Airports, London

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  • City airport, London, UK.
    City airport, London, UK.
    by planxty
  • Caution! What can you bring along?
    Caution! What can you bring along?
    by Jerelis
  • Terminal entrance
    Terminal entrance
    by leics
  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    The backdoor into London -LCY

    by sourbugger Updated Apr 7, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Don't go for the blue bit

    London City airport in Docklands is easily the closest airport to the centre of the city as it is only in Zone 3/4 on the travelcard.

    It was mainly aimed at business users, but you can sometimes get cheap fares, especially if you get a choice of airports on your ticket following an intercontinental leg (eg to Amsterdam)

    When you take into account that the Stansted express train is a complete rip-off it often works out reasonably.

    You can now get to LCY directly to about 50 cities, nearly all on the continent of Europe (as if the UK wasn't !)

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    London Stansted airport

    by leics Updated Feb 9, 2014
    Terminal entrance
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    Please note: Stansted *not 'Stanstead'!

    Stansted airport is quite some distance away from London but, as it is used by many European budget carriers, it is a very busy airport.

    There is good access to and from London by Stansted Express train (the railway station is beneath the terminal) and by long distance buses. you'll find details and links on the official airport website below.

    I've always liked Stansted. It's well-organised for its passengers, with lots of clear signage and an uncomplicated check-in area. It's clean and airy, with plenty of shops and places to eat & drink. I've always found staff to be pleasant, courteous and helpful.

    Landside you'll find shops, cafes and juice bars (and a Krispy Kreme), some of which have tables outside the terminal.

    There isn't a great deal of seating either landside or airside, and none is very comfortable. But I believe the airport is used to people sleeping there before their early flights, and it does stay open all night.

    There are plenty of shops airside, including a branch of Boots the chemist (always cheapest for buying bottled water) and several places to eat including Pret A Manger (very good sandwiches) and a JB Wetherspoon's 'pub'.

    There are a couple of things of which you need to be aware.

    1. Stansted security is as tight as anywhere else in the UK. You must get yourself sorted beforehand so you don't hold everyone else up (we *hate* that in the UK!) So take off watches, belts, coats, scarves etc and put all your less-than-100ml-liquids into a clear, resealable plastic bag before you actually arrive at the conveyor belt.

    You may have to take off your shoes at a separate screening system before you have completely passed through security.

    Make sure you go through security at least an hour before departure. Queues can be very long at busy times.

    2. Some of the gates are a long way away from the departures area. You need to take an automatic train to get to them, and then walk some distance (including escalators). So keep your eye on the departures board and go to your gate as soon as it is displayed.

    3. Arrivals at Stansted almost always seem to include the automatic-train trip (it takes you direct to border control). The trains are quite small so you can expect to wait on the 'platform' for a while, especially if several flights arrive at once. I think this may be a way of ensuring that queues in border control do not become too long and unwieldy,

    .

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  • fairy_dust's Profile Photo

    London Stansted

    by fairy_dust Written Jan 1, 2014

    London has many airports, and though Heathrow is the main one for overseas flights, Stansted is where many budget airlines fly to/from. So if your flight is with Ryanair or another cheap airline, there's a good chance you'll fly to/from Stansted. You can take the Stansted Express train to get there (or back). The airport itself is very busy and the one time I was there, there were lots of crowds and lineups.

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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Easily my favourite.

    by planxty Written Dec 1, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    City airport, London, UK.
    1 more image

    To my knowledge, there are six commercial airports calling themselves "London" and this is, frankly, a lie. We have London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, London Southend and London City. Only one of them is technically in London and it is this one which is undoubtedly my favourite. Part of the reason for this is that it is physically very close to me, a 20 minute taxi ride or about 40 minutes on public transport but it is much more than that.

    As the name suggests, it is fairly well in the centre of the city, being located in what is now generically termed "Docklands" and has been built in what was the old dock area of the city during the huge regeneration there in the 1980's and 90's. Because of this location the runway is not long and this means that there are no long haul flights from here as a 747 would try to land here and end up in the river Tahmes! Also, being a very built-up residential area there are only certain types of aircraft allowed to use the place for noise pollution reasons, namely propellor planes and what I believe are known as "whisper jets (i.e. those with very little engine noise)".

