With Christmas fast approaching travellers are gearing up to head home for the festive season, or depart on winter holidays. Although the entire month of December is a busy time for airports, it seems things will peak on 20 December for one of the UKs busiest airports.
Heathrow airport is anticipating over 250,000 passengers to fly in and out of the airport tomorrow.
The airport estimates that around 6.5 million passengers will pass through its doors throughout the whole month of December, with flights heading to over 200 countries worldwide.
Meanwhile, a mammoth 144,000 tonnes of Christmas cards is expected to fly through Heathrow during the holiday season.
To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to the weight of 68 London Eyes.
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To keep passengers busy while waiting for their flights, the airport has installed some festive, interactive displays.
The installations are two periscopes at Terminals 2 and 5 to allow passengers to take a peek into Santa’s workshop.
The 360-degree movies were acted out by Heathrow’s very own staff.
However, there are also plenty of other ways to while away the time waiting for your departure.
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New data from Netflights reveals that almost a third of all respondents prefer to spend the time simply walking.
This is particularly appealing at an airport like Heathrow, which boasts a range of big-name retail outlets throughout its terminals, as well as plenty of festive decorations to look at.
Amongst the big name brands are high street favoured Boots and WHSmith, as well as more haute couture brands including Burberry and Chanel.
That’s good news for travellers who like to spend their time between journeys getting in some retail therapy.
Flights: Heathrow airport has welcomed an interactive instillation to keep travellers entertained
Alongside shopping, 29 percent of travellers say their favourite way to pass the time is eating.
That shouldn’t be a problem at Heathrow, with Terminal 5 alone home to 17 eateries, among them celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Plane Food.
Travellers also listed reading and drinking at an airport bar amongst other enjoyed activities.
These distraction tactics can be particularly useful when faced with delays, something that is, unfortunately, a common occurrence of peak times.
A study based on 2018 flight data from flightstats.com revealed the departure information of 15 UK airports, with some worse than others.
Topping the list for flight delays were both London’s Stansted and Luton airports, with 40 percent of all departures delayed during this time.
Andrew Shelton, Netflights MD, commented: “Flying at Christmas, with the prospect of seeing loved ones or creating festive memories somewhere special, should be an exciting experience.
“But so often, whether because of the weather or other reasons, it’s less of a Christmas fairytale and more of a nightmare for many.
“We’d urge people planning to fly this Christmas to study the findings of our Airport Review so they can prepare for the worst if it happens – and enjoy the time before their flights to the maximum if it doesn’t!”