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LAX just launched a private terminal for the uber wealthy. $4000 to go through this terminal instead of where all the “plebs” transit. Seems a slight bit ridiculous to do this, considering you would be in the first class lounge anyway if you went through the regular terminal. But, you know how the rich are, if you can pay for something to set you apart, you will.
A brief reminder: this website is all about Heathrow, London, and Air Travel and so we are incorporating this news from abroad to help give Heathrow users and Londoners perspective.
Could such a thing be heading Heathrow’s way? With the expansion plans underway we would know by now if such a thing will happen but for me, it’s less about having the wealth in the UK to generate traffic through this, but more about culture. Americans love their wealth and love to flaunt it; a rich Brit is almost the opposite: slightly ashamed and desperately wanting to fit in and be normal, utterly hating the idea that people would think he or she would assume they are better than the rest. And that is why we love Britain, and the UK, and its people. Also, I am half British, so I am totally biased, just saying.
So much progress has been made in the Airline industry in previous decades that I think what is needed rather is an education of sorts. Educate the people who are waiting in a queue, or at an airport to do two quite paradoxical things:
- Appreciate how far travel has come. How fast, how far, how safe, how incredible it is. That it’s much, much better than ever before and it literally transports you better than any other experience (bar train travel, but that won’t get you over an ocean). Show this visually, demonstrate it with old videos, and safety stats.
- And then secondly, occupy people’s time at the airport. Help them absolutely love it. I personally can’t spend enough time at an airport – there are heaps and heaps of fascinating things to do there – it reminds me of one of my favourite essays by GK Chesterton, most especially the part of ‘small boy complain of having to hang about a railway station and wait for a train’, go and read it here. Get people to love the experience, to write about it, to visit the airport as an excursion, to make it far, far apart from a glorified bus station into a wide-eyed wonderment of modern engineering. A spectacle! I’d far rather go watch planes take off than opera, or a sports match – it’s a modern miracle that we can fly!
All this to say, LAX has started a trend, and it is one that will unlikely be followed by the likes of Dubai and Hong Kong and such, but doubtfully here in the UK. And for that, I am very grateful.
I am so sad to hear of the recent Ethiopian Airlines tragedy. Another in five months, but how many 737’s have gone down in fifty years? I feel the stats aren’t too kind to Boeing when the newspapers put it in the “five months” category but over time (and the huge amount of flights per day) it isn’t perhaps all that bad. Tragic, yes; but statistically… I am not so sure.
Reading this article on The Guardian made me wonder we all know Boeing will survive; it is likely state backed. Surely it is?! Without them it would just be Airbus (and super-dodgy Chinese planes) and we all know that the world needs perfect competition.
Every now and then I buy The Monocle. An expensive magazine, and full of things I cannot afford, it is a rare treat. However, for my annual leave this year I departed with nine books, a full copy (or two) of the FT, and The Monocle. I devoured each page and each article but I truly loved this editions insert – a really super brochure on Turkish Airlines, and their recent “revamp”. They are really going full out!
I read a little more on it here, and my wife (a marketing whizz) said that Turkish Airlines (let’s call them TA) would pay a huge fortune to have such a feature. I wondered why, but, after reading through it I am now a huge fan of the airline! They are set to have the biggest (or close to) the biggest hub in the world, and their east meets west geography has this psychological effect on you: namely that it literally does bridge east and west and that is just what an aeroplane is meant to do: connect those two worlds.
I’ve always loved the East. And the West. And even the Middle East. Now I feel I can love it all when in Istanbul – they say the city is like a New York meets the Middle East – as the city spans so much archaic culture yet is so modern and vibrant. I will have to see for myself one day…
That said, I was dreaming about a dream job (as one does at 4pm in the work day) and figured that being the Marketing Director for a huge firm like Turkish Airlines would be epic! Ethiopian Airlines, Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, BA – one of the big ones, that would be a dream. However, with this Monocle insert I can see that the person at the helm is already a very wise marketing guru and for now all I can do is learn and grow in my skills. One day I will have my chance but until then I shall just be in awe of the airline industry and continue with this here blog.
Don’t allow long layovers and flights to derail your diet. A healthy traveller is a happy traveller, and greasy fast-food or vending machine snacks don’t have to be your go-to meals.
Today’s Love your layover series article features some of the best healthy food delights Heathrow Airport has to offer. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, allergic, or intolerant, Heathrow has something to offer. Here are our top picks:
Pret A Manger
This health conscious, sustainability-focused fresh food store is any health foodie’s dream. They prepare their food on-site daily, which guarantees its freshness. Pret offers a wide range of vegetarian, vegan, wheat- and gluten-free options (including vegan desserts and snacks!). They serve coffees and other warm drinks, juices, smoothies, wraps, salads, sandwiches, baked treats, and hot and cold breakfast items.