    Haing suffered, and I use the word advisedly, the horrors of Heathrow on the return from my recent trip to Madrid, it is a joy to travel through this place. LCY, to give it it's proper designation, is primarily designed for business travellers who generally fly out early morning and return either that evening or possibly next day. This raises a few points. Firstly, it gets busy at those times and secondly it means that very few people have checked baggage which, in turn, means that you never have to queue for more than a couple of minutes at the limited amount of check-in desks as most travellers only have cabin baggage. Also, I believe that the flights from here only fly to the E states so the passport control is quick and cursory at best which saves time.

    LCY is just like a major airport only in miniature and much more comfortable. Yes, there are all the facilities you would expect like a bookshop, cafes and restaurants, bars etc. but it is all so compact and easily negotiated that it is actually not a trial to go through. I should mention that the W.H. Smith bookshop is short on music / motorcycle / canal boat magazines etc. although you can buy any amount of books on business management. I suppose it is a case of playing to your audience.

    For me VT is all about personal experiences and I shall share one with you here. Some years ago I was travelling to Vilnius via Frankfurt on a morning flight. I had left plenty of time and my taxi turned up bang on time at 0730. We drove to LCY, which was going against the early morning traffic, and I walked in, checked in, went to the bookshop and had a decent browse and not just a "grab the first thing I see" moment, then went outside for a smoke. Like all public buildings in UK, it is regrettably a no smoking area. I chanced to look at my watch and it was 0810. Forty minutes from home to being checked in, reading material bought and ready to go. That is my kind of airport.

    I do apologise for the images but they are the only ones I can find in the wreckage of my computer filing system. I am sure I have others elsewhere which I shall post when I rediscover them. I have also posted a video which I hope give some idea of the wonderful views of East London as you take off.

    If you are in central London and want to take a short haul flight, I really do suggest that you consider LCY, it is an excellent facility.

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  • hayward68's Profile Photo

    Heathrow Airport..

    by hayward68 Updated Jun 29, 2013

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Heathrow Airport (tel: 0181-759-4321) World's busiest international airport. Easiest way to get into London is by the Underground. Picadilly line - about 45 minutes to central London.

    Gatwick Airport (tel: 01293-535 353) Take BR Gatwick Express train to Victoria Station (daily 5am to midnight, every 15 min. Midnight to 5am approx every 30 min.)
    Here's a pic of the Virgin Atlantic plane we flew over from Toronto in July 2001, name of plane 'Island Queen', we went home on 'Dancing Queen.' I highly recommend that airline, they had great service and great food.

    I will admit, I had great service from the people at Heathrow airport on one of my journeys. I was changing planes, bound for Glasgow and my incoming flight was delayed. By the time we landed it was 25 minutes until my next flight. I was at the door of the plane when it opened, the steward letting me go first and I flew up the corridor knowing that I had to still go through customs and make it to another terminal. As I neared the end of the corridor I heard 'Passenger Hayward?' I screeched to a halt in front of the gentleman who informed me that I had been moved to a later flight as they didn't think I would make my original one. Well, I had to make it, I was meeting a boyfriend whom I hadn't seen in 8 weeks and if I could get this flight I was hell bent on it. The gentleman whipped out his walky talky, spoke quickly with someone and then hurried me back down the corridor I'd just raced down. Another gentleman met me and, before bemused eyes of my fellow passengers, led me through an outside doorway, down to a waiting van and then we sped to another terminal. Enroute he contacted another gentleman and he was waiting at the door to whisk me up the stairs, straight to the front of the security line and over to customs. From there I was on my own and I sweettalked my way to the front of the line, though one woman wanted to know where I was flying first. Did that matter?? My flight was leaving in 7 minutes!!! I guess she didn't realize the urgency of my situation. Anyway, I got through customs as quickly as possible and then raced like a bat out of hell for my gate which seemed to be miles away. I made it with less than 5 minutes to spare. The flight attendant was quite amused and poured me a glass of water as I was gasping for breath from my sprint through the terminal. Hey, at least I made it! :) So thank you Heathrow employees!

