That’s right, the most punctual airport in the whole world is right here in the UK. The research, carried out by air travel intelligence company OAG, looked at over 54 million flights in 2016 and found that a whopping 91.28% of flights arriving and departing from Birmingham were on time.
The Midlands city beat countries like Japan, USA and Germany to the post, with Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe proudly saying the award was “a tremendous prize, particularly in the busiest 12 months in our 77-history”.
Unlike many other airports, where you’ll find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere, Birmingham airport is only a ten-minute train ride to the city centre. It means you can take a trip to see famous sights like the Bullring shopping centre, an iconic curved building which was inspired by Paco Rabanne’s sequined dress and houses over 160 shops. Or Cadbury World, the factory located in Bournville village which produces the world-renowned Cadbury chocolate. And if you’re flying from Birmingham but aren’t local, Thomson Airways lets you check in your bags a day before your flight so you can explore the city luggage-free.
And the fun doesn’t stop once you’re in the airport. For any last-minute items, or treats to keep you happy on the plane, you can shop at the huge range of retail stores. There’s everything from Pandora to Superdry, Victoria’s Secret to Boots. The food and drink selection ranges from quick-and-easy options like Costa and Burger King, all the way to fancy Champagne and wine bar Blanc et Noir. Plus, if you’ve got any little ones in tow, there are two interactive play areas to keep them entertained before your flight. They include an Interactive Flight Deck to test their flying skills, Fly Pads touchscreen tables and Musical Mission Pods. You can find the Sky Zones in the departure lounge at gate three in the South Lounge, and gate 54 in the North Lounge.
From 2017, you can fly to five new destinations from Birmingham airport with Thomson Airways. First up there is the Dominican Republic, a Caribbean country famous for its postcard-worthy stretches of sand and crystal clear waters. The colonial Santo Domingo is said to be the oldest city in the New World. Head here from March to April.
Next on the list is Thailand, (image below) known as the ‘Land of Smiles’ thanks to the friendly locals there. And it’s not just the warm welcome that will put a grin on your face, with ancient temples, bustling market stalls and unspoiled beaches to explore, too.
The Mediterranean’s second largest island, Sardinia, is another destination on Birmingham airport’s go-to list. The region in Italy is packed full with culture, from sampling their seafood specialities, like lobster or grey mullet roe, visiting jaw-dropping beaches that live up to the hype and finding ancient ruins like UNESCO World Heritage Site Su Nuraxi.
Next up is Florida. It’s arguably the best place in the world for theme park lovers, with huge names like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort on your hotel’s doorstep. But that’s not all that Florida has to offer. It’s a foodie’s dream, with tonnes of great places to grab a tasty meal that will challenge the stereotype of America only serving hamburgers and chips. Plus, it has some amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiences on offer, like swimming with adorable manatees.
And lastly, there is Goa which sits on India’s west coast and offers up sun, secluded beaches and some of the best markets for souvenir shopping.
Heading to Florida with your little ones? Check out our guide on the top things to do in Florida for families.
We understand that planning a holiday and getting to the airport can sometimes be a little stressful. So what better way to relax before your holiday really begins than getting some VIP-style treatment at the airport. We’re talking getting pampered at the CLOUD SPA: nails and beauty FYI, or relaxing in one of three of the airport lounges, which offer everything from complimentary Prosecco and freshly prepared food, to free Wi-Fi and magazines to take on board. Find out more about the Birmingham Airport Lounges you can book.
Over the last decade, £350 million has been pumped in to improving the airport’s infrastructure, with a runway extension to allow for more long-haul flights, more space to accommodate bigger aircrafts and more security lanes to get passengers through to board faster. And the spending doesn’t stop there, with plans for a £100 million investment to improve airport efficiency and passenger experience over the next few years. You can expect to see the current hold baggage screening system replaced with state-of-the-art X-ray technology, which Birmingham Airport believe will double the hourly baggage processing capacity. There will also be a new drop-off car park, which will be free for 30 minutes and will be connected to the terminal entrance via a covered walkway.
And looking a further ten years into the future, Birmingham Airport will be the UK’s only HS2-connected airport, meaning you’ll be able to hop on the high-speed train from London and reach Birmingham within an impressive 30 minutes.
Some of Orlando’s top shopping centres are within easy reach of the Rosen Inn Lake Buena Vista.
Top-class dining is on tap at the JW Marriott Bangkok.
Club Hotel Baja Sardinia boasts its own private bay, breathtaking sea views and three restaurants with oceanfront dining options.
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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.
See gov.uk/travelaware and follow @FCDOtravelGovUK on Twitter and Facebook.com/FCDOtravel - for the latest general FCDO travel advice, including coronavirus travel guidance, security and local laws, and passport and visa information.
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