The revamped Terminal 2 at Heathrow will be opened in stages to avoid the chaos that afflicted the opening of Terminal 5.
Terminal 2 opens on Wednesday and will initially operate at 10% capacity.
United Airlines will be the only carrier in place initially, but will eventually be joined by 25 other airlines.
Two British Airways bosses resigned after thousands of bags went missing at the Terminal 5 opening six years ago.
Following a £2.5bn revamp, Terminal 2 will host just 34 flights and 6,000 passengers on its first day before building up to more than 330 flights a day.
By the end of the year it will be handling 15.8 million passengers a year and has the capacity to deal with up to 20 million.
The old Terminal 2 closed in 2009 after 54 years.
The phased approach compares to the chaotic opening of Terminal 5 when bosses attempted to operate at near full capacity from day one.
This resulted in flights being delayed, huge queues forming and thousands of bags going missing.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will officially open Terminal 2 on 23 June.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow's development director, said: "Our measure of success is not everything running perfectly on day one - there will inevitably be things we can improve.
"Our real measure of success is whether T2 comes to be rated by passengers as one of the world's best airport terminals for years to come."