With a variety of large international airports dotted in and around the city, its both time-efficient and cost-effective to plan your London airport transfers in advance.
Our plan was to travel to London one day before the Cathay Pacific flight and stay overnight near Gatwick airport. This was just a safety measure to ensure we wouldn’t miss our Bali flight because of any unforeseen delays.
However, we first had to get to London Gatwick. The cheapest flight to London we could find – travelling on the dates we required – was with Ryanair flying to London Luton.
Since Luton airport is 80 miles from Gatwick – on the other side of the city – we needed an inexpensive way of travelling between the two airports.
London Airport Transfers – Luton to Gatwick via National Express
National Express coaches provide the most efficient way of getting between London’s airports. Their routes avoid the city center, taking instead the M25 circular motorway.
National Express coaches run between Luton and Gatwick airports every 2 hours or so, stopping off along the way at Heathrow airport.
The journey takes 2½ hours (depending on traffic). Tickets cost £25 per-person, one-way.
When we arrived at Gatwick airport we found a really long and slow-moving queue at the National Express ticket counter. Had we waited in line we would have missed the bus we were planning to catch.
Fortunately we were able to purchase tickets from the self-service ticket machines just behind the sales booth. You can also save time by purchasing your coach tickets online at the National Express website.
On arrival at Gatwick South Terminal, we took a Southbound Metrobus (£2.40 per ticket) to the Premier Inn Gatwick, just 3 miles from the airport.
The Premier Inn Gatwick
We had booked a double room at the Premier Inn Gatwick Manor Royal, Crawley for just £50 per night.
Our room was spacious, clean and comfortable.
The hotel was also offering a Meal-deal option: A 2-course dinner plus wine and a full English buffet breakfast for £26. Very good value since you have a wide choice of dinner menu options, including sirloin steak.
Although they don’t run an airport shuttle service, the hotel is well located close to bus stops for the airport. There are also a couple of shopping precincts close by where you can find a Tesco’s, as well as a variety of large stores to keep you busy for a few hours.
Gatwick to London via National Express
Following our return from Bali to Gatwick, we had 12 hours to spare before our onward flight from London Luton. We therefore decided to use this opportunity to visit a couple of London attractions.
We again took a National Express coach. This time from Gatwick South to London’s central Victoria Coach Station.
Our plan was to leave our bags at Victoria Coach Station’s left-luggage facility (£5 per bag) while we visited the city.
We would then take another coach from Victoria to Luton airport.
London to Luton via National Express
You should leave yourself plenty of time to reach Luton airport if you’re taking one of the National Express coaches. Traffic is unpredictable and there are usually long queues at airport check-in and security counters.
However the National Express coaches run frequently – 24/7 (at least every hour, and more frequently during the day). Tickets cost £12 per-person one-way and the journey takes around 2 hours (again depending on traffic).
… on our way to Hong Kong and Bali!
We were looking forward to our onward flight with Cathay Pacific – one of the top 5 airlines in the world. We would be breaking our journey to Bali with a 2-day stopover in Hong Kong.
With our accommodation in Hong Kong booked in advance, all we still needed to do was to find a cost effective way of getting from Hong Kong International airport to the center of Kowloon…
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