A heatwave can be difficult at the best of times when you’re going about your everyday life. But what if you have a flight coming up and the temperatures show no sign of decreasing? Some people might be wondering what exactly the problem is here. It’s summer, after all. You’ll no doubt be flying to somewhere with similar temperatures. But when it comes to air travel it’s not quite as straightforward as that.
Here in the UK, a lot of our infrastructure isn’t designed to cope with this sort of heatwave. There is a lack of air conditioning on public transport and housing for starters, but when it comes to air travel, it can also cause flight disruption. In fact, it already has – there have been reports of extensive delays in flights leaving from Heathrow due to the extreme weather both here and on the continent. This has meant long waits at terminals along with extensive queuing, and even in air-conditioned surroundings, this can be at best inconvenient, at worst, detrimental to your health. We’ve discussed how to cope with travel disruption in a recent post, but here we’ll be looking a bit more at how to prepare if you think you’ll be waiting around to board your plane in a heatwave. Yes, the terminal may be air conditioned, but what about before you get there?
Getting to the Airport
If you’re looking at the weather forecast and wondering how on earth you’re going to cope on that bus, train or tube that you were planning on getting to the terminal, then maybe now is the time to adjust your plans a bit. There’s always the option of getting a taxi instead, but this may prove costly.
Booking airport parking at short notice can be a risk. For starters, you probably won’t have as much choice and it might be pricier than booking further in advance. But even so, it’s still well worth looking into. Finding cheap Heathrow Airport parking is possible if you use one of our online deals or codes, and there are now lots of parking providers offering discounts on meet and greet and park and ride services. This gives you a bit more flexibility when planning to leave for the airport, and you can’t get more cooling than driving with your windows down. Or indeed, with your air conditioning on. Beats standing on a hot train any day!
Hydration and What to Avoid
It goes without saying that you need to stay hydrated wherever you are in a heatwave. But when it comes to hanging around an airport, a few more things need to be taken into consideration. There are always going to be places you can buy bottled water, but if you’re carrying your own refillable bottle, then double check airline restrictions to see whether you can take it onboard – it may just be a case of emptying it beforehand, but you don’t want to risk losing an expensive one!
Waiting at an airport during a heatwave also means dispensing with some common airport habits. It’s advisable to avoid both caffeine and alcohol before you board. They will adversely affect your hydration and excessive caffeine can increase your heart rate so you may feel even hotter.
What to Wear When Travelling
There are two scenarios to consider here that overlap: what to wear in hot weather, and what to wear when you know you’ll be boarding a plane in hot weather. It’s always advisable to dress for comfort when travelling, and doubly so during a heatwave. What you might wear to the park on a sunny day isn’t necessarily what you should wear when getting on a plane in the summer (even if your destination is going to be scorching too). Avoid man-made fibres and stick to comfortable cottons – T-shirts and loose fitting trousers for example. If you suspect you’re going to be standing around at the airport for long periods, comfortable footwear is a must too. Flying in flip flops isn’t always a great idea (especially if you’re wearing compression socks!).
The prospect of travelling during a heatwave is never a nice one, but there are measures you can take to ease the discomfort. Here at Parking at Airports, we provide lots of parking offers and discounts for all major UK departure points if you want to ditch the sweaty public transport and even more delays.