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Flights of wine: Vagabond opens first airport site at Heathrow

Wine bar chain Vagabond is going to make air travel bliss for oenophiles after opening a new site at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

Credit: Instagram user vagabondwines

Vagabond took off due to its innovative pour-your-own wine dispensers offering customers the opportunity to sample a plethora of different wines. Founded in 2009, the group now has seven locations around London and an urban winery in Battersea Power Station.

The Heathrow site will be open seven days a week from 5.30am, for the serious connoisseurs, until 10.30pm. With space for 170 covers and over 100 wines available, the pre-flight ritual of a Wetherspoon’s pint could soon be dropped in favour of a few tasting glasses of something a little more fortifying. There will also be bar snacks available for flying visits, or a full menu for those in it for the long haul.

Vagabond’s managing director Matt Fleming said that the £1.3million investment in the site was an “opportunity to expose millions of guests to the Vagabond concept per year.”

The move has come at the right time as international travel becomes possible again. Indeed, according to data from Airports Council International, prior to the pandemic Heathrow was the second busiest airport in the world. Between 2019 and 2021 the number of international passengers dropped by 76.8%. However, as borders open up and restrictions are lifted, an influx of travellers to and from Terminal 5 is anticipated.

Fleming also mentioned “ambitious growth plans to open further sites across the country, and this new venue is also a fantastic foothold for potential future international expansion.”

If you can use some exotic booze, there is “The Booth” on Virgin Atlantic which serves Delamain Cognac. The wine offering could be getting better on the flight too, as well as in the airport, as British Airways seeks a Master of Wine to improve its drinks list.

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