HEATHROW STAFF PAY TRIBUTE TO FREDDIE MERCURY
AIRPORT A WORKERS HAVING SUCH A GOOD TIME
Freddie Mercury was a truly British icon and I am delighted to Break Free and celebrate his iconic life Virinder Bansal
BAGGAGE handlers at Heathrow Airport celebrated a very famous former colleague’s birthday in style.
Freddie Mercury, frontman for legendary band Queen and Feltham’s most famous son, was a baggage handler at the airport before Breaking Free and joining the band in 1970.
Mercury, then known as Farrokh Bulsara, worked as a baggage handler while studying at Ealing Art College, where he met Tim Staffel, the bassist for Queen.
Freddie would have been 72 years old on Wednesday September 5, had he not passed away from a lung disease, a complication of AIDS, in 1991.
British Airways baggage han- dlers at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 celebrated being Freddie for a day, by performing Mercuryinspired dance moves for travellers, choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor choreographer Lyndon Lloyd. Any passenger travelling through Terminal 5 named Freddie, Frederick or Farokh on Wednesday was invited, along with their travel companions, to use British Airways’ First lounge. Queen memorabilia is also popping up in the departures area of the terminal, with the celebrations helping to raise money for Queen’s charity, the Mercury Phoenix Trust, as well as celebrating the upcoming cinematic release of Bohemian Rhapsody, a film tribute to the band Queen and its enig- matic frontman. Parts of the movie were filmed at Heathrow and depict Freddie’s life from a refugee from Zanzibar to his life in Feltham, before going from “bags to riches”.
Virinder Bansal, a baggage service manager at Heathrow, who also stars in the video, said: “Freddie Mercury was a truly British icon and I am delighted to ‘Break Free’ and celebrate his iconic life with my colleagues. We hope passengers at Terminal 5 enjoy our surprising and unique welcome to the UK, before we return to work. After all, The Show Must Go On”.
Adam Dewey, one of British Airways’ baggage managers, said: “Freddie Mercury is an undisputed rock legend and it has been an absolute blast planning his birthday celebrations at Heathrow, where he once worked.
“The new film Bohemian Rhapsody has proved a great inspiration for all of us and we can’t wait to be hot-stepping our way to the premiere next month.”
Baggage handlers had been practicing their dance routine for weeks