Where to find them:
- Terminal 3 (before security): Opening hours: 06:00-22:00.
- Terminal 4 (after security): Opening hours 06:00-21:00.
- Terminal 5 (after security): Opening hours 05:00-last departing flight.
If you love Asian-inspired food, look no further than Itsu. Founded in Chelsea, London in 1997, Itsu is all about fresh, nutritious meals on the go. They offer plenty of gluten-free options, as well as low-carb, vegan, and vegetarian meals and snacks. Think sushi, Asian bowls, noodles, soups, smoothies, and breakfast pots. Their food is freshly-prepared every day, and to minimise waste, they sell many dishes at half price before closing time. Bonus!
View their menu here.
Where to find them:
- Terminal 5 (after security): 04:30-last departing flight
EAT offers a wide variety of freshly-prepared foods that taste good and leave you feeling good. With an emphasis on using seasonal produce, many of their menu items change weekly and seasonally. They serve coffees, soups, hot pots, sandwiches, salads, breakfast pots and porridges, and hot and cold drinks. Their menu also offers several vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
View their menu here.
Where to find them:
- Terminal 2 (after security): Opening hours: 05:00-last departing flight
- Terminal 3 (after security): Opening hours: 05:00-21:00
The best part? All three of the above outlets offer in-flight picnic services, so that you can enjoy fresh, healthy food throughout your flight. Visit the Heathrow Airport website for more details.
If you’re planning a trip to London, you’ll be pleased to know that the city offers plenty of transport options to get you from point A to B. London’s well-developed public transport network means that there is no need to hire a private car. In fact, due to high volumes of inner city traffic and limited parking, we wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, whether you plan to visit for business or pleasure, keep your London trip as stress-free and time-efficient as possible by trying one of the city’s many great public transport options:
More commonly known as “The Tube”, London’s underground is a modern rapid public transit system that originates from the Metropolitan Railway, one of the world’s oldest metro networks and the oldest underground railway. The Metropolitan Railway started operating in 1863, and today the Underground boasts 270 stations, 11 lines and 402km of track. Interestingly, only 45% of the Underground is actually underground, with the rest of the track running above the ground.
Underground stations are located throughout the city and are readily accessible by taking a quick walk. Most lines operate from 5am to midnight, and certain lines that form part of the Night Tube run for 24 hours.
The Underground can get you to most destinations within London city, but if you are looking to travel out of the city, the Tube is not your best option.
If you are planning on using the Tube frequently during your visit, we recommend getting an Oyster card for the most cost-effective Underground experience. To save even more time, you could get a visitor Oyster card preloaded with travelling credit delivered straight to your door before you leave for London.
- London Overground
The Overground is similar to the Underground, but as the name suggests, it runs completely above ground. It was launched in 2007 with the aim of connecting travellers to more locations outside of central London.
According to Arriva Rail London, the operator that runs the underground on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), 30% of Londoners are less than a 15 minute walk away from an Overground station. There are currently six routes that cover approximately 167km of track:
- Richmond and Clapham Junction to Stratford
- Watford Junction to Euston
- Gospel Oak to Barking
- Highbury & Islington to New Cross, Clapham Junction, Crystal Palace and West Croydon
- Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford
- Romford to Upminster
The Overground follows the same pricing structure and zoning as the Underground, and you can use your Oyster Card to pay for trips.
London’s classic red buses are certainly one of the city’s most iconic modes of transport. As a bonus, their slower travelling pace and the fact that they actually use the roads allows you to enjoy more sights on your way. The downside of this, however, is that bus travellers are at the mercy of London’s traffic, which means they aren’t the best option if you are in a hurry to get somewhere.
Many bus routes run 24 hours a day, which also makes them a convenient, affordable option for late night travelling. Night buses run less frequently than daytime buses. Once in london, you can find out more about night bus schedules at Trafalgar Square – the night bus hub.
You have to use either an Oyster card or contactless card to pay for bus rides – no cash allowed.
As a fun and active alternative to motorised transport, you can hire a bicycle to make your way across town. Santander Cycles is London’s official cycle hire scheme, and from as little as £2 you can hire a bike for 24 hours. Within that 24 hour period, you can make as many cycling journeys from different docking stations as you wish, and the first 30 minutes of each journey is included in the £2 fee. If any journey exceeds 30 minutes, you will be charged an additional £2 for that journey.
