How to Save on Airport Transfers

Our comprehensive guide to low-cost flights to London’s airports will help you save money.

The holiday excitement should begin as soon as you close the front door. But the long, expensive journey to the airport can kill that holiday buzz. How can you save money and avoid losing your shirt? Follow our guide to get from central London and the major five.

That’s more money to spend on the things that really matter, such as duty-free goodies and flip-flops. Only us?

Heathrow

TRAIN The fastest, but not the most affordable, the option is Heathrow Express, which departs Paddington in 15-27 minutes, depending on where you are at the terminal. You can also hop on the TFL Rail (previously Connect), which departs Paddington every half hour and takes between 31-49 minutes.

Coach, you can get change starting at a tenner and a break for heaving heavy bags – on a National Express coach. It picks up from Victoria and takes about 50 minutes.

BUS Hardened penny pinchers can take three buses from Victoria, but it will take you over two hours. London buses stopped accepting cash in 2014. You’ll need an Oyster card or contactless card to travel. However, multiple journeys can be capped at PS4.40. The N9 night bus to Trafalgar Square departs Terminal 5 or the Bus Station (Terminals 2 & 3).

Insider tip Find train tickets on any route using our app – absolutely free booking fees

Gatwick

TRAIN The direct route is via the Gatwick Express, which departs every 15 minutes and takes about half an hour. Booking online is cheaper and you can save money if you travel with more than one person.

Thameslink trains departing London Bridge and St Pancras in 30-45 minutes. Southern services via East Croydon or Clapham Junction cost less.

COACH For a $5, National Express departs every hour and takes between 1 and 30 minutes to 2 hours to get to Victoria. EasyBus runs every 15-20minutes and gets you to departures at a fraction of the cost of a good cup coffee.

Insider tip The Gatwick Express is the best option if you are staying in west London. However, Thameslink is more convenient for those who live east.

Stansted

TRAIN The Stansted Express will take you from Liverpool Street to the Essex airport in just 45 minutes. You’ll need a ticket because it’s outside of Oyster Zone. You can get off at Tottenham Hale earlier if you aren’t returning to the City, east London or any other area. It has fast tube connections to north, south, and west London.

COACH National Express, Terravision, and easyBus all offer shuttle service between Victoria and Liverpool Street. Terravision stops at Stratford if you are eastbound. The journey takes between 1 hour 45 minutes and 2 hours, and costs less than PS10. You will soon see a new route for easyBus from King’s Cross.

Insider tip Book your Stansted Express tickets at least one month in advance to avoid paying double the price.

Luton

TRAIN There is no express service to Luton. However, the Thameslink from St Pancras takes only 25 minutes and again, you will need a ticket. The station is named Luton Airport Parkway. However, if you purchase a ticket to Luton Airport, the shuttle bus that takes 10 minutes to get to the terminal is included.

COACH Two routes are available by the National Express to Paddington or Victoria stations. They take between 1 and 1:30 minutes. The Green Line coach, which is slightly more expensive, takes about an hour to reach Victoria. It stops at Baker Street and Finchley Road.

City

DLR Enter London’s Docklands Light Railway. This connects with rail and tube, and drops you at the airport in just 15 minutes. Your Oyster card or contactless card can also be used. It’s easy!

BUS The 473 takes you to Stratford. But that’s as close as you can get. It will take you an hour to change buses in central London than it does on the DLR, and the savings of only £6 per trip is not worth it.

TAXI We didn’t mention taxis because they aren’t cost-effective. But if you have to use them, remember that black cabs can quickly rack up large fares and are metered. You can either agree to a fixed price with a taxi driver or use an app like Uber or Gett for a taxi. Uber’s uberPOOL feature allows you to split the fare with other passengers on your route.

 

Our comprehensive guide to low-cost flights to London’s airports will help you save money. The holiday excitement should begin as soon as you close the front door. But the long, expensive journey to the airport can kill that holiday buzz. How can you save money and avoid losing your shirt? Follow our guide to get…

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