Heathrow Airport

British Airways & Heathrow Airport honor Freddie Mercury

Before he sang with Queen, Freddie Mercury was a baggage handler at London’s Heathrow Airport.

And today, September 5, 2018 – on what would have been Mercury’s 72nd birthday – Heathrow Airport and British Airways came up with the idea to put modern-day baggage handlers together with choreographers to create a performance of Queen’s “Break Free.”

If you happen to be in Heathrow Terminal 5 today, keep an eye out of these baggage handlers performing the dance in person during the airport’s “Freddie for a Day” tribute.

Or watch a video of the dance here.

Want more Queen and Freddie Mercury?

On September 5, passengers at Heathrow will find Queen songs on the Arrivals boards in Terminal 5.

Also on September 5, any travler named Freddie, Frederick or Farrokh (Mercury’s real name) departing from Terminal 5 will be invited (along with their traveling companions) to use British Airways’ First class lounge.

And on November 2, Twentieth Century Fox will release a film about Queen and the life of Freddie Mercury, called “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in the U.S. (The UK opening is October 24.)

Heathrow Airport’s Pride flag made of 6,000 kisses

Photo courtesy Heathrow Airport.

To celebrate Pride London, Heathrow Airport commissioned a unique version of the iconic rainbow flag: this one is made entirely of colored kisses planted by 6,000 international passengers.

The flag started coming to life in Terminal 2 on 1st July, in the departures area, where passengers were invited to stamp their kiss in a choice of vibrant red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple lipstick, onto the blank canvas. After the passsengers donated kisses, airport staff added more as the flag made its took a tour of the control tower, fire station and BA Crew Centre, before being sealed and placed on the flag pole.

Here’s a video Heathrow shared about the making of the flag, which will be flown over Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal until the end of July.

 

Heathrow Airport, Madame Tussauds get Royal Wedding fever

Royal Wedding fever is getting, well, feverish.

When Prince Harry and Megham Markle get hitched on Saturday, Heathrow Airport will make sure passengers don’t miss a thing.

The airport promises that on Saturday all TV screens in the terminals will be tuned to BBC News 24, which will offering live wedding-day coverage.  Giant TV screens tune to BBC1 will be set  up in Termionals 3 and 4 as well.

Inside the terminals, arriving passengers will be treated to 1,000 ”royal’ lemon and elderflower cupcakes, which are inspired by Harry and Meghan’s break-with-tradition lemon elderflower wedding cake with buttercream frosting and fresh flowers.

Special Royal Wedding cocktails are being servied at the United Club this week and over the weekend at Heathrow as well.

For those who can’t make it to Heathrow, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has revealed a (funny-looking) bobblehead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

And, back in London, Madame Tussauds has added a Meghan Markle wax figure standing beside a refreshed Prince Harry.

 

Harriet’s Hotel Stay: Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

As an airport aficionado, I’m a big fan of hotels that are right in or right at-the-airport. So, when heading to London recently for a business event taking place near Heathrow Airport, my first thought was to stay at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport (connected to Terminal 4) or the Sofitel London Heathrow (at Terminal 5).

I’ve stayed at both hotels in the past and adore the convenience, but no favorable rates could be found, so this trip I decided to give the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 a try.

Except for a bit of transportation inconvenience (more details below) I see why this hotel is especially popular with business travelers and why it gets so many repeat visitors.

The Welcome:  Arriving worn and weary well before official check-in time, I was expecting nothing more than a place to store my bags. Instead, check-in was a breeze, I was given helpful “what’s where” information, and I was in my room within 5 minutes.

The room:  I didn’t tour all room types, but my room had a super comfortable Hilton bed, complimentary Wi-Fi (no password hassles), a large flat screen TV, a speaker in the bathroom and both UK and International power plugs at the roomy desk.  There was even a cookie with the coffee and tea set-up.

Executive lounge privileges came with this room and I stopped by one morning for the complimentary breakfast and both evenings of my stay for the complimentary evening cocktails and canapes.

Hotel dining and amenities: In addition to a 24-hour fitness center, this hotel has a spa area with a don’t-forget-your-swimsuit hydrotherapy pool. For dining, there are two bars, a lobby coffee shop, and the Gallery Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This Hilton hotel also has a surprise hidden treasure: Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen. Closed Sundays, I missed my chance to eat there, but now that I know its reputation and uniqueness (as a hotel restaurant, but also for London), I will make an extra effort to go back. Chef Cyrus Todiwala has an award-winning restaurant – Café Spice Namaste – in London proper and many of the signature dishes from that menu are offered at his popular restaurant at this Hilton, which draws locals and out-of-towners alike.

Getting there: Except for the hotels inside the airport, getting to any of the hotels near Heathrow can be confusing and time consuming. This is not one of the Heathrow-area hotels accessible by a free local bus, so an Uber or the Hoppa Bus (buy tickets in the terminal before you board to save a pound each way) is the best way to get back and forth from the airport. Call or email the hotel ahead of time for  instructions and study the Hoppa timetable so, like me, you don’t dawdle and miss the bus by two minutes on a cold night and have to hang around at the bus stop for an extra half hour.

(I received a discounted media rate for my stay the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5; opinions are my own.)