There are over 11,000 bikes and 70 docking stations around London. This means you can enjoy sightseeing across multiple locations for a minimal fee, and enjoy the outdoors at the same time. The bikes are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You can hire bikes at the docking stations using a bank card, or download the official Santander Cycles app to hire a bicycle directly from your smartphone.
The above transport options are user-friendly and when used in combination, cover a large part of the greater London area. Of course, a city as big and busy as London has many other transport options to offer. Some additional options to explore include:
And if all else fails, the city’s safe, pedestrian-friendly layout makes walking an enjoyable (and free) option too!
If you’re looking to visit England odds are you’ll be arriving in our nation via one of the world’s biggest and busiest airports, Heathrow Airport (Also known as London Heathrow) is here to handle all of your travel needs as you arrive in the United Kingdom. No matter if you’re planning on staying in England or taking the Chunnel to get to France and the rest of Europe, or you’re planning on visiting the rest of the UK, making your way through Heathrow will almost assuredly be part of the adventure. Beginning as an airstrip in the 1920s Heathrow has grown and become one of the key international airports in the world.
When you visit Heathrow Airport you’ll have tons of dining options to allow you to fly on a full belly. With coffee shops from Café Nero to Starbucks offering all their trademark options for all your caffeinated beverage needs to plenty of British pubs that offer you beer and food in the style that the Brits are known. From restaurants overseen by Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal to juice bars that serve hot dogs, to top-end sushi you’ll find just about anything and everything when you’re looking for a meal at Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow Airport also had a massive amount of stores for all your shopping needs. You can find all sorts of duty free products for purchase as you wait for your flight to arrive. If you need your currency exchanged for trips abroad, or you are looking to get some British Pounds before heading into London you’ll be able to handle these exchanges with no problem at all at Travelex. If you’re looking for something to read on your flight the Bookshop by WH Smith will give you plenty of options from current best sellers, classics, to magazines and newspapers they have all the bases covered. Be sure to stop by the Harry Potter shop to get your kids all the Hogwarts themed souvenirs they’ve been begging you for. If you’re looking for some fun while you’re killing time check out Voyager Entertainment and enjoy some video games or try your luck on some fruit machines.
If you’ve more than a few hours before your flight you should stop by Windsor Castle and check out this incredible piece of British history. The site of the most recent Royal Wedding Windsor Castle has stood since the 11th century and while it’s been constantly renovated it still maintains much of that ancient history. Heathrow Airport offers transportation to and from Windsor Castle allowing you to plan your sightseeing trip without worrying about missing your flight.
If castles aren’t your thing you could always check out Legoland. This part has all sorts of rides and Lego-based displays for you and your family to enjoy. Try to get a high score on the Kingdom of the Pharaohs ride. Cool off on the rides on the Pirate Shores and take in all the different major cities in the world in miniature form at Miniland.
No matter what you’re planning on doing, Heathrow Airport is here to make your experience a positive one.
Who says airports have to be boring? Love your layover is a series of articles aimed at uncovering the fun activities that Heathrow Airport has to offer. Instead of dreading the long waits between flights, make the most of your time by exploring Heathrow. You may be pleasantly surprised!
In this first instalment of our Love your layover series, we feature some of the most interesting shopping experiences Heathrow has to offer.
Given Heathrow’s sheer size and the number of retail outlets in the airport, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that you are strolling through a shopping mall. But…we know you can shop at home too, and might be thinking, “Do I really need another dress, magazine or travel pillow?”
So if you’re looking to combine entertainment and shopping in one experience, why not visit one of these novel stores during your layover:
- Glorious Britain
This quintessentially British store boasts a wide range of souvenirs, including merchandise from British icons such as The Royal Family and The Beatles. Here you will find anything from British-themed keyrings, hats, t-shirts, and pens, to wallets, soft toys, baby clothes, and even pet toys. Even if you don’t walk out of this store with a single thing, the experience is sure to put a smile on your face.
Where to find them:
- Terminal 3 (before and after security): Opening hours: 05:30-last departing flight.
- Terminal 4 (after security): Opening hours 5:30-22:00.
- Terminal 5 (after security): Opening hours 5:30-last departing flight.
- World of Whiskeys
With over 250 whiskies to choose from, World of Whiskies is a treat for both the connoisseur and casual whiskey drinker.
The store offers limited edition, vintage, rare, and exclusive whiskies, as well as a wide range of single malts, single grain and pure malts, blends, and bourbons. You can even take your tastebuds on an adventure by trying out different whiskeys at their dedicated tasting bar, where expertly trained staff will assist you to find the perfect whiskey.
