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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

General Heathrow questions

Security and baggage



Flight text service

Company information

Applying for jobs

Delayed or cancelled flights

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.

Airline contact details

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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.

Security and baggage FAQs

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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

View the Heathrow Gift Guide here

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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.

Browse Heathrow Boutique

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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.

Christmas and New Year travel page

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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.

View our Christmas Special Events page

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General FAQs

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.

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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.

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Who owns and runs Heathrow Airport?

Heathrow is owned by LHR Airports Limited..

You can find more company information on our corporate website.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Airline contact details

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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