Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by editor, Dec 11, 2017.
Did Luton to Zurich a few weeks ago. Fairly smooth but yeah, grim airport.
Aaaaaaaaargh! We've only today booked a flight from Luton! I haven't flown from/to there for years.
We did it on the basis that there is a direct train from our local station to Luton Airport Parkway. Now I know about... THE BUS.
from memory, you can either buy a train ticket to 'luton airport parkway station' (which doesn't include the bus transfer) or to 'luton airport' (which does) - some people do come a cropper with this and either pay for something they don't want or don't pay for something they do.
it's a while since i've been near there. I think the train add-on thing only covers the shuttle that's run as part of the train franchise (it was first capital connect last time i was there - now thameslink - vague page here) - not the ordinary local buses.
the shuttle thing (search service number 888 on traveline) appears to run every 10 minutes from 0500 to midnight and intermittently through the night, and takes 6 minutes each way, which doesn't seem all that bad... (traveline is saying it doesn't run between xmas and new year which looks more like a dropped bollock in the data than reality)
Thanks Puddy_Tat, that's all very useful to know!
I paid a colossal rip off price of £34 for a return from Loughborough Junction to Luton Airport Parkway, but that did, at least, include a free bus transfer. How much do they normally charge?
Luton’s a bit of a dump but the trains do at least run until about 2am. Trains back from Stanstead stop soon after midnight so if you’re on a late flight that gets delayed you can quite easily miss the last one. It used to be the case that even if you got the last trains back the tubes in London had stopped but that’s sorted to some extent now. Worth checking when planning flights though.
The last n times we’ve been skiing, we drove. Door to door, it took 30 minutes longer than our friend who flew, plus you get to eat in nice French restaurants on the way instead of shitty airport food. And then, when you get there, you have a car.
I’d happily drive but there’s no chance Mrs Spy would. In fairness, your friend must have been delayed as it takes about 5 hours just to drive from Calais to the Alps but as you say, you have the convenience of having the car when you’re there.
Door to door, you have to leave plenty of time to get to the airport, including transfer from car park or train to airport, check in and then get through security. At the other end, after interminable taxiing on the runway, you have to wait to get off the plane, get your bags, find either the coach or car hire place, wait until those things are ready to deal with you and travel from Geneva (or wherever) to the ski resort (very slow by coach). These things all add many, many hours! On the way back too, if you are travelling by coach to the airport, they seem to drop you off 3 hours in advance of your flight.
I think you generally have to allow at least 6 hours door to door if you are flying anywhere and if you are going skiing, that can easily stretch to 10. More if flights get delayed, obviously. Our friend was going home, so add in an hour or so extra for the coach getting to the airport so early.
The car option takes about 12 hours door to door, I find. Including time taken for big lunches and dinners.
Twelve hours would be a good run for me but it can take me nearly 2 hours to get out of London sometimes which won’t bother you. There are good reasons to drive, mainly flexibility and comfort, but I don’t think expediency is one of them, especially when you factor in the possibility of roadworks or the obligatory French industrial action somewhere along the route!
editor steam at Victoria this morning.. If you are at a loose end and would rather a slightly nicer subject to photograph
Sorry for that editor. I was at Birmingham airport yesterday and noticed that all the Amsterdam flights were cancelled.
Me and a mate spent yesterday getting the ferry back from Hook of Holland to Harwich after drawing blank on all other options...it turned out to be a decent trip - despite it apparently being a Force 9 gale. Ferries have much improved in the last 20 years.
My colleague and her hubby are on that today! Off on a little jaunt for his birthday.
Awesome.. I hope the cold and ice doesn't hamper them!
I've just remembered the last time I used Luton.
It was actually back from Amsterdam. We were delayed by about six hours as it was the start of the new spring flying timetable and the pilot had gone to Belfast by mistake.
I went amsterdam by overnight rail and sail recently, would def do again... it was last minute so was a bit cheaper than flying (after adding up all costs), cos the prices are fixed... you set off liverpool st about 8pm and get to amsterdam about 9am, after sleeping in a cabin.
The only places it makes financial sense to Eurostar to is Paris and Euro Disney.
Thats if you factor in how much it costs to get to and from Airports at either end vrs starting in central London and ending in Central Paris (or right in Euro Disney).
There is a way to get cheaper Eurostar tickets* but I don't want to spread it around and find seats becoming unavailable because loads of you are using it and telling everyone they know who then tells everyone they know.
* (Doesn't currently offer Amsterdam route I just checked)
UK airports all make me want to punch somebody.
Very claustrophobic atmosphere in all the London ones, Stansteads the worst with that tunnel of tat to walk through to get to the departure board.
It's either the tunnel of tat or the boulevard of baubles.
UK airports are much better than many others I've been to in the world. Free wifi, shops and restaurants at relatively normal prices (unlike Turkish airport that charge about 3 times more for everything), free drinking fountains at some of them. Yesterday at Birmingham airport I was handed a free litre bottle of water.
Also, the security staff are much more thorough and nicer than some abroad. I got intimately searched last week in a Turkish airport - not a smile or pleasant word to be had from the grumpy women doing it
Terminal five at Heathrow is quite nice; cathedral-like, normally fairly quiet and chilled out, until you get through security and have to go through the fucking shopping mall, but once taht's done it gets all serene again.
How very dare you?!
But I meant the airport specifically.
Slightly off the topic, but I’ve just done a 5000km loop around Europe by train. (London>Berlin>Kraków>Vienna>Venice>Milan>Zurich>Paris>London)
The longest leg was London to Berlin, 11 hours.
I got a *little* restless towards the end of that, but - time and money again - would do the same.
My hatred for Luton airport really boiled watching people struggle for the bus fare. Newly arrived visitors looking forlornly at a fistful of Euros, to be told no - back to the terminal for you, meanwhile bus master was counting the three pounds and ramming the bus to the hilt.
And then, there’s Stanstead.
Luton is a hellhole of an airport , marginally better of late now there seems to be some end to the constant building works - the bus transfer at the airport end is awful. They have the temerity to charge £3 to drop passengers off in the carpark .
Nowhere much to sit. I could go on.
There are plans for a people mover from the station to the airport There is now pretty much a 24/7 train service (one slow , one semi fast - which I had something to do with in a previous life) .....
Roll the Amsterdam service from St Pancras - next year - and a nice departure time of 0804 is planned. They should make a killing .....
Based on the 3-4 hour tipping point for rail vs air (am sure you know that number)... when the Amsterdam service happens, I reckon a biiiig chunk of air business on that route will rightfully disappear.
(I can get to St P in 30 mins. Allow 45 for clearance. Early start... but I'd be in Amsterdam by midday, and feeling relaxed. Chuck bags in the hotel and go and enjoy the city. Wonder what the fares will be like? Happy to pay a premium for the ease.)
Do you know when that's going to start? I'll hold back my holiday for that!
Should have started on the 10th of December - but definately by Easter 2018 - they have done pretty much all the testing and crew training - just the usual Borders / Passport bureaucracy malarkey to nail down..
3 hrs 50 to the Dam ....got to be a winner. No more Luton Airport shite and £4 junk food on Easyjet ...(which no one ever buys anyway) ....
Separate names with a comma.