Heathrow frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Answers to frequently asked questions about Heathrow Airport. If your question isn't answered here, feel free to contact us.
Christmas at Heathrow
- Can I carry Christmas crackers in my hand baggage?
- Can I carry a snow globe in my hand baggage?
- Will I have to unwrap Christmas gifts in my hand baggage at security?
- Will the shops and restaurants at Heathrow be open during the Christmas period?
- Will transport be operating around Christmas?
- What’s going on at the airport to celebrate Christmas?
General Heathrow questions
- Why isn't my flight showing on the live flight information board?
- Where can I get information about my flight? It's more than 12 hours until it arrives / departs
- Who owns and runs Heathrow Airport?
- Can I use one of your photographs?
- What is the 'airport tax' imposed on passengers?
- How can I get a message to someone at the airport?
Security and baggage
- I'm arriving from overseas. What time will it be back home when I land?
- How busy are the roads around Heathrow right now?
- What's the journey time to / from central London?
- I'm driving into London. Do I have to pay road tolls, Congestion Charge or parking fees?
- My bags are missing or damaged. What should I do?
- What foods can I bring into the UK?
- How do I find my gate number?
- Do I need to collect my baggage?
- Where do I get my boarding card?
- What if my inbound flight is delayed?
- Where can I sleep in the terminal?
- How much time do I have to change flights?
- How do I connect to a flight at London Gatwick, Luton or Stansted?
- Why did you take my picture? I'm departing on a UK flight
- I'm changing flights at Heathrow. Why do I have to go through security again?
Flight text service
- How soon do flight text alerts reach my mobile?
- Can I use Flying Messenger overseas?
- Where does the flight information come from?
- Can I cancel alerts after I've ordered them?
- Why can I can receive other text messages but not Flying Messenger?
- My question hasn't been answered. Who should I contact for help?
Applying for jobs
Delayed or cancelled flights
- My flight has been cancelled. What should I do?
- My connecting flight from Heathrow has been rescheduled/cancelled. Can I stay at the airport?
- Can I claim compensation if my flight is delayed or cancelled?
- I'm having trouble getting hold of my airline. What else can I do?
Christmas at Heathrow
Can I carry Christmas crackers in my hand baggage?
If your airline gives permission, Christmas crackers are permitted to pass through security if they are in their original retail packaging. Each airline is different so we recommend that you speak to them before you pack.
Can I carry a snow globe in my hand baggage?
The 100ml liquid rule applies to snow globes. It can be difficult to assess how much liquid is in a snow globe, so we advise passengers to pack these in their hold baggage.
Will I have to unwrap Christmas gifts in my hand baggage at security?
If you’re carrying Christmas gifts in your hand baggage we suggest you leave them unwrapped wherever possible. Our teams will try to accommodate wrapped gifts but you may be asked to unwrap an item.
We are offering a free wrapping service for items bought on airport. Any additional wrapping is available for £5 which goes straight to charity
Will the shops and restaurants at Heathrow be open during the Christmas period?
Yes, all shops and restaurants will be open as usual throughout the holiday season, including on Christmas Day. Don’t forget you can pre-order items online before you fly and pick them up when you arrive in the departure lounge.
Will transport be operating around Christmas?
There will be a reduced service during the festive period and only National Express coaches will be running on Christmas Day.
What’s going on at the airport to celebrate Christmas?
This year we have plenty of festive music performances and a guest appearance from The Snowman™ and The Snowdog.
Why isn't my flight showing on the live flight information board?
It may be because it's too early or too late; or it may be that the flight operator hasn't supplied any information yet.
The flight information pages on this site show all flights due to arrive or depart at Heathrow in the next 12 hours. Flights remain in the list for about two hours after their arrival or departure. The boards in the airport carry the same information, subject to available screen space.
The information shown is based on what airlines tell us about the progress of their flights. Updates can only come from the airline.
If we know in advance about delays or cancellations to arriving flights, we'll display that information. Otherwise, status updates for inbound flights aren't normally available until the aircraft is in the air.
Where can I get information about my flight? It's more than 12 hours until it arrives / departs
Our flight timetable contains flights up to a year ahead, and shows information including day, time, terminal and aircraft type.
Who owns and runs Heathrow Airport?
Heathrow is owned by LHR Airports Limited..
You can find more company information on our corporate website.
Can I use one of your photographs?
We have extensive libraries of airport and aviation photography. Image buyers and businesses can use our photographs for an appropriate fee – visit our commercial photo library for details. Media organisations can also make use of our editorial photo library – visit heathrow.com/mediacentre.
What is the 'airport tax' imposed on passengers?
The UK Government imposes Air Passenger Duty (APD) – it's paid by passengers and collected from airlines. The rate varies by ticket and journey type. Heathrow is not involved in levying or collecting APD. To find out more, see the HM Revenue and Customs website.
For information about airport charges, which are service fees paid to Heathrow by the airlines (and not a tax), see our conditions of use page.
Taxes and charges are explained on the Civil Aviation Authority website.
How can I get a message to someone at the airport?
Unfortunately we don't have a loudspeaker announcement system available for the public to pass on messages at the airport. If you're trying to reach someone who is on their way to the airport, or already here, we recommend you speak to their airline, who may be able to help further.
Delayed or cancelled flights
My flight has been cancelled. What should I do?
If your flight has been cancelled, you'll need to speak to your airline or travel agent directly. They will take you through your options and will be able to help with re-ticketing.
My connecting flight from Heathrow has been rescheduled/cancelled. Can I stay at the airport?
Your airline has the primary responsibility to assist you if you require overnight accommodation. Alternatively, there are a number of hotels a short bus ride from the airport or linked directly to our terminals. For more information or to book online, visit our hotels page.
Can I claim compensation if my flight is delayed or cancelled?
It depends on the circumstances – you'll need to discuss the situation with your airline, travel agent or insurance company.
If you think you may be entitled to compensation there's an advice page on the Civil Aviation Authority website.
I'm having trouble getting hold of my airline. What else can I do?
At times airlines may receiving a large number of passenger queries at once, but we do recommend that passengers continue to try to contact their airline directly, whether by phone or online. Further information can also be found on airline websites and Twitter.