Luton Airport launches gift-wrapping service
Travellers at London Luton Airport had their heads turned after finding themselves in a re-enactment of the iconic “Love Actually” gift-wrapping scene – complete with “Rowan Atkinson”. In the 2003 film, the much-loved moment saw overzealous salesman, Rufus, played by Atkinson, give a masterclass in elaborate gift-wrapping for Alan Rickman’s character, Harry, who was buying a necklace for another woman – as his wife shopped nearby.
The scene included the necklace being put into a ribbon-tied box before it went into a clear bag with scented roses, lavender, and a cinnamon stick – and finally into a Christmas box, with a sprig of holly.
In a nod to the comic exchange, the airport has hired lookalike, Nigel Dixon, to give travellers the same service, as the airport makes a tongue-in-cheek plea for passengers to travel with gifts unwrapped this Christmas.
The airport revealed thousands of wrapped presents are screened, opened, and searched as part of airport security checks every year.
Based on the beloved scene, the free service on offer includes gift wrap paper, tags, ribbons, and lots of funny, festive extras – from dried flowers to cinnamon sticks.
Running on December 21, the wrapping service is being launched after research, commissioned by London Luton Airport, found 22 percent of travellers are unaware of additional screening requirements at airports for wrapped presents.
And the poll of 2,000 Brits, who have travelled by plane, also found that almost two-fifths (38 percent) have never come across airport guidance advising against packing gift-wrapped presents.
Snow globes, crackers, marzipan, mincemeat, and brandy butter are the most confiscated festive items, according to the airport.
However, almost a third (30 percent) of passengers, surveyed via OnePoll, are unaware of airport security advice against packing these festive items in their luggage.
Clare Armstrong, head of guest experience at London Luton Airport, said: “Given the high number of wrapped presents we see in security each year, we realised many of our passengers are unaware of the possibility that they may need to be opened for inspection.
“So, the idea for our gift wrap service was born to create a fun experience for passengers, while minimising any unwanted delays or stress when travelling this festive season.
“We’re always looking for ways to help passengers have the most simple and friendly experience at the airport, and pre-empt any challenges they might face – particularly in the week before Christmas, when we will welcome over 300,000 departing passengers to the terminal.”
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