With around six million Brits expected to head abroad over the Diamond Jubilee weekend, UK airports and airlines are ensuring travellers get a royal send off.
Passengers jetting off from Heathrow’s northern runway can catch a glimpse of the giant Union Jack flag and silhouette of the Queen painted on the tarmac to celebrate Her Majesty’s 60-year reign.
The estimated 780,000 people expected to arrive at the London gateway over the next seven days will be strolling through the Arrivals halls on red carpet, not concrete.
Heathrow staff will also hand out Union Jack flags and passengers will be invited to write messages of congratulations to the Queen in official books that will be sent to Buckingham Palace.
Time-lapse video of Heathrow’s ‘royal runway’
Gatwick Airport to host ‘street party’
Travellers passing through Gatwick’s South Terminal on Friday can celebrate early by joining the airport’s ‘street party’ in the forecourt area before braving the security lines.
The airport is throwing a tea party with scones, cucumber sandwiches and plenty of entertainment, including from Scots Guards, a brass band and bagpiper.
Free cupcakes and Union Jack flags will also be handed out to passengers.
Airlines too have been getting into the Jubilee spirit.
British Airways’ Jubilee jumbo
British Airways is sporting a special Jubilee emblem on one of its 747 jets with a special congratulatory message in honour of Her Majesty.
It reads: “Congratulations, Celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee”.
The emblem was designed by 11-year-old Blue Peter competition winner, Katherine Dewar.
And in British Airways’ Heathrow lounges, premium passengers will be able to enjoy a special afternoon afternoon tea laid on over the Jubilee weekend.
Virgin Atlantic to fly the flag in New York
Virgin Atlantic is taking its celebrations overseas on its flagship route to New York, where it will take over Union Square on Saturday with a garden party.
Virgin cabin crew and a straight-faced Buckingham Palace Foot Guard will join the celebrations and party-goers will be invited to take part in a ‘who can make the Foot Guard laugh?’ contest.
The carrier has also made a plea to Mike Bloomberg, The New York City Mayor, to change the name of Union Square to Union ‘Jack’ Square for the Jubilee.