6

This coming weekend, I have a moderate layover in Heathrow airport. As long as there's no big delays, I should have a few hours spare.

At the same time, I've realised there's some papers I need for my destination, which are currently at our head office in the UK. The cost of posting them to where I'm going is rather high, and if sent where I am now they won't arrive in time.

There isn't enough time to get to the office and back, so that's out, and I can't see anyone from work wanting to trek to the wrong side of London to drop them off to me in Heathrow in person!

That leads me to wonder - is there a post office in / near Heathrow airport, which offers Poste restante, and is open on Saturdays?

(If there is, then that ought to allow work to post the papers to said post office, and I can then enter the UK, head to the post office, collect them, then return through security for my onward flight. It'd work out a lot cheaper than the other options I can think of)

  • You will need to work out how important having the physical documents at the destination is. That will indicate the budget you should spend on getting them there. It may well be cheaper to post them. – Josh B Nov 10 '14 at 11:58
5

According to postoffice.co.uk, the post office at Heathrow is in terminal 3 and its address is,

Heathrow Airport Terminal Three
Terminal Three
Hounslow
Middlesex
TW6 1QG

However, on the page on poste restante (a.k.a. general delivery), they say

For Foreign Travellers in the UK: Before you travel to the UK, write to or call the Post Office to request the address details for the post office that you would like to use in the UK town where you will be staying.

For Domestic travellers in the UK: Do this in person at the branch you’d like your post sent to. Please note, the Poste Restante service may not be available everywhere.

2

There is a branch of Mail Boxes Etc in Staines (http://www.mbe.co.uk/staines). You could contact them and see if they are willing to sign for documents for yourself. I use a different branch of Mail Boxes Etc for this purpose. How long is your layover and at which time...? Mail Boxes Etc are open from 10 am - 3pm. It should be around a 20 minute taxi ride.

  • Sadly if I have to pay for a 20 minute taxi ride both ways, it'd be cheaper to just have the documents posted internationally! – Gagravarr Nov 10 '14 at 8:37
  • 1
    You can also use public transport to get to Staines. – Josh B Nov 10 '14 at 9:16
1

Honestly, since the documents are only on the wrong side of London, it would surely be easier and certainly more reliable to get a colleague to bring the documents to Heathrow for you. Bring them back a nice gift from the country you're visiting and owe them a favour.

Alternatively, look at getting the documents couriered but that will probably also be more expensive than international post.

  • At 1.5 hours each way (30 minutes into London, 30 minutes to cross London, 30 minutes out to Heathrow), plus waiting time, it's a non-trivial favour to owe someone for giving up that much of their Saturday + spending that much on public transport! – Gagravarr Nov 10 '14 at 10:37
  • I agree. But, practically speaking, your alternatives are very limited by the implicit requirement that it has to be cheaper than international post, which isn't actually very expensive. – David Richerby Nov 10 '14 at 11:09
  • Exactly! An hour's inconvenience is fine for me, and fine for a hypothetical future visitor without a handy friend/colleague to do a drop-off. Several hours is out for me, and wouldn't be available for many people in transit via Heathrow – Gagravarr Nov 10 '14 at 12:04

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