Published on : Tuesday, December 19, 2017
This morning, the star of Britain’s much-loved Christmas movie, Martine McCutcheon, surprised passengers at Heathrow Terminal 5 with their very own Love Actually moment. With over 1 million travellers expected through arrivals at Heathrow during the festive season, the UK’s biggest airport and Martine are giving passengers the ultimate welcome from loved ones who can’t be there to greet them.
The launch reflects the sentiment of Heathrow’s Christmas advert which shows the love story of Doris and Edward Bair, the airport’s much-loved teddy bears, as they greet each other at Heathrow arrivals over 50 years.
New research has found that more than half of us (51%) still hope to see a familiar face waiting for us at arrivals, even if we know that nobody will be there. More than one in 10 of us prefer the moment we’re met at arrivals with a welcome hug, then we do getting home to our own beds or eating our favourite home cooked meals when we return from holiday.
Heathrow is inviting friends and family of loved ones travelling into Heathrow the opportunity to give their loved ones a personal welcome home at arrivals, if they can’t be there themselves. From Wednesday 20th December, friends and family can share flight details and the name of the traveller, along with a personal message for them in a private Direct Message on the Heathrow Twitter channel.
A Heathrow Volunteer will then be on hand to greet the traveller at arrivals with a big warm welcome and a personal message from home. **T&C’s apply. A lucky select few will also be gifted a tin of Walkers Shortbread, like the Heathrow Christmas advert when Doris and Edward Bair were always there to greet each other, shortbread in hand.
An independent study conducted by Heathrow has found that the famous arrivals moment in Love Actually, when Martine’s character runs up to Hugh Grant with a massive hug, is the nation’s favourite Love Actually scene.
The star of the scene, Martine McCutcheon said; “It was one of my all-time favourite scenes to film and even now I get so excited every time I’m at Heathrow– welcoming someone home is such a great feeling that never gets old!
“At Christmas, this is truer than ever. I love that Heathrow is giving everyone the chance to welcome home their loved one, through this amazing team of Volunteers who are spreading Christmas joy at the airport and bringing us all a bit closer together this Christmas.”
Susanna Halonen, the Happyologist® – a happiness life coach and speaker, said; “For more than half of us, hugs with a loved one is what makes us feel the happiest. A hug is the perfect solution when we’re feeling lonely or stressed. This type of embraceboosts oxytocin, also known as the “love drug”, in your body. This elevates your positive emotions and lowers your stress levels, as well as increasing the quality of your social connections and your sense of belonging.”
Nicholas Panteli, Head of Heathrow Volunteers, said; “We’re so excited to welcome travellers from across the globe to the UK this Christmas, now with added personal messages of love from their families and friends! This is always a particularly wonderful time of year to be in arrivals. Now celebrating their fifth year choosing to take time out of their day to welcome passengers, the Volunteers really do provide a friendly face and a warm welcome to anyone arriving at Heathrow.”
To request for a Heathrow volunteer to welcome home your loved one at the arrivals gate head to the Heathrow Twitter feed now. Volunteers will be on hand to greet your friend or family member between 10am on Wednesday 20th December to 7pm on Saturday 23rdDecember.