Heathrow Airport is to reopen Terminal 3 to the public from July 15 with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines set to be the first two airlines to move from their temporary pandemic home at the West London airport back to their dedicated facilities in Terminal 3.
Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 were mothballed in April 2020 at the start of the pandemic when passenger numbers plummeted and it quickly became apparent that it simply wasn’t sustainable to keep all four terminals up and running.
Delta and Virgin Atlantic, as well as other Terminal 3 airlines like Emirates and Cathay Pacific temporarily moved into Terminal 2 while other carriers like American Airlines and Japan Airlines were relocated to Terminal 5.
Heathrow had been readying to reopen Terminal 3 to the public in June but those plans were put on hold when the British government ordered all arrivals from high-risk Red List countries to go to a dedicated terminal.
As Terminal 3 was just about ready to handle passengers, it was decided to delay its full reopening so it could be used for Red List arrivals. In recent weeks, however, Terminal 4 has been used for arriving passengers from Red List and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Confirming the news, Virgin Atlantic told customers on Monday: “Alongside partner Delta Air Lines, you’ll be safely welcomed back to the award-winning facilities, where all customers will receive the famous Virgin Atlantic welcome in the airline’s dedicated area in the terminal, along with flexible check-in options and warm hospitality.”
“Virgin Atlantic Upper Class customers, Flying Club Gold members and other eligible customers will once again be able to enjoy access to the award-winning Clubhouse, Revivals lounge and Upper Class Wing, which will also reopen from 15 July.”
The airline also confirmed that passengers heading to Red List would also check-in and depart from Terminal 3.
The decision to reopen Terminal 3 signals a resurgence in hope that travel restrictions are about to be eased in the coming weeks. Expected to be announced soon are plans to allow fully vaccinated travellers to skip quarantine from nearly all countries, as well as a large increase in the number of so-called Green List countries.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.