Travel To London's Airports At Christmas & New Year 2019

Our guide to travelling to and from London’s airports over the 2019 Christmas and New Year period.

London Air Travel » Christmas

Embankment Gardens, London
Embankment Gardens, London (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

As thoughts turn to planning for Christmas, here’s our guide to travelling to and from London’s airports over the Christmas and New Year period for 2019

This is based on known information at the time of publication, which may be subject to change at short notice.

General Guidance

For the benefit of visitors to London, Christmas Day is the biggest annual public holiday in the UK.

Public transport in the UK on Christmas Day is extremely limited. Taxis and coaches will be your only option.

Tube, suburban and long-distance rail services also close down much earlier on Christmas Eve – most by around 20:00. Retail outlets at stations will close even earlier.

Most London Underground / Tube lines in London operate on Boxing Day, as will the Docklands Light Railway. For the first time this year, some London Overground services will also operate on Boxing Day. Suburban and long distance rail services do not operate on Boxing Day.

The Christmas and New Year period is also used for extensive engineering work on the UK’s rail network. Engineering work can overrun and encounter unforeseen problems, so there is risk of additional closures at short notice. The latest and most accurate rail timetable information can be found on National Rail Enquiries.

The big unknown over the Christmas period is of course UK weather. London airports have markedly improved their winter weather resilience planning in recent years. However, due to capacity issues, it is inevitable that any severe weather will cause delays and cancellations.

Gatwick Airport

The Gatwick Express and Southern Railway services are due to operate between London Victoria and Gatwick airport on all days throughout Christmas and New Year, apart from on Christmas Day.

Thameslink services between Gatwick and London stations will operate throughout Christmas and New Year, apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

However, revised timetables for all rail operators will operate on some days.

Heathrow Airport

There will be significant disruption to overland rail services to London Heathrow over Christmas.

Due to engineering work closing lines between London Paddington and Slough, there will be significant to disruption to rail services between Paddington and Heathrow. No train services will run at all into and out of London Paddington from Tuesday 24 December 2019 to Friday 27 December 2019.

The Heathrow Express non-stop service from London Paddington to Heathrow Terminal 5 will not run from Tuesday 24 December 2019 to Friday 27 December 2019.

Trains will run at 30 minute intervals from Saturday 28 December 2019 Monday 30 December 2019. Trains will leave London Paddington at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour and London Heathrow from 12 and 42 minutes past the hour. Trains will also run every 30 minutes at these times before 14:00 on Tuesday 31 December 2019.

TfL Rail’s stopping service (formerly Heathrow Connect) will not run from London Paddington to Heathrow Terminal 4 from Tuesday 24 December 2019 to Friday 27 December 2019. Services will be reduced from Saturday 28 December 2019 until 13:00 on Tuesday 31 December 2019.

As is standard practice, there are no Piccadilly Line services to Heathrow on Christmas Day due to the closure of the Tube. It resumes on Boxing Day.

Continue reading “Travel To London's Airports At Christmas & New Year 2019”

2019/2020 Christmas & Winter Ski Routes From London

A look at seasonal winter routes from London for visits to Europe’s Christmas markets, Lapland and popular ski resorts.

London Air Travel » Christmas

Image Credit: Scandinavian Mountains Airport

Many are now planning their annual ski trip or a Christmas trip to Lapland or mainland Europe’s markets, so here’s a quick run through of direct winter seasonal routes from London which operate in addition to scheduled year round services.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com, easyJet, Finnair, SAS and SWISS.

Austria

BA’s winter seasonal service from London Heathrow to Innsbruck resumes three times weekly from Friday 13 December 2019 to Sunday 19 April 2020. Innsbruck also returns at Gatwick from Sunday 8 December 2019 to Friday 24 April 2020, with a decreased frequency of 4 flights a week.

easyJet operates a twice weekly seasonal service from London Gatwick to Klagenfurt on Wednesday and Saturday from Saturday 14 December 2019 to Saturday 28 March 2020.

