We will be using National Express coach service to get from Bath to Heathrow in June. Our Aer LIngus flight departs at 9:50. Our options for bus routes are: 4:15--arrives at LHR 6:16, or 5:15--arrives LHR at 7:25. We have never traveled through Heathrow before. Which bus would you choose? We're not opposed to getting up early, we just don't want to get up earlier than we have to. Thanks!
I'd be spending the night at the airport. What are you going to do if the bus has a mechanical problem?
For my peace of mind I would stay overnight at a Heathrow hotel. No matter which bus you take, there is the risk of highway problems en route and a late arrival at the airport. Too nervous-making for me.
What Norma said. Our bus was 2 hours late arriving at LHR. We were leaving next day, so it wasn't ruination.
The flight is to Ireland. Thanks for the advice! I was a little concerned about something happening to the bus. We will look at Heathrow airports. Any suggestions?
There are many hotels at many prices ranges at and around LHR. Do you know which terminal your flight leaves from (there are five)? Chances are it's Terminal 2, but the LHR website can help you make sure. Use booking.com or another search engine to find airport hotels, and the "Hotel Hoppa" shuttle (described in the LHR website) to get there from the Central Bus Station. Many National Express coaches stop at multiple terminals, which could save you time connecting to your hotel.
I've stayed in the Sofitel next to Terminal 5, but it's expensive and not very convenient if you'll be flying out of Terminal 2. There are many hotel choices. The Accor chain has lots of options.
As you can tell, I agree with others that it makes more sense to get to the airport the night before rather than getting up way early in Bath and taking your chances on the very crowded motorways. But if you decide on that morning bus, I'd recommend the earlier one to give you an extra margin on making that flight.
We stayed at the Novotel at the airport, it was OK, and the shuttle was convenient. However, there isn't much if anything in the area as far as food other than the hotels. If you get there early enough that day, you might have time to get a cab to Windsor and back. That was our plan, but didn't make it because of the late bus.
I used the Premier Inn on a covered walkaway near Terminal 4 in September. It seemed very new. Not fancy but perfectly acceptable to me, though it's quite a walk back to T4. I just checked for a random date in mid-June and found a £45 flexible rate and a £29.50 non-cancellable rate. I can only assume they're still having trouble filling the hotel due to its newness, because those rates are pretty unbelievable for a conveniently located airport hotel.
There's a Thyme restaurant in the lobby with a bit more on the menu than I would have expected. I thought it was more like a Pret a Manger, but I really just passed by it on the way to my room.
Our flight leaves from T2. If I used the Premier Inn hotel at T4, is there an easy way to get to T2 in the morning before our flight? Thanks!
I don't remember what terminal I flew out of, but I used the (free) shuttle train to get to it. Don't hold me to this, but I think after I walked along the covered walkway back to T4, I needed to take an elevator to the platform The elevator wasn't far from where I walked into the terminal, but I walked right past it and had to get directions from someone. Not a problem at all; just allow time for the walk back to the terminal (maybe 10 minutes?), getting to the HE platform, waiting on the train, and the ride itself.
Edited to correct terminology for the trains connecting Heathrow's terminals.
Why are you going all the way to Heathrow to get a flight to Dublin? Bristol airport is much closer to Bath and has regular flights to Dublin.
If you have already bought your tickets and are just looking at bus times, don't forget that Megabus also run between Bath and Heathrow.
Just a small correction to acraven's post -- the Heathrow Express is a fast train between LHR and Paddington. The link she supplied is for the shuttle service between terminals, which is what to use if you need to.
Bob's idea of a flight from Bristol would be worth exploring if you're not already locked into LHR for the flight to Dublin. Very easy to get from Bath to Bristol, probably a shuttle direct to the airport. See if rome2rio.com can help you explore this option.
Thank you, Dick. I've edited my post. I picked up the terminology off the Google search screen and didn't notice that it didn't match the linked screen. I think perhaps the signage at the elevator in T4 was for the Heathrow Express, however.
There is a bus every 30 minutes from Bath to Bristol airoprt, takes 50 minutes. Details here: https://www.airdecker.com/
And both Aer Lingus and Ryanair fly from there to Dublin. Bristol will be a quicker airport than Heathrow. Sounds like the best option.