and from the airport when going on holiday.

Here's what they say: "We know families are not that happy with the available choices of getting to Heathrow, be it based on cost and/or convenience. We appreciate parking at Heathrow isn't for everyone but would like to ensure families are aware of the benefits of parking with us and at the same time understand where we fall short when it comes to family friendly parking."

It doesn't matter if you fly from Heathrow or not, Heathrow want to find out about your experiences relating to any UK airport.

They'd like to know whether or not you choose to drive your own car to the airport or use a taxi or public transport and the reasons why you choose this method of transport.

If you have a car - do you tend to drive to the airport on a family holiday? If so, why? If you have a car but use other means - how do you travel to the airport? What would help to persuade you to use your own car?

When do you start to think about how you and your family will get to the airport? Do you (or your DH/DP for that matter?) plan when booking your flights/holiday or is it an afterthought? How do you search for information on getting to the airport or on parking there? Do you find information is readily available or not? Is there anything else you'd like to know?

And lastly, if you live within an hours drive of Heathrow, do you know how the cost of parking at Heathrow compares with a return taxi journey from where you live? You can enter your postcode at www.taxiorpark.com and take a look. Please note this uses Hackney Carriage Tariffs.

Everyone who adds their comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where four winners will each win a £100 Heathrow Shopping OR a £100 John Lewis voucher.

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

Cinnamonkey Mon 01-Oct-12 13:57:09

Looks like its about £400+ cheaper to park than get a taxi for us!

aristocat Mon 01-Oct-12 13:58:05

If you have a car - do you tend to drive to the airport on a family holiday? If so, why? If you have a car but use other means - how do you travel to the airport? What would help to persuade you to use your own car?

I have never flown from Heathrow or any other London airport. I always use Birmingham, East Midlands or Manchester.
We would have a lift from a friend or FIL to the airport and always do the same for them when they need to go away. Much more reliable than waiting for a taxi. We had considered parking at the airport but never actually done it.

When do you start to think about how you and your family will get to the airport? Do you (or your DH/DP for that matter?) plan when booking your flights/holiday or is it an afterthought? How do you search for information on getting to the airport or on parking there? Do you find information is readily available or not? Is there anything else you'd like to know?

As soon as the holiday is booked, FIL would offer to drive us there. DCs get to say goodbye to him and we leave our flight number so he can check if there are any delays etc.

And lastly, do you know how the cost of parking at Heathrow compares with a return taxi journey from where you live? You can enter your postcode at www.taxiorpark.com and take a look.

No. Heathrow would be too far for me as I live in the West Mids.

aristocat Mon 01-Oct-12 14:01:18

Just checked the taxiorpark and my taxi would cost £413 - do they really think anyone would pay this for a taxi hmm

gwenniebee Mon 01-Oct-12 14:02:12

We tend to use offsite airport parking and their buses. Public transport from where we are is a right old faff, especially with a baby... and entirely impossible if check in opens at 0545 or something!

ByTheWay1 Mon 01-Oct-12 14:07:12

We use National Express coaches - delivered to the terminal ! So easy, and cheap, saves driving home with jetlag. Too far away for a taxi, don't drive if returning from longhaul - too tiring.

CheddarandMarmite Mon 01-Oct-12 14:09:49

We don't tend to fly from Heathrow, we are more likely to use Stansted or Gatwick because of their location.
However, whichever airport it is, I see driving a car and parking it there as a "last resort", I'd rather get a train, a coach, a taxi or even a lift from a kind friend.

We've driven to the airport and parked only once, when our flight was so early we couldn't get the train. It was fairly good value, but I still prefer to use public transport, or a taxi I find it much less stressful.

I do research online how to get to the airport - this usually involves looking up train or bus times and fares. I'd only look at the price of parking if the train was ridiculously expensive, or not running or something, and I'd only consider parking there if it was appreciably cheaper than any other method.

DoodleAlley Mon 01-Oct-12 14:15:05

Having once had a nightmare with return
Travel trains being cancelled in the ten days we were away we now
Always drive.

I hate the idea of standing around with a
Small child waiting for a minibus to
Come so we tend to use a hotel/parking deal so we know the car will def be close when we arrive and no waiting around.

