UK Royals Lend Name To Airport, Cruise Ship, Again

Heathrow Airport media centre

London’s Heathrow airport continues to expand and remodel to meet current demand and prepare for the future. Heathrow’s Terminal 2 (T2) will be home to the Star Alliance airlines and has United making the inaugural flights in June 2014. But rather than leave the new terminal named simply T2, airport developers took a look at the history of the facility and came up with something better.

Re-naming the facility Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, will honor Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her long relationship with the airport. The Queen formally inaugurated the airport’s first passenger terminal in 1955. Originally named the Europa Building, it was later named Terminal 2.

Opening in 1946 with just 62,000 passengers passing through, Heathrow was originally known as London Airport and the terminal was a temporary village of tents. Those tents gave way to prefabricated concrete villages prior to the opening of the old Terminal 2 that saw more than 70 million passengers in 2012.At a cost of over $17 billion over the last decade, Heathrow has been transformed to a facility that consistently ranks at the top of passenger satisfaction surveys. When the work is done, Terminal 2 will boast the latest check-in and bag-drop technology to make using the airport a smooth, enjoyable and efficient journey. Similar to the already completed Terminal 5, T2 has been designed with shops and restaurants that will offer air travelers the very best of Britain.

In a similar effort to embrace and honor the past while looking ahead, The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton recently performed the duties of Godmother to Princess Cruises‘ new Royal Princess at a dockside naming ceremony.

The third cruise ship is to be named Royal Princess; the last one was named by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1984.

Looking for more of what the new Heathrow Terminal 2 will offer? Check out this video:

Survey ranks Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle and Los Angeles worst airports in the world

A Priority Pass survey of frequent business travelers has revealed what many of us knew all along – London Heathrow is the worst airport in the world. Heathrow is followed by Charles de Gaulle and Los Angeles.

These three airports tend to pop up on “worst airport” surveys most of the time, and anyone who frequents any of them will understand why. Heathrow is improving slowly, and the new Terminal Five is making travel through the UK airport a slightly better experience, but the other terminals are still quite a disgrace.

Charles de Gaulle is another dump of an airport. Even though it has invested heavily in some new terminals, there are still plenty of parts of this facility that need to be flattened and built from the ground up.

Los Angeles airport just signed off on a multi-year, multi-billion Dollar renovation plan, which should be completed by 2013. Of course, that still means 4 more years of being in the top three of worst airports in the world.

Singapore Changi, Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok and Amsterdam Schiphol are voted best in the world, and anyone who has spent any time at these airports will understand why. These are the kind of airports where it is actually a treat to be stranded for a couple of hours, unlike places like Heathrow where your only urge is to get the hell out of the place as quickly as possible.

What do you think? Do these airports deserve to be crowned “worst in the world”, or do you know of an airport that is even worse? Leave you comments below.

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Heathrow to get a facelift

Before I had been to England, Heathrow Airport seemed a magical place in my mind — a place that emblemized everything British, from black cabs to girls in Union Jack-flag dresses. Plus, the Beatles had been there, so it must be amazing. But when I got there and took my first few steps on British ground, I was surprised; it was dingy and a bit smelly, a mish mash of cultures and consumerism and not really what I’d imagined Britain to be at all.

It’s true — Heathrow is shabby and outdated, despite being one of the busiest and most important airports in the world.

But 2008 is set to be the year that all changes for LHR, according to this article — it’s getting a facelift in the new year, and construction is expected to end in 2012. What can the 68 millions travelers who pass through there each year expect to see? Well, for starters, a fifth terminal is being added. And renovations will be happening that are aimed at bringing the ‘glamour’ back to air travel.