Heathrow Airport bus to Central London

One of the cheapest airport transfers between Heathrow Airport & central London

Heathrow National Express Bus To Central London

The Heathrow - Central London Airport Bus by National Express offers full size comfortable coaches complete with on board wash-rooms.

Heathrow - Central London Airport Coach Services

The big attraction is low cost, the only alternative that can compete on cost is the London Underground.

The Underground is more frequent though, much more crowded and may be faster or slower than the National Express coach services from Heathrow Airport.

The National Express Heathrow service has its terminus at Victoria Coach Station and the buses go non-stop, there are no hotel pick-ups or drops.

In terms of comfort there is no comparison between the National Express Heathrow Bus and the London Underground.

The National Express Heathrow buses are modern air-conditioned vehicles with wash-rooms and reserved seats for everyone and a luggage hold with controlled secure storage.

But despite being one of the cheapest options the Heathrow-London bus services are hardly used when compared to other alternatives, including the Heathrow Express Train that is two or three times the price. So why is this?

Well the National Express coaches are not dedicated airport services. Heathrow is the last stop the coaches make before London having started their journey hours before from a regional town or city.

As a result frequencies are not regular with large gaps in between schedules as well as schedules tightly grouped together and are not always on time. Most coaches only service the Heathrow Central Bus Station, not convenient for Terminals 4 or 5.

National Express


National Express

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National Express - key facts


The National Express Heathrow buses do not pick-up or set down at the Heathrow passenger terminals (except for a handful each day that visit Terminal 5) on the London services.

Buses run from the Central Bus Station at Heathrow which is between Terminals 2 and 3. Terminals 4 and 5 are at the other side of the airport. (You can use the free Heathrow Express trains that run every 15 minutes to Heathrow Central Station underneath the bus station from Terminals 4 and 5).


Frequency is not as good as the London Underground or the Heathrow Express. The National Express buses are not dedicated Heathrow - London buses but originate from all over England. Heathrow is the last drop/pick-up before London. As a result schedules are not evenly spaced apart. Very early in the morning and late at night frequencies can be one an hour, during the day 4 or 5 an hour on average.

Traffic congestion

Road based transfers between Heathrow and London is unlike the alternative train services at the mercy of severe London road congestion. During the peak commute hours the journey time will be hard to predict and you will probably spend a significant part of your journey held up in traffic. At any time by road add at least 30 minutes onto the scheduled time of the transfer as a contingency.

You book a specific seat on a specific bus

When you book you select a specific schedule and are guaranteed a seat on that bus.

Which terminal you are using has an impact on ease of boarding London services

Although National Express coaches do visit Terminals 4 and 5, on the London services the vast majority of services only visit Heathrow Central Bus Station between Terminals 2 and 3.

Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 are both on the other side of the airport from Terminals 2, 3 and the Central Bus/Coach Station. You can use the Heathrow Express train free of charge from either terminal to Heathrow Central Station.

The trains go every 15 minutes and take 5 minutes, it's a 10-minute walk from the train platform deep underground to the coach station on the surface using lifts and moving walkways.

Ask Bob Heathrow transfers

National Express Heathrow Bus Station - Central London tickets

You can buy National Express tickets at the airport at Heathrow Central Bus Station between terminals 2 and 3, but not from the driver - or in advance online. Buying on-line may well be a lot cheaper than buying on the day and you are assured a seat on the coach you have booked.

When you purchase a ticket for a National Express service it is for a single stated departure time-and you are guaranteed a seat.

It is recommended booking a service at least 90 minutes after the scheduled arrival time of your flight, for Terminals 4 or 5, 100 minutes (see below). So what happens if your flight is late and you miss that schedule on your ticket?

National Express fares - the key points

Remember: with National Express you book a seat on a specific bus schedule.

National Express fare types

National Express have three fare types:

Restricted Fare: online only - not amendable

This fare is the cheapest fare of all for a reason - it is neither refundable nor amendable.

Standard Fare: the cheapest fare. Amendable (for a fee) but not refundable

This ticket is not refundable but the journey date and time can be changed prior to your current departure date and time. Amendments must be made prior to the journey. An amendment fee will apply.

Fully Flexible Fare: unlimited amendments and refunds allowed before travel

The most expensive option means that you can make unlimited amendments anytime prior to departure without incurring an amendment fee. You can also receive a full refund up to 24 hours before travel if you need to.

The Airport flexible add on - (Change & Go) The flexibility to switch schedule if your flight is early/late

(£5 each way)

For peace of mind if your flight is early or delayed with this add-on you may board any available coach 12 hours before or 12 hours after your original departure time you have selected on reservation.

You can amend your ticket to a new departure date as well - free of charge.

You can obtain a refund on your ticket up to 24 hours before departure.

You add the Change & Go Add On during the booking process, not at the original selection screen where you select your schedule and fare.

The option comes up on a subsequent screen with other supplemental options like excess luggage and travel insurance are offered and before payment.

National Express Group Discount (for 3 people or more)

If you're travelling on the National Express services in a group of four or more, you can travel between London's airports for just £20 per person.

Luggage supplements

The National Express coaches come with a free luggage allowance of either 2 medium or 1 large cases for the hold of the bus.

Medium cases should be no more than 70cm x 45cm x 30cm.

Large cases no more than 75cm x 50cm x 32cm.

Neither case should weigh more than 20kg (44lb).

An item of hand luggage is allowed in the passenger cabin but only laptop/handbag size.

There are steep excess luggage charges if you exceed these limits.

For supplement prices please click through on the link below.

3 extra cases is usually around twice the price to just one extra case if you book in advance, but will cost up to three times as much if you leave it to the day.

You will usually save at least a couple of pounds (or more if multiple extra bags) by booking in advance, in addition to guaranteeing yourself a space (extra luggage space can't be guaranteed on the day).

National Express


National Express

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London - Heathrow comparison of public transport from 3 March 2024 - March 2025


Standard Adult Fare*

One way


London Underground (Cash)



London Underground (Oyster Card)



National Express Bus to Victoria



Elizabeth Line Train



Heathrow Express Train (Anytime - web single ticket)



Heathrow Express Train (30 Day Advance)



Heathrow Express Train (60 Day Advance)



Heathrow Express Train (90 Day Advance)



Hotel Shared Shuttle Central London



* Standard adult ticket. Other promotional fares may appear from time to time.

Heathrow Express train - Children under 15 free, online only one-way fare. Cheapest fare for both weekday and weekend travel.

Cheapest Heathrow Express fares are only available 90 days or over in advance and only using the mobile app. A select amount of cheaper tickets are released per day (300) which will help you find cheaper rates when booking in advance, but if these are already sold, then a standard fare will be shown.

Where Heathrow public transport goes in central London

Heathrow - London Terminal Map covering piccadily line to heathrow
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