It is expensive as an option but feels
A tiny bit more palatable as we get a night at a hotel
As part of the arrangement which is again easier for early
Morning flights with a small child!

strandednomore Mon 01-Oct-12 14:23:46

We've flown from Heathrow, as well as Gatwick and regional airports, many times with and without the children. This has included when moving overseas, so have had the difficult situation of having sold our car but still having too much luggage to get to the airport without driving. In these circumstances we have hired a large people carrier. When flying on holiday, we like to stay the night at an airport hotel the night before - there is a new Premier Inn and Heathrow which was absolutely brilliant when we flew to Miami earlier this year. We can then relax and start enjoying our holiday the day before we fly rather than having the long drive to the airport on the day of the flight. Previously we have booked the car into a long-stay car park at Heathrow which was very good value; on another occasion we have used a hotel which includes leaving your car while you are away - also not bad value.
The biggest problem we have had at airports is when the children were smaller and we had one in a buggy, one walking and then masses of suitcases and bags, and no porters in sight. Even when you find a porter, they are extortionate. Wish they were included in the price of the flight!!

Tee2072 Mon 01-Oct-12 14:25:17

I live in Belfast and don't have a car so I don't drive to Heathrow at all. I usually have to fly to Heathrow to go anywhere good, though.

I taxi to either Belfast City or Belfast International most of the time. Public transport is fairly good in Belfast, but I prefer the convenience of a taxi. I sometimes get the bus back, depending where I'm flying from.

I don't like Heathrow, though. It's too big and only recently has the Belfast terminal had any amenities at all. The first time I flew through it I thought I was in a cheap bus station in the mid-west of the US. It's a bit better now.

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Mon 01-Oct-12 14:41:43

A taxi would be £1086.08!

Last time we flew from Heathrow we travelled up on a National Express Coach, it does make for a very long journey time.

If we can we fly from Cardiff which is a 2 hour drive away from home

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Mon 01-Oct-12 14:50:58

We always take a taxi. With 2 dc under 5, I don't need the extra hassle and time of parking and hauling luggage and children on and off buses. Between 4 of us, the cost of a taxi is about the same as a train journey.

We live in Surrey. For us the easiest way is to drive to Hounslow and then park at one of those carparks where they use a shuttle bus to transfer you to the airport. Pink Elephant Parking is one of them I think?

If I am flying on my own I get a family member to drop me off, one of the (very few) benefits of living close enough to the airport for this to be feasible.

dreamingofsun Mon 01-Oct-12 14:51:42

i compare cost of the car park with what the local taxi company would charge and then go with the cheapest. for 1 week driving tends to work out cheaper and for 2 weeks taxi.

MarshaBrady Mon 01-Oct-12 14:54:25

We always take a taxi to the Heathrow Express from Paddington.

We do have a car but never drive to Heathrow.

I find the train very fast and relaxing, and not stressful at all. I'm not sure anything would make us choose to take our own car.

dottygamekeeper Mon 01-Oct-12 15:06:24

If flying from Heathrow we drive there, although it is a 2 hour journey from Suffolk - public transport not an option, we live out in the country 11 miles from the nearest station, then would have to cross London by tube, carrying luggage etc.

Book parking in advance, usually via airport website as we prefer to park on airport, most recently have used Business Parking as was not much more expensive than long stay, and using the Pods meant no hanging around for buses & quick transfer straight into T5.. Have also used Valet Parking if can get a good deal.

Taxi works out very expensive from us.

Firewall Mon 01-Oct-12 15:14:45

We live in the west midlands and always take the train to heathrow. We do have a car but is such a hassle to drive down and arrange parking. So it is easier to leave it at home and go by train ( though the underground is not always the easiest to navigate with 3 suitcases and a buggy!)
A taxi fare according to your site is around £400, parking fare and petrol is still more expensive that train as well as the fact that after you have landed its not always best to have a long drive home.
I'd be more tempted to drive if parking was cheaper and closer especially with young kids.

Labootin Mon 01-Oct-12 15:22:24

I live in Dubai but fly back to London (either Gatwick or Heathrow) 3 or 4 times a year.

