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Heathrow vs Gatwick vs Luton vs Stansted vs London City Airport

Overview of London Airports

London has five airports to choose between when flying in or out. We summarise here all the information you need to know when considering these.

London Heathrow and London City airports are the closest to the city, and are conveniently located on the London Underground and DLR systems. Travel to the city is longer and more expensive from Gatwick, Luton or Stansted. Luton and Stansted are mostly used by budget airlines.

London Heathrow

London Gatwick

London Luton

London Stansted

London City Airport

Getting to Central London  Options
Distance from central London 20 miles = 32 kilometers 26 miles = 42 kilometers 49 miles = 79 kilometers 43 miles = 69 kilometers 13 miles = 21 kilometers
Public transport general operating hours 5:10 to 23:45 Last Gatwick Express train departs at 1:35 a.m. Easybus runs day and night 24/7 National Express 24/7 easyBus 24/7 easyBus, 24/7 National Express London public transport 24/7
London Underground Trains Airport Terminal Up to an hour to central London   £10.40 cash; £6-10 Oyster card N/a N/a N/a Yes. DLR trains. Travelling times to Victoria Station are up to 35 minutes.   £5-7 cash; £3-5 Oyster card  
Easybus coach N/A To Earl's Court       from £4     Victoria BHP, Brent Cross, Finchley Road, Baker Street, Marble Arch, Golders Green   £10   To Kings Cross, Waterloo, Southwark, Baker Street, Victoria, Stratford   From £8 to £12     N/A
National Express Coach To Victoria Station       £12     To Victoria Station     £16     To Victoria Coach Station, Paddington, Kings Cross   From £11 to £29     To Paddington, Liverpool Street, Kings Cross, Central London   Between £10 and £13               N/A
Bus To Victoria Station   £14.40 cash; £8.70 Oyster     To Victoria Station £19.20 cash; £11.60 Oyster             N/A N/A N/A
Ordinary National Rail services N/A                 Southern/First Capital Connect     £19         Blackfriars, St. Pancras       £15.5       N/A London Bridge         £5, Oyster from £2,8      
Express Trains (Fast Trains) Heathrow Express To  Paddington Station   £34*   (Ordinary National Rail £19.80 )     Gatwick Express to  Victoria £31.05   (Ordinary Southern/First Capital Connect Rail £19) N/A N/A N/A
Taxi / Cab Services         Prices range between £45 and £70 to central London       Journey Time:Approximately an hour         Around £100 to London Victoria       Journey Time:Up to 30 minutes         From £50 to £80 to Victoria Station       Journey Time:Up to 30 minutes https://www.minicabit.com/   Up to £100         Journey Time:Around 40 mins https://www.minicabit.com   From £25 to £50         Journey Time:From 10 mins
On demand taxis Uber on demand to Paddington Station   Minimum fare £14 Cancellation fee £10 Uber on demand to Paddington Station   Minimum fare £14 Cancellation fee £10   Uber on demand to Paddington Station   Minimum fare £14 Cancellation fee £10   Uber on demand to Paddington Station   Minimum fare £14 Cancellation fee £10   Uber on demand to Paddington Station     Minimum fare £14 Cancellation fee £10  
Which Airport is most suitable for me?
Which is more reachable to London main attractions?   How close to London and its attractions? If you are a business man and time is factor to you then Heathrow is best because well connected transport to Central London   Cheaper  and faster to get Heathrow Airport however Security and Immigration delays are more Victoria station and London Bridge is a good central location for many visitors because  easy to get  London main Attractions   Theme Parks: Legoland and thorpe park as 40 mins away     If you are Fancy and like to visit Brighton Beach and other costal places then Gatwick is much easier, cheaper and best.   Gatwick is 2nd best transport connection to London including London Bridge, Victoria, Black fairs, King cross St Pan cross. You can reach with 40 mins.   30mins FREE Wi-Fi connection. Luton also has the most inconvenient public transport service in to London, although the Kings Cross/St Pancras station complex is one of the most central of places to arrive at.   If taking the train to Luton, be sure to buy a ticket to Luton Parkway not to Luton, and to take a train that goes to Luton Parkway tCost to       If you like to visit to Cambridge and other parts of England, this is best.   Lesser connectivity to London compared to Gatwick and Heathrow. Stansted Airport is convenient for people who travel on the budget because a number of low-cost airline companies operate to the airport.   The airport is also an excellent option for people travelling to the northern outskirts of London and for those with plenty of time.   Less connectivity to London comapre to Gatwick and Heathrow. Entire London and its attractions are at hand.   Transfer options are especially convenient.
