Heathrow faces baggage challenge for Olympics 2012

14th Aug 2011

Heathrow is considering plans to set up a temporary terminal and send Olympic athletes’ baggage by courier jets to help cope with large numbers of athletes competing in the Games, according to reports.

Airport bosses have revealed they will “probably” have to foot the bill for Olympians’ luggage, which could reach millions of pounds, so they are in talks with private freight firms.

Athletes typically travel with five bags each, compared with an average of 1.5 for other travellers.

A spokesman for Heathrow owner BAA, said: “That will obviously put different pressure on the baggage system, so we’re looking at various solutions to deliver luggage in a different way.

“The option of using a freight company like UPS to fly bags directly from the Olympic village to athletes’ destination points is likely to form part of our final solution.”


The Olympic games are set to boost tourism in the UK with 5.5 million visitors expected to descend upon London, during the games. Heathrow is expecting 600,000 people linked to the Games - including 50,000 athletes, officials and sponsors - to pass through its baggage halls.

The busiest day anticipated will be the day after the closing ceremony, on August 12th, when most athletes will travel home. BAA is predicting it will handle 218,000 bags on that day.
Heathrow has recruited 1,000 volunteers who will assist athletes through immigration and baggage collection when they arrive.

Last month, Heathrow reported it handled a record 6.9 passengers.

World Tourism Sport Congress

For the first time this year, alongside the climax of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the World Sport Tourism Congress ,  will take place on the luxury cruise ship – the P&O Pacific Dawn – and will comprise of four days of inspirational panel debates, leading-edge presentations and priceless networking opportunities, all conducted whilst cruising in style around New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands.

The fully-inclusive cruise package departs from Queen’s Wharf, Auckland on October 10th, returning on October 14th in time for the Rugby World Cup Semi Finals.

Themed “Sharing the Sport and Tourism Boom”, WSTC presents an opportunity for network and engage with industry’s elite, gain invaluable insights from the world’s leading experts and meet face-to-face with the key Sport Tourism buyers as deals are brokered for future sporting events.

Confirmed speakers include: Jeanine Pires (Minster Special Advisor, Rio 2016 Olympics & former President, Embratur), Geoffrey Lipman (Advisor to Secretary General UNWTO), Campbell Jamieson (Commercial Director, International Cricket Council) and Darren Mee (COO, TUI Travel PLC, Specialist & Activity Sector).

The delegate rate of £950 will include access to all sessions on the WSTC programme, four nights accommodation on board the P&O Pacific Dawn, as well as exclusive VIP receptions and gala dinners, as the ship cruises around New Zealand’s North Island.


Recommended for you

Follow Breaking Travel News

Travel Events Calendar

Media Partnerships

Global Restaurant Investment ForumThe Hospitality & Tourism SummitCATHIC
ITB AsiaChina Outbound Travel & Tourism MarketThe Travel Marketing Store
Serviced Apartment SummitWorld Travel MarketIMEX
AHICWTTCRoutes Online
UBM Aviation