Great family holidays start at Heathrow
Why should family travel be any less fun than a family holiday? As far as we're concerned, it's all family time. So we're doing our bit to keep it that way.
- Innovation Awards Entry
- Starting your family friendly holiday
- Making journeys better for families
It's not air travel – it's family travel
Let's make Heathrow the best start to a great family holiday
Air travel can be long and tedious, and the wait for a flight can sometimes seem endless. Especially if you're small and active – or a parent doing your best to entertain a tribe of eager and inquisitive young travellers.
So we decided to do something about it. We set up an airport-wide, family-friendly programme that takes in every aspect of your journey through the airport. Our plan is that the time you spend at Heathrow should feel like it's part of your family holiday. It looks like we're on the right track because we've just been named 'best European airport for families' by the leading global travel search site, Skyscanner.
Stay and Play
Stay and Play areas are now in every terminal from 6am to 9pm. As long as you stay, your children can play. There are soft foam shapes, tunnels, slides and at least one staff member on hand to ease the play along. As well as laughter and joy, there are quiet moments for storytelling and colouring.
Family lanes in security
Our family lanes are manned by staff who've been specially trained in helping parents and children through the formalities of security. They take the stress out of airport security.
Our rolling programme of themed seasonal events includes roaming arts and crafts activities and visits from popular children's characters. Stay and Play activities are often linked to what's happening elsewhere in the terminal.
Next time you're at Heathrow, ask anyone in a purple uniform about that day's family-friendly events and facilities.
And plenty more…
- Family bays in car parks
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids-eat-free deals in restaurants
- Pre-ordering of baby milk
- Baby-change areas
- Quiet and comfortable areas for breastfeeding
- Family toilets (big enough for parent, child and bags) with a two-part toilet seat for little ones (two-part seats not yet in every terminal, but we're working on it)
- Stay and Play areas in every terminal from 6am to 9pm. As long as you stay, your children can play. There are soft foam shapes, tunnels, slides and at least one staff member on hand to ease the play along. As well as laughter and joy, there are quiet moments for storytelling and colouring.
- Themed seasonal events in the terminals, including roaming arts and crafts activities and visits from popular children's characters. Events in Stay and Play areas are often linked to themes running elsewhere in the terminals.
- Family lanes in security where parents can prepare themselves and their children for the formalities of security clearance. The security teams in family lanes are specially trained to make security less stressful for families and children. You can find detailed information in our family friendly guide.
- Family toilets are big enough for a parent, child and a couple of bags. There's even a two-part toilet seat for little ones (not yet in every terminal, but we're working on it).
- Breastfeeding areas – quiet and comfortable spaces.
- Preordering of baby essentials, including baby milk, nappies and selected baby foods. Just order online using our Reserve and Collect service and everything will be ready for you to pick up after you've passed through security. If you need hot water for your baby milk, just ask at any restaurant or café.
- Wide, family parking bays in all our car parks and they're close to the bus stops too. Although you can book parking online, you can't reserve a family bay. It's first come, first served when you arrive.
- Kids eat free deals in many airport restaurants.
- Plenty of family friendly help from Heathrow.com or from Heathrow staff. Just ask anyone in a purple uniform about that day's family events and activities.
- Setting our sights high. What we've done so far is good (we've just been named best European airport for families by the leading global travel search site, Skyscanner), but there's still much more we can do. So we have an entire programme in place to make the airport more appealing to families. Our aim is to lead the industry – to be a shining example of how enjoyable air travel can be.
- Raising awareness among parents. Many don't realise how much there is at Heathrow to keep little ones occupied and parents relaxed.
- What would you like to see? We'd love to know what would make Heathrow better for your family. You can tell us via our feedback page.
"Used the play area in T3 recently and it was fab (especially so given our flight was delayed bynearly 24 hrs so we had plenty of time to kill with 2 DCs, 4 1/2 and 1 1/2). They both found plenty to keep them entertained (colourings / play kitchen / small climbing frame / cuddle area with cushions, books etc). A Godsend."
"We had an 11-hour layover [a scheduled break between connecting flights], and I was worried my kids would be bored. This was wonderful and the staff were great. They played with my kids for hours. So thankful since I'm travelling without my husband."
"Fantastic! Best airport play area EVER! Clean, new, bright, well thought out, and friendly staff."
"Thank you so much! It's really taken the stress off our journey. The staff are kind and helpful. Overall – great!! Thanks."
"Really good addition to the airport. We will use this again – well done for setting this up."
"Perfect service, great fun for children. Friendly staff makes nice atmosphere. We need more such places in the EU!"
"Fantastic facility and personnel, I wish all airports would have the same!"