by Michael Dibie
The Heathrow luxury retail and VIP services – previously only offered to dignitaries and royalty – can now be pre-booked by passengers flying through Heathrow in London, United Kingdom, on First or Business Class.
Nigerians have become early adopters of this, emerging number one, on the list of nationalities, for both spend in luxury retail and VIP services at Heathrow. Recent statistics from Heathrow show that Nigerian travellers – who patronise the service – spend an average of £1,059 per visit on luxury retail.
For departures and arrivals from Heathrow, the service offers a dedicated entrance to the airport, a chauffer-driven luxury car ride to and from the aircraft and a private lounge as a waiting area. The passenger is assisted with their check-in, immigration and baggage collection procedures; creating an exclusive and private travel experience.
Another offering from Heathrow is the Personal Shopping service which is available to all passengers, flying through the airport. The bespoke service provides the passenger with a dedicated Personal Shopper to accompany them to the terminal of their choice, for consultation during their purchases. Personal shoppers cater to language requirements with staff members who are fluent in Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo as well as other local and international languages.
Commenting on the service, Heathrow’s Retail Director, Jonathan Coen, stated, that the Personal Shopping service is incredibly successful at Heathrow, especially with international passengers. He said the service started in October 2013 with a five member team and just over a year on, they have grown to 15 members who are on hand from the first to the last flight and offer assistance in 38 languages.
He further stated that Heathrow’s VIP Service was originally designed for dignitaries such as Heads of State but added that they recognized that the privacy and exclusivity that they offered is something that many passengers are looking for in their own lives. He said by making the service available to First Class and Business Class passengers, they now provide a quality experience that allows passengers to enjoy a personalised service as they are delighted to welcome many of these from Nigeria.
Heathrow’s exclusive Personal Shopping service gives passengers access to more than 140 retails and luxury brands, matching the variety and quality of London’s most high-end shopping districts such as Bond Street, Sloane Street and Knightsbridge.
Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (formerly BAA) owns and runs London Heathrow Airport, Britain’s aviation hub.For years, Heathrow has offered a private VIP service for dignitaries such as Heads of State, which due to demand has been extended to the world’s most discerning travellers. As guests of the airport you will be personally greeted at the aircraft and attended by staff familiar with the protocol of high-profile diplomats. Bypassing the main terminals and other passengers, you can relax in total privacy in your own personal lounge, where check-in and security are taken care of. You are then whisked by luxury limousine to the steps of your departing flight, or collected directly from the aircraft when arriving or transferring.