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Flights, Airlines and Airport Transfers
Travelling in and out of the UK is easy, with daily flights to and from nearly every major international city. Budget airlines like Easyjet, Monarch, Ryan Air and Thomsonfly, fly to most European countries.
The cheapest flights are usually very early in the morning or late at night, on weekdays, as opposed to at weekends and will tend to be from airports located a little further out from the city's main airport.
Another great way of finding cheap flights is searching in a database. After filling in the date that you would like to travel and the place you would like to visit it will show you the cheapest flights available from different airlines. Booking a flight this way can save you a lot of money.
You can save money by booking flights early and not leaving it until the last minute. The best fares and options can be found about 12 weeks before your travel date, but sometimes airlines will randomly advertise £1 fares (Yes! Only £1!!), where all you do is pay the tax on that ticket.
Be Careful! There are often lots of hidden costs that the cheaper airlines try and get you to pay on top of the headline prices. Money.co.uk have come up with this brilliant guide that shows you all the sneaky tricks the airlines play to get more money out of you.
You can find the best deals on flights to and from the UK using the search bar below:
If you are travelling abroad, organise an airport transfer from the airport to your hostel before you leave. Check to see what forms of public transportation will be available to you when you arrive. Do not leave it until the last minute; you may end up with limited and very expensive options. Most airports have excellent connections with public transport, so even if it is far from you, it is still possible to get there.
Public Transport To and From London Airports
UK airports have very good connections to public transportation. London Heathrow is directly linked to the underground, which is the cheapest option for getting into central London. Other London airports have train services provided either by National Rail or specific lines such as Gatwick Express or Heathrow Express and Connect. For more information on Train Airport Transfers, click here.
London Airport Cab Transfers
Sometimes, taking the Tube or the train is not an option when you are trying to get to Gatwick or Luton late at night or early in the morning. You can book a Mini-Cab to pick you up at the airport. You will be charged a flat rate, plus parking fees and any waiting time, so be sure to let the Mini-Cab operator know if your flight is running late. If you are travelling in a group, check to see how many cabs will be necessary. Always chose a Mini-Cab company near your destination.
London Airport Coach Transfers
Specialized bus services offer airport transfers to all Greater London Airports for incredible prices. Pick up areas are available all over London for your convenience.
- National Express Coaches: offer airport transfers to 24 Airports in the UK,including all airports in London. Coach transfers are available 24 hours a day. Keep in mind that you are allowed to bring 2 pieces of luggage weighing 20 kg each and a piece of carry-on luggage only.
- Greenline Coaches: cheap and convenient with many pick up and drop off locations in London. You do not have to book in advance; just pay the driver the fare. However, if you book in advance you will find cheaper tickets. Easyjet customers enjoy a great discount on the coach fare.
- Easybus Coaches: Operated by Easyjet and provides coach transport to and from Luton, Stansted and Gatwick airports. Coaches leave every 15-30 minutes depending on the route and several pick-up and drop-off points are available depending on your route. Tickets start at just £2 per single journey, but make sure to book at least 3 weeks in advance in order to find these bargain deals.
London Airport Train Transfers
Although there are several regular train lines that stop at airport terminals, a few train services are dedicated solely to airport transfers. These services are direct and may save you a few extra minutes.
- Heathrow Express: The Heathrow Express offers non-stop service between London's Paddington station and Terminals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 at Heathrow airport. Trains leave every 15 minutes and the journey takes a total of 21 minutes.
- Gatwick Express: The Gatwick Express service transports travellers directly between London's Victoria station and Gatwick airport. Trains depart every 15 minutes and the journey takes 30 minutes (35 minutes on Sundays).
- Non-Direct Trains to London Airports: If you are looking to get to Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton or Stansted and you are not in a rush, you can take a National Rail train. Though this train service is not direct, most trains have few stops and are quite affordable. If you are travelling from London to Heathrow, the Piccadilly line on the tube terminates at Heathrow airport. Though the entire journey might only cost you a "few quid," keep in mind that the journey will take more time and that carrying luggage in a tube station is not always convenient.
- Save money on Airport Train services: If you have a 16-25 Railcard or an International Student Identity Card, you can purchase train tickets at a discounted rate. Present your card to the ticket office when you buy your ticket (this discount does not apply for tickets purchased online). Do not forget to get a student ticket; you can save 25% off the standard fare.
Top Tips For Plane Travel
- When looking at destination cities, try booking to non-major airports, which can lead to more money in your pocket.
- Do not over pack! Travel light and save money: Most budget airlines now charge for any checked luggage, carry-on luggage and any kilo that exceeds the weight allowance. Be sure to check this with the airline in advance, as this varies from flight to flight.
- It is also a good idea to bring a snack with you on the flight: In-flight service is not free on budget flights and now more recently on most flight between the UK and Europe. Remember, liquides are not allowed through the security checkpoints!
- Check that you have all of your travel documents: You will not be allowed to board your flight if you do not have the proper immigration visa required for your destination country, so be sure to have all your paperwork filled out properly and have your valid passport (must be valied for at least 6 months from date of travel) ready.
- When you travel, take a letter from your university or institution that proves you are studying in the UK with you: If you are here for a short time and you have already booked your flight home, take a copy of that itinerary with you as well, as immigration officials often ask for proof that you intend to leave the counrty after your studies.