Buses that ply the streets around Heathrow Aiport, connecting passengers and staff to the airport will cease to be free of charge from this weekend.

The Heathrow Free Travel Zone makes use of TfL and local bus services, and is subsidised by the airport to encourage more use of public transport. Based on pre-pandemic usage, the TfL services were costing the airport around £1.2 million a year, which the airport pays to TfL.

The airport having been hit badly by the pandemic says that it needs to cut costs, and has been phasing out its subsidised transport over the past few months.

The final move, to cancel free bus travel comes into effect from 12th June.

However, apart from raising the cost of local public transport for passengers, it also raises the cost of getting to work for staff who live locally. Although some discounts have been negotiated with other travel providers, staff are still having to pay for a service which was included with the job.

The airport has indicated though that the suspension of the Free Travel Zone is a temporary decision, and could be reversed when its finances improve, which they expect to be next year.

Free tube and train travel between terminals within Heathrow Airport are covered by separate arrangements and are not affected by curtailing of free travel on the buses.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. ChrisC says:

    £1.2m divided by £1.50 = 800,000 trips a year.

    Average of 2,200 trips a day doesn’t seem a lot of trips in the scheme of things.

  2. grr says:

    This is the same airport that is sticking close to £10 per flight extra on each ticket as a ‘give us our profits back’ charge and wanted the govt to allow them to charge passengers extra equivalent of their entire previous years pre-covid revenue. Absolute scum

  3. Waseem Iqbal says:

    So many cuts , many price rises for everything but our pay remains the same , why don’t pay more to staff also if cutting down everything else !

    • Will says:

      Remains the same?
      Heathrow have permanently cut my pay by 12% and other staff even more.
      I’d love to be on just the same money I was pre-pandemic, let alone a pay rise to cover all these rising costs.

    • Will says:

      Suppose the Heathrow management don’t care about busses though. They did all take a few months on a temporary pay cut, but are all back on full pay whilst they “work” from home now.

  4. John jones says:

    In the old days you could walk to the main terminal area trough a pedestrian tunnel, which has been closed for cars. That is why they put on the free bus.

  5. M G Mills says:


  6. Renu Babbar says:

    It’s not fair you are charging bus fares you should scrape them.

  7. Kim Rennie says:

    Should cut down on fare evasion though with people boarding within the free area but not alighting when reaching the boundary.

  8. Dave says:

    As an airport worker it won’t affect me as I live outside the free zone so pay £1.50 to go to work and £1.50 to go home. The ones it will affect are the ones that get a free ride home as they don’t bother tapping in and ride the bus past Hatton Cross.

  9. SUKHDEV says:

    You can’t walk to terminal 2 or 3 so you are forced to take the bus if you don’t drive or have someone to drop you off.

Home >> News >> Transport News