Heathrow Airport: Thanksgiving and Diwali travel delivers November boost

Close-up of a British Airways Airbus A380 engine at Heathrow Airport
Photo Credit: Heathrow Airport

November marked a bustling period at London Heathrow Airport, with a remarkable 6.1 million passengers embarking on journeys, bidding adieu to frosty mornings and embracing winter sun.

The terminal buzzed with reuniting friends and families for the holiday festivities, creating an busy atmosphere for the month, tinged with family warmth and togetherness.

Heathrow Airport November Highlights


Peak Traffic to North America

The Friday before Thanksgiving witnessed a surge in travel, with over 50,000 passengers crossing the Atlantic from Heathrow.

Families seized the opportunity to be together for this special occasion, creating a lively pre-holiday atmosphere at the airport.

Diwali Delights to India

Simultaneously, departures to India reached new heights. The 15 daily flights from Heathrow to India became a conduit for passengers eager to celebrate Diwali with their loved ones, adding a touch of festivity to the departure gates.

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A Milestone for Sustainability


Amidst the routine 220 daily flights between the USA and Heathrow, a landmark flight achievement unfolded on November 28.

The first-ever transatlantic flight powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) took off to New York, marking a pivotal achievement for the UK aviation industry’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050.

Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye emphasizes the importance of aviation in fostering quality time with friends and family during holidays.

He stresses the need for sustainable practices, echoing the success of the historic 100% SAF transatlantic flight and calling for collaboration between industry and government to scale up SAF production.


Toronto, Singapore, and Chicago:

Joining the elite ‘millionaire’ club in November, these destinations recorded over a million passengers each. This reflects the enduring popularity of these routes and the global connectivity facilitated by Heathrow.

Race to the Million Mark

Lisbon, San Francisco, and Edinburgh are poised to achieve this prestigious milestone soon. Heathrow anticipates over 20 routes achieving this feat by the end of the year, underlining its position as a global aviation hub.

December’s Festive Forecast


With a strong December ahead, departure numbers are expected to peak in the week leading up to Christmas Day.

The terminals, adorned with 47 Christmas trees, echo the festive spirit, with local choirs serenading and a ballet performance welcoming arriving passengers.

Photo Credit: Heathrow Airport

Heathrow’s top tip for a smooth Christmas getaway is to pack Christmas luggage with care. To avoid any delays at security, remember to pack liquids, creams, gels, pastes and aerosols in seperate transparent, resealable bags that can easily be removed from hand baggage.

And remember, no Christmas crackers! Whilst travellers are keen to get going on their festive getaways, Heathrow recommends that passengers arrive at the airport no more than two hours before short-haul flights and three hours before long-haul flights. 

Tonia Fielding, Director of Services at Heathrow said: “At Heathrow we’re always looking for fun and unique ways to ensure our passengers have the best experience possible before jetting off on their holidays.”

“The festive season is all about reuniting with family and loved ones. Here at Heathrow we are proud to be at the heart of making that happen, which is why we’re pulling out all the stops in our biggest Christmas ever.”  

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November marked a busy month for Heathrow Airport. Amidst Thanksgiving and Diwali season, 6.1 million passengers passed through the airport.
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