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first time to arrive via Heathrow, advice

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Jan 27th, 2008, 03:58 PM
  #1
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first time to arrive via Heathrow, advice

We've always arrived in Gatwick. I've been reading about the Heathrow Express that goes to Paddington. Am I correct that we can take a less expensive, slower tube ride into London as well? Where does it go? Does the Express work like the Gatwick train, just get on and they'll come around and charge your ticket on the train ( for more $)? We're not staying near Paddington, then we'd have to queue up for a taxi. Trying to decide on our best option. Thanks Missy
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Jan 27th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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If you are not staying near Paddington, then the Heathrow Express and the less expensive Heathrow Connect trains don't make much sense. You probably arrive in the a.m. - if so you end up at Paddington w/ thousands of commuters and have to queue for a cab.

The tube works very well IF you are staying near a Piccadilly line station (or a district line station since the transfer between lines is pretty painless)

But for most other areas - a car service is probably your best bet. Unfortunately, justairports, the car service we most recommend, seems to either have gone out of business or is creating a new website.

But Ray Skinner and Swiss Cottage are two other good car services.

Where are you staying - then we can make useful suggestions
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Jan 27th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Several years ago I took the Airbus out of Heathrow (about 45 min). It dropped us off at Victoria Station (I think they had other drop-off points). On one trip I was staying nearby so walked but another took a taxi. At the time it was a cheap trip. Don't know if it still exists but I would check it out. Perhaps someone else here can help with that.
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Jan 27th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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the airbus is no more . . . . .
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Jan 27th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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janis has it right. Two tickets for the Heathrow Express plus a taxi to your hotel will cost you MORE than hiring a car service like JustAiports to pick you up and deliver you to your hotel. What's more when you add in the waiting times, standing in a queue for a taxi and the taxi ride through the heaviest traffic part of the trip, the whole thing will probably take longer as well!

The flat I rent is just a short walk from Covent Garden tube station, so I can easily take the tube from Heathrow direct to there -- about an hour, same as any other method. If you need to change tube lines, then luggage, stairs, etc. all come into play as well.

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Jan 27th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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NP - it looks like justairports may have gone belly up. The domain name belongs to someone else and a google search really doesn't bring up anything . . . .

Wonder if anyone else has any info??
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Jan 27th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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Wow, I had no idea the Heathrow Express was that so expensive that we'd be better off to hire a car! Good point about us arriving early when all the commuters are at Paddington! We're staying near Victoria in Westminster, so we'd have access to the District line. But, I'm guessing this requires hauling luggage up stairs in our jetlagged state of mind? What's the cost for the Express vs drivers? I'll surf around a bit, too. We normally stay in Kensington area. Too bad we're not arriving via Gatwick because then the Victoria Station location would be handy. Thanks Missy
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Jan 27th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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Surprising about JustAirports. I've never used them, but use Swiss Cottage Cars instead. I call them about a week in advance with times, flight number, and actual address of the hotel (apt) and get a price then pay cash to the driver. From the US 011-44-207-431-2700 or dial 101-6400 before those numbers to make it a very cheap call.
I usually pay about 25 pounds for the two of us from Heathrow to Covent Garden. It may be a bit more than that now.
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Jan 27th, 2008, 04:39 PM
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If you are staying near Victoria - the tube would work just fine if you can handle you own luggage. (and if you can't, you are taking too much )

You take the piccadilly line from LHR to Hammersmith station. When you get off at Hammersmith, you step directly across the platform -- it is just a few feet w/ no steps/ramps. Then you catch a district line train and get off at Victoria. At Victoria there will be some steps up to ground level but not many.

When staying near Victoria - I almost always take the tube.
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Jan 27th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Janis, do you want to try http://justairports.com/ again. It opens fine for me.
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Jan 27th, 2008, 05:12 PM
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oh that's terrific - I was trying www dot . . . .

And when we just type "justairports dot com" in a post, it looks like Fodors programming automatically adds the "www" bit.
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Jan 27th, 2008, 06:57 PM
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Thanks SO much for the great info! Trust me, I learned years ago on my first trip to Europe to not bring my "backbreaker" luggage. We've never been efficient enough to travel with carry-on only. But, still try to trim it way back! Again, many thanks for the great advice!!!! Melissa
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Jan 27th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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"the airbus is no more . . . . ." What's wrong with the National Express coach to Victoria?
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Jan 27th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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The Nat'l Express bus drops you at Victoria Coach Station . Fine if you are going on by coach to some other city, or if you are staying on/near Elizabeth/Ebury streets. But it is a nearly 3 block walk to Victoria tube station and farther from most Victoria area hotels
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