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Find out the best way to get from London Luton Airport to the city centre by doing some research in advance. Should you take a train, bus or a tram from the airport to and from the city centre? Our guide to London Luton Airport and the facilities mean you can find your way around the terminal upon arriving and plan the rest of your trip—whether its for a short weekend or a little longer.
London Luton Airport is one of the UK capital's six international airports, and generally caters for short or medium haul journeys within Europe and the nearby region. An important jumping off point for package vacationers since the 1960s, it is the international HQ of low cost airlines easyJet and Tui. The airport caters for over 16 million travelers every year, making London Luton the UK's 5th busiest aviation hub.
Various different transfer options are available when traveling from the center of town to London Luton Airport, including direct buses and train services, taxis or driving. Trains are probably the quickest of all, so they should appeal to business travelers and those staying close to St Pancras Station. Buses are convenient for those coming from west London, as they run from Victoria Coach Station, and also offer a slightly cheaper option than catching trains. And taxis generally suit those coming from London's suburbs, avoiding the need to transfer to central transport hubs.
London Luton Airport is 28 miles (45 kilometers) north of central London, and just under 2 miles (3 kilometers) away from Luton Airport Parkway - the airport's main railway station. Rail connections run to Luton Airport Parkway from St Pancras International, as well as Blackfriars, Farringdon and City Thameslink. They tend to be fairly quick, and can take as little as 22 minutes from St Pancras. However, some rail journeys take 47 minutes from St Pancras, so travelers need to take care when booking tickets. Alternatively National Express buses run from Victoria Coach Station to Luton Airport's terminals, They take between 1 hour 5 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes, so again, it's wise to check durations when choosing services.
London Luton Airport offers a full range of facilities for travelers. For instance, stores include clothing outlets, places to buy electronics, holiday essentials, books and magazines, as well as accessories like sunglasses. There are money exchange facilities as well, while dining options vary from Italian and French brasserie food, to burgers, ice cream, sandwiches or sushi. There are places to snack before and after security, alongside executive lounges and places to work. All passengers can use four hours of free WiFi, wherever they happen to be on the airport site.
Both London Victoria Coach Station and St Pancras Station are wheelchair friendly, so boarding buses or trains shouldn't be a problem. Shuttle buses from Luton Airport Parkway are all wheelchair accessible, while National Express buses can deploy their wheelchair lifts at the airport as well, making it easy to alight when services arrive. While both coaches and trains cater for disabled travelers, rail transfers may well be the most comfortable option, with more space for wheelchairs, and accessible bathrooms on board. At the airport itself, special assistance is available for those with limited mobility, including assistance when boarding flights and navigating the airport. To arrange this, travelers will need to ask their airline, which will then contact the airport to ensure that Special Care Assistants are made available.
If travelers want to enjoy hassle-free transfers to London Luton Airport, they will need to pay attention to journey times. Both bus and rail connection times vary significantly. For instance, trains can take between 22 and 47 minutes, while buses take between 1 hour 5 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes. The best option for travelers with large amounts of luggage is probably coach travel (or taxis if possible). Coaches arrive right outside the terminals, avoiding the need for an extra shuttle ride. However, try to avoid bus travel during rush hour (roughly 8:00 am until 9:30 am or 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm) as journeys can become slower if the traffic is thick. Finally, when trying to get to London Luton Airport from the center of London, check for value tickets on trains and buses. Trains offer GroupSave discounts, while there are savings for advanced group ticket purchases with National Express.