LTN – Luton – United Kingdom
London Luton Airport has been voted often as the worst airport in the UK. The voters might be spot on. The airport serves a purpose and nothing more. People enter, plane arrives, people board plane, plane takes off. Based on this a well functioning place but don’t expect to enjoy your stay too long or should I put it better as don’t expect to enjoy your stay if you stay too long.
Luton Airport has been under some improvements recently with some work still under way and to be honest, work still needs to be done to improve the overall experience. Chaotic drop off/pick up area, industrial like check in hall, almost nonexistent seating (airside) outside of the limited restaurant options gives you the first not so welcoming feeling, gate area from the 1970’s, extra charges for everything and so on. The staff here don’t make the situation too much better either by being at times a little rude and not too helpful.
If you thought that departing from here was a mess, arrival is even worse. Crowded, chaotic and cramped. If you are looking to take the bus onwards from the airport, do yourself the favour of booking tickets in advance so that you beat the crowd at the airport. The bus platform can at times resemble a marketplace/bazaar with people piling up on each other trying to get to the front. If you didn’t book in advance, try to avoid National Express
since they tend to be the most popular and for example Green Line
busses that also run to Central London are less crowded.
There is also the option of arriving/leaving the airport by train from Luton Airport Parkway station which is a short shuttle bus ride away from the airport terminal. This is a good option since the trains run to London King’s Cross – St Pancras Station just make sure to reserve enough time when arriving at the airport since you need to take the bus connection from the station to the terminal. Also foot to notice that you need to pay separately for the bus unless you have a return ticket for the train.
At the end of the day, you probably pay for what you get. The case at LTN is just like the airlines that use the airport as a hub, you pay little and get even less – you just pay extra for every single little service on top of your ticket. If you are low on your budget and really just want to get from A to B with the lowest cost possible, consider flying to/from LTN. If you are not up for a small adventure and are looking for a more comfortable way to depart and arrive, avoid LTN at all cost.
TOP 3 at LTN
- Low cost. Flying for around 40€ return within Europe (or even less) is a great deal. Just don’t expect comfort and efficiency at all times.
- (potential) Efficiency. LTN is a small airport and if lucky your stay here is very short. Just make sure to stick to hand luggage and have your check in done online.
- “not achieved yet”
WORST 3 at LTN
- Arriving and leaving. This can be a pain especially for early morning or late evening flights. The connections to and from the airport are limited. Also be aware of extra charges along the way.
- Outdated. The airport needs a makeover badly even though recent efforts have made it better.
- Overall service and passenger friendliness. The airport could be OK if the concept was to have a purely no thrills setup where you arrive, go through security and leave all within 30-40 minutes. Sadly this is not the case here. Get ready to be herded like cattle.