BA’s winter seasonal flight from London Heathrow to Salzburg resume, initially four times weekly, from Friday 13 December 2019 until Saturday 28 March 2020. This will complement year round services from Gatwick.

easyJet also operates a four times weekly service from London Gatwick to Salzburg from Friday 6 December 2019 to Saturday 28 March 2020.

BA’s seasonal service from London Gatwick to Vienna returns from Sunday 27 October 2019 to Sunday 12 January 2020.

Finland

Finnair is operating a twice weekly winter seasonal service from London Gatwick to Ivalo on from Thursday 12 December 2019 to Sunday 22 March 2020 

Finnair is also operating a weekly seasonal service from London Gatwick to Kittilä from Sunday 22 December 2019 to Sunday 8 March 2020. 

Both of these routes can be booked as codeshares through BA.

easyJet also flying to Rovaniemi on Wednesdays and Sunday from Sunday 17 November 2019 to Wednesday 25 March 2020. Norwegian also flies to Rovaniemi on Monday and Friday until Friday 27 March 2020.

France

BA is operating a twice weekly winter seasonal flight from London City to Chambery on Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 14 December 2019 up to Saturday 18 April 2020. There are also four additional weekly flights between Monday 16 December 2019 and Tuesday 24 December 2019.

BA is operating a twice weekly winter seasonal flight from London Stansted to Chambery on Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 14 December 2019 up to Sunday 19 April 2020.

BA will fly to Grenoble Alpes Isère airport from London Gatwick from Saturday 14 December 2019 to Sunday 19 April 2020 with increased frequency of 4 flights a week. and from London Heathrow on Saturdays from Saturday 14 December 2019 to Saturday 28 March 2020.

easyJet will also fly to Grenoble Alpes Isère airport five times weekly from Friday 13 December 2019 to Saturday 28 March 2019.

Germany

BA’s winter seasonal service from Gatwick to Cologne returns from Friday 1 November 2019 to Friday 27 March 2020.

easyJet also operates a seasonal service to Friedrichshafen on Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 14 December 2019 to Saturday March 2020. BA’s winter seasonal service from Gatwick to Friedrichshafen does not return this year.

BA’s winter seasonal service from Gatwick to Nuremberg returns from Friday 29 November 2019 to Monday 6 January 2020.

Iceland

BA’s winter seasonal route from London City to Reykjavik does not return this year.

Italy

easyJet will operate a seasonal service from London Gatwick to Turin up to six times weekly from Friday 6 December 2019 to Saturday 28 March 2020.

Continue reading “2019/2020 Christmas & Winter Ski Routes From London”

Do You Believe In…?

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our readers around the world.

London Air Travel » Christmas

Concorde and Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, Finland, 1997
Concorde and Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, Finland, 1997. Photo by Eric Chretien/Gamma-Rapho published under licence from Getty Images. Unauthorised distribution and reproduction prohibited.

Well how else does Santa Claus deliver all those presents!?

We would like to wish all our readers and followers around the world a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thank you for your support this year.

As events over the past few days have shown, air travel is anything but predictable. 2019 is already shaping up to being a hugely exciting year.

BA will be celebrating its centenary. Both BA and Virgin Atlantic will be introducing the Airbus A350-1000 with new business class cabins.

We may learn whether Qantas will introduce non-stop flights from London to Sydney. And of course there will be “events”.

We’re very much looking forward to covering it all and, short of yet more unforeseen news, regular posts will resume on Boxing Day.

BA releases 50,000 Club World reward seats

BA has released an additional 50,000 Club World reward seats for members of its Executive Club.

London Air Travel » Christmas

British Airways Club World Boeing 747 (Picture by: Stuart Bailey / British Airways)

British Airways has released an additional 50,000 Club World reward seats for members of its Executive Club programme.

The additional 50,000 seats are available for travel on direct one-way and return flights from Gatwick and Heathrow from Sunday 16 December 2018 to Sunday 31 March 2019. They must be booked by Sunday 2 December 2018.

To put this into context, BA ordinarily guarantees at least 2 Club World reward seats on every flight. It also operates in excess of 1,000 Club World seats a day between London and New York.

