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Late Arrival in London

I am a cheap college student traveling to london and will be arriving around 1am. Is it a bad idea to sleep in the airport that night and check into a hostel in the morning? If so, any ideas on how much cabs cost per kilometer in London would be great! Thanks!

Posted by
9363 posts

Regardless of "legal" right, I was just making the point that Heathrow does not enforce no sleeping in the airport. It's fine. Also, Yotel also just opened in Heathrow, taking bookings now for November or December, according to a notice I got from them.

Posted by
8954 posts

Technically unless you a transfer passenger, you are not allowed to sleep at the airport. I've heard that they stricly enforce this at Heathrow, but if you are using another airport you may be able to get away with it. You can find taxi rates at this site:
http://tinyurl.com/2vq2p8 A taxi from from any of the London airports to the city center will cost well over $100USD.

Posted by
9363 posts

I'm not sure where you got the idea that Heathrow does not allow overnighting! I stayed there last May and there were dozens of people doing the same just in my general area of the terminal. I had arrived from Stansted by bus and was in the public part of the departure terminal, so I wasn't technically a transfer passenger. As for Heathrow enforcing no stayovers, a Heathrow employee SUGGESTED it to me as an option when I asked what I could do until time to check my bag in at 6 AM. Karen, it's totally OK and safe to stay in the airport. I'd look for other options than cabs in the morning, though -- they are pricey.

Posted by
8954 posts

I didn't say Heathrow doesn't allow passengers to sleep overnight in the terminal. Under international treaty transfer passengers have the legal right to stay inside an airport terminal until the next flight in the morning. Other types of passengers while they don't have the "legal" right to sleep at the airport may or may not be allowed to do so depending on what the policy of the individual airport is. So while someone who arrives at the airport at 1am may very well be allowed to sleep in the terminal, it's not something that they have a legal right to like a transfer passengers. So it something that has to be taken into consideration. if one is planning to do this.

Posted by
389 posts

Karen, flying out of Portland I have always found the cheapest flights into London are to Gatwick. That airport is a lot further out from the city and cost more to take a taxi. There is a web site for people sleeping the airports, but as far as I know it is people traveling out. If you land at Heathrow there is now accommodations in the airport that might help for one night. Also Southern Rail in England offers an 8.50 GBP trip to Victoria station, even at 2 or 3 in the morning. Here are some sites you might work with:
www.baa.com; sleepinginairports.net. I'm not sure about the new hotel, but it just opened in July or August and I saw it on this site, so you might search here. I like "cheap" too.

Posted by
3580 posts

You could go ahead and take the train into Victoria Station, then hang out there for a few hours. There are restaurants and bars there on the upper level, but I don't know if any are open all night. It is my impression that cabs in London are relatively cheap; maybe you could go to some all-night place until your hostel opens. I think the best suggestion so far is to stay at the airport overnight, then proceed on to your hostel in the morning. That's what I would do; it seems safer, especially if traveling alone.

Posted by
26 posts

I think it would be fine to spend the rest of the night at an airport, providing your stuff is safe.
When I recently arrived in London, we had to wait 3 hours anyway for the next available bus to Bath--though it was the late afternoon.
I'd save money and not bother traveling in the middle of the night.
Taxis are very expensive(about 6 pounds/mile or so). The tubes, however, are amazingly easy and great if you have many places to go in one day. You really save money by buying the passes.

Posted by
991 posts

Swan, I usually like your advice, but in this case I think if Karen's flight arrives at the airport at 1a.m. it is safer for her to stay there rather than travel into town to Victoria or Waterloo. And if as Tim says the Japanese capsules have arrived thats better still...
Karen "Black" cabs from the airport can be expensive so wait until morning for public transport. It can also all depend on how much luggage you have. We so we always take one of the independent cabs to the airport. It usually costs around 35-40 GBP for the trip from Waterloo. I don't know about hostels but most hotels have the ph. number for cabs.

Posted by
9363 posts

Laurel, the new Yotel at Heathrow is actually better than the Japanese-style capsule hotels. They have full room service available, en suite bathrooms, luxury video and audio setups. Check it out at www.yotel.com

Posted by
6 posts

One note. According to the Yotel website booking engine the Heathrow Yotel isn't available for booking until December 1st.

Posted by
9363 posts

Yep, couldn't remember if it was November or December.

Posted by
8293 posts

PLEASE NOTE: This is a 2007 thread. Don't bother to respond.