Freddie Mercury set for take-off at Heathrow Airport ahead of new Queen movie


By Heathrow

Published 5th September 2018

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British Airways and Heathrow baggage handlers ‘escape from reality’ in celebration of Queen legend Freddie Mercury’s birthday and Twentieth Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, in cinemas October 24th.

• Mercury worked as a Heathrow baggage handler before he joined Queen in 1970
• British Airways and Heathrow staff will celebrate Freddie For A Day on his birthday ahead of the upcoming release of the Queen movie BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
• To pay tribute to the legend, baggage handlers have teamed up with Strictly Come Dancing choreographer to bring Freddie Mercury moves to Terminal 5
• Other activities at Heathrow for will include Queen songs on Arrivals boards and memorabilia in Departure Lounge
• BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is released at UK cinemas on 24th October
• Video available to download here

LONDON, UK – He handled the heights of rock stardom as lead singer of Queen, but few are aware of Freddie Mercury’s days handling baggage at Heathrow Airport.

Now, to celebrate Freddie For A Day which marks the rock legend’s birthday on September 5th and the upcoming release of Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises film BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, Heathrow and British Airways will ‘escape from reality’ to pay tribute to Freddie in spectacular fashion.

Heathrow Terminal 5 arrivals will come alive in celebration of the Queen frontman, as baggage handlers perform Mercury-inspired dance moves, choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor choreographer Lyndon Lloyd.

Following weeks of rehearsals, the baggage handlers will Break Free from their routine and astonish passengers with moves inspired by the charismatic rock star, who worked at the airport nearly 50 years ago, shortly before joining Queen and packing arenas around the world.

“Freddie’s” to get VIP access with British Airways on September 5th

Any travellers landing at Terminal 5 on September 5th can also look out for Queen songs on Arrivals boards, whilst Queen memorabilia will go on display in the departures area next month.

To celebrate the singer’s birthday on September 5, any customer called Freddie, Frederick or the legend’s real name, Farrokh, who is departing from Terminal 5 will be invited, along with their traveling companions, to use British Airways’ First lounge, accessed through the exclusive First Wing.

The celebrations, which will help raise awareness for Queen’s charity The Mercury Phoenix Trust, are in anticipation of the cinema release of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, a foot-stomping tribute to Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer.

The film traces Mercury’s meteoric rise from his unlikely beginnings and features scenes at Heathrow, where he worked whilst living in Feltham, before going from bags to riches and becoming one of the most iconic rock stars of all time.

Adam Dewey, one of British Airways’ baggage managers, who stars in the video, said “Freddie Mercury is an undisputed rock legend and it has been an absolute blast planning his birthday celebrations at Heathrow, where he once worked.”

“Myself and the other baggage handlers taking part have put everything into these dance routines and we can’t wait to see the faces on holidaymakers when they strut their stuff in the arrivals hall! The new film Bohemian Rhapsody has proved a great inspiration for all of us and we can’t wait to be hot-stepping our way to the premiere next month!”

Virinder Bansal, a Baggage Service Manager at Heathrow, who also stars in the video said: “Freddie Mercury was a truly British icon and I am delighted to ‘Break Free’ and celebrate his iconic life with my colleagues.”

“We hope passengers at Terminal 5 enjoy our surprising and unique welcome to the UK, before we return to work. After all, The Show Must Go On”.

Heathrow Terminal 5 will celebrate Freddie Mercury Day on Wednesday 5th September. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is released at UK cinemas on 24th October from Twentieth Century Fox.

More airlines are modernising their fleet to incorporate newer, quieter aircraft. Over 1 in 5 aircraft landing at Heathrow this year are expected to be ‘Chapter 14 Low’ – the quietest aircraft available.

