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Research has revealed that passengers are spending more on festive shopping this year and indulging more while at the airport this holiday season, after last year’s festivities were cancelled due to lockdown.
Among the exciting new offerings is an expanded Reserve & Collect service to give passengers the option to purchase a wide-range of gifts from retailers on and off the airport ahead of their travels and the most Instagrammable café in the world.
In anticipation of over 2 million passengers expected to travel through Heathrow this Christmas, the UK’s hub airport has refreshed the range of shops, restaurants and services on offer at the airport.
Last Christmas, the nation faced strict lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19, bringing an end to family festivities before they could even begin. But this year, Heathrow is preparing for an uplift in passengers flying home for Christmas for the big family reunions they missed last year.
Ahead of this, new retailers and restaurants have opened at the airport, so passengers have even more options to choose from for buying last minute Christmas presents or treating themselves to a meal before their journey. Winter sales so far show that sales are up already on last year as passengers at Heathrow are purchasing Christmas gifts for loved ones slightly this year – from perfumes and Christmas giftsets to handbags, jewellery and more.
Heathrow’s research also shows that on average, travellers are spending an extra hour at the airport in comparison to pre-pandemic, as people are spending more time at the airport indulging and treating their loved ones.
"Throughout this year, we’ve been working hard to give travellers a refreshed offering and experience at Heathrow and we hope they can relax and make use of some of the new brands and services we have to offer."
The airport has been awarded Best Airport for Shopping by Skytrax for 11 consecutive years and is always looking for ways to evolve and deliver exciting changes to improve experience.
Passengers may not have travelled through Heathrow in a long time so here are 10 new things they can expect to see this Christmas:
Heathrow Reserve and Collect – A new, expanded click and collect service is set to land in Terminal 5 this week, giving passengers the opportunity to collect products from current world-class brands on offer in the terminals, as well as new brands not usually available at the airport. Travellers can make their purchases via Heathrow’s online shopping platform and conveniently collect their items after they’re through security or buy items at the Terminal 5 collection desk. With more brands to follow soon, Aspinal of London is the first brand to participate in the service and will be offering reduced prices to all Heathrow passengers, just in time for Christmas.
Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen – Local Surrey-based brewer and gin distiller Big Smoke opened its first airport location earlier this year in Terminal 2 airside. The food menu includes delicious pub classics, burgers, meat sharing platters and brisket. The taphouse also offers a range of craft beers, cider and gin produced at their brewery just 8 miles from the airport. There are also several screens showing live sports and views over the runway.
EL&N London – The most Instagrammable café in the world unlocked its doors to their first airport location at Heathrow Terminal 3 earlier this month. Travellers can now prepare for the most Instagrammable start to their travels by indulging in a stunning setting while choosing from a picture perfect food and drink menu. The brightly coloured café also offer passengers a selection of on-board meal boxes and iconic pink merchandise to take with them when boarding their flight.
Kanishka Kitchen – A fine dining Indian restaurant, run by Michelin-star chef, Atul Kochhar opened last week at Terminal 5 landside. Serving a wide selection of dishes with a vibrant Indian culture, the restaurant caters for all dietary requirements, so every guest can experience their compelling flavours.
Shan Shui – For all the foodies who enjoy authentic meals, a new Southeast Asian restaurant will open its doors in Terminal 2 next month. Heathrow passengers can enjoy speedy and delicious ’10-minute meals’ while appreciating the epic panoramic views of the runway.
Food takeaway service via the app – Heathrow now offers passengers a food and drink pre-order service which can be accessible on their mobiles via the airport’s app. Putting delicious food at peoples’ fingertips, the app allows travellers to pre-order, check turnaround time and collect from a dedicated collection point.
JD Sports – Known as the 'King of Trainers', JD Sports arrived at Terminal 2 last month. A leading UK retailer of fashionable branded, sports and casual wear, passengers will find the latest trainers, sportswear and accessories in their store.
Chanel N°5 Spaceship Pop-up – To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chanel N°5 fragrance, a Spaceship pop-up transported in the departure lounge at Terminal 5, inviting travellers to discover N°5 through an immersive treasure hunt, complete with prizes to be won. An augmented reality digital screen also enables clients to virtually try on products, with the pop-up being the only travel retail location to sell Chanel’s advent calendar.
American Express’ Centurion Lounge – Located in Terminal 3, American Express opened its first Centurion Lounge in Europe at Heathrow in October, part of its signature airport lounge programme. Chef Assaf Granit of Coal Office in London will serve as the Executive Chef. The menu ties back to London's rich multicultural heritage through signature dishes from his top restaurants across the globe.
Paco Rabanne experiential concept – Paco Rabanne’s latest fragrance, Phantom, has its own experiential activation on the iconic island location at Terminal 2 departures. This is a travel exclusive which gives passengers a fun option to dance with virtual robots and experience the magic of travel once again.
Heathrow has also recently launched Heathrow Highlights – an online guide to the best shopping and food and beverage options at the airport this Christmas, perfect for gift inspiration.
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