Where to find them:
- Terminal 2 (after security): Opening hours: 5:00-22:30
- Terminal 3 (after security): Opening hours: 6:00-22:00
- Terminal 4 (after security): Opening hours: 5:30-22:00
- Terminal 5 (after security): Opening hours: 5:30-last departing flight
- The Bookshop by WHSmith
Attention bookworms – this one’s for you. If you can think of nothing better than spending your layover getting lost in a world of books, look no further than The Bookshop.
The Bookshop is a far cry from the traditional WHSmith experience. Each store employs avid book-lovers with specialist knowledge to assist customers and make recommendations. There is also a strong focus on backlist titles, and the store offers a wide range of bestsellers in categories ranging from fiction and business, to children’s books and autobiographies.
Where to find them:
- Terminal 3 (after security): Opening hours: 06:00-22:00
- Terminal 4 (after security): Opening hours: 06:00-22:00
- Terminal 5 (after security): Opening hours: 06:00-22:00
- The Harry Potter Shop
If you wish your parents had sent you to Hogwarts, The Harry Potter Shop is the perfect layover stop for you. The store stocks themed items from J.K. Rowling’s works (including Merchandise from her West End hit Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts One and Two, and the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
For all your Harry Potter collectables, accessories, gifts, and apparel, this is your go-to place at Heathrow Airport.
Where to find them:
- Terminal 5 (after security): Opening hours: 05:30-22:00
If the above options don’t tickle your fancy, you could always take your kids to Hamley’s Toy Store (one of the most famous in the world), try some decadent macaroons and chocolates at L’Orchidee, or indulge in luxury caviar and champagne at Caviar House & Prunier.
Whatever you choose to do, you’ll certainly enjoy a unique shopping experience at Heathrow Airport.
Lights, cameras…boarding passes!
When visiting Heathrow Airport, it’s easy to imagine that you’ve stepped into a movie scene. Flashbacks of Die Another Day might run through your mind, or, if you’re more romantically inclined, recalling the famous airport scene in Love Actually may make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Heathrow has proudly held the title of “World’s Second Busiest Airport” since 2014, and Hollywood casts and crews certainly contribute to this bustling international airport’s impressive title.
As a tribute to Heathrow’s buzzing atmosphere (and prestigious title), we’ve rounded up the top 3 action-packed Hollywood movies featuring famous British and Hollywood actors filmed at Heathrow Airport:
- Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
- Hollywood star: Tom Cruise
- British star: Emily Blunt
In this action-packed thriller, Major William Cage (Cruise) and Special Forces agent Rita Vrataski (Blunt) are tasked with fighting off an invading alien race. There’s only one catch – they are stuck in a time-loop, forced to relive the same battle and die over and over again…until they defeat the enemy.
- Die Another Day (2002)
- Hollywood star: Halle Berry
- British stars: Pierce Brosnan, Toby Stephens & Rosamund Pike
After escaping from a North Korean prison, James Bond (Brosnan) teams up with agents Miranda Frost (Pike) and Jinx (Berry) to stop millionaire villain Gustav Graves (Stephens) from deploying the Icarus satellite – a laser beam Graves intends to use to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarised Zone which would enable North Korean troops to invade South Korea.
- The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
- Hollywood stars: Matt Damon & Julia Stiles
- British star: Paddy Considine
In the 3rd film in the Bourne series, British reporter Simon Ross (Considine) brings Bourne out of hiding by requesting to interview him about Operation Blackbriar (project Treadstone’s upgrade). Ross’s attempt to uncover the operation puts Bourne in jeopardy however, as their meeting discloses Bourne’s location to The Company. A chase ensues as The Company attempts to eradicate Bourne once and for all.
Not an action fan? Some other great Hollywood movies featuring British and Hollywood stars filmed at Heathrow include:
- Bend it Like Beckham (2002)
- Love Actually (2003)
- A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
- Green Street Hooligans (2005)
- Red Sparrow (2018)
- Last Chance Harvey (2008)
- Wimbledon (2004)
- And many more…
So keep your eyes peeled – next time you pass through Heathrow, you might just find yourself featuring as an extra in the next big Hollywood blockbuster.
Heathrow Airport is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic, as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. I watched this entire series (and boy are there a lot of in total!) and really suggest you watch this one to see if you would like to follow it as well. It’s all free on YouTube and probably came out on British television years back.
If you, like me, find airports fascinating then get ready for some pure excitement!