With six airport options, planning your flight out of London means there are many options to choose from. While many will choose simply based on the proximity to the city, there are many other factors to consider. Each airport offers different services that may make your trip a bit easier to handle. The following is a guide to some of the services offered at London’s three largest airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, and Luton. We’ve placed a special emphasis on Covid-19 testing, parking, and handicap services.
Heathrow airport services
Heathrow is, by far, the largest as well as the busiest airport you could choose for an upcoming trip to London.
Reaching the city from Heathrow airport can be easily done via:
- Public transportation: via the Piccadilly Underground connecting to airport Zone 1 (45 minute ride)
- Heathrow Express Train: High frequency link from Paddington (15 minute ride)
- Grabbing a taxi
Official Heathrow parking
If you plan on using the Official Heathrow Parking service to reach the airport, know that it comes with a very flexible cancellation policy that will let you cancel your parking reservation two hours prior to the pre-set time.
The service also offers extremely flexible options for parking:
- Short Stay car parks right next to the airport terminal
- Long Stay car parks are the best value and offer fast bus transfers right to the terminal doors
- Meet & Greet parking
- Valet parking
- POD parking
- Free parking for electric cars or motorcycles in the short stay car parking areas.
- There are also dedicated EV charging stations that can be used for free in the short stay car parks at all airport terminals.
All car parks are accessible for wheelchairs and they also feature well-lit way-finding.
Heathrow Airport Covid 19 regulations continuously comply with the advice provided by the UK Government regarding specific health, safety, and travel restrictions and measures. It also offers drive-through and in terminal testing options for day 2 tests that can be booked online. Results are given the following day by 10 pm. Home or remote testing services can also be booked on the airport’s website.
Gatwick airport services
Premium security solutions
Passengers can book fast track security together with their parking or separately and take advantage of the exclusive access to a top-notch security lane.
The parking options cater to all passenger needs and all budget sizes. Short Stay parking services encompass the South and North terminal car parking lots with multiple stories. Long Stay parking options and Valet Parking are also available here.
What three words
This is a geo-location tool with a previously assigned three-word tag given to every 3-metre square at the entrances to each of the car parks at the airports These tags will direct you to the exact location of where to enter our car parks.
The airport has a number of different COVID-19 testing centres, including the ExpressTest with a drive-through on Perimeter Road South offering Fit to Fly PCR swab tests, lateral flow Fit to Fly tests and PCR Day 2 Arrivals tests. There are also private PCR swab tests available at the special Boots in the South Terminal, a fast test centre, walk-in testing centres, and other options available.
Luton airport services
Luton has a shuttle bus running between the airport and the Airport Parkway train station as well as a National Express coach service that can be pre-booked.
Parking can be booked in advance online for discounts up to 70%. There are also Blue Badge parking spaces in the proximity of the terminal and shuttle buses, as well as a help point for special assistance. All parking facilities comply with Disabled Parking Accreditations. Also, all shuttle buses are wheelchair-accessible.
Test travel packages for arrivals at the airport are offered by Collinson that has set up two different testing centres that can be booked in advance. The tests include RT-PCR, Antigen, LAMP, and Antibody tests.
London has a plethora of airports and each caters to a slightly different type of traveller. The list you’ve just read gives an idea of what services are available at London’s busiest airports. Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted are frequented by large numbers of tourists as well as local Londoners. The other airports of the London metro area, Luton, London City, and London Southend, are smaller and tend to be less frequented by tourists. With six different options to choose from be sure you know exactly what’s offered before you book your flights.