Heathrow triumphs at World Airport Awards, and they’re getting their hands dirty!

It’s all about Heathrow Airport this week as they achieve a double at this year’s World Airport Awards, held at the Passenger Terminal EXPO in Geneva.  Terminal 5, Heathrow’s latest terminal, has been named the world’s ‘Best Airport Terminal’ for the second time, and to add to the excitement, the airport was also named ‘Best Airport for Shopping, for a fourth time!

The awards consider the findings of the Airport Service Quality survey, an independent survey that reflects the proportion of passengers rating their journey as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’; for Heathrow, the rating has increased from 48% in 2007, to 72% in 2013, a huge increase!  In addition, the industry uses the Skytrax World Airport Survey, which assessed facilities and customer service at 388 airports in 2012, as the quality benchmark.

Heathrow has invested £11 billion in the airport since 2003, and there are plans to spend a further £3 billion between now and 2019, including the opening of the new Terminal 2 next year with most passengers experiencing new facilities.  Heathrow have also introduced a range of ‘pop ups’, including Omega and Cath Kidston, to their passengers travelling through the airport which have been designed to provide the latest in retail trends, and high street names have also opened outlets at Heathrow, such as Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen.

Heathrow’s Commercial Director, Fidel Lopez, said: “We’re delighted that our passengers have recognised Heathrow once again at the prestigious World Airport Awards for a fourth year in a row for our shopping, and for a second time for Terminal 5.”

And the latest addition to Heathrow?  Getting their hands dirty, literally!  Heathrow has partnered with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), and they’ll be giving away more than 20,000 packets of seeds of wild flowers to encourage the nation to get growing! 

Together with the RHS, Heathrow will be promoting traditional English gardens and between 15th April and 25th May, passengers travelling through the airport will be welcomed by distinctive, inspiring, impressive garden displays in celebration of National Gardening Week (15th – 21st April) and the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show (21st – 25th May).

A first for the airport, Terminal 3, 4 and 5 forecourts will be transformed by Tony Smith, winner of three RHS ‘Best in Show’ awards, and a Gold award at RHS Chelsea, RHS Hampton, RHS Tatton Park and Gardeners’ World Live Flower Shows, where he will be creating ‘living art installations’.  More than 170 Heathrow and RHS volunteers will donning their Wellingtons, tying their gardening aprons and slipping on the gardening gloves will be on hand to tend the gardens, welcome passengers and provide gardening advice. 

As well as the gardens, Heathrow’s restaurants are also supporting the RHS by continuing the theme in their restaurants, including specially-designed menus with culinary delights, such as Native Lobster with Elderflower Foam, Pea Shoots and Violets from Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food, and spring salads with edible flowers from ‘rhubarb’!

Tony Smith said: “Creating living art installations for Heathrow has been a fantastic challenge.  It’s amazing to think that so many international visitors will be able to enjoy the work and I hope the gardens are a memorable welcome home for British travellers.”
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