Thai Airways & Turkish Airlines delay move to Terminal 2

London Air Travel » London Heathrow

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Things had appeared to be going well with the opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 with United Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, and ANA now ensconced in the terminal and no sign of a repeat of the disastrous opening of Terminal 5 in 2008.

However, gremlins seem to have emerged.

There was a baggage system failure affecting passengers at Terminal 2 last week. For reasons we don’t entirely understand Terminal 2 is using Terminal 1’s baggage system.

And we don’t know if this is connected, but there have been very well publicised intermittent problems with the baggage system at Terminal 5 caused by software issues over the past few days.

To allow further testing of the baggage system, Thai Airways Turkish Airlines’ moves from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 tomorrow (2 July 2014) has been postponed until Thursday 28 August 2014.
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Heathrow Terminal 2 opens on 4 June 2014 with United

London Air Travel » London Heathrow

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Heathrow Terminal 2 “The Queen’s Terminal” opens to the public next week, on 4 June 2014.

The new terminal, the first to open since Terminal 5 in 2008, has been designed by Luis Vidal + Architects.

It will house all Star Alliance member airlines at London Heathrow who are currently split across Terminals 1, 3 and 4. These include United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Swiss and Air New Zealand.

The terminal will also house non-alliance members Germanwings (a subsidiary of Lufthansa) and Aer Lingus, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s domestic “Little Red” flights to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

United Airlines is the first airline to move into the terminal, consolidating its operations in Terminals 1 (Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco & Washington) and 4 (New York Newark, Houston).

The first flight to arrive at the terminal will be United Airlines flight UA858 from Chicago at 05:55.

The first flight to depart from the terminal will be United Airlines flight UA123 to Washington at 07:30, followed by United Airlines flight UA929 to Chicago – two of seventeen flights due to leave that day.

United Airlines will also have two departure lounges for eligible passengers: A United Club and United Global First Lounge. The lounges will feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the airfield and will offer complimentary food & drink and Wi-Fi in addition to business facilities and shower suites.

We also understand that Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines will have their own lounges for eligible passengers.

One point of interest is that there will be a paid for access Plaza Premium Lounge for passengers who do not have lounge access by virtue of their ticket type or frequent flyer status. The lack of such a lounge in Terminal 5 is a regular comment we hear.

Like Terminal 5, public art features prominently in the terminal.   The consultancy FutureCity has commissioned sculptor Richard Wilson MBA to produce a 70m long sculpture “Slipstream” which was officially unveiled on 23 April.

Of course, this being Heathrow, significant attention has been given to the retail offer in the terminal. The full list of retailers has been published. As well as the standard UK airport fare, two noteworthy tenants are John Lewis and the “Perfectionist’s Cafe” by Heston Blumenthal.

Lessons have been learned from the opening of Terminal 5 in the move of airlines will take place in phases over six months. Air Canada, ANA and Air China will follow United Airlines on 16 June 2014.

As a consequence of the move, Terminal 1 is expected to close in 2016. British Airways will consolidate its operations that are currently across Terminals 1, 3 and 5, into Terminals 3 and 5 in 2015.

Heathrow airport has provided a brochure to promote the new terminal and more information is also available on the Heathrow airport website.

Heathrow Express – Discounts, offer codes and promotions

One of the many frequent complaints about Heathrow airport is the cost of travelling to the airport by train from London Paddington.

Whilst there is the option of taking The Tube, the journey on the Piccadilly Line (best described as one long baggage carousel) is long, prone to delays and over-crowding. The carriages are ill-suited to carrying large amounts of luggage and the overland parts of the journey are anything but scenic.

That only leaves (until Crossrail opens in 2018 at least) the Heathrow Express from London Paddington to Heathrow Central (for Terminals 1 and 3 and interchange to Terminal 4) and Heathrow Terminal 5. However, at a cost of £20 for a single ticket or £34 for a return ticket for a 15-20 minute journey (and more if you buy on board!), it must rank as one of the most expensive train journeys per minute in the world!

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Richard Wilson’s “Slipstream” is unveiled at Heathrow Terminal 2

London Air Travel » London Heathrow

Richard Wilson’s new artwork ‘Slipstream’ was unveiled at Terminal 2 of Heathrow airport on today.

