The new Terminal 2 — home of Star Alliance at Heathrow — threw open its doors to welcome its first passengers yesterday (June 4), marking the start of a new travel experience for the 12 million Star Alliance passengers who pass through this leading UK airport every year.
Star Alliance member airline United was the first to move into the new facility, known as Terminal 2 – the Queen’s Terminal for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. All 23 Star Alliance airlines operating Heathrow will move over the next six months: the first time all member airlines will be collocated at the airport. On June 18, Air Canada will become the second carrier to operate flights from Terminal 2.
“After many years of planning and construction, tests and optimization, we at Star Alliance are proud to welcome the first passengers into the new terminal,” said Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab. “It is particularly fitting that one of our five founder members, United, should operate the first flights from this terminal, which sets new standards for Alliance customer service and seamless travel at this important hub airport.”
Terminal 2, designed by lead architect Luis Vidal, was jointly developed by Heathrow, Star Alliance and its member carriers, with the aim of establishing a true seamless hub at one of the world’s premier international airports. Once all airlines are in residence, connections for transfer passengers will be smoother than ever before at Heathrow, with a standardized minimum connection time of just 60 minutes.
Move dates for the remaining 22 airlines have been carefully planned to ensure that each group of airlines has time to embed its operations before the next set of carriers moves in.
Air Canada, Air China and ANA will be the next new occupants, transferring their operations to T2 from June 18. In July, Aegean, EVA Air, THAI, and Turkish Airlines will move in, together with Avianca — which will launch a service between London and Bogota on July 4.
Full-service traditional check-in desks are provided for the use of First Class, Business class and Star Alliance Gold passengers. Premium passengers also have a fast-track option to speed them through the security checks.
Eight out of 12 gates at the T2B satellite will allow self-boarding, meaning passengers simply pass through a mechanical barrier to board their flight.
Four airline lounges will be available for premium passengers, including those with Star Alliance Gold status. These are located in the main terminal building and the satellite, so eligible passengers can relax close to their gate.