If you’ve spent too much time in airport lounges, you might want to try something different next time you’re at Heathrow.
How about a complimentary Personal Shopper experience?
Heathrow’s Personal Shopper service launched in 2014 and can be booked by anyone travelling from Heathrow who would like professional shopping advice.
There are dedicated lounges at Terminals 5, 3 and 2 but the service can also be booked when travelling from Terminal 4. In this case you could either just shop in the stores with the assistance of a Personal Shopper or transfer to one of the other terminals to use their lounge.
To find out what the service was about, how to book it and what to expect, I booked a Personal Shopper experience before my flight to Hamburg last week.
For clarity, we were not paid for this article and I did not receive any discount on the items I ended up buying. We just thought it would make an interesting story.
The Personal Shopper experience is particularly useful when you need to buy an outfit for an upcoming event, update your Summer wardrobe etc. It isn’t just about fashion however – it can also be used to reserve any other item such as a specific piece of IT equipment, some headphones etc.
I had a friend’s wedding coming up and thought I’d look for a dress and shoes.
How to book
We talked to our contact at Heathrow Airport prior to me booking to let them know that we would be covering the service in an article and would want to take photos etc. However, the Personal Shopper service is complimentary to everyone and I could have booked it directly on this website.
There are several stylists who speak various languages, but German didn’t seem to be an option so I stuck with English!
When booking your appointment online you are asked to fill out your details, flight number and some information about brands and articles you are interested in. The latter is optional at the booking stage and you can wait for your stylist to contact you to discuss what you are looking for.
At the airport
I agreed to meet with my stylist after security at Terminal 5 three hours before my flight, but ended up being 20 minutes late due to overcrowded BA check in desks. It took me about 45 minutes to check in, drop off my bag (at the premium check in ….) and go through Fast Track security.
My initial plan was to also check out the brand new Personal Shopper lounge at Terminal 3 (picture below)
As this would have involved going through security a further two times and the whole airport was very busy that day, we decided to stay in Terminal 5.
The Personal Shopper lounge at Terminal 5 is on the lower level near gates A8 and A9. It’s hidden away behind sliding doors which the stylist opens via a keypad.
The lounge at T5 has a small reception area ….
…. with a clothing and bags display near the window.
There were two private shopping rooms inside the lounge of which we used the one at the far end.
A small bottle of Fortnum & Mason champagne was on the table and a selection of clothes and bags were on the shelves and in the open wardrobe which also doubled as a room divider.
It turned out that the champagne was on the table for decorative purposes only and I got a fresh bottle from the fridge!
At the very back of the room was the dressing room with a make up table, a clothing rail and two chairs.
I had sent Anjana, my stylist, links to a number of dresses that I found online to give her an idea of what I was looking for.
She had chosen 5 different dresses for me including one exact dress that was among the pictures I sent. There were also three pairs of shoes and a number of bags waiting for me.
I tried the dresses and shoes and loved both green dresses. We decided to have a walk around the terminal to look at what else was on offer in the stores, but in the end I did choose to buy one of the green dresses and a pair of nude heels (and paid for it with my own money 🙂 )
Unfortunately you are currently not able to pay for your purchases inside the Personal Shopper lounge and need to walk to the individual stores to make your payment. There are, however, plans to introduce portable payment devices at all lounges.
Terminal shopping transfers
If you plan ahead and give yourself at least three hours for the Personal Shopper experience, you can transfer between terminals. If you’re flying out of Terminal 5 but would love to see the new shopping lounge at Terminal 2 and explore the shops at that terminal, for example, the Personal Shopper team can transfer you across.
Earn bonus Heathrow Rewards points with home delivery
You don’t need to take your purchases on holiday with you. Your purchases can be delivered to any UK mainland residential address for FREE when you spend £300 or more in one store and use your Heathrow Rewards card (£500 for non-members). This applies to anything you buy at Heathrow, not just via Personal Shopper when you’re on a UK or EU flight. Simply fill out a form when purchasing your items and the Shopping Service Team will take care of your delivery.
Heathrow Rewards members will receive 100 bonus points for using Home Delivery – this increases to 150 points if you are a Heathrow Rewards Premium member.
A further option is to collect your items at when you return from your trip. You need to fill out a form when purchasing your items and they will be ready for you to pick up at the Excess Baggage counter at arrival. There is no minimum spend for this option.
I was also informed that using the Personal Shopper service you can earn Harrods Rewards points and Heathrow Rewards points. Harrods usually accepts just one card, but you can scan your Harrods Rewards card when paying for your items and have your personal shopping assistant add your Heathrow Rewards points later on.
If you aren’t a Heathrow Rewards member yet and sign up via this offer, you will get 3,000 bonus points when spending £150. Whilst the bonus offer is sponsored by Avios, you are not obliged to transfer your bonus points to them.
What happens with returns?
If you need to return an item, you have 60 days to either take it back to the Heathrow store or post it to Heathrow Personal Shopper who will process your refund for you. More information is on this website.
Conclusion – what did I think about Heathrow’s Personal Shopper?
I enjoyed my shopping trip and would book it again. As I spend a good amount of time at airports, it was nice to do something different for a change. I loved that some outfits were already waiting for me and I didn’t have to go into the stores to check what was available. Anjana had got a good grasp of what I was looking for from my initial email and also knew which stores were worth a visit for extra ideas.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)