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Transferring through Heathrow

    by Dabs Updated May 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I've had the "pleasure" of transferring through Heathrow on a couple of occasions to other European cities and if you can possibly avoid doing it, it is advisable. Heathrow may not be the world's busiest airport but I'd be shocked if it wasn't the world's largest and the one it takes the most time to get through.

    If you are traveling in and out of different terminals, you'll want to give yourself at LEAST 2 hours, 3 is preferable, to cover the inevitable circling around the aiport waiting for a landing spot, the LONG walk through the terminal, the transfer via either bus or Heathrow Express and the pass through security. We had 90 minutes between flights going to Bucharest and we were literally jogging through the airport to make our flight, our bags were not as lucky. I've never had to collect my bags at Heathrow between flights but it is a possibility if you purchase the legs of your journey separately.

    Traveling in club or first class on British Airways is an entirely different experience, you can use the Fast Track system to go to the front of the security queue and you can use the extra time to visit the BA lounge.

    Anything you could possibly need to know about transferring terminals at Heathrow can be found on their website Heathrow's website including how to do it and how much time you need. Note that the times listed for transfer are the minimum time needed, if your in bound flight is delayed or security lines are unusually long you may need more time.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Stansted Airport – Security staff alert!

    by Jerelis Written Oct 17, 2012
    The plane that took us back home.
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    “A nice friendly airport Stansted Airport challenged all the accepted rules of airport terminal design. By turning the building ‘upside down’ the lightweight roof is freed simply to keep out rain and let in light. Energy efficient, environmentally discreet within its rural setting, technologically advanced yet incredibly simple to use and experience, Stansted has become a model for airport planners and designers around the world.” This text is what we read near the entrance and it is modern and very clean architecture indeed.

    But what is even more important than the architectural design is the fact that there are shorter queues than for example Heathrow. This is, of course, a huge advantage. But do keep in mind not to give the security staff or check in staff a reason to give you grief as they are usually ready to make your life hell! At least our experience was that the security was a pain to get through. We witnessed by other travelers that they always found something wrong with the contents of the bags and therefore they caused everyone massive delay and even more frustrations along all travelers. Only reason they get away with any of this is because of the budget carriers and cheap flights. This is such a shame, because we came well prepared and because of this we almost missed out on our train connection to London.

    Address: Enterprise House, Bassingbourn Road, CM24 1QW Essex.
    Directions: London Stansted is situated just off the M11 motorway – use Junction 8a if approaching from the London direction or Junction 8 from the Cambridge side, then follow signs for the airport.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Stansted Airport – Low Cost Airlines Skytax Award.

    by Jerelis Written Oct 17, 2012
    Arriving at Stansted Airport.
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    London Standsted Airport is a passenger airport located at Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex, about 48 kilometers northeast of Central London. We flew to this airport, because we were able to fly low budget from Amsterdam to London by EasyJet. It is probably well known that London Stansted Airport is the World’s Best Airport for Low Cost Airlines Skytax Award winner 2001 & 2012. With my 4 best friends I visited the football match Arsenal – Chelsea in London. We left The Netherlands from Schiphol Airport Amsterdam and arrived 1 hour later at Stansted Airport. Just before landing we could see that the airport has been well laid out and the landing was quite.

    After landing we walked our way out of the plane a huge hall. The entrance was friendly and we were helped towards the Skylink, which is a kind of tube that took us from the gate to the arrival lounge and that was great fun. Before we travelled to this particular airport we had no idea that Stansted is Britain's third busiest airport and the fastest-growing airport in Europe. It deals with nearly 19 million passengers a year and runs flights to more than 140 destinations in more than 30 countries. Therefore it can be quite busy sometimes, lucky enough for us it was still a bit quite and we were able to find our way easily and quickly.

    Address: Enterprise House, Bassingbourn Road, CM24 1QW Essex.
    Directions: London Stansted is situated just off the M11 motorway – use Junction 8a if approaching from the London direction or Junction 8 from the Cambridge side, then follow signs for the airport.

