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Terminals of London Heathrow Airport

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in City Guides

Terminal 1

Queen Elizabeth inaugurated Terminal 1 in May 1969. Terminal 1 served as a base for the domestic network of British Airways from Heathrow to long distance destinations until Terminal 5 commenced its operation. With the area of 803, 000 sq ft, the renovation of terminal 1 in 2005 witnessed the expansion of the departure lounge in the new eastern extension. Also, additional space for seating and retail shops were expanded. Terminal 1 is a home to Aer Lingus and several other airlines as well.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 is considered as Heathrow’s oldest terminal which was opened in 1955. Initially, the terminal was designed with a plan of handling 1.2 million passengers annually. However, with the increasing rate of passengers touching a base of around 8 million, the building of Terminal 2 became ricketier and was finally demolished with the plans of rebuilding the site with a larger area equal in size of Terminal 5.

Terminal 3

Earlier known as the Oceanic Terminal, it was opened on the 13 November 1961. During the initial phase, there was a direct helicopter service to Central London with a helipad on the roof of the terminal building. It was later rechristened as Terminal 3 in 1968 and had an expansion in 1970 with the construction of the arrivals building. In 2006, Pier 6 was developed at a cost of £105 million to provide space for Airbus A380 Superjumbo. A new four lane drop-off area and a large walker path with a canopy to the terminal was constructed in 2007 to make the passengers feel more comfortable.

Terminal 4

This terminal is undergoing a rapid development with accordance to the increasing rate of passengers. Stretching out to an area of 1,140, 200 sq ft, it is a home for the Sky Team alliance and a few other unaffiliated carriers as well. Opened in 1986, it is exactly located next to the cargo terminal and is connected to other terminals through the Cargo tunnel. A whopping amount of £200m was invested to provide base for 45 airlines along with a forecourt to manage the traffic congestion. Extended check-in area, renovated piers, departure lounges and a new baggage system are the latest attractions of Terminal 4.

Terminal 5

Terminal 5 was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth ll on the 14 March 2008 and opened to the public from the 27 March 2008. During the initial phase, the terminal faced disruption in operation due to improper IT systems and poor staff training that resulted in the cancellation of 500 flights. Nevertheless, it managed to overcome the hurdles with the vigorous staff management and technical enhancements. The terminal has a four storey main building and is linked to two satellite buildings by an underground people mover transit system. Built at a cost of £4.3 billion, Heathrow’s Terminal 5 has an area of 3, 200,000 sq ft with Concourse B spanning across an area of 650,000 ft. It consists of 60 aircrafts and stands with 30 million passengers a year.

Take Your Wheelchair on Your Next Vacation

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012 in Planning

So many people feel as though the exciting times of their lives are over once they start using a mobility device. This does not have to be the case because there are now ways that you can do your favorite activities while staying comfortable. It is even possible to take your wheelchair on your next cross-country vacation, and the whole process is easier than you think.

Pack Light

While it may be impossible to pack a light suitcase for your next trip, you can pack a light wheelchair. Choose a chair that is comfortable to sit in but that can easily fit in the back of your trunk.

When you travel with a light wheelchair, you will be able to go on tours without worrying about getting tired or weak. You can see all of the beautiful sights without fear of losing energy before you are finished. You can even take the lightweight wheelchair into cabs, airplanes or trains, which means you can take advantage of all modes of transportation.

Experiment with each wheelchair before you buy it. Practice folding and unfolding it to make sure that you can use it without any problems. Be familiar with it before you take it on your vacation.

Get a Wheelchair Lift

If you will be taking your own vehicle, invest in a wheelchair lift. This will give you the ability to carry your wheelchair across the country no matter how large it is.

If you rely heavily on your wheelchair, you can use the wheelchair lift to transport it easily. You can find a lift for every type of vehicle, which means that you can take your car, truck, van or SUV on your vacation. You’ll have easy access to your wheelchair at all times, and you won’t have to worry about finding a way to store your chair.

Do Your Research

Before you go on your trip, check out the different venues that you will be visiting. Find out where the access ramps are, and gain special permission to enter tours if necessary. Make sure that each site that you are visiting will have everything prepared for you so that your tour can be even more enjoyable.

Top 10 Tips for Traveling Abroad

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Planning

Visiting far away destinations can be an incredible experience, an opportunity to truly experience a new culture. However, traveling overseas can also be stressful, especially if it’s your first venture abroad. Here are the top 10 tips to make the experience go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Travel in comfort or as much as possible.The most painful part of traveling abroad is the long, overseas flight. However, there are things you can do to make it as easy as possible. Try to get the best seat possible on the flight. If you think you will have to get up often that may mean sitting in an aisle seat. If you plan on sleeping the entire flight you may want to snag a window seat. Take a book, blanket, pillow, and eye covers. It can seem surreal to have only a couple short hours of darkness en route. Covering your eyes will let you turn the lights out sooner and sleep more peacefully.
  2. Proper documentation. Every country has different entry requirements. Make sure you check the entry requirements for your destination and start on the necessary documentation as soon as possible. It can be stressful waiting on documentation, so do yourself a favor and don’t put it off.
  3. Vaccinations.Check the immunization suggestions for the country you will be visiting. Talk to your doctor about what you may need.
  4. Health stuff. Check with your health insurance company to establish whether you will be protected while you are abroad. It may be necessary to purchase extra coverage. Don’t take the risk and go overseas without the protection of health coverage.
  5. Money stuff. Don’t count on your debit card working while you’re abroad. Make sure you have a credit card, even if only for emergency purposes. When exchanging money, look for a bank or a business that specializes in exchanging currency, as airport exchanges tack on extra fees.
  6. Electronics. If you can’t live without your shaver or blow dryer, you will need to purchase an adaptor before you leave. Even if you can locate one abroad, chances are the prices will be escalated far above what you would find at home.
  7. Food. The food you are going to be experiencing abroad is going to be different than what you are used to. Period. However, different doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Just make sure you know what you are ordering to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation where your stomach can’t handle your selection.
  8. Culture. Do your best to be respectful of the culture and acclimate yourself to that as much as possible. Do some reading about the culture before you leave so you will feel as comfortable as possible.
  9. Language. While no one expects you to learn an entirely new language, you might try learning a few phrases that will be especially useful. Phrases like asking where the bathroom is or asking for directions will increase your sense of control.
  10. Souvenirs. Make sure whatever items you choose to take home can either fit in your carry-on or can fit into your suitcase. If you fall in love with an item that will not fit in your luggage you might consider shipping. Just be prepared, as this can get a little pricey!
  • Health stuff. Check with your health insurance company to establish whether you will be protected while you are abroad. It may be necessary to purchase extra coverage. Don’t take the risk and go overseas without the protection of health coverage.
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