Travel To London’s Airports During Rail Strikes

Rail services to London airports between Tuesday 21 & Sunday 26 June are subject to disruption due to strike action.

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Airfield, London Heathrow Airport (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Rail services to London airports will be subject to disruption due to strike action by members of The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) over three separate days.

Strike action will take place on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June. Industrial action will also affect London Underground services on Tuesday. There will also be residual disruption before and after these dates.

Full guidance is available from Network Rail and Transport for London. Online journey planners are now updated with the latest timetable changes. Note some operators have changed their plans since contingency plans were first announced.

It goes without saying that alternative forms of transport will be extremely busy. Advance planning is strongly recommended.

Here is the expected impact of the strikes by London airport:

London Heathrow

The Heathrow Express will run a reduced timetable on strike days.

A service will run every half hour between London Paddington and Heathrow, instead of every 15 minutes from 07:30 onwards. No trains will run after 18:30.

The first train will depart Paddington at 07:40, then at 10 & 40 minutes past the hour until 18:10.

The first train will depart Heathrow Terminal 5 at 07:30, then at 27 & 57 minutes past the hour until 17:57.

The first train will depart Heathrow Central at 07:35, then at 32 & 02 minutes past the hour until 18:02.

On the days after strike action, services will not start until after 07:00, but will depart every 15 minutes.

The Elizabeth Line will operate a reduced service on strike days on the Western section between Paddington and Heathrow. Services are not expected to start until after 07:40. Passengers are advised to complete their journeys by 16:00. Again, services will also be reduced on the mornings following strike action.

No Piccadilly Line services to Heathrow are expected to run on Tuesday 21 June. Services are not expected to restart until after 08:00 on Wednesday 22 June.

Drop off charges for vehicles at Heathrow terminals will continue to apply, except at Terminal 4 where this comes into force on 1 July.

Guidance is available from Heathrow on inter-terminal transfers on strike days.

London Gatwick

Services to London Gatwick operated by the Southern Rail and Thameslink will operate at reduced frequency.

The Gatwick Express will not run.

Up to two trains an hour are expected to run from London Victoria to Brighton at 29 and 59 minutes past the hour, stopping at Gatwick.

Up to six trains an hour are also expected to run from London Bridge to Gatwick. Two will run to Gatwick, two will each run to Brighton and Three Bridges, stopping at Gatwick.

These will run between 07:00 and will end at around 18:00.

A Sunday service is expected to run on the days after strike action.

London City

The Docklands Light Railway to London City airport is expected to operate on strike days.

On the day of the London Underground strike some DLR stations that are also served by the Tube may have to close for safety reasons.

Airline Rebooking Policies

None of the major UK airlines, which all have their own problems to deal with, have announced any specific rebooking policies for the strikes.

Though if you have a made a booking under “Book With Confidence” type policies, you have the option of exchanging your booking for a voucher if you do not wish to travel. Otherwise, normal fare rules for changing bookings will apply.

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