How to get to Luton Airport: Tips for driving, taking a shuttle or ride-sharing for your next trip

From trains and buses to private car hire and even cycling, your next visit to London Luton Airport will be one of the easiest yet.

wizz air airplane on the tarmac at Luton Airport

Luton Airport is one of the busiest airports in the UK, carrying over 13 million passengers last year alone. While many frequent flyers use it as a take-off destination for budget airlines or convenient European flights, it can be awkwardly located and takes some planning to get there quickly (and affordably).

Whether you're jetting off on holiday, heading out on a short business trip, or picking up friends and family, we've got all the insider tips on how to get to Luton Airport hassle-free. Here are the best options:

Drive and get the cheapest airport parking available

For those who prefer the convenience and flexibility of their own vehicle, driving to Luton Airport is the easiest option.

The M1 motorway is the main artery that connects Luton to the wider road network. To access the airport by car, simply head for Junction 10 of the M1. This junction is well-signposted, making it easy to find your way. Once you exit the motorway, follow the signs specifically designed for London Luton Airport, guiding you to the airport's entrance. This direct route is convenient for travelers coming from various directions, including London, the Midlands, and the North. It provides quick access to the airport, and you'll find ample parking options available on-site, whether you're looking for short-term or long-term parking solutions.

The A505 Dual Carriageway from Luton Town Centre is another popular route to the airport; if you're starting your journey from Luton town center or the surrounding areas, the A505 dual carriageway is an excellent route to reach Luton Airport. Simply follow the A505 signs toward the airport, and you'll find yourself at the airport's entrance in no time. This route is ideal for local travelers or those who want to avoid the motorway. Additionally, it offers the convenience of access to the airport's drop-off and pick-up zones, making it easy to reach the terminal without navigating through extensive parking facilities. However, it's essential to be mindful of traffic conditions, especially during peak travel times, as congestion can occur on this route.

While Luton offers on-site car parking options, these can often get full very quickly during busy hours of the year and can be an expensive option, especially for longer-term stays of a week-plus.

A more budget-friendly option that can give you plenty of peace of mind is using the JustPark app to book your airport parking ahead of time to guarantee a spot upon your arrival. No hassle involved; simply enter where you want to go and we'll find you the most appropriate space with the best price guaranteed. Instead of a traditional car park, you can find spaces in nearby driveways and private lots for as little as £15 for an entire weekend.

Trains are well-connected and run frequently

Luton Airport Parkway station is the dedicated railway station serving the airport. Trains run frequently to and from major cities like London, Birmingham, and Leicester. The station is conveniently located just a short shuttle bus ride away from the airport terminal. Don't forget to book your train tickets in advance to secure the best deals and save time during your trip.

Some of the most popular routes are outlined below:

Thameslink Trains from London St Pancras International:

  • Starting Point: London St Pancras International
  • Route Description: Thameslink trains provide a direct and efficient connection from London St Pancras International to Luton Airport Parkway station. The journey is quick, taking around 24-30 minutes, and these trains run frequently throughout the day.

East Midlands Railway Services from Leicester:

  • Starting Point: Leicester
  • Route Description: East Midlands Railway services connect Leicester to Luton Airport Parkway with a convenient transfer at Bedford station. The journey typically takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes, making it an option for travelers coming from the East Midlands.

Thameslink Trains from Brighton:

  • Starting Point: Brighton
  • Route Description: Travelers from the south coast, particularly Brighton, can take Thameslink trains to Luton Airport Parkway. The journey may take around 2 to 2.5 hours, but it offers a convenient option for those coming from the south.

West Midlands Trains from Birmingham New Street:

  • Starting Point: Birmingham New Street
  • Route Description: West Midlands Trains connect Birmingham New Street to Luton Airport Parkway station. The journey typically takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes, making it a feasible option for those traveling from Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Midland Mainline Services from Sheffield:

  • Starting Point: Sheffield
  • Route Description: Travelers from Sheffield can take Midland Mainline services to Luton Airport Parkway station, typically with a change at London St Pancras International. The total journey time may vary but is generally around 2.5 to 3 hours.
    Please note that train schedules and journey durations may vary depending on the time of day, service provider, and any planned engineering works. It's advisable to check train timetables and book tickets in advance to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey to Luton Airport.

Take the bus for another cost-effective option

If you're looking for a cost-effective way to reach Luton Airport, consider taking a bus or coach. Various services connect Luton Airport to London and other major cities at all hours of the day and night, making this a convenient option for business and leisure travelers alike. National Express and Green Line are popular options — check the schedules and book your tickets online for a smooth and budget-friendly journey.

By taxi or ride-sharing apps

For a door-to-door service, taxis and ride-sharing platforms like Uber or Bolt are readily available. Book your ride or hail one on the spot to ensure a comfortable and stress-free journey to Luton. It's a great option if you have a lot of luggage or simply prefer a more private mode of transportation — although it's definitely not the most cost-friendly option, with Ubers from London costing over £100 in off-peak hours.

Only bringing a backpack? Cycling can be an option — but make sure it's secure

For the eco-conscious traveler, cycling to Luton Airport is an option worth considering. The airport has dedicated bicycle parking facilities, and you can follow designated cycling routes to get there safely. Just remember to plan your route and check the airport's guidelines for cyclists before setting off.

Luton has a dedicated cycle path that connects the town centre to the airport which allows local residents and those staying in Luton a straightforward and direct route to the airport terminal. You may also have the option to use local roads and paths to cycle to Luton, although there may be frequent roadworks, so be sure to check local cycling maps and GPS navigation can help you plan your route.

There are a few extra things to keep in mind:

  • Bike security: an unfortunate reality of being a cyclist in busy areas is taking responsibility for making sure your bike is well locked and securely parked. Theft can run high in high-traffic areas like airports, so be extra cautious with where you choose to leave it.
  • Distance and time: One of the primary downsides of cycling to Luton Airport is the distance and time it can take. The airport is situated several miles from the town center, and the journey can be quite lengthy, especially if you're carrying luggage.
  • Bulky luggage: Transporting large bags or multiple pieces of luggage on a bicycle can be cumbersome. While there are luggage racks and panniers available for bicycles, they may not accommodate larger loads.
  • Weather: An obvious one for normal commutes but deserves an extra consideration when traveling with bags that could get wet or damaged in longer rides.

Take the official Luton DART

Luton actually offers a rail shuttle service, the Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit), that connects the airport terminal to Luton Airport Parkway station, making it incredibly convenient for train commuters. Running 24/7, the shuttle departs frequently, ensuring you can catch your train without any hassle. You can book tickets ahead of time to make sure all of your travel expenses are cleared ahead of time.

No matter how you prefer to travel, getting to Luton Airport has never been easier. From the convenience of driving your car to the eco-friendly option of cycling, there's a transportation method to suit everyone's needs. JustPark is here to assist you in finding the perfect parking spot for your vehicle, ensuring that your journey starts off on the right foot. So, pack your bags, plan your route, and get ready to explore the world from Luton Airport – the gateway to your next adventure.

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