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Slow but cheap - National Express Luton - Gatwick bus
National Express coaches run direct, frequent coaches between all of London's four major airports, including a Luton - Gatwick Airport Bus.
This coach service isn't the fastest way to travel between Gatwick and Luton airports (that's the Thameslink train link), but it is the only one that will take you from passenger terminal to passenger terminal at both airports.
The Luton - Gatwick Airport Bus is operated by National Express with comfortable coaches complete with on board washrooms.
Gatwick and Luton Airports are opposite sides of London, the National Express coach goes around London's orbital motorway/freeway.
Half way around the orbital motorway is Heathrow Airport where the coaches make several stops at the passenger terminals.
The journey time on the bus is scheduled at between 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes.
Airport to airport transfer
Airport day rooms
Airport to airport transfers
Airport day rooms
Absolute minimum time with no contingency between flights that you should contemplate making a transfer between Gatwick and Luton is 6 hours using this service.
Remember the fastest way between Gatwick Airport and Luton Airport are the Thameslink trains, not the National Express coaches.
Most of the route between Gatwick and Luton is along some of the most heavily congested motorway/freeway in Europe.
It only takes one accident or lane closure and the whole road comes to gridlock with major delays.
Mondays to Fridays between 6.30am and 10am and 3.30pm and 7pm traffic congestion is routine, expect delays at this time.
There can also be severe congestion late Sunday afternoon/ early evening. But at anytime the slightest incident can bring the road to gridlock.
The approach road to the passenger terminal at Luton is also prone to traffic congestion delays.
In front of the main front doors of Luton Airport's passenger terminal is a very large bus station, you cannot miss it. Everyone has to walk through it to get to the other forms of transport like the taxi rank and car park shuttles. All the different buses are lined up with their own bus bays.
At Gatwick the National Express bus visits both North and South Terminals. For boarding and drops the the coach bays are well signed and are directly in front of the passenger terminals, a few yards out of the door.
You can carry two medium-sized suitcases - weighing up to 20kg (44 lbs) each - plus one small piece of hand luggage per person. Drivers loading the baggage do not weigh bags.
Customers will be permitted to pool their individual allowances if they are travelling in a group or as a family, but they must be travelling on the same ticket.
Over this allowance and steep excess luggage charges kick in.
If you need to take extra luggage on your journey, this can be arranged either in advance or on your day of travel when you arrive at the coach station. However buying your extra luggage on-line in advance is much cheaper.
The Gatwick - Luton buses are not dedicated Gatwick to Luton buses.
Most of the buses terminate/start at Gatwick Airport and visit Heathrow Airport before going onto Luton airport and beyond.
Remember: With National Express you book a seat on a specific bus schedule
National Express Fare Types
National Express have two standard fare types:
Standard Ticket: The cheapest fare. Amendable (for a fee) but not refundable
This ticket is not refundable but the journey date and time can be changed prior to your current departure date and time. Amendments must be made prior to the journey. An amendment fee will apply.
Fully Flexible Ticket: Unlimited amendments and refunds allowed before travel
Unlimited amendments can be made anytime prior to departure without incurring an amendment fee.
In order to claim a refund, you must cancel your ticket at least 72 hours in advance of your journeys.
The Airport flexible add on - (Change & Go) The flexibility to switch schedule if your flight is early/late
For peace of mind if your flight is early or delayed with this add-on you may board any available coach 12 hours before or 12 hours after your original departure time you have selected on reservation.
You can amend your ticket to a new departure date as well - free of charge.
You can obtain a refund on your ticket up to 24 hours before departure.
You add the Change & Go Add On during the booking process, not at the original selection screen where you select your schedule and fare.
The option comes up on a subsequent screen with other supplemental options like excess luggage and travel insurance are offered and before payment.
National Express Group Discount (for 4 people or more)
If you're travelling on the National Express services in a group of four or more, you can obtain 25% off passenger one-way fares.
To take advantage of this offer, simply book your seats at least three days in advance.
The National Express coaches come with a free luggage allowance of 2 cases for the hold of the bus. Neither case should weigh more than 20kg (44lb). An item of hand luggage is allowed in the passenger cabin but only laptop/handbag size. There are steep excess luggage charges if you exceed these limits. easyBus allow one bag max dimensions H+W+L equalling 57 or less inches and weighing 23kg or less plus one hand luggage no more than 5kg.
Extra case supplement - £8 on-line, £10 on day
Book 1 extra bag making 3 in total.
3 extra cases supplement - £16 on-line, £30 on day
Book 3 extra bags making 5 in total.
A private car or bus with a clear run takes around 80 minutes to make the journey between Luton and Gatwick.
As well as being the most convenient and stress free option, private vehicles can make real sense, especially if there is a group of you or you have lots of luggage.