The Terminal: part 2

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Escaping to sunnier shores with the kids this half term but wondering which airport to fly out from? Make up your mind with our handy guide

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Heathrow
Heathrow is the daddy of airports boasting no fewer than five terminals. It’s the world’s busiest airport – more than 66.9 million people pass through the place every year – so the likelihood is that you’ll be starting your holiday at Heathrow.
Your destination will determine which terminal you depart from. In the past Terminal 1 has typically catered for domestic flights while Terminal 2 has been dedicated to European destinations, Terminal 3 for long haul passengers with most BA flights departing from Terminal 4. But it’s all change with the arrival of Terminal 5.
Designed by British ‘starchitect’ Richard Rogers, Heathrow’s new addition cost £4.3bn and took 18 years to design and 20,000 workers to build. We reckon ‘T5’ was worth the wait though…the 130ft high building is not only drop dead gorgeous (all marble floors and panoramic windows), but is home to 112 shops and restaurants – Gordan Ramsay Plane Food anyone? Much like Tom Hanks’ character in The Terminal, CD-Traveller could happily hole up here.

Liverpool
Officially opened in 1993, Liverpool John Lennon Airport is one of the UK’s longest established operational airports. Located approximately seven miles from Liverpool City Centre (adjacent to the River Mersey), it’s an airport that anyone with an interest in art will love… Local artists have been given the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in and around the airport terminal – well the Merseyside city was declared the European ‘capital of culture’ in 2008. Even if you’re not into art, as pre-flight entertainment goes, it sure beats browsing around Boots…

Luton

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Luton (or Lutonairport to give it its official name) has long been thought of as cheap and cheerful – not that this seems to bother the 10 million passengers who take to the skies from Luton each year.
Functional rather than fabulous, shopping stalwarts such as WH Smith, Dixons and Tie Rack all feature, while food-wise the chain gang (Pret, Costa, Cafe Nero, Starbucks and so on) have all taken up a tenancy.
Still, while the restaurant and shop selection might be lousy, there are plenty of other reasons to love Luton. First up, Luton is ridiculously easy to get to – a must for jet setters – being close to both the M1 and M25. Furthermore, on arrival passengers are able to drop off, pick up or park for free for up to 60 minutes – welcome news in these recessionary times. Finally, the 73 year old airport is the first in the country to introduce a car share scheme offering you the chance to meet fellow holidaymakers, help save the environment and save money – meaning more moolah to spend on your hols.

Manchester
Easily accessible by most modes of transport, Manchester airport connects the North-West to the world! And for anyone who wants to see the world (or some of it) but is conscious of cash – we are only just out of a recession after all – Manchester airport has some red hot deals to an awesome array of cities and countries. Whether you want to discover your inner hippie in Goa or search for your own Captain Corelli in Kefalonia, you can get to your destination du jour from Manchester.
No matter what flight you go for, if you decide to fly from Manchester (and more than 22 million passengers do), be sure to arrive airport early so as to take a tour of the airport’s Supersonic superstar: Concorde G-BOAC. One of the top tourist attractions in Manchester, the tour enables you to get up close and personal with the aviation legend.

Newcastle
Famed for its nightlife, bridges (standouts include the Tyne Bridge and Millennium Bridge), £1 million Angel of the North statue and, lest we forget, celebs such as FHM’s sexiest woman in the world, Cheryl Cole, presenting duo Declan Donnelly and Ant McPartlin and AC/DC frontman, Brian Johnson – all of whom were born in what is one of England’s most exciting cities – Newcastle is also the gateway for many great value getaways.
Located in the heart of the North East, Newcastle International Airport is the region’s largest airport and extremely accessible by car (it’s off the A1), bus, train or the excellent Metro; a light rail system which will whisk you from the city centre to the airport in under 25 minutes.
The shops and dining options shouldn’t suck at your wallet too much but enterprises like Relaxanation – an onsite massage company that aims soothe and stroke away any pre holiday stress – will leave you poorer. Still if it ensures you start your holiday on a high…

stansted


Stansted
Designed in 1991 by Norma Foster, London Stansted is – despite its name – actually in Essex. A sleek and stylish airport, Stansted sees some 22.3 million strangers pass through every year, making it the fastest growing major airport in Europe. Stansted employs an entire army of staff (11,600 to be precise) to make your airport experience a pleasant one and there are plans to create a further 13,800 jobs by 2030.
Regardless of whether you want to fly from Stansted to see the pyramids in Egypt or simply want to flop on a beach in St Lucia or the Seychelles, be sure to arrive early at the airport to bag some bargains: make-up junkies will love the Estee Lauder, Clarins and Clinique counters that jostle for your credit cards.
Shopped till you’ve dropped? Time then, to board your flight. Spain is Stansted’s most popular destination while further afield Florida is a good option for anyone looking to lie on a sun lounger; Florida is, after all, America’s sunniest state. The decision is yours!

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