The aluminum sculpture is suspended 18 metres above the ground, weighs 77 tonnes and is 78 metres in length. It is inspired by the flight path of a stunt plane. The sculpture was commissioned by the consultancy FutureCity.

Terminal 2 opens on Wednesday 4 June 2014 and will be officially opened by The Queen on Monday 23 June.

Embed from Getty Images

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Heathrow Terminal 2 opens in three months’ time on 4 June 2014

London Air Travel » London Heathrow

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

If you’ve flown through London Heathrow recently you couldn’t have failed to notice the progress in the building of Terminal 2, “The Queen’s Terminal”, which opens in three months from today, on 4 June 2014.

The new terminal, the first to open since Terminal 5 in 2008, has been designed by Luis Vidal + Architects.

It will house all Star Alliance member airlines at London Heathrow who are currently split across Terminals 1, 3 and 4. These include United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Swiss and Air New Zealand.

The terminal will also house non-alliance members Germanwings (a subsidiary of Lufthansa) and Aer Lingus, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s domestic “Little Red” flights to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

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A quick reminder that “Airport Live” starts on BBC2 tonight at 8pm

London Air Travel » London Heathrow

Airport Live presenters, Dallas Campbell, Anita Rani, Dan Snow - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie
Airport Live presenters, Dallas Campbell, Anita Rani, Dan Snow – (C) BBC – Photographer: Des Willie

As mentioned previously, the BBC is to go behind the scenes at London Heathrow airport from today with “Airport Live” which is on BBC2 from 8pm.

Over four consecutive nights, the BBC will be live from the control tower and airport terminals of London Heathrow. There are already a number of preview clips on programme website.

The track record of prime time television programmes on air travel is not good, with a particular tendency to learn towards sensationalism about air safety. However, “Airport Live” is produced in conjunction with The Open University to fulfil the University’s own course requirements, so it should be relatively informative and worth “setting the video” for.

All four programmes will also be available on demand the BBC iPlayer. However, for viewers outside the UK, I’m afraid I don’t think there won’t be any official means of watching “Airport Live”.

London Heathrow Terminal 2 to open on 4 June 2014

London Air Travel » London Heathrow

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Heathrow Airport has today confirmed that London Heathrow airport’s newest terminal, Terminal 2, will open to the public on 4 June 2014.

The new terminal will house all Star Alliance member airlines at London Heathrow. These include United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Swiss and Air New Zealand.

The terminal will also house non-alliance members Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, and Aer Lingus, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s new domestic operation, Little Red.

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Heathrow to offer free WiFi to all passengers from Saturday 1 June 2014

London Air Travel » London Heathrow

London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Passengers travelling through all four of the current operational terminals at Heathrow will be able to access complimentary WiFi provided by the airport operator from Saturday 1 June 2014.

Access to the complimentary service is limited to 45 minutes a day. However, members of the Heathrow Rewards loyalty programme, formerly known as BAA Worldpoints, will be able to access the service for 90 minutes a day.

Registration for Heathrow Rewards is free and is clearly worth it just for the free WiFi.

BBC2 to go behind the scenes at Heathrow with “Airport Live”

London Air Travel » London Heathrow

Airport Live presenters, Dallas Campbell, Anita Rani, Dan Snow - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie
Airport Live presenters, Dallas Campbell, Anita Rani, Dan Snow – (C) BBC – Photographer: Des Willie

The BBC has announced that it is to go behind the scenes at London Heathrow airport next month with “Airport Live”.

Over four consecutive nights from Monday 17 June 2013 to Thursday 20 June 2013, the BBC will be live from the control tower and airport terminals of London Heathrow.

This is not the first time the BBC has done such an exercise. Many readers will no doubt recall the long running fly on the wall documentary “Airport”.

Whilst “Airport” was very much focused on the work of a small number of individual staff members and passengers’ stories, it seems that “Airport Live” will lean more towards the mechanics and challenges of the daily airport operation. The BBC promises unprecedented access to air traffic control, airport terminals and airport hangars, to monitor the entire airport operation through a combination of pre-recorded segments and live footage (though I assume certain areas are bound to be off limits for security reasons).

It is understood that BA will be actively participating in the programme. This is noteworthy in itself as BA has, in the past, not been known for being willing to open itself up the media.

Full details of the production are available in this BBC Press Release.