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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

motherstongue Mon 01-Oct-12 15:54:37

Live in Scotland so tend to fly from either Edinburgh or Glasgow. we would normally be driven to the airport by family and dropped off and then picked up again by family on return. As we are woefully serviced in Scotland with choice with regards destinations world wide we do travel to Heathrow or Gatwick to catch connections however when we fly from Manchester we use our own car to drive to Manchester Airport then use either Hotel parking or airport parking depending on the time of the flight and if we have had to stay overnight in a hotel before the flight.

OrangeKat Mon 01-Oct-12 15:54:56

We drive down from Birmingham (unless I can get a route through bhx) and then I use parkatmyhouse to source a nearby cheap space.
THe house owner usually drops us to the airport and picks us up. Handy, and avoids the Heathrow special level of expensive hell that is airport parking.

OrangeKat Mon 01-Oct-12 15:56:11

Oh, and I book the space when I book the flights, which is usually about 270 days before travel for long haul as I like to get a deal wink

ScorpionQueen Mon 01-Oct-12 15:57:03

We tend to make the decision on how to get to the airport based upon our flight times.

We usually drive or get a lift but have used public transport in the past. I find it is easier on the outward bound journey and didn't enjoy getting the train home as we were tired and it was raining. The transfers to the train station were hard work with tired kids. With a car you just get in and go home.

We save money by using nearby pubs or hotels that offer airport parking, often booking a room for the night before to break up the journey.

ScorpionQueen Mon 01-Oct-12 15:58:51

A taxi from Somerset would be just under £500. This is why we fly from Bristol or drive to Heathrow.
smile

turkeyboots Mon 01-Oct-12 16:05:01

Am 60 miles west from Heathrow, and we generally drive as it is normally cheaper than public transport (which is depressing). However we always get a taxi for transatlantic journeys as driving home after spending a sleepless night on plane with small children is not something we like doing.

For forthcoming trip, train or coach are most expensive options at almost £200 for 4 of us! Parking ranged in price, but is cheapest (if miles away) and taxi each way was somewhere in between. But not doing the hour plus drive on the M4 after a 10hour flight makes taxi the best option all round.

californiaburrito Mon 01-Oct-12 16:06:05

I fly from Heathrow with my family at least twice a year and I always use taxis. Public transport isn't really an option for us as we live is SE London. We don't have a car, although even if we did I doubt I would use it regardless of cost.

When we fly from Heathrow we have two car seats, a stroller and a couple suitcases so getting as close as we can to check in is an important consideration for us. I sometimes fly with 2 children on my own and it would be absolutely impossible for me to marshall them both with luggage through a car park. Also after flying overnight with my kids the last thing I am capable of is driving home.

In terms of planning how to get to the airport, we plan before we buy or tickets- We recently had to choose between flying from Luton and Gatwick and we choose Luton because it was easier for us to get to. Yes, I know I said we live in SE London but that's the way it works out sometimes

MrsJohnDeere Mon 01-Oct-12 16:06:21

When we use Heathrow we always put the car into short term parking. It means you can park right next to the terminal (we invariably use T5) and the cost isn't that horrific, IMHO, certainly less than a taxi both ways.

Long term parking is too much hassle (takes ages to find, then you have to wait an eternity for a bus etc). When we get back we just want to get the hell out of there.

Public transport isn't an option. It would take us hours (drive to station, train into London, underground across London, then Heathrow Express), whereas we can drive there in about 45 mins.

Dh has used taxis a lot, often because he flies out of one airport and returns to a different one (usually a combination of City and Heathrow) so it isn't practical to leave the car. He books one locally and it is usually around £80 (not the £170 quoted on your web link!). Occasionally he uses valet parking if time is of the essence.

eurochick Mon 01-Oct-12 16:07:00

I flew from Heathrow last week (business not hols though, unfortunately). I took the tube there as I wasn't in a rush and didn't have a vast amount of luggage. I got a cab back with my usual firm.

I've never driven myself to Heathrow. The parking there is extortionate and it is unpredictable to drive through London - you never know how long it will take (I'll take a cab though because the cabbies know short cuts I don't). The Heathrow Express is shit. It's on completely the wrong side of London for where I live and anyone who works in the City or Canary Wharf (and yet the pricing seems to be aimed at business travellers). Roll on Cross Rail.

Cammelia Mon 01-Oct-12 16:08:07

When we fly on holiday as a family we always drive and buy a "meet and greet " service so that we can go straight into the terminal without having to worry about the car.

