THE JOURNEY: I had a Business First return ticket from London Paddington Station to Heathrow Airport Terminal 4. Heathrow Express trains depart every 15 minutes from Paddington and the journey time is only 15 minutes, compared to around 50 minutes on the tube. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or in person at Paddington Station, as well as on board the train or using the Heathrow Express mobile app.
THE SERVICE: The Business First carriage I sat in was located at the rear of the train. Seating was laid out in a 1-1 style mostly facing forward, with a couple of facing seats around tables. The cabin itself is large and spacious, and off ers passengers a high degree of privacy and comfort. Each seat has a small table and 2 power supplies and there is free wifi throughout the train which maintains signal through tunnels – a defi nite positive for business travellers. Large luggage stacks are available, off ering plenty of storage space, and there are complimentary magazines and newspapers for passengers. Video screens display news and information. It is important to note that travel to Terminals 2, 3 and 5 is direct but that isn't the case with Terminal 4. I had to change at Terminals 2 and 3 on to the Heathrow Express shuttle. The shuttle to Terminal 4 is only one class and does not feature a Business First carriage.
THE VERDICT: This was a fast, stylish and comfortable service offering a high degree of privacy. It is a calm and relaxing transfer prior to a flight with good online access to send any last minute emails or to receive or send documents. The journey passes quickly and is recommended for travellers arriving at the airport from central London. The Heathrow Express certainly trumps tube and coach for transfer times and luxury, and the hassle-free journey brings an element of joy back to the notion of train travel, given the recent poor service offered by some franchise operators.
THE DETAILS: Standard fares for Heathrow Express Business First are £32 for a single per person and £55 return. Standard Express Saver Class is also available with single fares from £15. There are 150 daily services operating on the line from London Paddington. Travellers can book online or download the Heathrow Express app. See heathrowexpress.com.
Reviewed by Benjamin Coren (2017)