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Watch us race to London Heathrow by cab, the Heathrow Express and new Elizabeth Line

June 09, 2022
3 min read
Watch us race to London Heathrow by cab, the Heathrow Express and new Elizabeth Line
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London Heathrow (LHR) is the U.K.’s busiest airport, and many of us will pass through its four terminals at one time or another.

There are many different ways of reaching Heathrow from central London, so with the brand-new Elizabeth Line opening, we decided to put three different methods of getting from Oxford Circus to Heathrow’s Terminal 2 to the test.

Ben Smithson took a classic London black cab, Liam Spencer took the Heathrow Express and Nicky Kelvin took the Elizabeth Line on its very first day of public operation.

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You can watch the whole experience and find out who won right here on YouTube:

Nicky Kelvin – Elizabeth Line

Cost: $14.42 (£11.50)

It was incredibly exciting to be on the Elizabeth Line within hours of its opening. The experience on board the train was brilliant with brand-new carriages and a conveniently located and impressive station on Tottenham Court Road. The other huge benefit was the cost: At $14.42, this was far cheaper than the other methods of transportation.

Where this option falls short is when it comes to time and convenience. The train takes a little longer as it makes various stops and, for the time being, you have to change trains at Paddington in order to reach Heathrow. The Elizabeth line will come into its own in the coming months when direct trains from Central London to Heathrow are set to begin.

Related: Elizabeth Line set to open in London, giving travelers more transit options to and from the airport

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Liam Spencer – Heathrow Express

Cost: $31.34 (£25)

The convenience and comfort of the Heathrow Express service cannot be overstated. In terms of speed, there isn’t a faster option than the 15 minutes it takes to get from Paddington Station to Terminals 2 and 3. As was the case on this occasion, there are almost always plenty of seats available, complete with charging ports and tray tables. The whole experience felt very relaxed and ensured I arrived at the airport without any stress.

On the downside, a $31.34 (£25) one-way fare is certainly not cheap. Booking farther in advance can land you a better price, but this isn’t always an option for last-minute travel. It’s also a shame that the service only operates from Paddington; another departure point would help to serve more of London.

Benjamin Smithson – Black Cab

Cost: $92.78 (£74)

It was a luxurious experience taking an iconic London black cab to Heathrow airport. With six passenger seats in my particular cab, there was plenty of room to spread out with my luggage, and my cheery cab driver was up for a chat as we headed to the airport. I was shocked by how quickly we reached Terminal 2 — there was no traffic and the entire journey took less than 40 minutes.

However, this convenience and comfort came at a cost. At $92.78 (£74), it’s a pricey journey, though if there were six of us it would have made more sense financially.

It also took a good five minutes to hail a cab down even at busy Oxford Circus. Ride-hailing apps are cheaper and will arrive more quickly, so next time I think I would save $25.07 (£20) or so and take an Uber or Bolt instead.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees