One of my favorite movies is “Love Actually,” released in 2003. You can read the Internet Movie Database post for details about the movie. I really love how all the romantic stories are put together, but my favorite parts are the beginning and the end.
Both were shot in London Heathrow Airport and show a wonderful collage of people greeting each other in the arrivals area. I listened to director/writer Richard Curtis’s commentary on that scene. He just parked a camera there for a few weeks and edited it down to the collage. I actually spent Christmas 1998 in London and got to see this play out as I waited for my luggage and my friend.
I am a frequent traveler and one of my favorite thins to do is to watch people showing the love to those arriving and departing. One time on a trip to Miami in 1985, a very enthusiastic Haitian family mistook me for a loved one. I was startled for a moment, but I still tear up to this day when I remember how loved I felt by these complete strangers until the mix-up was fixed.
And I know a lot of people just hate Heathrow Airport, but I’m not one of them (I’ll be there tomorrow). My family moved to England in 1970 when I was six years old. We landed at Heathrow, and I thought it was the most magical place on earth. Fast forward to 1995, when I flew into the airport to cover the Farnborough Air Show, and I was still transfixed. I love the proper British accents doing the announcements. I love the myriad shops (Harrods and Boots, to name a few) where you can pick up a piece of the UK. And I especially love all the airline liveries from around the globe, especially flag carriers you don’t always see in the United States.
I practically fall into a swoon when I think about my time in British Airways’ T5 terminal (you can see my pictures on Flicker). Yes, there were issues building it. Yes, the airline was embarrassed when a baggage snafu marred the grand opening (attended by Queen Elizabeth, no less). But the pieces are in place, and it has become one of my favorite terminals — right up there with Singapore’s Changi Airport, San Francisco’s international terminal and Seoul, South Korea’s Incheon Airport.
So wherever you go during the holidays , I hope you feel the love of the season. Take a second to let the magic of the airport sink in, and enjoy this video of the closing scene of “Love, Actually.”
File this under “I love my job.” I had the chance to zip out to Washington Dulles International Airport to see British Airways bring its first Airbust A380 jumbo jet for new service from London Heathrow. I took a ton of photos, but the one below is of the A380 at the gate right before we were allowed aboard to check it out. Enjoy!
Last week, I got the chance to attend the landing of the inaugural British Airways’ Airbus A380 flight from London Heathrow Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport. We had a chance to get on the aircraft, and I took a pile of photos. Below is one I took of the economy class cabin on the upper deck. Enjoy!
British Airways lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport. Photo courtesy of British Airways.
I had the chance to hang out at Washington Dulles International Airport on Oct. 2 for the start of new service to London on British Airways. The UK’s flag carrier will fly the new service with the gigantic Airbus A380 double-decker aircraft. Below are 10 interesting facts you may not know about all classes of service on the aircraft. Enjoy!
1. The aircraft has 18 lavatories. The two in first class are bigger than my first apartment (not really, but almost). 2. First class passengers not only have a large overhead bin, but they have a closet that fits a roller bag and a suit jacket or coat, and there’s a storage drawer for things like glasses or electronic devices.
3. Passengers sitting in the window seat in economy on the upper deck have a locker against the fuselage that offers extra storage space. 4. Seats in all classes have USB ports and universal sockets to keep electronic devices powered.
5. The inflight entertainment system includes more than 1,600 hours of movie and television programing from around the world, along with more than 550 audio albums and 225 radio shows and a range of audio books.
6. Passengers can play games against fellow travelers and do in-seat chats.
7. The World Traveler Plus premium economy seat offers 38-inch pitch, a footrest, increased recline position, hammock headrest and a cocktail table.
8. Even coach passengers get to eat, with a three-course meal, an open free bar and bar snacks. 9. You can watch the global sensation television show, Norway’s “The Seven Hour Train Journey to Oslo.”
10. The A380 is very quiet when it lands. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQQNSAD8GgA