The Queen officially opened Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 on Friday with a glowing seal of approval. The news reminded me that I was planning to write a series of blog posts about the how the new Terminal affects passengers to Heathrow airport.
As you may already know, Terminal 5 will be exclusively used by our partner British Airways. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek last month and, despite it not yet being quite the finished article, I was really excited. With passengers passing through the terminal from the 27th of March, what can you expect? Well, according to BA, it will bring the joy back into travelling!
Firstly, looks. Expect some stunning architecture. And the transport links are fantastic too with a specially constructed infrastructure. This includes a six platform rail station (with extensions to Heathrow Express and the London Underground’s Piccadilly Line) and a 3,800 space car park facility (which Rob was blogging about excitedly back in November).
The check-in area on the top floor of Terminal 5A includes a vast 96 self-service kiosks, over 90 fast bag drop-offs and 54 standard check-in desks. The baggage system uses hoists instead of the traditional baggage belts which means dropping off your luggage now forms a seamless part of your journey through departures (it is also a system that can handle over a staggering 12,000 bags an hour!). Your subsequent trip through security should be equally stress-free (and expect the same experience in arrivals too).
The BAA are also pushing the envelope with their airside retail area including the first airport restaurant from Michelin starred celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and Tiffany & Co.’s first European airport boutique. And if you’re lucky enough to be flying the right class or happen to be the right Executive Club level… well the Galleries First, Galleries Club and Concorde Rooms really to do put the enjoyment back into travel. If you would like to know more then I would suggest taking the tour on the dedicated area of the BA website. The facilities are amazing and I am expecting some very good food and wine!
To sum up, I’d say that the BAA really are pioneering the future of travel here. As far as I am concerned BA are right, it really does put the joy back into travelling!