How to get to London from Luton Airport

Luton Airport is the fifth largest airport in the UK and the fourth in London, with a passenger traffic of as many as 16.5 million per year.

Luton Airport, indicated with the acronym LLA or airport codes LTN and EGGW, is an international airport located around 30 miles (45 km) north of Central London. Together with Gatwick Airport which is around the same distance from the city in the opposite direction, it is the closest to London.

Luton Airport has a single terminal building, two storeys, 62 check-in desks, and 43 departure gates. It is not very big, and it is mostly used for domestic and European flights, especially by low-cost airlines like EasyJet, TUI Airways, Ryanair and Wizz Air. This makes it extremely easy to navigate, with a single airport lounge featuring several stores and dining venues.

Luton Airport in London
Luton Airport has a single 2,160 m (7 thousand feet) runway. Author: Geoff Collins Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Inside the airport, you’ll find all kinds of shops, minimarkets, restaurants, bars, and cafés. Keep in mind that most of them are located by the gates, past the security checks. You can check all available establishments in Luton Airport’s directory .

Compared to other London airports, Luton has fewer seating areas available and is less spacious, which has given it somewhat of a reputation for being a slow airport to more through, especially at peak times. These would be between 5:00 am and 9:00 am and between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm. For this reason, if you are flying out of Luton, it’s important you arrive early for your flight (depending on your destination, at least 2 or 3 hours early).

If you need special assistance to move through the airport or on and off the plane, you should tell your airline at least 48 hours before your departure time, but you can also contact Luton Airport directly .

Luton Airport trains - Luton Express

The Luton Express is a non-stop train that connects Luton Airport Parkway to London St Pancras International Station and it is the fastest way to reach Central London from Luton Airport. The journey lasts between 35 and 45 minutes and service runs every 30 minutes.

To reach Luton Airport Parkway station from the Luton Airport terminal, you’ll have to use the shuttle service Luton DART. The service runs 24/7 and only takes 4 minutes to move between stations.

You can buy Luton Express train tickets directly at the station’s ticket machines or online on the Luton Express website . Remember that you can use Luton Express tickets to get the 2FOR1 discounts, but you’ll have to buy the printed tickets at the station and keep them to be able to show them at the sites you want to visit.

Our recommendations

If you’re arriving and leaving from Luton Airport and you want to use the 2FOR1 offers, get a return ticket at the station’s automatic machines. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the 2FOR1 offers for the entire duration of your stay.

Prices for a Luton Express ticket vary greatly depending on the time of travel, availability, and how early you book. A single adult ticket can cost as little as £3.80, but at certain times they reach a price of £17.50. A return ticket costs between £18.10 and £30.70.

Discounts are available for passengers aged 5 to 15, and children under the age of 5 can travel for free on the Luton Express. In the following table, you can see the minimum and maximum fares for each ticket option.

Type Adult Child 5-15
Single £3.80 - £17.50 £1.90 - £8.75
Return £18.10 - £30.70 £9.05 - £15.35

Luton Airport buses and coaches

There are three main coach routes connecting Luton Airport with Central London and several others connecting Luton to other cities in the UK. All bus bays and coach pick-up points at Luton Airport are located just outside the terminal building’s Arrivals area, so it will take you only a few minutes to reach your bus from the inside of the airport.

The two most trustworthy companies to run their services at Luton Airport are National Express and Green Line. The duration of a coach journey varies depending on the route, company, and time of day, but it usually is around 1 hour and 30/45 minutes.

National Express

National Express buses between Luton Airport and London run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At peak hours, you’ll find as many as 4 buses per hour.

The two available National Express lines are the following.

  • A1: Luton - Golders Green - Finchley Road & Frognal Underground Station - Finchley Road - St John’s Wood - Baker Street - Portman Square - Marble Arch - Victoria Rail Station - Victoria Coach Station.
  • A2: Luton - Golders Green - Finchley Road & Frognal Underground Station - Finchley Road - St John’s Wood - Baker Street - Paddington.

Ticket prices vary depending on availability, but normally a full-priced adult ticket will cost £10.00, and a reduced one (for children aged 2-15) will be £5.00. Children under 2 travel for free.

You can buy your bus National Express bus tickets directly at Luton airport’s bus stop or on the National Express website . We recommend buying your tickets in advance for the most convenient prices.

Green Line

Green Line has one coach route - line 757 - connecting Victoria Coach Station to Luton Airport. The service runs from 4:00 am until midnight, with two buses every hour during the daytime.

The stops from Luton Airport are as follows: Brent Cross, Finchley Road, Baker Street, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Oxford Street, and Victoria Coach Station.

The price for a single full-priced ticket with Green Line is £11.50. Discounted prices are available for children and students (£8.00 for a single). You can buy your Green Line tickets for a transfer between Luton Airport and Central London directly at the bus bay or on the Green Line website . By buying your tickets online, you’ll get the most convenient prices.

Luton Airport taxis

Like all airports, Luton has its own taxi ranks not far from the Arrivals areas, beyond the Bus bay. No matter what time you arrive, you’ll be able to find a line of cabs waiting: you can simply head to the first one in the queue.

If instead, you have pre-booked a taxi, you will find your vehicle in the drop-off zone, just a stone throw’s away from the terminal building.

Of course, cabs are the most expensive way to get to the city, so we don’t particularly recommend them unless they’re your only option. There is no way to know the exact cost of your ride until the end since Airport fares for London taxis are not fixed. However, you can expect it to fall between £70.00 and £120.00. The ride should last around 1 hour and 15 minutes, although it might be longer depending on traffic conditions and your final destination. On London taxis, you can pay by cash or card.

A slightly cheaper option might be a private hire vehicle (also called a minicab), although you probably won’t find anything much cheaper than £60.00. It’s also important to remember that minicabs usually require card payment through the company’s app. Taxis, on the other hand, allow payments both by cash and card.

If you want to know more about taxis and private hire vehicles, you can check our dedicated article for all the information you need about companies and fares.

You might also be interested in...

How to get to London from Luton Airport