We favour staying at Point A Hotel (formerly Tune Paddington) 41 Praed Street, Paddington as it’s a 10 minutes walk to Paddington Station. And we favour flying out of Heathrow on weekends as tickets for the Heathrow Express train to the airport is ridiculously cheap – £5.50 when purchased more than 90 days in advanced. Published travelling time is 15 minutes but add 5~10 minutes on certain occasions for signaling delays. Any way, a taxi ride would be 40 minutes, and 50 minutes by tube. The Heathrow Express stop at the airport is different from the tube. More info on tickets and pricing here.
Getting off at Heathrow Express and proceeding to T2 is quite a walking distance. We’ve departed from T3 before, and that seems to be a little nearer. If you’re to take the tube however, I feel both T2 & T3 is of similar distances. T2 & T3 are of opposite direction.
Our flight home to Kuala Lumpur on Turkish Airlines is a transit flight. As a stop-over ticket is cheaper than transit, we opted for a stop-over in Istanbul. The difference is sufficient to pay for a night’s stay in a hotel. This is our 4th time visiting Istanbul as it’s charm keeps drawing us back (so do London). It’s a free and easy, no itinerary, 4 days stop-over as we have covered most of Istanbul previously.
Check-in, beg drop & security is on level 5 whilst the departure concourse is on 4th, a level down. There are seats and shops on both levels. VAT refund counters are to your extreme left towards at the back but isn’t too far from Zone A check-in counters on level 5. If your check-in counter is Zone D, that’s a little further away.
VAT refund, at least for this year (2017) was processed online. You no longer need to verify your purchases and then mail them for processing as before. All is now done at the land-side VAT counter itself. The refund into our credit card account took 2 days. Mind you we departed LHR on Saturday and the refund was already in my account on Monday. In fact, I only realised this much later when I did my credit card reconciliation. Hurrah for this efficiency.
A normal sight on most major airports, aircraft lining up for take-off. Expect similar experiences in AMS, IST, DXB or even MCT.