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Hatton Cross underground station is now in the Heathrow ‘free travel zone’

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On Saturday we covered the decision by Transport for London to treat all Piccadilly Line trips to Heathrow Airport from Zone 1 as peak rate. This applies irrespective of the day or time of your trip, and means that the fare jumps from £3.50 to £5.50 if you would previously have travelled off peak.

In the comments to this article, it was flagged up that Hatton Cross station is now in the Heathrow ‘free travel zone’.

This is confusing, because the bus ‘free travel zone’, which was underwritten by the airport, was scrapped as a cost-saving measure by Heathrow during the pandemic. You can no longer travel for free by bus to or from the airport from the nearby hotels or conurbations.

Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

The airport confirmed this:

“Free transfer on the Piccadilly Line now includes Hatton Cross as well as all Heathrow Underground stations. This is available for everybody by tapping in or out at the ticket barriers using Oyster or Contactless. There will be no charge on your card as long as your journey starts and finishes anywhere between Heathrow and Hatton Cross.”

This means two things:

  • if you don’t want to pay the new £5.50 fee for taking the Piccadilly Line to or from Heathrow at off-peak times, you don’t have to. You can get off at Hatton Cross, touch out, touch in again, return to the platform and continue your trip. This will mean you are only charged £3.40, which is the fee from Zone 1 to/from Hatton Cross.

Whilst the first option is probably too much trouble for most people, it may be worth doing if you are heading to Terminal 5 and the first tube train coming is to Terminal 4. As you will be hanging around somewhere for a few minutes anyway, hopping on the T4 train and then touching in and out at Hatton Cross before getting the next T5 train at least gives you something to fill the time.

Comments (87)

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  • martin says:

    Speaking of Manchester flights, what on earth happened to the Premi Air terminal?! Understandably mothballed for covid but no sign of it re-emerging. Would’ve thought there’s be good demand especially considering the current joys of that airport.

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, taking a surprising while to come back.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I’ve not had any problems at Manchester recently partly due to staffing increases and also, I suspect, security being far less draconian in their attitude. It is possible however that the reopening was delayed for PR reasons during the press feeding frenzy.

      I’m not sure if they will reopen going into winter season but I would hope to see it return by the Spring.

  • paulm says:

    The atrium hotel appears to be closed to the public. The building works the started on the roof have just been left unfinished for months also!

    • Mike P says:

      Local rumours are it’s being used by the Home Office. Whether that’s true, I don’t know. Some other hotels locally are doing the same apparently.

      It’d have to be seriously cheap for me to want to stay there anyway even if I didn’t live within a 15 minute drive of T5!

  • HH says:

    Rob, Hatton Cross to Zone 1 is £3.40 off-peak, not £3.50

  • John C says:

    Re flying to the US, saw that Amex have brought back spend £500 get £250 back for United.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Hotel prices (specifically Hilton) around LHR are getting quite high. The DoubleTree used to rarely go above £70 now for me it’s showing as over £100 as a ‘sale’ rate for booking in December. The HGI at T2 is often above £200 and the one by Hatton Cross is now often at the £120+ mark when it was often available for just under £100. I don’t know if this is the new reality because of energy prices or do they go even higher if energy prices continue to rise?

    The two hotels branded Hilton (T4 and T5) are the only two that seem cheaper than historically.

    I started staying at the Hilton T4 when I realised how easy it was to get the bus from outside the hotel to T5 and the prices are now often close to that of the Hatton Cross HGI particularly if you take into account evening lounge access (if diamond) and a better breakfast. The Hilton T5 although not as good a location has very nice rooms and sometimes the prices here have been low enough I’ve used the hotel for the first time in 8 years recently.

    • drdan says:

      Premier Inn T4 every time with a walk to the Crowne Plaza down the corridor for dinner/ drinks

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        The main reason I stuck with Hilton was due to being so close to lifetime diamond. My last trip to the Hilton T5 should have tipped me over the number of nights required but I’ve not quite hit 10 years yet. I became Diamond December 2012 so I’ll either become lifetime then or in January 2013 if they only count full years.

        The Premier Inn T4 is a good recommendation though. Not quite the bargain it was when T4 was closed but still a good price and very easy to reach from a bus from Hatton Cross or T5 and of course the walk at from T4. Without luggage I’ve walked from Hatton Cross to the T4 Hilton back when the terminal was closed and that’s doable too. The Premier Inn is right next to the Hilton so getting to that is the same too.

  • Olivia says:

    Hatton Cross has a great little lay by to drop off just on the road next to the station – the car park I always wondered would they put ANPR on. No £5 charge, now in the free travel zone. Already was a no brainer, even more so now.

  • Nigel says:

    For anyone trying the status match, the email address provided ( does not work

  • LS says:

    Beware: touching in and out could link the journeys, and count it as one journey.

    Best if you use different cards. Any card for free LHR to hatton cross, then your main card for the main journey.

    • Mikeact says:

      Or Oyster to/from Hatton Cross and then any old bank card to Heathrow.

    • Skywalker says:

      It will not count as one journey. The touch-out will close the first transaction, the touch in will open up a second. Carry on as normal, people.

      • Matarredondaaa says:

        Be good if we could have a definitive comment on this as some say one thing and others, like you say no problem.

        • Mikeact says:

          From an earlier comment today….

          Uh, that Hatton Cross trick doesn’t work if you use the same card or Oyster. The system will treat it like an interchange and is within rights to charge you the full amount. The only way to guarantee it works is to use a distinctly different card/Oyster for the Hatton Cross to Heathrow portion of the journey.

          And do read the earlier comments re interchange rules.

    • London Andy says:

      It could. But it doesn’t.

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