Heathrow Airport’s Family-Friendly Facilities

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An airport in any part of the world is always a busy place with the hustle and bustle of passengers arriving at or departing from the city. Moreover, there are many passengers who can be seen queuing up at various counters such as the immigration and customs and also waiting at the luggage belts waiting for their baggage to arrive. Passengers can also be seen waiting in front of their boarding gates or at restaurants or cafes. The airport shops particularly the duty free ones are also booming with people.

As per airport rules, passengers have to arrive at the airport at least two to three hours in advance of their flight time and as such they have to wait for some time after they clear their check-in, immigration and security formalities. Moreover, this waiting period sometimes gets extended because of several factors such as delay in the flight due to technical or operational reasons or because of late arrival of incoming aircraft, bad weather or congestion at the runway. Another reason for a long wait at the airport terminal can be a long gap between connecting flights. Such a long wait can be a difficult period for many people particularly for those who are travelling with small children.

Heathrow AirportRealising these problems, airports usually have many family-friendly facilities for helping families travelling together. Heathrow Airport, being one of the busiest airports of the world and handling millions of passengers and flights, also offers many family-friendly facilities to ensure a comfortable and convenient stay at the terminal for families for the couple of hours that they have to wait before catching a flight. These facilities include play areas for kids, restaurants that offer children’s menus and baby changing facilities. Moreover, entertainment facilities for toddlers and small children are also provided. However, if you anticipate having to spend some time at the terminal before boarding a flight, you should have prior information regarding where such facilities are located in your terminal so that you can go there straightaway after your departure formalities.

Baby Changing Facilities:

In all the terminals, you can find these facilities along with other toilet conveniences both before and after the security control. You can avail of feeding and changing facilities within the toilets. A bottle sign or baby care symbol is clearly marked to indicate where you can find these facilities. Fold down tables are also provided in some male and female toilets. Many of these are located alongside the toilet blocks.

Children’s Dining:

Different options of children’s menus and light refreshments are offered at a wide selection of restaurants and bars at all the terminals of Heathrow Airport. These family-friendly restaurants also offer complimentary use of high chairs and child-friendly seating. In Terminal 1, Garfunkles provides a full children’s menu along with an activity pack. It is also home to Giraffe, a fun family restaurant, where you can avail of children’s meal deals consisting of a main course, fruit juice, and ice cream at a cost of about £6.

At the airport you can always find a dining and bar Heathrow where you can spend some time having some delicious food and drinks.

At Terminal 2, the child-friendly restaurants include Ca’puccino, The Flying Chariot, The Gorgeous Kitchen, Leon, Wondertree, and YOI Sushi. At Terminal 3, kids-friendly restaurants include Bite, Bridge Bar, Globe, Leon, The Three Bells, and YOI Sushi. At Terminal 4, the family-friendly restaurants are Bridge Bar, Comptoir, Crown Rivers, The Five Tuns, and Giraffe. It is easy to find these child-friendly restaurants at Heathrow Airport and most of them provide high chairs and children’s menus. Moreover, Kids Eat Free meal deals are also available at most of the restaurants.

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Children’s Play Areas:

To keep the children busy while waiting for a flight, the airport provides children’s play areas such as the one located by Gates 35-56 in the International Departures near Cafe Nero in terminal 1. These are unsupervised and as such parents should be aware that they are responsible for the kids. They are suitable for two to six year old children. Stay & Play areas are provided for pre-flight fun and entertainment of children, offering slides, soft play areas and separate baby and junior zones, in Terminals 2, 4 and 5. These are suitable for children aged up to nine years old but they should be accompanied by an adult. At Terminal 2, the Stay & Play area is in the main Terminal 2A departure lounge (after security), near Gate 16. At Terminal 4, it is in the departure lounge (after security), on the way to Gates 1-6. At Terminal 5, it is in the main Terminal 5A departure lounge (after security), near Gate A7.

Lounges:

Heathrow Airport terminals also offer family-friendly lounges where passengers can relax with their kids before their flight. Although infants (0 to 1yrs) get free entry there is a small charge as entry for this facility. Executive lounges are also offered where business class and first class passengers can relax in luxury as they offer many free facilities such as free tea/coffee, snacks, bathing facilities and Wi-Fi. At Terminal 1, business lounges are provided by Aer Lingus, Alliance, British Airways, BMI, El Al, Southern African Airlines, Finnair, Cyprus Airways, Icelandair, and Brussels Airlines. South African Airways also have a First Class lounge at the terminal. At Terminal 2, the business lounges are provided by Aeroflot, Olympic Airways, Syrianair, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal, Yemenia Yemen Airways and Uzbekistan Airways. At Terminal 3 in the departure area there is a Family Lounge for families with play areas for children of ages 0-2 and 3-9, a children’s quiet room, a Game Zone for children aged 10 – 15, coffee and soft drink vending, and comfortable seating for adults. There is also a discreet area for nursing mothers.

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