Concierges’ Guide to London: Culture & Diversions: How to Avoid Heathrow

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PRIVATE ACCESS NetJets Europe provides the most comprehensive private-jet services to and from London. While its most popular route is from New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport to the London Luton Airport, the company flies into 10 other airports in the area from the East Coast, including Gatwick, Stansted, and London City, which is conveniently located about five miles from the financial district. At London City, NetJets offers a private lounge with Wi-Fi, a luggage room, and a kitchen. NetJets Europe, www.netjetseurope.com


CITY QUICKER Even without the private jet, London City Airport can be a fast and civilized alternative—especially if you are flying in from mainland Europe. European carriers including CityJet, Lufthansa, and KLM fly from London City to more than 30 destinations, from Amsterdam to Zurich. London City Airport, www.londoncityairport.com


VIRGIN TERRITORY It’s possible to fly out of Heathrow without ever setting foot in the main terminal or waiting in line. Virgin Atlantic’s Drive Thru Check In service picks up passengers in a chauffeured car, drives them to Heathrow, breezes them through a dedicated entrance and security channel, and, if desired, escorts them to perhaps the world’s best airline lounge: the London Heathrow Clubhouse. The space-age lair was modeled after a private club and includes a hair salon, a Cowshed Spa with a pool and sauna, a library, a children’s play area, and bars and restaurants. Virgin Atlantic, www.virgin-atlantic.com

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