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Luton Airport shuttle bus outside Luton Parkway Station
Gatwick - Luton trains by Thameslink are unique in that they are the only direct rail link between any of
London's four major airports.
Having said that, Luton Airport has no train station. Instead a very frequent shuttle bus runs from the
passenger terminal at Luton Airport on the five minute journey to Luton Parkway station, the nearest rail
The Thameslink trains are not dedicated airport trains and their route goes beyond both Luton and Gatwick. Thameslink trains travel through the City of London making several stops.
The journey time to Gatwick Airport from Luton is around 80 minutes. There are up to four Thameslink trains an hour between Luton and Gatwick Airport. Late at night the frequency goes down to two an hour.
For a complete timetable suitable for your journey click on 'The Trainline' icon below. It's important you check near the date of travel for any maintenance work on this line, especially if you are travelling at weekends or holiday periods.
Airport to airport transfer
Airport day rooms
Airport to airport transfers
Airport day rooms
The shuttle connecting Luton Parkway station and Luton Airport runs every ten minutes between 5am and midnight and also connects with all trains calling at Luton Airport Parkway overnight.
If you have a train ticket to Luton Airport the shuttle is included in the price. If you only have a ticket to Luton Parkway you will have to pay a small supplement.
As you exit the main entrance of the Luton Airport passenger terminal, the bus station is right in front of you. The rail shuttle bus leaves from the first bus stop on the left hand side.
Luton Parkway is just at the bottom of the hill up to Luton Airport so the journey only takes 5 minutes.
The train station at Gatwick is connected to the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport. When you arrive, you are just 5 minutes' walk from the South Terminal check-in desks.
If you are using the North Terminal there is a free monorail that shuttles between North and South Terminals every couple of minutes.
The complexity of UK rail fares are legendary. For short journeys like Luton to Gatwick things tend to be much simpler.
The three types of tickets are outlined below. At weekends and outside the peak commute hours there is a good chance that an off-peak or super off-peak fare will be available.
It is rare that an advance purchase ticket in made available on this run.
Advance Purchase: Buy in advance, sold in limited numbers and subject to availability. These tickets will have restrictions specified when purchasing.
Off Peak: Buy any time, travel off-peak. The definition of off peak can vary from ticket to ticket. These tickets may require you to travel at specific times of day, days of the week or on a specific route. Where there is more than one Off-Peak fare for a journey, the cheaper fare with more restrictions will be called Super Off-Peak.
Anytime: Buy any time, travel any time (the standard ticket). Anytime fares are fully flexible tickets, with no time restrictions on when you can travel. You can make the return journey within one month of the outward journey.
Groupsave: If you’re travelling as a small group by rail, GroupSave could well be the perfect train ticket for you. When two adults buy Off-Peak Day Return, one or two more people travel for free.
For most people, the price you pay will be outside your control, it will be driven by the day and time you wish to travel.
Travelling outside the peak commute hours can mean that if you get an off peak return fare it will often be about 30% less than an anytime fare. If you buy a return fare it is valid for one month after the outward travel date.
For fares and timetables use 'The Trainline' website where you can also order tickets for delivery to your home address.
Slow but cheap - National Express Luton - Gatwick bus
The Luton - Gatwick Airport Bus is operated by National Express with comfortable coaches complete with on board washrooms.
The journey time on the bus is scheduled at between 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes, much slower than the train. 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.
On the Gatwick - Luton route there is no set standard fare. When you go on-line below you will normally be offered a cheaper price if you book well in advance, purchasing within a few days of travel results in a fare similar to the walk up fare on the day.
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.