England's Georgia Stanway says she had no idea fans were waiting at the airport for the Lionesses' return from the World Cup final in Australia.
Fans waited in the terminal to greet the team, who left the airport without going through the arrivals area.
BBC Sport understands this is the normal process when the men's and women's team exit an airport.
Stanway says she only knew of fans' disappointment at not seeing their heroes on social media.
The players landed at Heathrow airport on Tuesday morning following their 1-0 defeat by Spain on Sunday..
"I had no idea until afterwards when we got back on the coach and I saw a few Tweets saying they were disappointed not to see us," Stanway told ITV's This Morning.
"That is hard for us because we want to give back to the fans as much as possible but I guess the FA have a job to look after us.
"After that flight, they probably wanted us to get out of the back door and get our heads down as quickly as possible but we want the opportunity to connect with fans so we will do that on social media.
"We have another camp in three or four weeks' time so there will be an opportunity to see the fans there."