  • Latest Fly Quiet and Green results see Aer Lingus, SAS and BA (short-haul) land podium finish in race to be the ‘quietest and greenest’ from April to June this year

  • Turkish Airlines is the latest carrier to upgrade its fleet of aircraft and make an impressive leap in the quarterly league table

Results from Heathrow’s latest Fly Quiet and Green quarterly league table – ranking Heathrow’s busiest 50 airlines based on their performance from April to June  –  proves airlines are working hard to modernise their fleet and advance their position in the table. Heathrow has estimated more than one 1 in 5 aircraft landing at the airport this year are set to be ‘Chapter 14 Low’ – the quietest type of aircraft available – an increase from the 16% seen in 2017.

Leading the charge this quarter is Turkish Airlines (long-haul), who are the latest airline to modernise their fleet to include more Boeing 777’s. The Turkish carrier has moved into 17th place on the league table, up 25 spots from last quarter. Improved ability to fly within the specified departure routes known as ‘noise preferential routes’ (NPRs) has also helped improve their position.

Scandinavian Airlines have been knocked off the top spot by Aer Lingus, which has moved up three places from last quarter to claim first. The Scandinavian carrier now sits in second place, followed closely by British Airways (short-haul) in third. The top three performers scored highly in six of the seven noise and emission metrics used to rank airlines. All three have shown a clear upward trend in their use of a quieter arrivals procedure “Continuous Descent Approach” (CDA) and better adherence to the NPRs.

Another strong performer is Oman Air which have also been working closely with the Heathrow team to improve their position by 11 places from last quarter.  Saudi Arabian Airlines are expected to make improvements over the next quarters, due to their active engagement with Heathrow’s operational team. The airline has also just taken delivery of a new system which allows them to see how each aircraft has performed on measures like CDA and track keeping,  within 20 minutes of arriving at Heathrow, and for them engage with the flight crews to drive up performance.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability said:

“The latest league table results raises the bar for airlines, who have shown that they remain committed to flying quieter and greener.

“Our local communities are at the heart of this programme. Heathrow will continue to work closely with our airline partners to improve results even further, as part of our mission to be a better neighbour.”

– Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability, Matt Gorman

Each quarter, Heathrow publishes this league table showing a red/amber/green rating for seven noise and emissions criteria. In doing so, Heathrow not only aims to recognise good performance but ensures our noise and emissions experts are able to provide airlines with regular feedback and identify specific areas to be targeted for improvement. Heathrow will engage with airlines showing red results in the latest league table to improve their rating.

Essex based start-up Energy Crop Solutions and local resident Andrew Swift have won Heathrow’s first ever Sustainable Innovation Prizes, beating other applications from SMEs across the UK and airport workers.

The winners were judged as the best solutions which could solve some of the sustainability challenges facing airports and the aviation industry more widely.

Entries were invited to focus on three areas as part of Heathrow’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainability work: using waste as a resource, sustainable and low carbon materials, and measuring and enhancing quality of life locally.

The six chosen finalists pitched to a senior judging panel including:

  • Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability & Environment

  • Katherine Leahy, Heathrow’s Director of Airport Operations

  • Chris Annetts, Heathrow’s Retail Director

  • Fiona Carleton, Future Heathrow Director

  • Plus a guest judge Jonathan Counsell, IAG’s Director of Sustainability

As a winner of the Innovation Prize, Energy Crop Solutions will receive £20,000 in funding and the opportunity to use the airport as a “test bed” for their sustainability solution. Energy Crop Solutions plan to work with local charity Green Corridor to explore how different willow varieties provide acoustic, air quality and aesthetic improvements for local residents. The company will also explore if the willows can be used to fuel the airport’s on-site biomass boiler.  If the results are favourable, Energy Crop Solutions may have the opportunity to expand this project more widely across the airport.

A similar innovation competition, run internally to engage colleagues who work at the airport was won by Maidenhead resident Andrew Swift. His winning idea is to use the airport’s plastic waste for its road surfacing. Heathrow will fund research into Andrew’s winning idea with its university partners, which could lead to an on-airport trial.

