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Date: 01/02/2016

The Heathrow Express Is Finally Affordable

Heathrow Express Train  Photo Credit: Adambro

Heathrow Express Train Photo by: Adambro

Known as one of the country's most expensive rail journeys, the Heathrow Express has recently announced huge cuts to its ticket prices − for those booking in advance anyway.

The exorbitant prices for Heathrow Express tickets have been criticised for years; even now, buying a ticket on board will set you back an eye-watering £27 each way for a journey from London Paddington to Heathrow, which is only 15 miles!

Purchase your ticket at the station just before boarding and the prices are not much better - £22 each way or £36 for a return ticket.

Cheap advance fares

The latest advance fares come as good news for anyone flying from Heathrow this year. Book at least 90 days before you travel - for those travelling at the weekend − and you will now pay just £5.50 each way. Single week day fares start from just £12.10.

Travel on any day and book four weeks in advance and you will pay from £8.80 to 14.30 each way, while those who leave things a bit later and book at least two weeks before travel will pay from £12.10 to £16.50 for a single ticket.

No competition for Europe

This may all be great news, but it won't help anyone travelling on business or those booking last-minute flights. We still have some way to go before we can compete with some of Europe's ultra-affordable airport links.

Travellers to Pisa can reach the airport via train from the city centre for the equivalent of 94p, transfers in Rome via public transport cost around £3.92 each way, and £4.40 will buy you a single ticket from Madrid city centre to the airport.

Alternative methods of transport

The Heathrow Express is not the only way to reach the UK's busiest airport, of course. The Heathrow Connect from Paddington charges £10.20 each way, or you can hop on a National Express coach from £6 each way.

Then there is always the underground, with tickets costing up to £5.10 each way; however, bear in mind that there is no underground or rail travel from midnight until around 5am every morning, which is bad news if you have booked a budget flight departing or arriving in the small hours.

If you do decide to travel on the Heathrow Express, make sure you don't leave organising your tickets until the last minute, or you could pay through the nose. The further in advance you book, the cheaper your journey will be.