The Heatherlea Pre-flight Service
Heatherlea do more than most before your holiday. Where flights are included, your pre-flight hotel room is included in the price. The following morning, enjoy a VIP Airport Lounge, also included in the price, and arrive at the departure gate already relaxed, and ready for your holiday.
We also include a FREE bird guide with all holidays in the Americas/Africa/Asia (ie those beyond the scope of the Collins Birds Guide). With some costing around £40, this is another useful benefit! We often include things others might invite you to pay yourself, for instance Departure Tax, which is common in many countries.
Tipping can be significant, and your main hotel tips are included. From 2019, we even give you a 'Complementary Tips Wallet' for minor tips which are often necessary.
Our extensive office service includes many things as standard which otherwise you might have to do yourself. We can organise airport car parking, upgrades and anything else you might need - please ask!
That's why we say ... 'DO IT THE HEATHERLEA WAY!'
Heatherlea Group relaxing before our 'Spain - Lynx and Birding' holiday
Many of us enjoy birding and wildlife holidays overseas, but the organisation of pre-flight details can be time-consuming and frustrating. The Heatherlea Pre-flight Service offers everything you need, so let us take the strain! Our friendly, knowledgeable team will advise, so please call Emma, Fleur, Victoria or Kevin.
Heatherlea select your complimentary hotel from our approved shortlist. All offer a good standard of accommodation, with evening meals and readily available car parking and transfers to the airport terminal. Arrangements are confirmed in your Final Information Pack, issued prior to departure. If travelling with you, your Heatherlea Guide will probably be staying in the same hotel, and may be able to join you for an informal chat the night before travel.
If you don't need an airport hotel before you fly, please contact us before your balance due date, and a reduction will be made from your balance payable. On some holidays, where we fly late in the afternoon or evening, you can take your complimentary hotel stay on the return leg of your holiday.
If you wish to stay at a specific airport hotel, please inform us before your balance due date, and a reduction will be made from your final payment. You will at this point be able to make your own booking of and payment for hotel services.
UPDATE, August 2017
Many of our trips feature the Premier Inn at Gatwick North Terminal. This is a good hotel in a great location, just two minutes walk from the check-in desks, and very handy for the monorail if we need to use South Terminal. Rooms are well appointed and quiet, there is a good restaurant and bar, and our clients love it! We can’t always guarantee this hotel, not surprisingly it fills quickly, but at the moment it’s our favourite at Gatwick.
Premier Inn Gatwick North Terminal
We have been favouring the Premier Inn, Bath Road, recently for a number of reasons. The hotel has good parking facilities, and being close by is very important with luggage to transfer. Also this hotel has more than one ‘Hoppa’ service, running directly to all the terminals, which helps minimise your transfer time. With a regular service starting early (0430 hrs) and finishing late (2330 hrs), the ‘Hoppa’ buses are particularly good here.
Premier Inn Heathrow Bath Road
All airport hotel detail can change without notice, and availability is always variable, so let Heatherlea worry about the detail, while you just check in and relax!
PRE-FLIGHT AIRPORT LOUNGE
We include a VIP Airport Lounge in your holiday price because we want you to unwind before you fly. A busy airport terminal is hardly the ideal place to relax! By the time you've bought food, drinks, newspapers and a magazine to pass the time, terminals can prove expensive too. Why not prefer the comfort and choice of an Airport Lounge? You can relax and spread out for up to three hours before you fly.
Most of our Lounges offer unlimited free drinks and snacks, complimentary magazines and newspapers, WIFI, TV and comfortable seating amid quiet surroundings. Your Heatherlea guide may be there for a chat after everyone has checked-in, and you can get to know your fellow travellers or just sink into a comfortable armchair – the choice and comfort are yours!
UPDATE, August 2017
We frequently use ‘ASPIRE’ lounges at both Gatwick and Heathrow. We find the quality and range of food and other services to be excellent. ASPIRE say ‘Our evolution can be seen in our contemporary design, superb complimentary food and beverage choice and fantastic facilities; always underpinned by our commitment to provide the best possible customer service, giving guests a great start to their journey each and every time.’ Feedback from our clients has been very positive, you feel as though you are on holiday before you arrive at the departure gate!
Aspire Executive Lounges
We will confirm arrangements for your airport lounge, together with admission tickets, in your FINAL INFORMATION PACK. If our point of departure does not offer airport lounge services, all participants will be credited with an appropriate amount from the holiday balance payable.
Kevin says; 'I checked out the lounge facilities at Gatwick, where I could get a drink, snacks, hot food and internet access. The Lounge was spacious and comfortable, with a choice of seating areas and things to do including TV, newspapers, a cinema and a separate area for children, which kept them away from the quiet areas. There were even beauty salon treatments available for an extra charge, ideal if you want to prepare for a long flight with a massage, manicure or facial. All the staff were friendly and very well trained, the bathroom facilities were excellent, I felt relaxed and enjoyed my visit very much.'
If you've never used an airport lounge before, you don't know what you're missing – the only concern is you might get too comfortable and forget to catch your flight!
ONLINE CHECK-IN AND BOARDING PASSES
Some airlines no longer provide check-in facilities at the airport, and require you to check-in online and print your own boarding pass. If you don't, some airlines now charge extra when you reach the airport. Where there is no airport check-in facility, Heatherlea will do this for you online, and include your boarding pass inside your Final Information Pack so you don't have to worry.
