UK / England Air Travel – Arrival
This section gives information on Air travel to and from England,Customs Regulations, Baggage Claim, Transport Between Airport & Town, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, International air travel and Jet lag
AT LANDING IN UK: International flights to London arrive at either Heathrow Airport or at Gatwick Airport or at Stansted Airport.
At Heathrow Airport the guideline is that if you’re arriving on an international flight, and have checked baggage, you will come through Customs about forty minutes after your plane lands. Be prepared to have your luggage searched or X-rayed. At departure you are advised to check-in two hours before for intercontinental flights. Take this advice seriously as Heathrow can become very congested at times.
PORT OF ENTRY
You will be given a De-embarkation Form before you land at the place of your destination. There could be questions regarding the items that you are carrying, e.g. whether it exceeds the duty-free limits or whether you are carrying any vegetable products or any perishable products Enter your organization’s – UK office Tel. No./address as your contact no./address.
AT THE IMMIGRATION COUNTER
Show your passport, immigration form and work permit. Answer questions asked by the immigration officers respectfully, confidently and to the point. Do keep eye on what the officer writes down and politely correct him if you think anything is wrong. Request the immigration officer for a multiple entry permit.
If any of your checked-in baggage is damaged or missing, make a complaint in writing before you leave the airport. Also lodge a police complaint.
The Airport Authorities make every effort to ensure that the safe delivery of your baggage coincides with your arrival at the destination airport! In the rare event that your baggage is damaged, lost or delayed during a flight however, you must advise a member of the ground handling staff at the airport of arrival immediately.
If it is lost or damaged by an authority, a transport company or hotel you must report the details of the loss or damage to them in writing and get written confirmation
- If your baggage is lost or stolen, you must take all reasonable steps to get it back
- You must be able to prove your ownership and the value of lost or stolen items. Failure to do so may affect your claim
- If after five days your luggage has not been restored to you, you must complete and return a Baggage Inventory Form
Prohibited and Restricted Items – What you should not carry The following dangerous articles are not permitted in baggage whether cabin or hold baggage:
- Gas cylinders. Deeply refrigerated flammable, non-flammable, and poisonous gases such as butane, oxygen, propane, and aqualung cylinders. Includes butane gas (eg for use with heated hair appliances) camping gas, and chef’s blow torches.
- Flammable liquids and solids such as lighter or heater fuels, paint, and matches (except one box of matches or one cigarette lighter as provided below).
- Poisons, such as insecticides, weed killers, arsenic, and cyanide.
- Radioactive material, oxidising materials, and organic peroxides such as bleaches and fibreglass repair kits.
- Firearms and explosives. Handguns, automatic weapons, munitions, ammunitions including blank cartridges, pistol caps, fireworks, flares, smoke canisters, and crackers.
- Infectious substances such as bacteria and viruses.
- Corrosives such as mercury, acids, alkalis, and wet-cell batteries.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help from airport support staff / police if the need arises
Beware of touts / un-authorized personnel
Don’t panic if the person coming to pick you up is not there. In the UK, no change is returned at the Public phones. It is advisable to buy a 2 or 3-pound British Telecom Phone Card from one of the counters in the Arrivals area. It’s even better to just pick up a local SIM card with some top up and turn on your mobile.
TRANSPORT BETWEEN AIRPORT AND TOWN
If you have only manageable luggage, you may be able to make the move conveniently on public transport.The Airport Shuttle is the fastest and most convenient way for an individual passenger to arrive into London.
From Heathrow to reach London The least expensive route into London is Piccadilly Line on the Underground (London’s Subway System), which runs from all the four terminals every 4 to 8 minutes.
Heathrow Express is the new, fast rail link from the airport to Paddington Station in London, which reaches in 15 min. A one way ticket costs £ 12 for standard class and is not covered by the Travel Card scheme.
London Transport (Tel: 020/7222-1234) runs a 2-bus service from the airport, each cost about £ 6 one way. Cars & taxis drive into London on M4. The fare is about £ 40 plus tip. It may take more than an hour, depending upon traffic to reach the city.
Fast, nonstop Gatwick Express trains leave from Victoria Station every 15 min, from 5:30 a.m. to 12:50 a.m., then hourly between 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. The 30-min trip costs around £ 10 one-way. A frequent local train also runs all night.
Cars & Taxis drive into London on M4. The taxi fare is around £85, plus trip.
The Stansted Sky train to Liverpool Street Station runs every half hour & costs around £11 one-way.
JET LAG Tired? Nauseous? Just flown across more than four time zones? Feelings of disorientation are not just due to sleep deprivation, or even the thin air (less pressure at 8,000 feet) but may well have something to do with melatonin, a harmone produced by the brain to set the body clock.
Synthetic melatonin, available from health food shops and pharmacies in the UK, can eliminate jet lags. But what is generally agreed is that long journeys should start with a good night’s sleep.
But what else can be done on the journey?
Sleep with eyeshades
Use earplugs to minimize he effect of pressure changes.
Boots sell an upmarket version with ceramic filter to allow air to seep in while protecting the inner ear
Eat lightly & drink plenty of water before and during the flight
Avoid excessive alcohol
Get a good night’s sleep on arrival. This can be difficult if welcoming hosts insist on celebrating your arrival, but from the experience this is the most effective part of any strategy.