05 July 2007

What is the best London airport?

There is much discussion currently regarding the best London airport. Until recently most people claimed that Heathrow was the most accessible and convenient. But what are the factors that should play a big part in the overall scoring?
  • Accessibility
  • Usability
  • Features
  • Shops
  • Check-in times
  • Take off and landing times

Have a closer look at the list and you will realise that Heathrow fails most of the above. In terms of accessibility it might have more connections however getting fast to Heathrow all depends on where you live in London. We have all experienced the long queues, the despair due to cancelled flights, security alert chaos and major difficulty getting from A to B, anywhere in the airport. Also if you land you will notice that it takes so long to get off the plane due to long and congested landing strips. Will Terminal 5 end all that? I doubt it and so does the guy that filmed this video:

Living in the South East part of town my favourite used to be Gatwick. It has a great train service running from London Bridge and once you get there things are pretty simple. You rarely have to wait (unless its summer) and you can usually check in and out with no major problems. Its trickier to get there from other parts of London though and the fast service is not enough.

City Airport is a good all rounder for business travel. Relatively close to the city (not as close as it appears on the map) but with very limited amount of flights and lots of small aircraft making the runway busy at times.

Luton airport I thought very little off having flown once in the past. Seemed quite far away from everything but only if you live in the deep south. Since moving to North London I realised that its closer to me than any other airport. Its also less busy which makes for a far more relaxing experience. It has an impressive list of destinations and its easy to get to from the City (Thameslink, King's Cross, Farringdon, City Thameslink, Blackfriars, London Bridge). EasyJet has made it very popular and more airlines are adding to the list of flying exclussively from there. Not bad.

Last but not least comes Stanstead airport. Although Stanstead is relatively small and compact it still gets very busy. It also might be the most difficult airport to get to with a limited service from Liverpool street. Takes ages to get to and from and is therefore very inconvenient.

Whichever airport you choose you will face waiting times and small delays however choosing the one that is best for your location, transport links and check-in times can save a lot of time and needless frustration for your holidays or business travel.

Would love to hear your thoughts on Heathrow.

Happy flying!


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Anonymous said...

thank you for this - it was very helpful! even though i have lived in london a few times and flow many times through there, i've never understood all the options as clearly as i have now.

Anonymous said...

My view is that overall London City is the worst of all of London's airports. Of the four major ones, Gatwick is the worst, closely follwed by Luton then Heathrow which is much better and Stansted is by far the best. My reasons for this:
LONDON CITY -> Although closest to London, has poor transport links, limited flights and very expensive to fly to.
GATWICK -> Has excellent range of shops but long delays with average transport links and is getting old and grotty.
LUTON -> Is fairly modern and quite small with average facilities but transport is a nightmare with no train station at the terminal.
HEATHROW -> Has a huge range of flights, quick transport into London and excellent facilities, but often has long queues.
STANSTED -> Is very modern with excllent range of shops, queues always short, not too bus with excellent transport into London.