Airport transfer planning

Discussion in 'Route Planning' started by lamynator, May 21, 2016.

  1. lamynator

    lamynator New Member

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    Hi guys

    I have recently moved to London from Australia, and I find that with five (?) different airports and many modes of transport getting to and from them can create a dizzying array of options.

    I was wondering: How do you guys plan your trips to and from the airport to be most cost effective? Often we can get really cheap airfares but sometimes the airport transfer could be more expensive than the flight itself!

    I also have a car, so part of what I have to do is work out the parking cost, and depending on how long I am travelling for, this could be cheaper than taking a train! Or do you just uber away without bothering about the cost? Keen to know if anyone has any tips for making this less of an exercise.

    Thanks!
     
    litefoot likes this.
  2. litefoot

    litefoot Active Member

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    Can't help you on car parking, but I can on public transport.

    The cheapest option from central London to Heathrow is via the Tube using Oyster/contactless cards. The latter is easiest as you just need a contactless bank card. Fares are supercheap! £3.10 off peak on the day.

    Obviously you can get there quicker using the Heathrow Connect service, or Heathrow Express, but you have to pay more. If you book well in advance, HEx costs a lot less, particularly at weekends.

    There is a frequent London->Heathrow National Express coach service but it takes ages so I wouldn't recommend it.

    If you're travelling late evening there is a night bus which only costs £1.50.

    You can get from London to Gatwick by coach for a crazy £2 if you book a National Express coach on the Easybus website, but, like Heathrow, it takes a while. A regular train from London St Pancras/London Bridge/London Victoria is quicker and costs anything from £8-£12. Quickest option is the Gatwick Express at 30 mins, but only by a few minutes and for the £20 cost it isn't worth it.

    For London City Airport, take the DLR. Cheap.

    For Luton, I tend to take the tube to Golders Green (£2.80) and then hop on to the National Express coach to the airport for £2 (again, booked on the Easybus website). A direct train to the airport is pricey so I avoid it.

    Can't tell you about Stansted.
     
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  3. tommyl

    tommyl Co-founder Staff Member

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    Some sage advice from Litefoot there.

    A big factor of course is where you live in London. To use an extreme example, if you live in Hatton Cross, it doesn't make sense to get the Heathrow Express regardless of how cheap the advance fare is.

    This principle of course applies to a vast array of options - we recently found out for example that we could get the train from Luton Airport to pretty much outside my brother's house in Herne Hill. So when we're flying in to the UK (we're in Malta) and staying with him, that's a no-brainer.

    I used to avoid HEX given that it was a total rip off, and generally take the tube, but if you can get one of the ultra-cheap advance fares it's probably worth it: but again if you live next to a Piccadilly line stop and nowhere near Paddington, it probably isn't!

    The only thing I have to add to Litefoot's post is I generally found the Victoria-Stansted Terravision service to be pretty good value and pretty reliable. However I last used it over 5 years ago, so I couldn't guarantee it still is. I have never taken the train to Stansted, but the Stansted Express offers £8 single (£16 return) advance fares, which is pretty good value.

    I have never driven to a London airport, although I would be amazed if it ever proves to be the most cost-effective option, particularly if you are London-based.

    Of course all the above can be disregarded when you use our tips to get you into Etihad Business Class, and they chauffeur you to the airport ;)
     

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