Heathrow Terminals - Everything You Need To Know

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Heathrow is the largest of the six international airports and the main international airport of London. Back in 2022, it was the second busiest airport in the world, and the top busiest in Europe, all because of the heavy flow of international and domestic flights. 

Back in 1929, Heathrow Airport was developed for a small airfield, but after WW2, it was reconstructed into a much larger airport. Now after 74 years, it handles more than 80 million yearly passengers, and has four operational terminals. This is what we are going to talk about. 

Heathrow Airport Terminal 2

This terminal was built in 1955 and is the oldest terminal of Heathrow Airport. Because of this, the terminal became outdated to add modern facilities, and could not handle more passengers than required.

So, in 2014, the terminal was re-developed and was reopened to the public on 4th june. It was named after Queen Elizabeth II and called “Queen’s Terminal”, and the opening was a highly anticipated event, as it represented a significant upgrade in terms of both infrastructure and passenger experience.

The naming ceremony took place on June 23, 2014, and Her Majesty the Queen herself attended the ceremony. This was a gesture of respect and recognition of her long reign and role in British history.

There were two main reasons for the development of this terminal, first was to facilitate the passengers with more facilities and to cater both international and domestic flights. Now, it is the main base of several star alliance airline companies including United Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Canada, and others.

There are several modern facilities at the airport now, including Premium Car Parks, hotels, lounges, restaurants, shopping centres, and other amenities to enhance the overall experience of passengers.

Heathrow Airport Terminal 3

Because of the rapid growth of Heathrow Airport, there was a huge increase in International and domestic flights. The airport needed another terminal to serve as a base for different international airlines and that’s why Terminal 3 was built in 1961.

During its early years, it accommodated long-haul flights operated by various airlines. It played a crucial role in connecting the UK with destinations around the world, including Europe and North America. Over the decade, the terminal had to undergo several renovations and expansions to keep up with the passenger’s needs and expectations.

Back then, a limited number of airlines operated there. British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was one of the prominent airlines using the terminal for its long-haul international flights.

The airport has hosted a variety of airlines throughout its history, all because of terminal 3. Some of the airlines are British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Emirates have operated flights at different times.

There are extensive security measures installed at this airport, including multiple CCTV cameras, entrance and exit barriers, licence plate recognition system, and regular security patrols at every corner. These measures have evolved to meet the changing security landscape.

Heathrow Airport Terminal 4

Because of the continuous expansion of Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4 was built in 1986 to share the load of International flights and their bases. It served as the main base and the long-flight haul for various airlines under the SkyTeam alliance.

Because of a significant drop in the number of passengers and flights due to Covid-19, this terminal was temporarily closed. During this non-operations period, the international airline bases, and flight hauls relocated to terminal 2 and 3.

The terminal is operational again, and has gone through multiple renovation and expansion, making it the second largest terminal of Heathrow Airport. Now the terminal is primarily used by airlines in the SkyTeam alliance, which includes carriers like Air France, KLM, Delta Air Lines, and others. It also hosted a few other non-alliance airlines.

There are multiple facilities available at the terminal to make sure that the passengers have the best travelling experience. Some of those amenities include parking facilities, restaurants, shopping centres, children’s playing areas, car rental, hotels, lounges, duty-free stores, and much more. 

There are several transportation systems available at the terminal for inter terminal travelling. The Heathrow Express is a dedicated non-stop train service that connects it to London Paddington Station. Terminal 4 had its own Heathrow Express station, making it a quick and efficient way for passengers to reach central London.

Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

This is the newest, largest, and the busiest terminal of Heathrow Airport and was opened to the public in 2008. It was constructed to handle all the long-haul flights of British Airways, and it also serves other Oneworld Alliance carriers, such as Iberia and American Airlines, among others.

The overall construction was a massive engineering project that cost around £4.3 billion and it includes a main terminal building, two satellite buildings T5B and T5C. The whole terminal consists of three parts, Terminal 5A is the main building, and Terminal 5B, and Terminal 5C are the satellite buildings.

The satellite terminals are connected by an underground transit system which is called Heathrow Pod. Passengers can travel between the main terminal and satellite buildings using this automated system.

As this is the newest terminal, there are several resources to support sustainable energy resources like Electric Vehicle Charging in Parking Lots, solar system, energy-efficient lighting, waste reduction, and carbon emissions reduction initiatives. and much more. 


Being the eldest means you have to be more responsible and stable to take care of the needs of the people surrounding you. This is what Heathrow Airport has been doing since it was opened to the public.

All the terminals are playing an important role in facilitating the customers, and making sure that the airport name stays on the top ranking.

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