Members can book using their Avios balances at ba.com

The following routes are included:

London Gatwick:

Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Jose (Costa Rica), New York JFK and Mauritius.

London Heathrow:

Abuja, Accra, Amman, Atlanta, Austin, Bahrain, Baltimore, Bangalore, Beijing, Beirut, Boston, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Calgary, Cape Town, Chicago, Dallas Fort-Worth, Denver, Dubai, Durban, Houston, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lagos, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Montreal, Moscow, Nairobi, Nashville, New Orleans, New York JFK, Newark, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, Riyadh, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose California, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, Seychelles, Shanghai, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Tokyo Narita, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington.

The principal exclusions are routes to The Caribbean, Hong Kong, India (except Bangalore) and Sydney.

Continue reading “BA releases 50,000 Club World reward seats”

Heathrow’s “Home For Christmas” Film

Heathrow has released its third annual Christmas film featuring Doris and Edward Bair.

London Air Travel » Christmas

Heathrow 2018 Christmas Film
Heathrow 2018 Christmas Film (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Heathrow Airport has released its third annual Christmas film, featuring Doris and Edward Bair.

After last year’s “Love At First Flight” film telling their 50 year relationship, Doris and Edward have retired to the warmer climate of Florida Keys.

However, the prospect of spending Christmas alone together eating a Turkey microwave ready meal in a sparsely decorated air conditioned retirement village does not appeal. They make a last minute getaway to return to the UK to see their extended family.

Heathrow 2018 Christmas Film
Heathrow 2018 Christmas Film (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Heathrow 2018 Christmas Film
Heathrow 2018 Christmas Film (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Once again, the concept was created by the agency Havas London, animated by The Mill, and produced by DOM&NIC at Outsider Productions.

Travel to London’s Airports At Christmas

Our guide to travelling to and from London’s airports over the Christmas and New Year period.

London Air Travel » Christmas

Embankment Gardens, London
Embankment Gardens, London (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

As thoughts turn to planning for Christmas, here’s our guide to travelling to and from London’s airports over the Christmas and New Year period.

This is based on known information at the time of publication. Due to timetable planning issues in the rail industry, some further changes may be announced in the coming weeks.

General Guidance

For the benefit of visitors, public transport in the UK on Christmas Day is extremely limited. Taxis and coaches are your only option.

Tube, suburban and long-distance rail services close down earlier on Christmas Eve – most by around 20:00. Retail outlets at stations will close earlier.

Most Tube lines operate on Boxing Day. However, the Waterloo & City Line and London Overground and TfL Rail services will not operate. Suburban and long distance rail services do not operate on Boxing Day.

The Christmas and New Year period is used for extensive engineering work on the UK’s rail network. There are closures on many lines serving both Gatwick and Heathrow.

Engineering work can overrun and encounter unforeseen problems, so there is risk of additional closures at short notice.

The big unknown is of course the weather. Gatwick and Heathrow have markedly improved their winter resilience planning in recent years. However, it is inevitable that any severe weather will cause delays and cancellations.

Gatwick Airport

There will be significant disruption to rail services to London Gatwick over Christmas and New Year.

Due to engineering work closing lines between London Victoria and Clapham Junction, there will be no Gatwick Express services between London Victoria and Gatwick airport from Sunday 23 December 2018 to 04:00 Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Trains will continue to run from London Bridge and Blackfriars stations to Gatwick. Buses will replace trains between London Victoria and Clapham Junction. These, and Clapham Junction station, are expected to be very busy.

Train services will run between London Gatwick and London Bridge and Blackfriars.

Heathrow Airport

There will be significant disruption to overland rail services to London Heathrow over Christmas.

Due to engineering work closing lines between London Paddington and Slough, there will be disruption to rail services between Paddington and Heathrow from Sunday 23 December 2018 to Monday 31 December 2018.

The Heathrow Express from London Paddington to Heathrow Terminal 5 will not run from Sunday 23 December 2018 to Wednesday 26 December 2018 and on Sunday 30 December 2018. Trains will run at 30 minute intervals from Thursday 27 December 2018 to Saturday 29 December 2018 and on Monday 31 December 2018.

