Tomorrow is expected to be another of Heathrow’s busiest days in history, but today is actually quite tame #bbc2012 @hschaf
London’s airports are bracing themselves as 200,000 people a day are expected to leave the capital after the end of the games.
Monday is set to be the busiest day at London’s Heathrow Airport with 116,000 passengers expected to pass through its terminals.
More than 8,000 of these will be athletes, each carrying between three and five large bags containing their equipment.
A special Games Terminal has been established at Heathrow in the staff car-park to ease the flow and promises to give those passing through a “secret London-themed send-off.”
Chief executive of operator BAA, Colin Matthews, said “We have been preparing for seven years to deliver a farewell of which the whole country can be proud.”
Alongside the introduction of the temporary terminal, which has 31 check-in desks and seven security lanes, Heathrow are allowing athletes to check in their luggage at the Olympic Village.
No flights will depart from the temporary facilities, athletes will be transported to their final gate where they will be with members of the public.
A spokesman said that regular passengers “can expect a normal journey and should not have to wait any longer than usual, but they might be lucky enough to spot some of the heroes of the 2012 games in their departure lounge.”
Gatwick is bracing itself for 70,000 to fly out of its terminals every day.
A spokeswoman for Gatwick airport said they had been preparing for two years and that extra staff would be on duty.
“There are some particular challenges, such as the large number and size of the athletes’ bags,” she said. “But we are used to dealing with a similar number of passengers during the busy summer period.”
A spokesman said that regular passengers should check-in the normal terminal three-hours before scheduled departure for long-haul flights and two-hours before for European flights.