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

Jun 9, 2022

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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 

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.

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

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