- WHERE TO STAY
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
Slow but cheap - National Express Luton to Gatwick bus
The distance between Gatwick and Luton is around 70 miles (113km). There are two direct public transport options between Gatwick and Luton Airports, the most popular by far is the train link that goes through the heart of central London and is by far the fastest way to do the transfer.
The alternative direct option is the National Express coaches that go around London, making a visit to Heathrow Airport on the way. This option is much slower, but for those with plenty of time to kill could save a little money.
Note: the absolute cheapest way is not to use the direct National Express bus between Luton and Gatwick airports, but to use a combination of two different National Express buses travelling via Victoria.
For a convenient, and generally swift airport transfer, a private car transfer between Gatwick and Luton Airports can make sense.
Airport to airport transfer
Airport day rooms
Airport to airport transfers
Airport day rooms
By far the most popular and fastest option connecting Gatwick and Luton are the train services run by Thameslink Trains.
There is no train station at Luton Airport so you have to take a short 5 minute shuttle to the passenger terminal using a bus shuttle that runs every 10 minutes.
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.
This coach service isn't the fastest way to travel between Gatwick and Luton airports, (that's the Thameslink train link) but it can be cheaper and is the only one that will take you from passenger terminal to passenger terminal at both airports. (The train requires a short bus shuttle between Luton Airport and Luton Parkway Station).
The journey time on the bus is scheduled at between 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes.
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.
The cheapest way to travel between Luton and Gatwick Airports is by bus, but not the direct National Express bus.
You would need to get two separate buses: one from whichever airport you are leaving, to Victoria in central London, and then the other from Victoria to the other airport.
E.g. Use the National Express Gatwick Airport to London Victoria bus, combined with National Express London Victoria to Luton Airport bus.
Both of these bus services have discounted advance purchase fares.
As well as the buses terminating at London Victoria within 100 yards of each other, the other big benefit is that there is a left luggage office at Victoria Coach Station, opening up the prospect of a little sightseeing if you have a long gap between flights.
A private car or bus with a clear run takes on a good day around 90 minutes to make the journey between Gatwick and Luton.
The route uses London's orbital motorways for most of the way, some of the most congested roads in Europe, traffic delays are routine.
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.
If you are staying overnight then it doesn't matter too much where you stay in central London, there are so many different transfer options between both airports and the centre.
Perhaps the front runners as a place to stay would be around Victoria and St Pancras Stations. Both stations have direct public transport to both airports. Both are major hotel districts with hotels for all budgets, both are very strong on cheap budget hotels.
There are left luggage facilities at St Pancras, Kings Cross and Victoria rail stations and also at Victoria Coach Station. All of these have direct public transport to both Luton and Gatwick Airports.
The left luggage office at Victoria coach station is slightly cheaper than at the rail stations.