Heathrow Hoppa Hotel Bus Insight
Author: Bob Handford
Heathrow Hoppa Hotel Shuttle Bus Service
Even for the well seasoned traveller, getting to your Heathrow Hotel is a bit of an oddball situation at Heathrow Airport.
If you just assume your Heathrow hotel will provide some kind of hotel shuttle service then think again, hotel owned shuttles are banned at Heathrow.
Instead the airport authority manages a service operated by National Express called the Heathrow Hoppa Service.
Hoppa Bus Coverage
Broadly its a regular bus network of about 14 routes, each route servicing about 4 or 5 airport hotels.
Buses go every 20-30 minutes on a schedule and if nothing else the service is pretty reliable.
The service is not complementary, for the length of journey its one of the more expensive bus rides you will take.
Full details of routes and current prices and ticketing are on our Heathrow Hoppa page on the main London Toolkit site.
How The Terminals You Are Flying From Makes A Big Difference
Heathrow currently has 4 terminals, far apart from one another. It can take 15 minutes to drive from Terminal 1 to Terminal 4 for example.
Most of the airport hotels are on the north side of the airport, far away from Terminal 4.
Most airport hotels are served by 2 Hoppa Bus services, one going to Terminal 1 and 3, the other going to Terminals 4 and 5.
Some hotels are not connected to all terminals, this is particularly true of Terminal 4 – so again check on our Heathrow Hoppa page before you book your hotel.
The Heathrow Hoppa Buses
The Heathrow Hoppa Buses operate daily from about 4 a.m. to about midnight at 20-30 minute intervals when flights operate.
They are midi-size buses which are quite roomy, they are not cramped van type vehicles often used by hotel shuttles.
You bring your luggage on board inside the bus yourself amd store your luggage in a luggage cage at the front of the bus, (see image bottom)
Don’t count on getting any assistance from the driver.
The Hoppa Buses trundle around the airport for most of the day near empty, but during the early morning up to about 9 a.m. they can be very crowded from the hotels to the airport as everyone checks out of their hotel at a similar time.
At Heathrow, many of the hotel chains have more than one hotel, (Holiday Inn has 4!) so do check you get on the right Hoppa Bus.
You can buy tickets on-line from the National Express web site, machines by the pick-up points and hotels as well as from the drivers.
Alternatives To Using The Heathrow Hoppa Service
There are only two hotels at Heathrow you can walk to from the terminals at Heathrow. The Sofitel at Terminal 5 and the Hilton at Terminal 4, these are normally the most expensive hotels on the airport.
You can use public buses to get to many of the hotels from the passenger terminals. Not only are most of them much more frequent than Hoppa Buses many are free and many run 24×7. Check our Heathrow Hoppa page for details.
The Heathrow Express train takes 15 minutes to Central London (Paddington), this is faster and more frequent than most Heathrow Hoppa Buses taking you to a Heathrow Hotel.