Luton Airport, United Kingdom – avoid flying in or out of this placeBack to Forum
Luton Airport calls itself ‘London Luton Airport’ but it’s actually 34 miles from central London. The airport serves mostly budget and charter airlines such as Easy Jet, Wizz and Monarch. But with tight corporate budgets, you may find yourself flying short haul from this airport.
Luton Airport is currently undergoing a £110 million transformation. They even have a website that celebrates the changes they are planning look for ‘transforminglla’ And who knows, it may be much better in the future – it certainly can’t be any worse than it is now.
Dropping off at, or picking up from, the Airport is Terrible
The building work, lack of clear signage and restricted space in the drop-off area mean that there are cars queuing from the roundabout at the entrance to the airport. You could be waiting 30 minutes to get to the drop-off point, which then charges you £3 for 10 minutes. There are two entrances next to each other, the one on the left is £3 drop-off, the one on the right is £7 short stay – often drivers realise too late and then the whole queue stops as they try to reverse out and back to the drop-off line.
Tip: The best option is to use the free mid-stay car park and let your passengers walk 15 minutes to the airport.
Airport Security takes longer and the fast-track is now £5
Airport Security has been re-located downstairs. The lines are longer. The Fast Track, that used to be quite good is now quite slow and the price has gone up to £5 per person. There are also now only a couple of machines available from which purchase fast-track tickets.
Tip: Pre-book fast-track for £3 online.
The Terminal is even more overcrowded than before.
With one of the large food and drink outlets closed and more flights departing, the terminal is overcrowded. There are long lines for the only table service restaurant, Frankie & Benny’s. There are two main toilets in the main terminal area, plus a few smaller versions dotted around near the gates. Most are pretty busy and grotty.
Tip:For around £18 you can buy entry to the Business Lounge but you need to do this online. They also accept priority pass.
Expect to wait over an hour to clear immigration/passport control on arrival
Passport control at Luton has always been a mess. They have some e-passport gates now, but even with these you could easily wait over an hour to clear immigration. The whole place is understaffed and the flight schedules mean that three flights often arrive all at once. It’s a complete disgrace.
Tip: Avoid flying into Luton. Just choose to fly in to another airport.3 Aug 2016
Thanks for the update on the latest state of play at the B&Q warehouse that otherwise doubles as an airport. The overwhelming impression that I have always had of Loootun is “cheap” (as in “as chips”). The place looks as if it was erected, in a hurry, over a weekend and as a temporary measure. No-one ever remembered to dismantle it and do it properly.
Just what will £110M provide this time around? A better class of melamine table covering?
1 user thanked author for this post.3 Aug 2016
And heaven forbid if there’s flight cancellations – it begins to resemble a ‘refugee camp’ with bodies and bags everywhere on the floor space, tables and chairs and uncollected rubbish everywhere… mingling with those trying to depart.
Loving the descriptions above, which are very very apt. I was a first timer to Looootun recently as WizzAir the only flight to a particular place that friends had chosen to go to. All is forgiven Heathrow !
Plus, a cheery Starbucks server, who was doing a Masters and earning what she could during the holidays. Good luck to her, character building stuff (Luton not the Masters…) Remember, its a means to an end to get to where you’re going to/from.3 Aug 2016
There is only one airport in London, City.
All the rest are using the name whilst operating in Beds, Essex, Surrey etc.
London Southend is over 50 miles from central London.
Manchester airport is 8.7 miles from central Manchester and is in Manchester.
Liverpool airport is 9.1 miles from central Liverpool and is in Liverpool.3 Aug 2016
Heathrow is in fact a London Airport (it falls in the Greater London Area catchment) it has had London telephone codes originally 759xxxx, followed by 01 759xxxx then 020 759xxxx and now 0208 759xxxx) and serviced by Twickenham LDO (TW 5/6/7) since inception and only Taxi’s licensed by the London Metropolitan Police can use the on-site Heathrow Taxi rank facility, more more recently (1977) serviced directly by London underground via the Piccadilly line.3 Aug 2016
I only used Luton on one occasion a good few years ago (no memory as to where I was headed or why Luton) and my sole memory of the place was that the ‘Fast Track’ security line moved at half the speed of the regular queue & reading a sign at the start of the line stating that (along the lines of) ‘Even though you have purchased fast track, we cannot guarantee it will be any quicker’4 Aug 2016
Heathrow is in fact a London Airport (it falls in the Greater London Area catchment) it has had London telephone codes originally 759xxxx, followed by 01 759xxxx then 020 759xxxx and now 0208 759xxxx) and serviced by Twickenham LDO (TW 5/6/7) since inception and only Taxi’s licensed by the London Metropolitan Police can use the on-site Heathrow Taxi rank facility, more more recently (1977) serviced directly by London underground via the Piccadilly line.
Ekond222, Heathrow is not in London, it is in the Greater London County.
The Greater London County consists of 32 boroughs, but not the City of London.
I speak as a proud Freeman of the City of London.
PS: The Met Police (not the Londonn Met Police) is the force of the Greater London County, not the City.4 Aug 2016
…I only was born and grew up in West London and live in Chelsea…one of the boroughs -K&C …what do I know…I guess it’s a bit like London City Airport resides in a East London Borough (Newham), Heathrow falls within the London Borough of Hillingdon or most of Manchester Airport is actually in Cheshire…but you being a Freeman qualifies you as the final authority on this…4 Aug 2016
Well it is a low-cost airport but you also have the all-business flight to New York run by La Compaagnie. I’ve also flown short haul from there on company business.4 Aug 2016
most of Manchester Airport is actually in Cheshire
City airport is the only London airport with a London post code (E16, inner borough) and is located only ~7 miles from the centre of the City of London.
Heathrow is in Middlesex
Stansted is in Essex
Southend is in Essex
Gatwick is in Sussex
Luton is in Beds
I therefore stand by my argument that City is the only airport that is in London.
Unfortunately, City is not much better an experience than Luton, at the moment.4 Aug 2016
I used to use Northolt frequently, but now its only a couple of times a year.
A gem of an airport, for those in a hurry, but tickets to fly from here usually cost several thousand… 🙁
And for the record, I don’t buy tickets, I am just a servant to the wealthy…4 Aug 2016