FOI request detail

Oyster cards / Heathrow Airport

Request ID: FOI-0622-1920
Date published: 14 June 2019

You asked

Currently it is free of charge to travel on the Piccadilly Line around Heathrow Airport between T123/T4/T5 (including via Hatton Cross as long as you don't enter or exit the station there) but only if you have a Contactless Card or an Oyster Card to use. Additionally it is free of charge to travel on the Heathrow Express and TFL Rail around Heathrow Airport between T123/T4/T5 if you have a free blue paper ticket but passengers can also choose to use a Contactless Card or an Oyster Card instead. My questions are both about using an Oyster Card to travel for free on the Piccadilly Line services and about using an Oyster Card to travel for free on the Heathrow Express and TFL Rail services. If the policy is different for the Piccadilly Line services and for the Heathrow Express and TFL Rail services than please include details for both. I have the following questions in regards to what i have described above: • 1. Does the Oyster Card have to have money loaded on to it to work or will an empty Oyster Card with no money on it work? • 2. If it has to have money loaded on to it then what is the minimum amount of money that it has to have in order to work? • 3. Will an Oyster Card that is only loaded with a Bus & Tram Pass (weekly/monthly/annual) but not with any money work? • 4. Will an Oyster Card that is only loaded with a Travelcard (weekly/monthly/annual) that does not cover Z6 (for example a Z1 to Z5 version) but not with any money work? Many thanks for reading this and i look forward to your reply to my request.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-0622-1920

Thank you for your email of 30th May 2019 asking for information about travel around Heathrow Airport.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold the information you require.

Your questions are answered in turn below. You asked:

Currently it is free of charge to travel on the Piccadilly Line around Heathrow Airport between T123/T4/T5 (including via Hatton Cross as long as you don't enter or exit the station there) but only if you have a Contactless Card or an Oyster Card to use. Additionally it is free of charge to travel on the Heathrow Express and TFL Rail around Heathrow Airport between T123/T4/T5 if you have a free blue paper ticket but passengers can also choose to use a Contactless Card or an Oyster Card instead.

My questions are both about using an Oyster Card to travel for free on the Piccadilly Line services and about using an Oyster Card to travel for free on the Heathrow Express and TFL Rail services. If the policy is different for the Piccadilly Line services and for the Heathrow Express and TFL Rail services than please include details for both.

I have the following questions in regards to what I have described above:

1. Does the Oyster Card have to have money loaded on to it to work or will an empty Oyster Card with no money on it work?

Answer: For London Underground stations, a card with a zero or greater balance will work, one with a negative balance will not. For Heathrow Express and TfL Rail stations, the card does need money loaded on it (see answer to question 2).

2. If it has to have money loaded on to it then what is the minimum amount of money that it has to have in order to work?

Answer: For Heathrow Express and TfL Rail stations only, a balance of at least £6.20 peak or 6.00 off-peak is needed.

3. Will an Oyster Card that is only loaded with a Bus & Tram Pass (weekly/monthly/annual) but not with any money work?

Answer: For London Underground stations, yes. For Heathrow Express and TfL Rail stations, no.

4. Will an Oyster Card that is only loaded with a Travelcard (weekly/monthly/annual) that does not cover Z6 (for example a Z1 to Z5 version) but not with any money work?

Answer: For London Underground stations, yes. For Heathrow Express and TfL Rail stations, no.

If this is not the information you are looking for please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely,

David Wells

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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