TfL Rail’s stopping service (formerly Heathrow Connect) will not run from London Paddington to Heathrow Terminal 4 from Sunday 23 December 2018 to Wednesday 26 December 2018 and on Sunday 30 December 2018.

As is standard practice, there are no Piccadilly Line services to Heathrow on Christmas Day due to the closure of the Tube. It resumes on Boxing Day.

In the run up to Christmas Heathrow will have a number of events in the terminals including carol singers and craft workshops.
Continue reading “Travel to London’s Airports At Christmas”

Seasonal Christmas & Winter Ski Routes from London

A look at seasonal winter routes from London for visits to Europe’s Christmas markets, Lapland and popular ski resorts.

London Air Travel » Christmas

Salzburg Landscape
Salzburg Landscape (Image Credit: British Airways)

With summer now over many are planning their annual ski trip or a Christmas trip to Lapland or mainland Europe’s markets, so here’s a quick run through of direct winter seasonal routes from London which operate in addition to scheduled year round services.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com, easyJet, Finnair, and SWISS.

Austria

BA’s formerly winter seasonal service from London Heathrow to Innsbruck now operates year round, including twice daily flights on Saturdays from Saturday 3 November 2018 up to Saturday 30 March 2019. Innsbruck also returns at Gatwick five times weekly from Saturday 8 December 2018 to Sunday 14 April 2019.

easyJet operates a twice weekly seasonal service from London Gatwick to Klagenfurt on Wednesday and Saturday from Saturday 15 December 2018 to Saturday 23 March 2019.

BA is operating a four times weekly winter seasonal flight from London Heathrow to Salzburg on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Sunday 16 December 2018 to Saturday 30 March 2019. This will complement year round services from Gatwick.

easyJet also operates a four times weekly service from London Gatwick to Salzburg from Friday 7 December 2018 to Saturday 23 March 2019.

BA’s seasonal service from London Gatwick to Vienna returns from Sunday 28 October 2018 to Friday 29 March 2019.
Continue reading “Seasonal Christmas & Winter Ski Routes from London”

Christmas Greetings from the world’s airlines & airports for 2017

The world’s airline and airports release their annual Christmas films to mark the festive season for 2017.

London Air Travel » Christmas

Heathrow Bears
Heathrow Bears (Image Credit: Heathrow Airport)

The release of a Christmas film by airlines and airports is now a regular fixture in the festive calendar. In previous years some have attracted audiences in the hundreds of millions.

Here is our collection of films released by the world’s airlines and airports for 2017 which we will update up to Christmas Eve.

As ever, these films are a timely reminder of the value of aviation in bringing people together.

For a retrospective view, here’s our collections from 2016,2015, and 2014.
Continue reading “Christmas Greetings from the world’s airlines & airports for 2017”

Christmas Greetings from the world’s airlines & airports for 2016

The world’s airline and airports release their annual Christmas films to mark the festive season for 2016.

London Air Travel » Christmas

Heathrow Airport Christmas 2016 (Image Credit: Heathrow Airport)

The release of an annual Christmas film from the world’s major airlines and airports is now a regular fixture in the calendar. In previous years some videos and PR stunts have attracted audiences in the hundreds of millions worldwide on social media.

Here is our collection of films released by the world’s airlines and airports for 2016.

As ever, these films are a timely reminder as to what air travel is really about: bring people together.

Heathrow Airport: Coming Home For Christmas

Continue reading “Christmas Greetings from the world’s airlines & airports for 2016”

Christmas Greetings from the world’s airlines & airports for 2015

The world’s airline and airports release their annual Christmas films to mark the festive season for 2015.

London Air Travel » Christmas

As is customary for the festive season, many of the world’s airlines have produced films and images to share the spirit of the Christmas / Festive / Holiday (delete as appropriate!) season and mark the end of a year of travelling in 2015.

Here are a few videos and images that caught our attention. As always, a consistent theme of these videos is a reminder about what air travel is fundamentally about: bring people together.

Continue reading “Christmas Greetings from the world’s airlines & airports for 2015”