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London and Paris open new terminals

Just in time for the busy summer season, Heathrow Airport in London and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris are opening new terminals.

Heathrow's Terminal 5 opens to the public on Thursday, March 27. The new terminal will serve British Airways flights, and will be able to handle 12,000 bags per year. If you remember this post from last year about the "luggage mountain" of 22,000 lost bags piled up in London, you know that's a much-needed improvement. Not everyone is happy about the terminal though, as local governments and environmental groups aren't thrilled about the prospect of the airport expanding its flight operations. This Associated Press article has more details, plus photos of the Queen performing the opening ceremony.

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Across the Channel, Charles de Gaulle airport is set to reopen Terminal 2E four years after the old structure's roof caved in and killed four people. The new terminal is covered by a glass, steel, and wood ceiling aimed at making the space bright and airy. Air France-KLM (which may soon add another hyphen to its name) will begin using the terminal on March 30. This Reuters article has more.

If these terminals are any indication, the new trend in terminals is serious shopping. In the London terminal, there are 112 retail facilities. At Paris' new terminal, there's almost 11,000 square feet of new retail space with boutiques such as Prada and Dior. Do you think it's because they want people to have something to do if flight delays keep getting worse in years to come?

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