Is London City Airport losing its advantage?

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  • dam

    I have travelled since the opening of London City Airport and always enjoyed the benefit of a short check in time, and arriving from Dublin, Belfast or Amsterdam the quick taxi is an obvious advantage and the DLR and Elizabeth line via Woolwich makes transport to East and the City of London.

    I tend to fly into City and out of LHR due to timing and lounge facilities.

    Recently I had occasion to depart from LCY and was told to check in at 0630 for an 0840 BA flight to Amsterdam.

    The scene was chaotic and luckily for me I was travelling with hand luggage so avoided the check in for baggage which was so long there was a holding section.

    The security queue moved very quickly and staff were very helpful.

    Post security there was very little room and there was a queue for coffee, toilets etc. Can anyone advise what has happened at LCY in the past few years, has it become of victim of its own success?


    I have never known LCY as anything other than crowded but very effective. Cannot comment on check-in as I always travel without checked baggage. Online boarding pass in hand I try to arrive as late as possible as there is nowhere to go really past security, but have never missed a flight. Queues at security are usually fast-moving. Still the best London airport hands-down.

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    London City certainly isn’t the easy venue it used to be, where you could rock up to a near empty departure hall 20 mins before and be on your plane a few mins later. But then, routes were limited and planes were small. So the trade-off for me is a longer processing time, but more comfortable planes (mostly jets), and a vastly improved destination board. I loved flying in from Greece the other day, missing all the chaos of LHR/LGW, and being home 30 mins after my flight landed. The popularity of leisure routes such as Ibiza, Mykonos etc. are bringing in a whole different dimension of traveller (with baggage, pushchairs, etc.) who aren’t as speedy as the frequent traveller. But London City still is a nifty airport and is efficient and easy.


    I have been reporting on LCY since the mid-1980s … when it was a construction site.

    The initial plan was for LCY to be limited to smallish aircraft (40-50 seater turbo-props) and for *all* seats on those flights to be sold at the full business class fare.

    In other words LCY would serve a discerning, mainly corporate, market.

    Its operational hours reflect LCY’s original mission to this day (although LCY’s current management wants to extend them – see below).

    That is how LCY operated in the first few years of its life until Swiss airline Crossair secured certification for its 100+ seater BAe146s.

    After Crossair (later to become part of Swissair) arrived in the early 1990s it was followed by other jet operators.

    Over the past 30 years there have been several changes of ownership as management sought to increase the number of passengers and so gain more revenue.

    At times it is under pressure.

    London City seeking to extend Saturday operations


    LCY for me still has the advantage for inbound travel:

    1. Very few arrival delays and from Europe would reduce up to 30 minutes off the flight time due to its position on the east side of London

    2. Stands are in high demand, so aircraft turn arounds had to be quick

    3. such a short walk to the DLR with connections to the wider tube system within a few stops

    4. travel by car very difficult and car parking I believe worse than Heathrow – encouraged to use public transport

    Outbound travel… as others mention, crowded terminals, no lounges… but generally very few delays… because of (2) above

    A victim of its success

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Today’s tweet from LCY shows how the airport and its passenger mix has changed over the years.

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