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Information for the traveler on a flight to London

Aids helpline:  tel 0800/567123.

Airlines:  Aer Lingus tel 0645/737747 (; Aeroflot tel 020/7355 2233 (; Air France tel 0845/084 5111 (; Alitalia tel 0870/544 8259 (; American Airlines tel 08457/789789 (; British Airways tel 08457/222111 (; Buzz tel 0870/240 7070 (; Canadian Airlines tel 020/8577 7722 (; Delta tel 0800/414767 (; EasyJet tel 0870/600 0000 (; Go tel 0845/605 4321 (; KLM tel 0870/575 0900 (; Lufthansa tel 08457/737747 (; Qantas 08457/747767 (; Ryanair tel 0541/569569 (; United Airlines tel 0845/844 4777 (; Virgin tel 01293/747747 (

Airport enquiries:  Gatwick tel 01293/535353 (; Heathrow tel 0870/000 0123 (; London City Airport tel 020/7646 0000 (; Luton tel 01582/405100 (; Stansted tel 01279/680500 (

American Express:  30-31 Haymarket, SW1 tel 020/7484 9600; Mon-Sat 9am-6.30pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Piccadilly Circus.

Banks:  Opening hours for most banks are Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm, with some staying open half an hour later, and some high street branches opening on Saturday mornings.

Bike rental:  Bikepark, 14 Stukeley St tel 020/7430 0083; Mon-Fri 8.30am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm Covent Garden. There's also a branch at 151 Sydney St, SW3 (tel 020/7565 0777), which is open on Sundays.

Consulates and Embassies:  Australia, Australia House, Strand, WC2 tel 020/7379 4334 (; Canada, MacDonald House, 1 Grosvenor Square, W1 tel 020/7258 6600 (; Ireland, 17 Grosvenor Place, SW1 tel 020/7235 2171; New Zealand, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, SW1 tel 020/7930 8422 (; South Africa, South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, WC2 tel 020/7451 7299 (; USA, 24 Grosvenor Square, W1 tel 020/7499 9000 (

Cultural Institutes:  French Institute, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 tel 020/7838 2144 (; Goethe Institute, Princes Gate, Exhibition Rd, SW7 tel 020/7596 4000 (; Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square, SW1 tel 020/7235 1461 (

Dentists emergency treatment: Guy's Hospital, St Thomas St, SE1 tel 020/7955 4317 (Mon-Fri 8.45am-3.30pm).

Electricity:  Electricity supply in London conforms to the EU standard of approximately 230V.

Emergencies:  For police, fire and ambulance services, call 999.

Hospital:  For 24hr accident and emergency: Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Rd, W6 tel 020/8846 1234; Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham Rd, SW10 tel 020/8746 8000; Royal Free Hospital, Pond St, NW3 tel 020/7794 0500; Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Rd, E1 tel 020/7377 7000; St Mary's Hospital, Praed St, W2 tel 020/7886 6666; University College Hospital, Grafton Way, WC1 tel 020/7387 9300; Whittington Hospital, Highgate Hill, N19 tel 020/7272 3070.

Laundry:  There are self-service launderettes all over London. Duds'n'Suds is a good central outfit with TV, pool and pinball: 49-51 Brunswick Shopping Centre, WC1 tel 020/7837 1122 (Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat & Sun 8am-8pm; Russell Square).

Left luggage airports: Gatwick; North Terminal tel 01293/502013 (daily 6am-10pm); South Terminal tel 01293/502014 (24hr). Heathrow: Terminal 1 tel 020/8745 5301 (daily 6am-11pm); Terminal 2 tel 020/8745 4599 (daily 6am-10.30pm); Terminal 3 tel 020/8759 3344 (daily 5.30am-10.30pm); Terminal 4 tel 020/8745 7460 (daily 5.30am-11pm). London City Airport tel 020/7646 0000 (daily 6.30am-10pm). Stansted Airport tel 01279/680500 (24hr). TRAIN STATIONS Charing Cross tel 020/7839 4282 (daily 7am-11pm); Euston tel 020/7320 0528 (Mon-Sat 6.45am-11.15pm, Sun 7.15am-11pm); Victoria tel 020/7928 5151 ext 27523 (daily 7am-10.15pm, plus lockers); Waterloo International tel 020/7928 5151 (Mon-Fri 4am-11pm, Sat & Sun 6am-11pm).

Lost property airports:  Gatwick tel 01293/503162 (daily 7.30am-5.30pm); Heathrow tel 020/8745 7727 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat & Sun 8am-4pm); London City Airport tel 020/7646 0000 (Mon-Fri 6am-9.30pm, Sat 6am-1am, Sun 10.30am-9.30pm); Stansted tel 01279/680500 (daily 5.30am-11pm). BUSES tel 020/7222 1234. HEATHROW EXPRESS tel 020/8745 7727. TAXIS (black cabs only) tel 020/7833 0996. TRAIN STATIONS Euston tel 020/7922 6477 (Mon-Sat 6.45am-11pm, Sun 7.15am-11pm); King's Cross tel 020/7922 9081 (daily 8am-7.45pm); Liverpool Street tel 020/7928 9158 (Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat & Sun 7am-2pm); Paddington tel 020/7313 1514 (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm); Victoria tel 020/7922 9887 (Mon-Fri 7.30am-10pm); Waterloo tel 020/7401 7861 (Mon-Fri 7.30am-8pm). TUBE TRAINS London Regional Transport tel 020/7486 2496.

Motorbike rental:  Scootabout, 1-3 Leeke St, WC1 tel 020/7833 4607; Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm.

Police: Central police stations include: Charing Cross, Agar St, WC2 tel 020/7240 1212; Holborn, 70 Theobalds Rd, WC1 tel 020/7404 1212; King's Cross, 76 King's Cross Rd, WC1 tel 020/7704 1212; Tottenham Court Road, 56 Tottenham Court Rd, W1 tel 020/7637 1212; West End Central, 10 Vine St, W1 tel 020/7437 1212. City of London Police, Bishopsgate, EC2 tel 020/7601 2222.

Postal services:  The only late-opening post office is the Trafalgar Square branch at 24-28 William IV St, WC2 4DL tel 020/7484 9304 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-8pm); it's also the city's poste restante collection point. For general postal enquiries phone 08457/740740, or visit the Web site:

Police holidays: January 1, Good Friday, Easter Monday, First Monday in May, Last Monday in May, Last Monday in August, December 25, December 26; if January 1, December 25 or 26 fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the holiday falls on the following weekday.

Telephones:  A variety of companies have public payphones on the street, the largest one being British Telecom (BT). Most phones take all coins from 10p upwards, though some only take phonecards, available from post offices and newsagents, and/or credit cards. International calls can be made from any phonebox, by dialling 00, then the country code; to reach the operator, phone 100, or for the international operator phone 155. London phone codes changed in 2000, and all London numbers are now prefixed by the new area code 020. The old 0171 numbers are now prefixed with a 7, while 0181 numbers have an 8 in front of them.

Time:  Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is used from October to March; for the rest of the year the country switches to British Summer Time (BST), one hour ahead of GMT.

Train enquiries:  For national train enquiries, call 08457/484950.

Flight to London

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With a population of just under eight million, London is Europe's largest city, spreading over 620 square miles from its centre on the River Thames.  It is Europe's most diverse metropolis: around two hundred languages are spoken and more than thirty percent of the population is made up of first, second and third generation immigrants.
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