Millions of us travel in and out of the Heathrow terminal airport each year and I’d guarantee that almost nobody thinks twice about the actual airport itself. And indeed why should we? For many travellers, scooting off on a vacation or on an exciting holiday adventure is just far too interesting to get sidetracked by airport details or trivial thoughts. The fact of the matter is that Heathrow airport really is a fascinating and unusual place which is packed full of history and is packed with many interesting facts. So the next time that you’re waiting in the departure lounge you can always recount these facts and figures to amuse your fellow travelling buddies.
1. Heathrow Airport is officially the world’s fourth most busy airport in the world and actually handles an amazing 66 million air passengers each year. It has been claimed that, because of internationally-bound travellers, Heathrow is officially the most busy airport in the world, but in relation to actual passenger volume, the wearer of this crown is actually the the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport which is in the US.
2. It’s hard to believe but Heathrow airport actually started out as just a tented village and back in 1949 travelled to only 18 destinations. The inaugural flight from the site was on New Years Eve in 1949 and the flight went to Buenos Aires in Argentina via Lisbon in Portugal. Back in 1949 the airport was better known as London airport and only became known as Heathrow in 1966.
3. Back when there were only two terminals they had the dramatic names ‘Europa’ and ‘Oceanic,’ they were given the rather more mundane title of Terminals 2 and 3. There are now five terminals, each served by its own set ofHeathrow airport parking to make things easy for all Heathrow’s passengers.
4. The airport sends passengers off all over the world but the five most popular destinations are New York, Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, in that order. If you’re one of the many heading to New York maybe think about a Heathrow airport hotel the night before or after your flight.
5. There are a huge number of people involved in keeping Heathrow operating and helping people like us get away on holiday. The number of employees currently stands at a whopping 72,000 and 4,500 of those are just BA employees. To put that in perspective there are the same number of employees at the airport as there are people living in Scunthorpe!