Virtual Tour: London Heathrow’s New Terminal 2 – The Queen’s Terminal

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When entering the terminal from under ground, having taken the Tube or the Heathrow Express over, one may not at first notice anything new except a slightly more colorful walkway. This is rather deceptive, as those arriving by car to the terminal’s front door will get a much better view of a very modern glass-sheathed building.

The first thing to notice is that there are no doors to the terminal. It resembles a railway terminal in that one simply walks in.  Once inside, clear signs for check-in direct passengers through a set of doors.

Across the street a multi-story car park is available and the terminal has rail, tube, and bus connections accessible from within the building.

Stop in the covered courtyard for a moment and admire at Slipstream, a 70 meter (230 foot) work of art that grew out of a 2010 competition.  Created by artist Richard Wilson, it is intended to evoke the imagined flight path of a Zivko Edge 540 stunt plane.  The artist stated that it is a way of “transferring the thrill of the air show to the architectural environment of an international air terminal” and serves as a “metaphor for travel.”


The size of a Boeing 747, with a weight of 77 tons (77,000 kilograms), it is the largest permanent sculpture in Europe and will be officially unveiled in late April.

It may also become the most viewed piece of sculpture in Europe if not in the world given the 20 million people who will pass through T2 each year.

First is the check-in area.  Any passenger traveling on any airline serving the terminal can check in at any kiosk.  [This required an extraordinary amount of coordination with the various airlines as well as with Star Alliance due to the number of disparate systems invovled.]  Officials say it’s a “world first” and it does seem like a great idea.

The kiosks are very easy to use and allow the traveler to present a variety of information to begin the check-in process.

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