The strength and creativity of the entries received this year has encouraged the airport to launch a second prize early in 2019.  Five honourable mentions were given to the other finalists, and Heathrow is exploring whether these ideas can also be supported in some way at the airport:

  • Cheshire- based Driver Net, which has established a smart logistics app which would be tested for its potential to improve operational efficiency and cut vehicle emissions from freight deliveries;

  • London-based ForestCar – an innovative airport car sharing service involving peer-to-peer lending;

  • Dorset- based ECO360 which provides recyclable cardboard furniture and suggested trialling these in specialist airport applications;

  • Hertfordshire-based Urban Control, which put forward low-cost noise detection monitoring combined with machine learning to determine specific sources of noise;

  • Leeds – based Yellow Label – a tech start-up seeking to cut food waste communicating the availability of discounted food to consumer.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment said:

“The creativity and ingenuity from all the entries we received has shown us the value of our Innovation Prize.

“We look forward to seeing the results of the research and trials from our winners, and how they will help us think outside of the box to tackle our biggest environmental challenges at the airport.”

– Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment, Matt Gorman

Winner Gary Crooks,  from Energy Crop Solutions, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be selected as a winner of the Sustainable Innovation Prize. Working with Heathrow has given us a unique opportunity to demonstrate the benefits now possible from the latest willow cultivars and 2nd generation biomass.

“With this amazing opportunity we will demonstrate the benefits of willow for air quality, bio diversity and noise reduction for the local communities.”

– Gary Crooks, Energy Crop Solutions

We will also highlight the use the greatly improved 2nd generation biomass accelerating its adoption across the UK. We are excited to explore the opportunities that winning the prize presents and can’t wait to get started.”

Winner of the internal Sustainable Innovation Prize,  Andrew Swift said:

“I was very surprised and pleased to not only to have my idea short listed but to end up an eventual winner of the Heathrow’s Centre of Excellence innovation prize.”

“The world slowly is waking up to the big issue plastic is causing our environment and here at Heathrow I can see the desire to be an industry leader in making a difference.”

– Andrew Swift, Winner of the Internal Sustainable Innovation Prize

Heathrow invites the public to capture the holiday feeling by sharing their genuine Sound Escapes. 

  • Passengers are invited to share submissions of distinctive holiday sounds;

  • The airport is collaborating with award-winning composer and sound artist Nick Ryan;

  • Sounds will be combined to create a unique, captivating and immersive soundscape.

Heathrow – Europe’s largest hub airport – is encouraging travellers to go one step further in capturing their holiday moments this year by asking them to capture their perfect Sound Escapes, creating an even more evocative way of capturing memories than a classic photo.

It is well known that brains connect sounds to emotions, making it an important part of the feeling and memory of a holiday. From the buzz of children’s laughter and soft rustling palm trees to local musician’s beats, lapping sea waves and city cabs honking, these distinctive holiday sounds capture the very essence of a holiday. Submissions by the public over four months, will be refined and collated into a captivating and immersive soundscape by award-winning composer and sound artist Nick Ryan.

Heathrow has just seen one million travellers pass through the airport over the August Bank Holiday, with a peak of over 125,000 departing on Friday 24 August. Although the school holidays are nearly over, the UK’s holiday exodus remains strong across the year. September will see over 113,000 travellers predicted to depart on Saturday 1st while October and November are forecast to see highs around Thanksgiving, half term and weekend city breaks.

With holidays varying from two weeks on a sun-drenched beach to cultured city break and adventurous winter skiing to relaxing exotic retreat, it is thought that the same part of the brain in charge of processing the senses is also responsible for storing emotional memories. With sound cues being key to lasting memories of trips, noises that are unique to a special break can transport us back in time and inspire us to visit new destinations.

Holidaymakers are invited to submit up to a minute of their sounds to, with the resulting one-of-a-kind soundtrack, created by award-winning composer and sound artist Nick Ryan, revealed in January 2019 for travellers to experience, enjoy and use as inspiration for the next getaway.

Nick Ryan, British Academy Award-winning composer and sound artist, comments:

We all tend to record holiday memories with cameras, yet I believe that listening to the sound of a voice or a place can trigger far more intense memories than a photo.”

