April 19, 2024

Heathrow airport preps for the hectic festive travel season

Most connected mega-hub in the world unveils festive TV ads

Heathrow – the largest airport in Europe and the most connected mega-hub in the world – connecting to 239 destinations in 89 countries is gearing up for a busy year-end holiday season.

A busy October with nearly seven million passengers has helped the airport to prepare for the peak season of festive travel ahead, with the strong demand to fly from Heathrow propelling the airport to the fourth-largest globally.

Some 2.2 million passengers passed through the airport terminals during the October half-term, with Dubai, New York JFK) and Los Angeles proving popular this year.

After reopening its borders, Hong Kong became the airport’s 12th ‘millionaire route’ for the year, surpassing one million passengers and following in the footsteps of Doha, JFK and Delhi, among others.

11 new airline routes

Sun-seekers looking to book a winter getaway have even more choices this year, with 11 new airline routes starting at Heathrow, including the UK’s only direct connection to Peru has more flights to ski destinations globally than any other UK airport.

Heathrow will launch a range of retail offerings in the coming weeks, including opportunities to win Christmas vouchers from retailers such as Watches for Switzerland, inMotion, Rituals and World Duty Free.

Thomas Woldbye, Heathrow CEO, said: “I’ve learned a lot about Heathrow in my first few weeks, but one thing that stands out to me is the passion and drive of colleagues to get people away smoothly on their journeys.

“We look forward to welcoming passengers from across the world over the upcoming festive season with a friendly face to lend a helping hand. If your journey sees you travelling through Heathrow, we’ve got you covered, from attractive shops to meeting your gifting needs.”

Festive TV ads

Meanwhile, Heathrow has launched heart-warming new festive TV ads reminding people that the most special positive memories are those made with loved ones – often when reuniting at the world’s most connected airport.

A series of three ads focus on heart-warming human stories that tug on the heartstrings and convey the importance of travelling to see loved ones during the festive season. The stories focus on togetherness, love and creating precious memories with friends and family.

Heathrow’s new festive TV ads focus on togetherness, love and creating precious memories. Image: Heathrow

Each film was shot live at Heathrow Terminal 5, surrounded by passengers starting their journeys. One of the films features two real-life couples, meaning it packs an authentic emotional punch.

The first film, ‘Love’, features a young man and woman strolling through World Duty Free at Heathrow. The woman mentions that five years ago to the day, they travelled abroad to meet the young man’s family. They spy an older couple across the shop, and the young woman says they will be like that one day, spending their days in the sunshine.

The young man agrees and, while kissing her forehead, surreptitiously looks down at a box in his right hand – concealing a diamond engagement ring.

The second film, ‘Arrival’, shows a young couple in a multi-generational family about to take a trip. Amidst the hubbub of them preparing to order a pre-fight meal at Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, the family matriarch asks the couple what they will have, to which they reply, “A baby”.

They are met with emotional celebration around the table as the campaign tagline ‘Heathrow: The Best Memories Start Here’ appears on the screen.

The final film, ‘Keepsake’, shows a father and daughter sitting at Terminal 5’s famous Fortnum & Mason bar. The father opens his phone, and an ‘on this day’ photo memory flashes up, reminding him that it has been three years since they went on a family trip to Boston with Grandad, who is no longer with them.

The young woman gets tearful until the man passes her a handkerchief that belonged to her grandad. She then reveals that she is wearing her grandad’s lucky coin around her neck. They raise a toast: “Grandad – always with us”.

The ads debuted on TV on November 6, 2023, and are also being shown in cinemas, on social media and on billboards across the UK. A London-based advertising agency, St Luke’s, created them.

Heathrow handles over 200,000 passengers on roughly 1,300 flights daily and is Britain’s hub for trade, tourism and investment.

The most popular global destinations out of Heathrow are Dubai, New York (JFK), Madrid, Dublin and Doha.

Featured image: Heathrow airport connects to 239 destinations in 89 countries. Image: Heathrow

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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