London airport transfers: Everything you need to know
In addition to its architecture, museums, and monuments, London is known for being well-connected via public transportation. Within the city, choices like buses and the tube (the subway) make it easy to visit all the major sites and move between neighborhoods. If you intend on heading outside of London, you can take a high-speed train that will bring you to your destination in the blink of an eye. Travelers going to one of the several local airports can choose from a variety of transportation options, including the rail system, a taxi, and a private airport transfer.
London has six different airports, so always make sure that you double check which one you will be traveling through. You surely don't want to find yourself at the wrong airport. Heathrow is the city's main hub for international flights and can be reached by car from central London in around 35 to 40 minutes. Gatwick also operates both international and domestic flights, but it is much further away, with the drive taking closer to 1.5 hours. Stansted is known for servicing mostly budget airlines and can be reached in an hour, while Luton is a small choice that is the same distance away. City is the closest airport to downtown, and the drive can be done in 25 minutes. The final choice is Southend, which focuses on short flights in Europe but will take you around 1.5 hours to get to.
Why is it convenient to take an airport transfer in the London region?
Whether you are traveling into London from the airport or are leaving from your hotel to grab a plane, an airport transfer is a convenient way to quickly make the trip and save yourself some extra time that you can dedicate to sightseeing. It is possible to book airport transfers for all six of the airports in the London region, and doing so is better than losing time on the tube or waiting for a bus.
Quicker than public transportation yet more affordable than a taxi, airport transfers can take away the stress of lugging suitcases around while still providing a way to travel on a budget. Many of them even provide customers with free Wi-Fi. Better yet, it is possible to book transfers for any hour, making them a convenient choice for those that have an early flight that isn’t compatible with public transportation timetables. Plus, you will be dropped off directly at your corresponding terminal.
How much can I expect to pay for an airport transfer in London?
As the London region is large and there are six nearby airports to choose from, the cost of different airport transfers can vary. Rates for airport transfers are generally fixed, however, meaning that you don’t have to worry about paying a more expensive fee if you get caught in traffic. When going to Gatwick or Southend, expect to pay around £60 per person (approximately $77). Heathrow, Stansted, and Luton are closer, so you'll pay around £45 ($58), while going to City is about £40 ($51).
What different kinds of airport transfers are offered in the London region?
Depending on your budget and personal preferences, there are a few different types of London airport transfer services for you to choose from. For example, it is possible to book a transfer that will either pick you up or drop you off directly at your hotel. This choice will generally cost you a bit more, but is convenient and prevents you from having to take public transportation. In addition to this, there are London airport transfer options that require customers to meet at a pre-determined location in the city. If you will be traveling through Heathrow Airport, there are several different transfer companies that operate out of the centrally located Victoria Coach Station.
Beyond locations, transfer services vary in how many people can fit in the vehicle and whether the ride is private or not. Shared transfers that include individuals departing from nearby areas tend to be more budget-friendly, but private transfers won’t make any additional stops along the way.
When is it best to schedule transfers to the airport?
The sooner you book your London airport transfer, the better. Booking early will give you access to the best prices and help ensure that there is something available for the time you need it. If you will be traveling through Heathrow, make sure to give yourself a bit of extra time when arriving, as this major transport hub is known for getting busy. It is usually quicker to move through smaller airports like Southend, so it is not necessary to arrive extra early, especially if you will be taking a domestic flight rather than international.
Are some London airports easier to travel to via airport transfers than others?
All six of the airports in the London region are reachable by at least one form of public transportation and airport transfers. However, some airports are more easily reached by a transfer service than others. For example, because Heathrow is such a major travel hub and one of the biggest airports in the world, many companies offer airport transfer services, giving travelers a variety of choices to select from. If you will be traveling during a time that does not overlap with rush hour, a transfer might be particularly convenient for you, as you won’t have to worry about being slowed down by traffic.