please empty your brain below

Just out at Hatton Cross and then touch in using a different card, rather than needing to wait, would be enough to fool the system.

dg writes: brilliant, updated, thanks.
From where did you get the £1.90 fare:

"whereas from Earls Court one stop away the off-peak fare will only be £1.90."
Such a shame that buses are no longer part of the Heathrow free travel zone. However, it looks like it would still be cheaper to continue by bus from Hatton Cross.

Or if you really want to save money, get the bus from Hayes and Harlington or Feltham.
I though there was a notion to scrap the tunnel premium when TfL Rail took over Heathrow Connect, unless I got that completely wrong.
n.b. the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly line is closed this weekend, so a lot of this really starts tomorrow.
I am curious if there is a set time limit to be out of the Oyster system and then check back in.
Tom - from TfL’s single fare finder website.

It costs £1.90 to go from Earl’s Court to Heathrow in the off-peak hours.
Oyster doesn't need a gap between going out and back in again so long as you use gates (which Hatton Cross has), which can tell if you're coming or going by which side of the gate you are on. Validators are different as they're set to assume 2 quick taps are just a wobbly tap, generally far more likely than someone going out and back unless you encourage such behaviour by the way you set the fares...

Are you sure Hatton Cross wasn't already in the free travel area, but even less well publicised?
I suspect the “Hatton Shuttle” will become quite popular
Previously you could travel through Hatton Cross on a free journey, but not enter or leave the station.
Many metro systems around the world have a surcharge if you are going to the airport and they are usually higher than this. What is unusual about Heathrow is that the surcharge varies depending on which transport mode you use.
Paddington to Heathrow via the Elizabeth Line fare is £11.50 but other Zone 1 journeys are showing £12.80.
I'll set the over/under as to when someone puts a video on YouTube about this at 7pm on Monday 5th.
The Liz line surcharge is because the Heathrow tunnels (built for the Heathrow Express) are owned by the airport, not TfL or National Rail.

The Piccadilly Line to Heathrow is such a painful experience after a long flight, that I'll happily pay the extra to use the Liz.
We all have a different cost/convenience threshold.
You don’t need to spend any time “out of the system” as there is no OSI set at Hatton Cross. You can just tap straight back in. Useful if your Oyster card has a discount loaded.
Will railcard discounts still work correctly off peak, however?
There's a quirk of the fare table that if you start your journey in Zone 1 during Peak ... and you pass through Earls Court or Notting Hill Gate (Z1/2 boundary station) during Off Peak ... you should change there rather than at Hatton Cross
Independent travel how?

Z1-Earl's Court = 2.50
Earl's Court - Heathrow = 1.90
Total = 4.40

Z1-Hatton Cross = 3.40
Hatton Cross - Heathrow = FREE
Total = 3.40

Ah, the niche case of starting your journey in Z1 in the peak, then changing to continue from Earl's Court off-peak: so £2.50 + £1.90 = £4.40 vs £5 (Z1-Z5 peak), not £3.40 off-peak.
A dodge for many journeys, not just to Heathrow (and probably not just via Earl's Court).

I suspect there will be a sharp rise in passenger numbers at Hatton Cross station when the 2022-2023 tube station figures come out next year.
I'm not so sure there'll be that much of a change in numbers even if the Hatton Cross trick becomes well known - Heathrow workers likely live outside of Zone 1 anyway, and for passengers air travel is enough anxiety already without intentionally delaying your arrival (I just want to be checked in and past security ASAP) or return journey (reduced chance of getting a seat and luggage space if boarding after the airport terminals).
Agreed James. I don't see many people who are actually flying delaying their journeys to and from the airport by both taking the slower Tube option, and then breaking their journey, tapping in and out with their luggage.

If money was really tight, I wouldn't fly at all, or would go from a cheaper airport.
Heathrow Express sell advanced fares, so if you know the day you're travelling (not the exact train like other operators) you can get a single from Paddington to Heathrow for as little as... £5.50.
I have no sympathy whatsoever for airline passengers who have such a small increase in their fares.

If you can afford to fly (in cash as well as environmental terms) you can afford a couple of quid more to get to the airport.

If you work at LHR you couldn't afford to live in Zone 1.
And just like that (unsurprisingly) this is now a MyLondon article...
ITV News has credited you here.
Not everyone who flies is made of money. There are plenty of people who scrimp and save to be able to afford a flight to visit family or for other personal reasons. And there are some, like me, who work overseas and are in the incredibly fortunate position that their employer pays for flights home once a year.
The higher Heathrow fares apply not only to journeys starting/ending in Zone 1, but any journey defined as going through Zone 1. So, even if a LHR worker “couldn’t afford to live in Zone 1”, he/she may live in north or east London, and thus find himself/herself having to reconsider travel options to avoid Zone 1.
Not everyone who flies is made of money

It's a couple of quid for goodness sake; if you're flying you'll be forced to spend more than that to buy a small bottle of water after security!!!

It really isn't that much of a deal. The price of a pack of butter has gone up more in the last 6 months...
Is anyone able to confirm whether you'll still be able to obtain the 1/3 railcard discount if you happen to tap in at 'off-peak' times?
How does a paper ticket work with all of this? I often buy one when in London just because I don't like the idea of being tracked everywhere (and because the powers that be would presumably absolutely love to get rid of paper tickets altogether).
If you insist on going incognito you've already paid a 30% premium for your paper ticket, so you won't be saving any money by splitting your tube journey.
I think I've hit upon a bit of a niche edge case: if you a Railcard that you haven't/can't attach to your Oyster card, a discounted Z1-6 one day Travelcard can be cheaper than a single PAYG fare on the Elizabeth line.

For example, I've got a Friends & Family Railcard, and even though I've got to buy one child ticket (for a child who would travel free on TfL services anyway), it's a small saving; if you include the bus to the station it's a couple of quid, which just about outweighs the effort of getting a paper ticket.

Two adults with a Two Together Railcard or one with a Network Railcard (at the weekend) would be able to be even more smug that they'd beat the system in a small, meaningless way.

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