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Custom Line at Heathrow

    by riorich55 Written May 1, 2012

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    We came through last Friday morning on a flight from Chicago landing at 9:05 a.m. By the time we cleared through customs it was 10:35 a.m. We reached the line for customs at 9:25 am and were handed some bottled water by Heathrow staff. 2 lines, the one to the left for EU citizens wait was about 10 minutes or even less from what I could time. 3 flights had arrived about same time as ours. We arrived on American Airlines in Terminal 3. They had anywhere from 6 to 8 custom agents really couldn't count how many until we got close to front of line.

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  • Maria250's Profile Photo

    London Heathrow Airport

    by Maria250 Updated Jul 31, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    source:www.airbus.com/work/experienced-candidates/

    LHA is often described as difficult to get around. I thought it wasn't that bad, ppl are helpful, directions are described pretty good and distances are as regular as they are at any huge airport. Yet, again, it's all about scheduling in enough of time. I think trying to get on a connecting flight in less than 2 hrs is an hopeless case. As for the lines/security measures I found'em at any US airport way more organized and there for way smoother (in comparison to the UK). At any airports in the US additional assitants along the lines of passengers are helping out ahead and make sure things are going as fast as possible. Scary the low security measures at European airports for national flights.

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  • Gypsystravels's Profile Photo

    London Heathrow

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jun 23, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Waiting area gate monitor
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    At some point or another, if you are making any connections in Europe, you will most likely connect through London Heathrow, Europe's largest airport!!

    With that said, it is crazy, mad at the airport!! I fly American Airlines and when I am flying on a conncetion, it is always from one terminal to another which can take up to 1 hour just getting there. I do like the fact that Heathrow has a fantastic waiting area with some of the best shops, espeicaly if you find yourself with some extra £s and need to buy some last minute items.

    The Harrod's shop always has the items you find at the store for a few £ less, which I found out after paying the Harrod store prices. The signature Harrod's bags were £11.95, while at Harrod's I paid £14.95 for them...makes a big difference when you are purchasing more than one.

    There are plenty of places to eat and to sit at while waiting for your connection. Make sure to check the monitor for you gate, as it does take some time to reach your gate from the main terminal waiting area.

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  • Maria81's Profile Photo

    London City Airport

    by Maria81 Written Apr 13, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Anothere view of London from my flat

    Smallest of London airports, but most convenient for the city in terms of travelling time, and also the one where security queues tend to clear up fastest, due to the small size.

    Obvious downside is not everyone can use it due to lower frequency of flights and fewer destinations available - the airport is mostly for short haul flights in Europe. The only long haul destination currently available is New York (on an all-business class service by BA, which is especially popular with Canary Wharf folk).

    That said, if you're flying from Geneva, Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Madrid, Rotterdam, Basel, Luxembourg, and a few other European spots, it's an excellent choice.

    DLR (Docklands Light Railway) is right outside the terminal, and - also with tube interchanges - can easily get you to pretty much anywhere in London. Trains are running at least every 7-8 minutes and more frequently at peak times.

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    LondonCity Airport

    by malianrob Written Jan 2, 2011

    From Amsterdam we landed at the London City Airport. Before we walked out there is an information desk. At the desk we told the lady there which hotel we were staying at and she assisted us in how to get there via the subway. It was very easy with her help. At the underground at the airport there was another attendant there that made sure we were on the right track. So there was really no way to get lost.

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  • Bus and Coach services to all main london airports

    by yannick73 Updated Sep 17, 2010

    If your looking for away to get to or from any of the main airports in london then have a look at national express coache. i recently used them myself and for the money there is no better and more relaible way to get where you want to go.

    http://www.nationalexpress.com/coach/Airport/index.aspx

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  • mirchica's Profile Photo

    Gatwick Airport

    by mirchica Written Jul 4, 2010

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    Gatwick Airport is situated around 30 miles south of the city that’s why it’s not very comfortable to fly to/from there. Its advantage is that it is cheaper than Heathrow and it’s not impossible to get in London for less money. There is a train Gatwick Express which runs to Victoria station and it’s like 15 pounds one way ticket.
    Our flight was early in the morning that’s why we had to spend the night at the airport but it was not a problem. It is clean and comfortable, there are many places to eat even in the night.

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