“I am intrigued to hear which sounds holidaymakers bring back from their breaks and look forward to combining hundreds of these, from the thousands of people who jet away every year into an immersive audio portrait of our Sound Escapes”.

– Nick Ryan

Ross Baker, Chief Commercial Officer at Heathrow, comments:

“At Heathrow, we’re proud of helping our passengers create precious memories and experiences that they’ll treasure forever. There’s no better memory than that of a perfect holiday to leave you wanting more.”

“Our inaugural Sound Escapes is an innovative way of reinforcing the wonder and delight of memories across the globe.”

– Chief Commercial Officer, Ross Baker 

People are invited to submit holiday sounds as an either a .wav or .mp3 at:

One of the lucky winners will also go into a prize draw to win £500 shopping vouchers to spend when flying through Heathrow.

This weekend, Heathrow welcomed its first flight arriving directly from the Chinese megacity of Chongqing. Operated by Tianjin Airlines, this thrice weekly service will be able to transport up to 81,000 passengers a year and offer space for 3,744 tonnes of annual exports and imports to this megacity in the Chinese interior.

For the second year, Heathrow has partnered with the Department for International Trade ‘Exporting is GREAT Campaign’ to fund 20 SME’s exporting ambitions​. These include outstanding companies that support refugee learning programmes, gourmet crisp producers and a family run cycling business.

  • SME’s will be awarded a total of £40,000 to support international trade missions and foreign market research​

  • This year’s winners include designers, manufacturers and retailers from across the UK all looking to share their products and expertise with the wider world

The programme, now in its second year, sees Heathrow working in partnership with the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) ‘Exporting is GREAT Campaign’, to award each SME £2,000 to fund their trade missions as they look to expand their businesses abroad.

In addition to receiving the grant, the winners will be offered guidance from DIT International Trade Advisers and may even be put in contact with other international networks that will be able to assist them as they look to establish themselves in markets further afield. When departing from Heathrow, these businesses will also be given a Plaza Premium lounge pass for their travels.

Some of this year’s winners include:

  • NEMI Tea – A London-based tea company that makes biodegradable tea pyramids and employs refugees to sell these products enabling them to learn English and gain experience before entering the job market. The company plans to use the grant to attend trade shows in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
  • MamaBabyBliss – A Hertfordshire-based business that offers parent and baby classes, workshops, yoga inspired workouts, pregnancy massage treatments and produces multi-award-winning vegan baby products. MamaBabyBliss is looking to showcase their services and products at the ‘Best of British’ Trade Show in Shanghai this year.
  • Pearson Cycles – A Richmond-based family business established in 1860. The business sells bikes, clothing and accessories and plans to move into markets which are receptive to genuine British heritage companies, such as Taiwan, by attending the Taipei Cycle Show.
  • Premier Packaging Solutions – A Northern Ireland-based business that manufactures luxury packaging which is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging. Premier Packaging Solutions currently exports to Malta, Slovenia, Hungary, Ireland and the States and is looking to break into the Canadian market.
  • Reza Wood Designs – A Scottish business that recycles whisky barrels from local distilleries and transforms them into one of a kind handcrafted gifts for Scotch whisky lovers around the world. Reza Wood Designs is planning to use their grant to enter the Japanese market.
  • Savoursmiths – A Duxford-based business that produces gourmet crisps, cut from home-grown local potatoes grown on a family farm, before being batch cooked by hand. This brand is working to become a global business and begin trading in the Middle East and Asia.

The ‘World of Opportunity Programme’ ran from 8 June – 14 July of this year. Nearly 150 applications were received, and the winning entries were chosen by a panel of experts including Heathrow Chairman Lord Deighton and Parveen Thornhill, London and Devolved Administration Director for the Department of International Trade.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Expansion Director said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with the DIT for the second year to support these entrepreneurs as they look to expand their businesses abroad.

Our airport plays a crucial role connecting British people, goods and services to the world, and now with the World of Opportunity programme we’re able to help these businesses as they begin their exporting journeys.

– Heathrow’s Executive Expansion Director, Emma Gilthorpe.

Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:

“We’re delighted to have partnered with Heathrow once again on the World of Opportunity Programme. With last year’s winning SMEs going on to secure major export wins in markets across the globe, we look forward to supporting the success of this year’s cohort.

“Businesses that export are more productive and resilient, creating more jobs and paying higher wages.”

Every day, the UK’s world-class, innovative businesses are seizing opportunities in new overseas markets – but there is a vast potential for growth, and our new export strategy sets out just how we will further boost the delivery of quality British goods and services.

– Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead

Full list of SMEs in ‘World of Opportunity Programme’:

  • Julia Booker Paintings LTD – Cardiff, Wales
  • International Glass Consultants LTD – Tyne and Wear, North East
  • Savoursmiths – Cambridge, East of England
  • Direct Access Consultancy – Cheshire, North West
  • Omicyber Security – Shirley, West Midlands
  • Premier Packaging Solutions – County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Alan Harper Composites – Saltash, South West
  • Visit Football – Falmouth, South West
  • Torr Scientific – Bexhill-on-Sea, South East
  • LMK Thermosafe LTD  –  Suffolk, East of England
  • MamaBabyBliss – Hertfordshire, South East
  • Pearson Cycle Specialists – Richmond, London
  • Reza Wood Designs – Glasgow, Scotland
  • NEMI – London
  • Armadillo Merino – Derbyshire, East Midlands
  • Vigiles Group Ltd – Bristol, South West
  • Vanassibara Limited – Wraysbury, London
  • Horizon Works – Newcastle Upon Tyne, North East
  • Janet’s List Limited – London
  • LF Markey – London


Heathrow has recorded its busiest ever day as tourists flocked to the UK in July, with over a quarter of a million passengers travelling through the airport on 19 different days in the month.

The 29th of July became Heathrow’s busiest ever with nearly 262,000 passengers welcomed to the airport in 24 hours. In total, over 7.8 million passengers travelled through the UK’s hub airport during the month – an increase of 3.7% on 2017 and the 21st consecutive record month for Heathrow.

The airport’s already popular North American routes saw significant growth of 8.1%, a total of 1.8 million passengers driven by larger, fuller aircraft. These figures reiterate the need to extend the use of self-service e-gates to nations such as the United States and Canada in order to ease border congestion.

Passenger numbers for Asia-Pacific also climbed by 4.2% following new services from Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines, connecting the UK to Changsha and Xi’an and Qingdao.

In the past two years Heathrow has welcomed 9 new routes to Chinese destinations.

Cargo, construction supply chain progress, Louis Vuitton, and Heathrow expansion…

Cargo growth to emerging markets like China, Turkey and Brazil helped over 140,000 metric tonnes of cargo travel through Heathrow in July.

The month also saw Heathrow complete its nationwide tour of the 65 longlisted sites for potential logistics hubs to help build the expansion of the airport.

Heathrow’s search for innovation partners for the project also saw the completion of its first stage with over 100 expressions of interest lodged.

The airport also announced the arrival of two new retail spaces – a Louis Vuitton pop-up store in Terminal 4 and a Spuntino in Terminal 3, both are set to open in Winter 2018.

It’s brilliant to see even more international visitors coming to the UK and supercharging the country’s economy this summer. However, too often their first impression of the UK is a long queue for immigration. The Home Office should let visitors from low risk countries, such as the US, use the same e-gates as EU visitors to give them a warm welcome to Britain.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said, “It’s brilliant to see even more international visitors coming to the UK and supercharging the country’s economy this summer. However, too often their first impression of the UK is a long queue for immigration.”

“The Home Office should let visitors from low risk countries, such as the US, use the same e-gates as EU visitors to give them a warm welcome to Britain.”