Cammelia Mon 01-Oct-12 16:09:18

Just to add, I buy it at the same time that I book the flights

StellaAndFries Mon 01-Oct-12 16:13:02

When we have flown we have travelled down in our own car and used the airport parking. As a family of 6 and usually travelling with at least my parents we find it cheaper to take our car or minibus and pay for the parking. Taxi's are expensive for the 2.5 hour drive especially needing a larger seater vehicle. If family members travel from our local airport (Norwich) we usually drop them off and collect them on their return.

renaldo Mon 01-Oct-12 16:14:41

we gat a fixed fare taxi ( 120) each way for 5 of us
much less hassle than parking and driving
the national express coaches are ok for 1 but not good value for a family of 5

stealthsquiggle Mon 01-Oct-12 16:14:52

[snort] at that taxi link - apparently a taxi would cost nearly £500. I somehow think that I could get a better deal than that grin - clearly it is designed to prove what great value Heathrow parking is, but I think a touch of realism might have been a good idea.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 01-Oct-12 16:15:00

I fly around 10 times a year and, living in Essex, I go out of my way to avoid flying from Heathrow as it is such a PITA to get to for me. I either have to go through London by public transport with all my luggage, or drive round the M25 which means I have to allow at least 3 hours for the 70 mile journey.

The parking costs at Heathrow are astronomical and if you try and go cheaper on a Long Stay carpark, it's miles and miles to the airport - again means adding extra time to my journey

So, in general, I avoid it.

stealthsquiggle Mon 01-Oct-12 16:17:15

Hmm. Out of curiosity I tried our old postcode, where I knew the taxi costs to Heathrow - the link comes up with a quote 3* what I know I could get a reputable firm to do it for - I think BAA need to check their facts and/or re-think this campaign, TBH.

TeamEdward Mon 01-Oct-12 16:19:04

We own a car, but would not consider driving ourselves and using airport parking. We always get family or friends to take us to Heathrow.
I couldn't bear the thought of traipsing from car to bus to airport to plane, without losing child, spouse or luggage.

MaxineQuordlepleen Mon 01-Oct-12 16:22:45

Always use public transport as we have no car and wouldn't want to pay for a taxi. However I always try to use smaller airports because they are so much less stressful.

TeamEdward Mon 01-Oct-12 16:23:14

The taxi vs parking site is hysterical!
We're on South Coast. The site is quoting £193.58 by taxi. I know we can get a taxi for about £50 each way, which is only £24 more than using the long term car park. I would definitely spend the £24 extra just to avoid the hassle of bus transfers with children in tow!

snapespeare Mon 01-Oct-12 16:23:15

I always use public transport when flying from heathrow - if by myself I take the heathrow express or tube, with the family its the tube. I do drive and own a car but it woud never occur to me to drive and pay parking.

I would always use public transport, using tfl journeyplanner and leaving plenty of time for hold-ups. I really like airports and find them strangely exciting hmm so like spending time there before flight.

absolutely no idea how much parking costs at heathrow and would never take a taxi to the airport. ridiculous extravangance!

StellaAndFries Mon 01-Oct-12 16:26:48

Oh and using the comparison it works out £120 more expensive than the standard fares quoted on local taxi websites.

I travel from Heathrow at least once a year with my family, and we have worked out that it is cheapest and easiest for us to drive there from Cambridge. We also drive to Stansted if we fly from there.

Because there are three of us trains or coaches soo add up, and we'd still need a taxi from our house to the train or coach station.

We think that parking at Heathrow is actually really easy and affordable, and we know our car will be safe and the little busses that run you from Heathrow to the car park are regular and the drivers are friendly.

We like driving because it is door to door, we can leave exactly when we want instead of working around train or bus times, and when our flight arrives back in England and we just want to get home we don't have to wait for trains or coaches. We can just get in our car and drive.

We are lucky to live relatively close by though.

ChippyMinton Mon 01-Oct-12 16:30:30

To Heathrow, we either get a lift from friends or family, or catch the bus. I am local though, and pretty sure that some of the car parks are further away from the airport than my house is!

I think the lack of kerbside pick-up areas is a pain though. Having to pay to park, walk to the arrivals and back is a bit cheeky, when the drop-off zones are free of charge.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 01-Oct-12 16:30:33

I think the journey to and from the airport is the most stressful, crap, horrible part of the journey. Hate it!

MrsHoarder Mon 01-Oct-12 16:31:08

Taxi. I'm a nervous flier and am never convinced that the drugs I take to keep me sane on the plane mix well with driving so I don't drive for 12 hours after taking them. I could drive to the airport but there's no way I could drive home again.

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