Cost factor Heathrow Airport is London’s main airport, with more expensive flight fares compared to other airports around London.   Transfers to the city of London are adapted to each budget.   Car rental deals are the lowest, while hotel rates are somewhere in the middle compared to other airports. Flight Fares are 15% to 30% cheaper than Heathrow.   Public transport transfers are pricier than from Heathrow Airport.   Car rental deals are around 30% higher compared to Heathrow, while hotel rates are 10% higher.   Luton Airport handles mainly budget airlines to European destinations. Hence, flight rates are cheaper to this airport than to Heathrow and Gatwick.   Public transport fares can be lower or higher compared to Heathrow and Gatwick depending on the chosen transfer option.   Car hire rates are cheaper than the rates of Gatwick’s rental companies and more expensive than Heathrow’s. Hotel rates are lower. Stansted Airport serves primarily low-cost airlines. Flight rates are similar to Luton and significantly cheaper compared to Gatwick and Heathrow.   Standard transfer options by the public transport aren’t especially different from London’s other airports.   Hotel rates are more affordable to other airports, while car rental deals tend to be significantly higher. London City Airport features lower fares than flights to Heathrow and similar to other airports.   Transfer options are faster and cheaper than from the other airports.   On the other hand, car rental and hotel deals are higher.
Airport Delays Heathrow is renowned for its delays when it comes to just about every part of the airport experience, and also has a reputation for losing luggage   Heathrow is a very big airport and it can take a long time to get from one gate to the next gate, with even more time if the gates are in different terminals.   Avg Security & Immigration Delays: more than other airports   Avg Flight Arrival Delays: more than other airports Security and Immigration delays are low.     Avg Security & Immigration Delays: Low   Avg Flight Arrival Delays : 20 mins     Security and Immigration delays are less compare to other airports     Avg Security & Immigration Delays: Very low   Avg Flight Arrival Delays : 12 mins Security and Immigration delays are less compared to Gatwick and Heathrow   Avg Security & Immigration Delays: Very low   Avg Flight Arrival Delays: 9 mins Avg Security & Immigration Delays: Very low   Avg Flight Arrival Delays: Very low    
Flight fares   Prices taken for April 2017 (searched on 29.1.17.) (searched on 30.01.17.). From £53-Edinburgh, £56-Madrid, £68-Dublin, £69-Rome, £72-Paris, £74-Athens, £79-Frankfurt and Berlin, £80-Geneva, £83-Istanbul, £85-Stockholm, £96-Prague. From £30-Frankfurt, £33-Dublin, £52-Paris, £53-Madrid, £54-Prague, £61-Edinburgh, £64-Stockholm and Amsterdam, £65-Geneva, £66-Brussels, £69-Rome, £71-Berlin, £78-Tenerife, £90-Marrakesh, £91-Athens, £93-Istanbul, £408-Varadero, £419-Bangkok. From £27-Edinburgh, £28-Dublin, £30-Frankfurt and Berlin, £37-Stockholm, £38-Prague, £41-Rome, £51-Geneva, £52-Paris, £59-Marrakesh, £62-Tenerife, £70-Athens, £72-Madrid, £83-Istanbul, £302-Boston, £408-Varadero, £419-Bangkok. From £27-Edinburgh, £28-Dublin, £30-Frankfurt and Berlin, £37-Stockholm, £38-Madrid and Prague, £41-Rome, £50-Marrakesh, £51-Geneva, £52-Paris, £70-Athens, £83-Istanbul, £302-Boston, £419-Bangkok. From £27-Edinburgh, £28-Dublin, £30-Frankfurt and Berlin, £38-Madrid and Prague, £41-Rome, £50-Amsterdam and Marrakesh, £51-Geneva, £52-Paris, £55-Tenerife, £70-Athens, £83-Istanbul, £248-Dubai, £341-Los Angeles, £367-Miami, £407-Chicago, £419-Bangkok, £432-Washington, D.C.
Car hire   Prices taken for the 1.4.-7.4.17. period (searched on 30.1.17.). Budget cars (Fiat 500, Kia Picanto, Ford Ka): £54-£206.   Intermediate cars (Vauxhall Mokka, Skoda Octavia, Porsche Boxster): £78-£1260. Budget cars (Fiat 500, Kia Picanto, Ford Ka): £75-£280.   Intermediate cars (Vw Passat, Skoda Octavia, Audi Tt): £108-£1238. Budget cars (Fiat 500, Kia Picanto, Ford Ka): £65-£280.   Intermediate cars (Vw Passat, Skoda Octavia, Citroen C4): £114-£817.     Budget cars (Fiat 500, Kia Picanto, Toyota Aygo): £65-£148.   Intermediate cars (Skoda Octavia, Citroen C4, Renault Scenic): £150-£730. Budget cars ( Fiat 500, Kia Picanto, Citroen C1): £137-£219.   Intermediate cars (Ford Focus C Max, Skoda Octavia, Vw Jetta): £220-£618.
Hotel costs per night from 1.4.17. to 2.4.17. (searched on 30.01.17.). 3-star Holiday Inn – Heathrow Ariel - £68.   4-star Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport - £87.     3-star Hampton by Hilton - £76.   4-star Sofitel London - £103.   Up to 15% more expensive than around the Heathrow. 3-star Holiday Inn Express Dunstable - £62.   4-star Hilton Garden Inn - £75.   Around 10% cheaper than around the Heathrow and up to 30% pricier than around the Gatwick. 3-star Ramada London - £53.   4-star Hilton London - £71.   Hotel deals are slightly cheaper compared to the Luton Airport and significantly cheaper to the Heathrow and Gatwick. 3-star Holiday Inn Express Royal Docks - £93.   4-star Good Hotel London - £89.   On average, hotel deals tend to be most expensive than around other London airports.
