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London's Heathrow airport braces for record travel day

Heathrow, London's biggest airport, will see record travel as Olympians and fans go home.

Heathrow airport crowds london olympics 2012 08 13Enlarge
LONDON, ENGLAND - Heathrow airport is bracing for a mass exodus of visitors as 200,000 people a day leave after the London Olympic Games. (Peter Macdiarmid/AFP/Getty Images)

London's biggest airport is bracing for a record travel day Monday as 116,000 passengers are expected to pass through Heathrow on their way home from the Olympic celebrations in London, reports the BBC.

Businessweek reports that the Olympics will bring 22 percent more passengers than usual through London's airports. As many as 200,000 people a day are expected to disperse from London starting on Monday, with Heathrow airport handling 80 percent of the traffic. 

“Olympic departures present a fresh challenge with new facilities like the Games Terminal being used for the first time,” Colin Matthews, chief executive officer of BAA, the company that owns Heathrow, said in the statement. “We have been preparing for seven years to deliver a farewell of which the whole country can be proud.”

The airport spent $30 million to improve their ability to handle large numbers of passengers attending the London Games. 

It set up a special Games terminal with 31 check in desks and seven security lanes to help ease the departure of around 8,000 athletes. 

Heathrow was the landing point for 250 jumbo jets full of visitors throughout the Games, reports Condé Nast Traveler.

If you are stuck at Heathrow waiting for your flight, Condé Nast has some tips to keep you occupied while you try to spot an Olympic gold medallist. 

For London souvenirs, each terminal has its own Harrods department store but Heathrow's PR head Julia Gilliam says the Terminal 3 store is the place to go for a classic English feel. “It has the old tiled walls and the old-fashioned counters and etching on the desks, It’s the one that feels more like Knightsbridge.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/culture-lifestyle/traveltourism/120812/londons-heathrow-airport-braces-record-travel-d