Today Heathrow announces that it is the first UK airport to use Textio to highlight unconscious bias in the airport’s job listings

  • Heathrow are using Textio to highlight unconscious bias in job adverts – other companies who use the programme report a 23% increase in female applicants

  • In September, Heathrow will launch the airport’s first career returners programme supporting individuals looking to step back into professional roles

  • Announcements follow Heathrow’s signing of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter at this year’s Farnborough Air Show

The move ensures that the airport uses the most inclusive language to publicise its job opportunities, with the aim of encouraging more historically underrepresented people to apply for roles. The investment in the new technology comes just weeks after the signing of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace and at a key time for Heathrow as the airport prepares for expansion.

As Heathrow continues its work to deliver the third runway, the airport is planning for a significant increase in the number of colleagues and introducing a raft of measures that will ensure a more diverse talent pool is being accessed.

Implementing Textio to Heathrow’s selection process

Textio works by scanning text and comparing it to over 370 million other live job listings, before suggesting more inclusive language. The augmented writing programme considers the local language, the sector, as well as the level of the role being listed to work out the most appropriate wording.

The software uses a combination of natural language processing and AI to constantly update itself on which language patterns attract the most diverse mix and help companies fill roles faster with more qualified applicants.

Alternative HR programmes

Heathrow will also launch a Career Returners programme this September, supporting men and women who have taken a career break of two years or more, such as parents and carers, as they return to the workplace.

Both announcements coincide with the relaunch of Heathrow’s internal women’s network, Altitude, who work to guarantee that gender is never a barrier to career progress at Heathrow. The network’s purpose is to empower women to reach their full career aspirations and inspire colleagues across the business – for example showcasing the company’s role models.

The news follows Heathrow’s signing of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter at this year’s Farnborough Airshow. The Charter aims to see gender equality in the aviation and aerospace industries by supporting the progression of women to senior roles in the sectors.

Heathrow is working to achieve this through setting targets and driving change through a number of measures including the implementation of the Textio software, the launch of the Career Returners Programme and the relaunch of the Women’s Altitude Network.

We’re delighted to announce this latest raft of initiatives that will ensure that Heathrow recruits from a diverse and inclusive talent pool.

As we continue to refine our expansion plans and look to significantly increase the number of people working at our airport, it is crucial that we do all that we can to attract the most talented individuals to Heathrow and create more gender equality in our sector.

– Fiona Tice, Heathrow Talent and Development Director

Heathrow has opened its doors to let persons with disabilities learn more about the assistance options available at each stage of their journeys, and to listen to their feedback on how to further improve services available to passengers who require support.

This event coincided with the launch of the Civil Aviation Authority’s annual report on accessibility at UK airports, which has restored Heathrow’s ranking to ‘good’ following a ‘poor’ rating last year.

The new ranking follows a year of rapid changes for the airport which saw the Heathrow Access Advisory Group (HAAG) established, £23 million invested in new equipment, resources and technology, and innovations like a distinctive lanyard for passengers with hidden disabilities introduced.

Part of a series of activities to promote accessible air travel, the Heathrow Open Day was run by the Accessible Transport Forum (ATF), the grassroots arm of the Heathrow Access Advisory Group (HAAG) in conjunction with Heathrow Airport, British Airways, and the airport’s special assistance provider, OmniServ.

Engaging with persons with disabilities is essential to keep accessibility at the forefront of Heathrow’s thinking, especially now that the expansion plan has entered a more dynamic phase. In the coming months the HAAG will work with Heathrow to help develop the accessible airport of the future, an environment for everyone to use.

HAAG Chair Roberto Castiglioni

The event provided a general introduction to air travel at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, while following open days will offer more focussed tours for passengers with specific needs – for example, for those passengers who travel with personal wheelchairs, or those with hidden disabilities.Throughout 2017, Heathrow welcomed around 1.25 million passengers with reduced mobility – the most of any airport in the UK – as well as many passengers with hidden disabilities.

The airport is on a journey with its special assistance programme and continues to look at ways to empower passengers to be as independent as possible when travelling. Dates and details of all Heathrow Open Days are available on the HAAG’s website.


Heathrow has embraced the colours of the rainbow in celebration of Pride in London and commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic flag, created with the help of 6,000 passengers’ kisses. Populated by staff and passengers the flag will now fly above Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal until the end of July.

