MIAMI — United Airlines began operating out of London Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal, on Wednesday. United flight 958, a Boeing 767 from Chicago, arrived at gate 38B at 5:49 a.m. local time, marking the first ever passenger flight to arrive into the new terminal.
Customers arriving on the first flight were greeted by Hershel Kamen, United’s senior vice president of alliances, regulatory and policy; Bob Schumacher, United’s managing director of sales, U.K. & Ireland; John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s development director and chief executive designate; and Mark Schwab, chief executive officer of Star Alliance.
After four years, United has officially combined all of its Heathrow operations into one central location. Since United and Continental announced their merger, the carriers had operated out of two different terminals.
“We’re extremely proud to be the first airline to operate from the new Terminal 2 and to consolidate our Heathrow operations in the airport’s most advanced terminal,” said United’s Bob Schumacher. “Heathrow is one of the most important airports in United’s global network, and Terminal 2 represents a huge improvement in the service and facilities we are able to provide to all our customers, whether they’re departing, arriving or connecting.”
In a press release, United says passengers will benefit from “easier, faster routes through check-in and security. Customers have a choice of check-in methods: quick and easy self-service kiosks, fast bag-drop desks and full-service check-in desks. Customers can also enjoy a wide variety of shopping, dining and seating options in a light, airy, spacious building.”
The terminal also offers two new lounges for United’s premium customers. Combined, they offers about 22,000 square feet of fantastic views via floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the airfield, complimentary food, beverages and Wi-Fi, in business facilities, shower suites and other amenities and services.
United currently operates an average of 17 flights per day between London Heathrow and Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C./Dulles.
The carrier will be the first to occupy the new space, eventually joined by 22 other Star Alliance airlines over the next six months. The decision to phase-in the move-ins was tied to the disastrous Terminal 5 opening several years back.