The Moodie Davitt Report recently launched a new column, ‘Better moments make the world smile’ in association with Mars Wrigley International Travel Retail. In this feature we cast the spotlight on memorable human moments from around the world of travel, aviation and travel retail.

London Heathrow Airport celebrates 75 years of operations this year, and is marking the anniversary with its key commercial partners by helping people to “rediscover the joy of travel”. The video and images on this page depict scenes of families and friends reunited since the UK permitted the reopening of non-essential overseas travel in May. To celebrate this, and to mark 75 years, the UK hub has joined forces with its partners to make thousands of pounds worth of free flights and experiences available to passengers travelling from the airport. Partners supporting the initiative – with offerings including flights, free meals, gifts and travel essentials – include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Blue Air, Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, Fortnum & Mason, Leon, WHSmith, The Macallan whisky and CignPost Diagnostics.

Emotional scenes as Heathrow and partners help reunite families and friends

The scheme launches as new Heathrow research reveals that 62% of British people haven’t seen some of their loved ones in over a year, with the typical family now having a distance of 1,724 miles between them and their furthest away loved one. That’s the equivalent of travelling from London Heathrow to Tenerife, Istanbul or Moscow. Meanwhile, one in three people (33%) said reuniting with friends and family is the driving force behind wanting to travel again. Also according to the research, two in five (38%) of people feel desperate to travel overseas again, with Spain the most popular destination for British people hoping to book this year.

Nearly half feel optimistic about the future of travel, with over a third (37%) now feeling safe to go abroad due to COVID vaccinations. The most popular getaways British people are keen to book first include a beach holiday (40%), a trip to the wilderness (36%) and an adventure holiday (22%). The research also found that the pandemic has made us more appreciative of travel, with two in five (40%) saying it is more important to them now compared to before the pandemic. Over a third of British people surveyed (35%) said that they have struggled to switch off from work in the last year, and nearly two thirds (63%) felt the negative impacts of staying at home on their mental health.

Many agreed that this is usually helped by being able to go abroad, with three in four (75%) saying that holidays help them to take a break from the stresses of life; and 76% instantly feel the positive effects on their mental health when on holiday. Heathrow Chief Operating Officer Ross Baker said: “As we celebrate 75 years of connecting the public to the world of travel, we’re delighted to be welcoming more passengers back to Heathrow.” He added: “Now, more than ever, it’s important that we help to reconnect friends, family and loved ones across the globe, so we’re happy to be able to work with our incredible airport partners to make the experience more special after what has been such a difficult year, for so many.”

*If you work in the travel retail industry and wish to nominate a moment or event for our new ‘Better moments make the world smile’ column please email Dermot Davitt at

Partner's message


The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 299 | 17 August 2021

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

Share this article: