London’s Five Airports

Airport European Destination SignThe capital city of London is home to 5 international airports, each of which transports millions of passengers each year. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, City Airport, and Luton are all popular air destinations. Here is a review of each of the airports, and how you can travel to and from each one.

Heathrow: This is by far the largest airport in the city, and in fact is the third busiest airport in the entire world. Heathrow is home to many international and long haul flights, with 5 terminals to service the many air craft that land and take off each day. The top destinations from London Heathrow include New York, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam. Heathrow is 14 miles away from London’s city centre, and boasts taxis, buses and easy access to the motorway. In addition, three train services offer connection to the city. These are the Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect and the London Underground, for travelers on the Piccadilly line.

Gatwick: This is the second largest airport in London after Heathrow. The runways at London Gatwick are notoriously busy, with it’s single use runway averaging 52 movements an hour, the most in Europe. It is home to a mixture of flight types, including full service international flights, low budget, and charter. It’s busiest routes including Malaga, Dublin, Orlando, Alicante and Faro. In the summer, many of the Gatwick Airport Parking, both short and long term, are full, yet nearby parking isavailable. However, transport is plentiful from the airport to the city. A rail station is found next to the South Terminal, and there are also local and national buses offering frequent routes.

Stansted: This airport is located 30 miles northeast of London’s city centre, and is home to many low budget European carriers. Very few long haul flight take off or land in London Stansted Airport, preferring the facilities of Heathrow or Gatwick instead. However, most of the flights operating from Stansted are cheaper in price. Most of the destinations are European cities. There is a railway station directly under the terminal, with trains departing for London every 15 minutes, and the journey lasting under one hour. Parking is plentiful, and there are options including short term, mid term, long term, and even valet.

Luton: This is the fourth largest airport serving the city of London, with a heavy emphasis on flights to and from European cities. However, there are some longer flights to destinations in North Africa as well as Asia. Easy Jet, Monarch Airlines and Thomson Airways all consider London Luton Airport to be a major base for their airlines. There is plentiful parking at the airport, and at nearby lots connected by courtesy shuttles. Several buses connect travelers to nearby London airports, as well as to the city centre. A railway station offers services to key London destinations, as well as several Northern cities like Leeds.

London City Airport: This is the fifth busiest airport in London, but has the enviable location just 6 mile away from the city centre. Thanks to its single runway and inner city location, London City Airport has restrictions on the amount of air traffic and noise the airport can accommodate. There are no night flights, and weekend trips are restricted to certain hours. It caters mainly to charter flights and business travelers, with top destinations being Zurich, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Geneva and Frankfurt. It is linked by Dockland Light Railway to the Financial District of London, and there is lots of available short and long term Airport Parking just within walking distance of the terminal as well as offsite the airport with available shuttle service.


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