Airport Facilities
Shopping Armani Collezioni, Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Harrods, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Rolex, Swarovski, WHSmith Bookshop, Tiffany&Co, Versace, Watches of Switzerland, Zara Accessorize, Hugo Boss, Cath Kidston, Dune London, Harrods, Hour Passion, Lacoste, Ray Ban, Snow+Rock, Victoria’s Secret, Zara, World Duty Free Dixons Travel, Accessorize, Aelia Duty Free Shop, JD Sports, Sunglass Hut, MAC, Victoria’s Secret Accessorize, Dixons, Dune London, Hugo Boss, Hema, Lacoste, Oasis, Swarovski, Parfois, Sunglasses Boutique, WHSmith WHSmith, Gassan, Aelia Duty Free
Eating & Drinkings Cafe Rouge, Oyster, Costa, Huxleys, Leon, Starbucks, Strada, Wagamama, Yo!Sushi Costa, Caffe Nero, Comptoir Libanais, Jamie’s Coffee Lounge, Nando’s, Starbucks, The London Bar, Wagamama Burger King, Caffe Nero, Food Village, Starbucks, Bar 10, Costa, Wasabi Burger King, Cafe Balzar, Costa, Empire Dogs, M&S Food, Starbucks, Halo Bar Panopolis, Pret, Caffe Nero, Rhubarb
Lounges Plaza Premium Lounges (T2, T4), Club Aspire Lounge (T3), No.1 Traveller Bedrooms and Lounge (T3), SkyTeam Lounge (T4), Aspire (T5) No.1 Lounges (departures, North Terminal, South Terminal), My Lounge (North Terminal), Aspire Lounge (North Terminal), Business Lounges (arrivals/before security) Aspire Lounge Escape Lounge First Class Lounge
Wi-Fi Heathrow free Wi-Fi Gatwick Free Wi-Fi (90 minutes) Luton Airport free wifi (4 hours) Stansted airport free wifi (60 mins) Free Wi-Fi
Terminal information. How many? How to transfer? Min connection time. 5 terminals; Transfer options - Heathrow Express trains; Up to 12 minutes; 2 terminals; Inter-terminal shuttle service; 2 minutes; 1 terminal; 1 terminal; 1 terminal;
Currency Exchange & cash points Currency exchange, Travelex, ATMs Moneycorp, ATMs ICE Currency Exchange (Arrivals, before and after security) Moneycorp Travelex
Important telephone numbers Police +44(0)208 897 7444 Lost and found +44(0)203 761 1800   Police +44(0)845 60 70 999 Lost property +44(0)1293 223 457 Left luggage +44(0)1582 405 100 Lost and found +44(0)844 824 3109 Security +44 844 335 1803 Lost and found +44(0)20 7646 0000/88
Major airlines and destinations
Major operating airlines British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Vueling, Air India, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, American Airlines, Air Canada, Alitalia, Eurowings, Swiss International easyJet, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar Airlines, Emirates, British Airways, Air Europa easyJet, Ryanair, Wizz Air, Thomson, Blue Air, Vueling, Monarch, Blue Air Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways, Alitalia, KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss International, Sky Work, Luxair, City Jet, Blue Islands, Air France
Major destinations Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Baltimore, Bangkok, Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Paris, Moscow, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Sankt Petersburg, Washington, Buenos Aires Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Cairo, Boston, Ankara, Ho Chi Minh, Geneva, Malta, Prague, Vienna, Hanoi, Havana, Reykjavik, Minneapolis, Madrid, Mauritius Geneva, Tenerife South, Malaga, Tel Aviv, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Budapest, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Zurich, Venice, Gibraltar Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Nice, Rhodes, Prague, Las Vegas, Marrakech, Budapest, Dublin Santorini, Rome, New York, Venice, Berlin, Paris, Antwerp, Aberdeen, Zurich, Mallorca, Madrid, Nantes
Car hire desks and companies?
Companies Operate Avis (T2-T5), Budget (T1-T4), Thrifty (T5) Europcar (T1-T5), Hertz (Northern Perimeter Road), Enterprise (T1-T5), National (T1-T5), Sixt (T1, T3, T4), Alamo (T5)   Avis (South Terminal), Europcar (North Terminal), Hertz (South Terminal), Sixt (North and South Terminals), National (South Terminal), Alamo (South Terminal), Enterprise (South Terminal), Budget (North Terminal) Europcar, Budget, Enterprise, Avis, Sixt, Green Motion, National, Hertz Thrifty, National, Green Motion, Hilton Rental, Easirent, Hertz, Stansted Car Rental, Budget, InterRent Budget
Online car hire Deals? 3% - Cashback Car Hire Heathrow Airport       3% - Cashback Car Hire Gatwick Airport 3% - Cashback Car Hire Luton Airport 3% - Cashback  Car Hire London Stansted Airport 3% - Cashback Car Hire London City Airport
Tourist information Top London attractions London discount cards Compare London Tourist Pass Compare London Bus Tours
Official airport website Heathrow Gatwick Airport London-Luton Stansted Airport London City Airport
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