Emirates include a chauffeur drive service in it's business and first class service. So I use that.

prettybird Mon 01-Oct-12 15:25:42

Just input my postcode for a laugh - it would be over a £1100 for a return taxi fare! Of course parking would be cheaper! grin

That will have helped them in their claim that over a certain period, 75% of their quotes were cheaper to park than get a taxi hmm

If you have a car - do you tend to drive to the airport on a family holiday? If so, why? If you have a car but use other means - how do you travel to the airport? What would help to persuade you to use your own car?

Yes, we have cars, and yes, we drive to the airport (Heathrow or otherwise). There is no viable alternative from the middle of nowhere (Midlands) - public transport starts about 10 miles away and the journey to Heathrow would be long and involved and the thought of doing it with DC and holiday luggage makes me feel queasy.

When do you start to think about how you and your family will get to the airport? Do you (or your DH/DP for that matter?) plan when booking your flights/holiday or is it an afterthought? How do you search for information on getting to the airport or on parking there? Do you find information is readily available or not? Is there anything else you'd like to know?

We always pre-book parking, sometimes combined with a hotel for the previous night (for early morning flights), otherwise just as a standalone. We don't do it as part of the holiday booking, but separately and shortly after holiday is confirmed. Information is easy to find and plentiful (but that may be because we both travel through Heathrow quite a lot for work, so it's familiar territory IYSWIM).

And lastly, do you know how the cost of parking at Heathrow compares with a return taxi journey from where you live?

Don't know - will check - but it would be a three hour journey either way, so not cheap, and unless it was a lot cheaper then I would prefer having the car at the airport - it just means we are in control of the whole process and can (for example) leave excess coats, snacks, etc in our own car.

Labootin Mon 01-Oct-12 15:38:57

I've just checked the link as well it's UTTER bollocks

A friend got a cab from the cab firm at Heathrow and paid Irrc £80 for an instant cab ... The quote I got for a return fare was 4 times as much (ie £160 for the single fare)

if she could have been arsed to book a local cab pick up it would have been £60 single fare ..but running risk of cabbie stuck getting there on m25 so she paid the £20 premium for taxi being there already

I can only assume that website is hoping people are Hicksville out o'towners and do not check anywhere else.

I'd love to know their booking rates (and profit margin)

Labootin Mon 01-Oct-12 15:43:01

thinking about it further

I'd like to ask where they are getting there taxi quotes from?

if they are making such claims there must be a way to prove it.

MNHQ I really think a call to the advertising standards agency should be made

Is this a reputable company ?

(stir stir)

£100 voucher ...snort...

Lambethlil Mon 01-Oct-12 15:43:55

If you have a car - do you tend to drive to the airport on a family holiday? If so, why? If you have a car but use other means - how do you travel to the airport? What would help to persuade you to use your own car?
We do have a car, but have been put off driving in the past because of the cost v. going by public transport and the misery of hanging around in the dark for the transfer bus.

When do you start to think about how you and your family will get to the airport? Do you (or your DH/DP for that matter?) plan when booking your flights/holiday or is it an afterthought? How do you search for information on getting to the airport or on parking there? Do you find information is readily available or not? Is there anything else you'd like to know?
We think about it when booking the holiday and then book it about a fortnight before.

And lastly, do you know how the cost of parking at Heathrow compares with a return taxi journey from where you live? You can enter your postcode at www.taxiorpark.com and take a look.
Both taxi and parking are expensive, so much so that we would always chose to go via Gatwick, (where we can go via train), Luton, Stansted or East Midlands where parking is cheaper.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 01-Oct-12 15:46:50

I did the quote.

Taxi is £350.
Long stay car park which has a 15 min transfer time on a bus is £76

Doesn't say how long for, I presume a week?

Last time ii used aph I think it was £40 for a week with transfer.

prettybird Mon 01-Oct-12 15:48:00

To be fair: it does state that the quotes are based on hackney (black) cab rates - and I think that their purpose is to get you to park at/near the airport, not to hire a taxi.

Labootin Mon 01-Oct-12 15:52:58

My hicksville comment stands then .. Only tourists and drunk people in the square mile get black cabs.....

Certainly not for airport runs

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