Should you wish anything else as part of your Heatherlea Pre-flight Service, we will be very pleased to help. It is important to remember that extra services (eg car parking) become more expensive as your departure date approaches, so we strongly suggest you contact us before your final balance payment is due should you require us to organise any additional service.
All our overseas tours include a minimum hold baggage allowance of 20kg. Additional baggage can be booked for you on request - please contact us for further details.
Our Gatwick arrangements include ‘Premium Security’, which helps you get from check-in to your lounge as comfortably and easily as possible. (Subject of course to availability).
Driving to the airport? Book secure car parking with us to save time and money; we offer trusted and good value airport parking services.
Staying the night before?
If you are staying overnight pre-flight, parking can be arranged either at your hotel or at a nearby long-stay car park, we will be pleased to discuss the options with you. Have a leisurely journey to the hotel and enjoy a good night's sleep, in the knowledge that your vehicle is secure.
Driving to the airport on the day of your flight?
If driving to the airport on the day of departure, we can arrange a secure car park close to the airport, with transfers to and from the terminal. Your car will be safe while you relax on holiday.
For extra convenience, you might consider one of these options;
Valet parking: Drive to a dedicated arrivals/departures area. When you arrive, your car will be parked for you, while you transfer to the airport. When you return to the car park, your vehicle will be waiting.
Meet and greet parking: No need to park your car! Simply drive to the terminal, meet your driver, and he/she will park it for you. On your return, make a call when you are ready to leave, and your car will be driven outside the terminal, so you can be on your way quickly.
Prefer to fly from your local airport? Some of our holidays depart from regional airports, and on others you can often join the rest of the holiday group in your destination country rather than in London. We are happy to arrange regional departures for any of our holidays, and will tailor flight options to your requirements.
Fancy some extra legroom or a reclining seat? On a long flight you might like a lie-flat bed, or perhaps personal service including complimentary drinks and meals? Seat and special meal requests are all part of our service. Heatherlea can offer great deals for Premium Economy and Business Class passengers with many airlines, all bookable instantly over the phone.
TAILOR MADE EXTENSIONS
Many of you plan other activity before or after your wildlife holiday, so why not let us arrange travel services for you? It’s quicker and easier than doing it yourself, and you will benefit from ATOL protection. Heatherlea can arrange extensions to all our overseas tours, including flights, hotels and transfers - let us know your requirements and we will do the rest!
QUALITY ASSURANCE – WHY CHOOSE HEATHERLEA?
Heatherlea have been organising holidays for over 26 years, and we have a highly experienced and capable team. All elements of our package holidays are sold under our ATOL licence (ATOL 6113), and our business partners include British Airways, Delta Airlines, Premier Inn and Hilton Hotels. Our specialist knowledge will help you get exactly the right services, at the best price. We offer all your airport needs with just one call, so to save time and money choose Heatherlea, your complete holiday provider.
The Heatherlea Pre-flight Service is designed to match your holiday needs as comprehensively as possible. We want everything to be smooth and easy for you, and all arrangements are made well in advance to give you maximum flexibility.
NO ADMIN FEES – THIS IS A FREE SERVICE FROM HEATHERLEA!
Book your holiday NOW !
All flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on this Certificate.
Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.
* A credit of £40 is available per holiday room booked. This means that two passengers sharing a room on the holiday will be credited with a total of £40. Each passenger in a single room will be credited with £40. This reflects the booking system at major airports, where charges are made per room, not per occupant.
NB This FREE airport hotel offer does not include breakfast, dinner or other hotel services, nor does it include transfers between your hotel and the airport or car parking. Offer does not apply where flights are not part of the holiday, or where we offer a price for voyage only. Please remember that you are responsible for your arrival at the airport in good time, and you should check transfer arrangements from the hotel on arrival.
Please note that while airport hotel and lounge services are booked for you in good faith, Heatherlea can make no guarantee of any services beyond our control. If you prefer to make your own arrangements, Heatherlea will offer credit subject to the conditions above, but will not be liable for any other refund or compensation. If you have dietary, access or other needs relating to these services, or have any other concern, we recommend you make arrangements in person.
With HEATHERLEA, the Birdbook is FREE!
Our unique Pre-flight Service offers you more, and for many destinations the leading bird book relevant to the holiday is included in your holiday price. With most of our holidays in the ‘Americas’ and ‘Rest of the world’ sections of our website, we include one copy of a field guide with each room booked. With some titles costing around £40, this is another benefit from Heatherlea which saves you money!
Heatherlea Guide Pete Cosgrove has reviewed all the bird books for our holidays, and recommends the most appropriate for your choice.
NEW! COMPLEMENTARY TIP WALLET containing cash for small tips
We all know there are times when you need a few dollars to pay incidental tips, so on our long-haul trips to Africa and Asia in 2019, we will give you this little wallet to help at the airport, at the hotel, and on other occasions where a dollar or two comes in handy. Each wallet will contain several single dollar bills to be used entirely at your discretion - keep it close to hand! Heatherlea remain responsible for major tips to hotels, though collections for drivers and guides are always appreciated of course!