London Heathrow Airport to service more travelers through revamped terminal

London Heathrow Airport to service more travelers through revamped terminal

Whether they have first class tickets or business class airfares, the next time British Airways passengers visit London Heathrow Airport, they will notice more than a few changes to this facility's Terminal 5, according to the airline's website.

Still relatively new, Terminal 5 opened in March 2008 and has serviced more than 70 million customers from over 500,000 flights, the website reports. The airport now features a satellite terminal, which is referred to as T5 C, and is designed to provide travelers with a smooth beginning and end to their flying experience.

Through the additional space offered by the extended Terminal 5, Heathrow can now service an extra three million customers on a yearly basis, according to the website. T5 C's features include 12 new boarding gates - eight of which are triple bridges that have been designed for British Airways' upcoming Airbus A380 aircraft, which will join the airline's fleet in early 2013. In addition, covered air bridges allow travelers to move from the terminal to their planes without having to board a bus.

T5 C's proximity to Heathrow's other terminals also provides British Airways with more flexibility in terms of how it handles its 4,000 weekly flights, the website states. Terminal 5 is just over a minute away from the new satellite location, which is accessible via an underground transit system. In 2012, the airport will also introduce a transfer baggage tunnel that will link T5 C and Terminal 3 to improve baggage performance for all airlines.

"Terminal 5 has transformed our ability to offer the very highest standards of customer service which our passengers rightly expect for punctuality, baggage handling and relaxing before their flight," Andy Lord, British Airways director of operations, said, as quoted by the website. "We hope that T5 C will improve our overall performance even further."

This past April, Heathrow announced that March 22 was its best day of the month for punctual departures. In a press release, the airport reported that 94 percent of its departing flights were on time, while 93.9 percent of its incoming flights arrived at their scheduled times.

March 2011 also saw an overall departure punctuality of 85.1 percent, making the month a close second to October 2009, which holds the Heathrow record at 85.7 percent.

By Arnold Meyer

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