As part of our Flying with Kids series, it’s a pleasure to welcome our guest contributor today, Jami Withman sharing his family travel experience through the world’s busiest airport!
London Heathrow Airport with Kids
When a promo flight deal to London presented itself, I wasn’t one to pass on the opportunity. You don’t get that chance often, especially to a wonderful multicultural city like London.
Sadly, tickets sold out fast and I was only able to book two seats. After discussions, my wife and I decided on a father and son trip, since my 4-year old was on vacation from school. Besides, she had work commitments so she couldn’t get any time off.
Thankfully, the flight was relatively hassle-free and we arrived at the famous London Heathrow on time.
Arriving at Terminal 4, I noticed that the signs were big and well lit so it was pretty easy to find our way around. There are also clearly sign posted baby changing facilities, so that’s good news for those travelling with an infant.
We went to pick up the car rental at the Business Parking afterwards as I had made a booking beforehand, so we could travel around the UK at our own pace. Conveniently the parking area was located closest to the terminal out of all the parking options available, so we didn’t need to walk far, and that meant we were able to exit the airport relatively quickly.
After visiting many of London’s notable attractions and landmarks, it was finally time to return home. We had to leave before dawn for our morning flight so we decided to have breakfast at the Terminal 4 after checking in. As we were searching for restaurants, we saw posters that said, “Kids Eat Free!”. After taking a closer look at one poster, however, we learnt it only applied to selected dates. Had we went on our trip later in the year, we would’ve been eligible for money off our meal. If you have a flight with your kids through this airport though, be sure to check that out!
After satisfying our appetites, I knew I needed to find a place for my hyperactive child to keep him busy. To our delight, we found a section labeled Stay & Play near one of the boarding gates. There were slides and other soft areas for kids to play in. Frankly, I was relieved in not having to worry about him turning the whole departure area into his own personal playground.
Junior zones were also separate from baby spaces to keep younger children away from highly energetic kids. After chatting a bit with the attendant, I learned that other terminals in the airport also have play areas too, and children up to 9 years of age are allowed inside. The best part is that all of these play areas are free to enter.
The attention to detail at Heathrow Airport really made our visit stress-free. Eventually, I learned that London Heathrow has been awarded many accolades, including Mumsnet Family-Friendly Silver Award in 2015 and 2016, as well as 2013’s Skyscanner Award for Best European Airport for Families. When flying to the UK we will definitely use the Heathrow Airport and hire car experience again.
So over to our readers, what do you think? Have you travelled through Heathrow recently with your kids? Any special facilities that made it stand out, or that you would like to see for a more pleasant journey?