A Week at the Airport : A Heathrow Diary, Paperback Book

A Week at the Airport : A Heathrow Diary Paperback

3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In the summer of 2009, Alain de Botton will be invited by the owners of Heathrow airport to become their first ever Writer in Residence.

He will be installed in the middle of Terminal 5 on a raised platform with a laptop connected to screens, enabling passengers to see what he is writing and to come and share their stories.

He will meet travellers from around the world, and will be given unprecedented access to wander the airport and speak with everyone from window cleaners and baggage handlers to air traffic controllers and cabin crew.

Working with the renowned documentary photographer Richard Baker, de Botton will produce an extraordinary meditation upon the nature of place, time, and our daily lives.

He will explore the magical and the mundane, personal and collective experiences and the interactions of travellers and workers all over this familiar but mysterious site.

Like all airports, Heathrow (the 15th century village of Heath Row lies beneath the short stay car park) is a 'non-place' that we by definition want to leave, but it also provides a window into many worlds - through the thousands of people it dispatches every day.

A Week at the Airport is sure to delight de Botton's large following, and anyone interested in the stories behind the way we live.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Cultural studies
  • ISBN: 9781846683596

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This one feels very much like a commissioned book. It isn't at par with the other de Botton books, but it still has some interesting thoughts, sandwiched between ramblings and images of the airport and the people in it. In a way, it feels like an essay that was stretched so it could be published into a book, and also satisfy the patron/sponsor. I'd still recommend the book, but potential readers may just want to borrow it, due to its steep price (there are many images inside which aren't particularly beautiful or striking).

Review by

Not one of his best, but a decent read none-the-less.