  • 6,000 passengers donate their kisses to create unique piece of art for Pride London

  • Heathrow’s Pride flag is now flying high above Terminal 2 until the end of July

  • The crowd-sourced artwork is part of a week of celebrations, co-ordinated by the Heathrow Proud Network who provide support to LGBT+ employees

  • 5% more passengers than last year are due to fly into Heathrow ahead of Pride in London this weekend

The unveiling of the flag is part of a week-long celebration of Pride, with Heathrow showing its support for the LGBT+ community and the colourful spirit of the event, ready to welcome 5% more passengers into London in the week ahead of Pride, than the same time last year.

The piece of ‘kissing art’ – created with kisses rather than traditional paintbrush strokes – denotes the famous rainbow coloured flag and has been populated by international passengers. Each passenger placed their own individual ‘kiss’ stamp onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

To celebrate Pride London, Heathrow has commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic rainbow flag, created entirely by 6,000 international passengers’ kisses. Each passenger placed their own individual kiss onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

The flag started life in Terminal 2 on 1st July, positioned in departures, with passengers able to get involved and donate their mark of love for Pride by stamping their kiss in a choice of vibrant red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple lipstick, onto the blank canvas.

The artwork was quickly populated, with 84,303 passengers passing through the terminal, taking 6,000 kisses to be completed, with the final kisses donated by staff across the airport’s terminals as it took a tour of the control tower, fire station and BA Crew Centre, before being sealed and placed on the flag pole.

Now complete, the flag has been flown outside Terminal 2 and will remain on display until the end of the month for passengers to enjoy and capture on camera as they travel through the airport.

The Heathrow Pride takeover also sees the Heathrow logo receive a Pride makeover and digital screens across the airport transformed into vibrant displays of rainbow colours.

Gay Star News competition helps find faces of Heathrow Pride

Leading the celebrations was the Heathrow Proud Network, an internal colleague group that works together to make a difference to the experience of LGBT+ colleagues and to promote a level playing field of opportunity.

To celebrate Pride London, Heathrow has commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic rainbow flag, created entirely by 6,000 international passengers’ kisses. Each passenger placed their own individual kiss onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

The group has run a competition with Gay Star News, to find the new faces of Heathrow whose images take pride of place across the terminals.

The winners, all members of the LGBT+ community, include; Nicola Dumbleton, Security Manager at Heathrow; Steph Constantinides, Facilitator at Heathrow; Nikki Hayden, Transgender Activist; Mark Small/Vanity Nightmare, London Drag Queen; Ricky Tanna, Pride Performer and Adam Lee Mroz, from Gaymers Inc, an LGBT gaming community.

Carol Hui, Chief of Staff at Heathrow Airport commented,” We’ve been getting into the spirit of Pride right across the airport to show our support for London and the rest of the UK, where diversity and equality are so strongly celebrated and equally valued across our employees and passengers alike.”

“Many of the LGBT+ community travel into London, to celebrate this incredible festival so we wanted to give them a warm welcome by, quite literally, flying the flag for Pride.”

To celebrate Pride London, Heathrow has commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic rainbow flag, created entirely by 6,000 international passengers’ kisses. Each passenger placed their own individual kiss onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

For many years, my identity has been the talking point for many people. Apparently, I don’t fit in the ‘female’ appearance box. But if I was to step back and give myself advice, it would be to stand tall and never change YOU for anyone. What better way to stand tall than become the face of Proud Heathrow?

Steph Constantinides, Heathrow

Steph Constantinides, Facilitator at Heathrow and one of the new Faces of Heathrow said, “For many years, my identity has been the talking point for many people. Apparently, I don’t fit in the ‘female’ appearance box. But if I was to step back and give myself advice, it would be to stand tall and never change YOU for anyone. “

“What better way to stand tall than become the face of Proud Heathrow?”

The Heathrow Proud Network will also be taking part in the Pride in London parade on Saturday 7th July.


By Heathrow

Published 5th July 2018