Heathrow prepares for Christmas getaway

Posted: 23 December 2022 | | No comments yet

With over 55 million passengers travelling through London Heathrow Airport in 2022, the airport is looking forward to welcoming people heading off for their first Christmas with loved ones in three years.

Credit: Heathrow

5.6 million passengers travelled through London Heathrow (LHR) in November 2022, down from 5.9 million in October 2022. Over 55 million people have travelled through Heathrow already this year (2022), which is nearly 70 per cent of 2019 levels. 

London Heathrow expects December 2022 to be busy and are looking forward to welcoming people heading off for their first Christmas with loved ones in three years. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is set to reclaim the crown of most popular route this Christmas 2022.

The vast majority of travellers will be unaffected by Border Force strikes. Heathrow are doing everything they can to protect a full flight schedule on strike days, so departing passengers should expect to travel as normal. Arriving passengers with UK, EU, U.S., Canadian and some other passports will be able to use e-gates as usual and their journeys should be largely unaffected on strike days. Border Force has contingency measures to ensure other arriving passengers are cleared safely and as quickly as possible. The airport is continuing to support them to strengthen these plans so that as few people are impacted as possible. If passengers who cannot use e-gates are concerned about travelling during the strikes, their airline may be able to offer them alternative travel dates.

This Christmas is a time for celebration after three years of COVID-19, so the airport will be bringing the fun back into festive travel. The customer service and Here to Help teams will be on-hand to give a friendly welcome and provide any extra assistance passengers may need. This year, they will also be handing out 10,000 gifts to departing passengers – ranging from treats to enjoy on the journey, through to lounge access and flight vouchers.

The airport will be busy, especially during the peak getaway, and we will all be working hard to get passengers on their way. Handy tips for passengers include:

  • Arrive no earlier than three hours before long-haul flights, and two hours for short-haul   
  • Be ready for security: no liquids, creams or gels over 100ml, seal any liquids in the bags provided and ensure large electricals go in a separate tray
  • Check eligibility for and use eGates for a quicker journey when arriving back into the UK.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “We are ready to welcome millions of passengers heading off to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. We have extra people in the terminals on the busiest days, including me and my management team, to ensure we get people on their way as smoothly as possible and start to bring the joy back into travel. We are doing everything we can to protect full operating schedules on Border Force strike days and departing journeys and the vast majority of arriving journeys should be unaffected.”

Credit: Heathrow (all of the above)

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