Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Other Destination advice Heathrow Express and related terminal transfer questions

Heathrow Express and related terminal transfer questions

  • Pointsamateur

    Apologies for what may well be a lazy few questions. I am doing some research of my own, but I know your hive mind and experience will be better.
    Our family trip to NYC is coming up. I have booked Heathrow Express tickets both directions. On the return flight when we land, I want to make use of the arrivals lounge I found out about via Head for Points, and maybe the showers (some of the comments from seasoned travellers have given me doubts).

    First question is about timing the return train home to Leeds; will be booking advance tickets, so specific timed trains. We land back at Heathrow T5 around 6.15am. How long for baggage and security ? Then arrival lounge, breakfast and shower, then Heathrow Express and tube. Tempted to book an LNER for around mid-day so there is no rush / panic /risk of missing our train.

    Second question; how best to travel on Heathrow Express to T4 Holiday Inn Express, then the following day from there to T5 ?

    Thanks in advance.


    Rob confirmed today all Arrival Lounges permanently closed, so that cuts out one of your return diversions, sorry.


    No matter how you cut it, your journey home will be long & tiring for already weary travellers.

    Even if you do it right, there will be a fair bit of waiting around at various points. We always packed novelty diversions (light magazines or dinky toy puzzles when our children were younger, although electronics may well do the trick entirely these days and depending on your family members’ ages). I suggest a power bank for each (plus the inevitable spare) – ditto for earphones.

    Without the misfortune of any allergies, we also always packed mini tupperwares or sealable bags of nut & raisin mix (preferably with mini chocolate nubs which can be bought separately and added if not purchasable all-in-one). Priceless sugar & energy boost when things threaten to get dire.

    Avoid doing it wrong and rushing for (and likely missing) connections. Good luck, hope you have a fantastic family holiday.


    I remember getting very useful assistance from HfP commenters when we had to travel from T5 to the Holiday Inn Express at T4 a few years ago.

    We liked the Holiday Inn Express T4. We chose it instead of the Crowne Plaza because of an IHG accelerate offer but were actually glad we did because they gave us a room with an surprisingly good view of the terminal and runway operations at T4, which my husband enjoyed. The reception staff were also very helpful. Both hotels are connected to T4 by a covered walkway which we used as well as the train between T4 and T5 but I am afraid I can’t remember the details.

    You have probably already seen Rob’s review of the hotel?

    Hope you enjoy your family holiday.


    I’s just looked up my notes. At the time, pre-Covid, taking the train from T5 to T4 as we did was straightforward. However, taking the train from T4 to T5 would have required changing trains at T3.

    I think there is also a bus between T4 and some of the T4 hotels and T5.


    From Kings Cross, you could get the Piccadilly line directly to Terminal 4, which runs every 10 minutes. This is the fastest way, but not particularly comfortable.

    If you want to go via Paddington, you’ll have to take the tube (or taxi or bus) there. You can then take the Elizabeth line directly to Terminal 4. This runs every 30 minutes.

    If you want to take the Heathrow Express, you have to get off at Heathrow Central (T2/3), then wait on the same platform for either 11 or 26 minutes for the next train to T4. (The other ways to get there involve a 5 minute walk followed by 2 buses or 2 tubes.)

    From T4 to T5, the direct way is by buses 482 or 490 (paid). You can also take the tube or train (free). Train is the most comfortable but as it comes every 30 minutes you need to time it right, and you have a 7 minute wait at Heathrow Central where you must cross to the opposite platform for the next train to T5.

    Choosing a T4 hotel makes things more complicated and so I would prefer a Paddington hotel or the terminal ones at T2/3/5, which are obviously more expensive; other T2/3/5 hotels require further bus transport.

    As for the train to Leeds I would not book anything earlier than the 1003. “Book with confidence” is still in effect for trains so if you are aware of a delay to the flight you could cancel the tickets for a voucher and rebook (you would need to know by 1pm New York time, so not necessarily that helpful – but for a £10 fee per ticket you can also make changes later than 6pm UK time).

    George K

    Rob confirmed today all Arrival Lounges permanently closed, so that cuts out one of your return diversions, sorry.

    Where was this reported please?


    @George it was a comment below the article interviewing Mr Song and I thought was about the Plaza Premium arrivals lounge.

    George K

    That’s my understanding, although I have a feeling the OP is referring to the T5 BA arrivals lounge, which remains open… Not sure why the assumption was that they’d be talking about the Plaza ones?


    My mistake, I was under the misapprehension that LHR T5 BA Arrivals Lounge was still closed and assumed Rob’s comment about permanent closure of arrivals lounges applied universally, beyond just Plaza Premium.

    Sorry for any confusion caused.


    Rob confirmed today all Arrival Lounges permanently closed, so that cuts out one of your return diversions, sorry.

    I was about to go and find the article, but have read the other comments. Thanks for the answer though.


    Thanks everyone for the detailed answers. Lots to consider.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.