Heathrow Gatwick bus shuttle transfer

National Express airport coach service - the only direct public transport link between LHR & LGW

National Express Heathrow - Gatwick Bus At Heathrow Coach Station

Bus waiting at Heathrow Coach Station

National Express bus between Heathrow & Gatwick Airport

The Heathrow - Gatwick Airport Bus is operated by National Express with comfortable coaches complete with on board washrooms. Currently this is the only scheduled direct public transport service operating between Heathrow and Gatwick Airport.

The only alternatives are taxi/charter bus or to travel by public transport into central London, then get transport out again, a much, much longer journey time.

Note - there is no Heathrow to Gatwick train service.


If you are a group or can put a small group together (groups can be anything from 2 to 200!) then it can work out cheaper to hire a private car or charter bus.

Details for private car/bus between Gatwick and Heathrow


Minimum times between flights?

The absolute minimum time between flights without contingency that you should contemplate making a transfer between Heathrow and Gatwick is 3 hours - and that is with a through flight ticket using Terminal 5 at Heathrow.

You really need to allow 4 hours. If you are changing airlines with separate tickets then you do need a minimum of 4 hours between flights.

Road congestion warning!

The route of about 45 miles between Heathrow and Gatwick is along heavily congested motorway/freeway.


Mondays to Fridays between 6.30am and 10am traffic congestion is routine, expect delays of 15 minutes or more in the Gatwick-Heathrow direction.


Between 3.30pm and 7pm the delays are in the Heathrow-Gatwick direction where there is again routine severe congestion. There is also congestion around Heathrow Airport Sunday afternoons and evenings.

As a crude guide it will normally take you 45 to 75 minutes from landing to going through customs and collecting your luggage.


London Inter Airport Coach Services

Finding the bus at Gatwick & Heathrow

Heathrow - Gatwick Bus Route

Gatwick Airport

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.


Heathrow Airport

At Heathrow it's a lot more complicated, the key points are:

  • No buses visit Terminals 1, 2 and 3 - you walk to the Central Bus Station

  • All buses start/terminate at the Central Bus station. (Terminals 2 and 3)

  • Buses will always visit Terminal 5, but not all schedules visit Terminal 4.

  • You can travel free from Terminal 4 to the Central Bus station by Heathrow Express train which runs every 15 minutes.

  • The walk from Terminals 2 or 3 to the bus station takes about 10 minutes. It's luggage-trolley friendly and is mostly along moving walkways and lifts. It is also underground so you are not exposed to the elements.

National Express luggage allowance

You can carry two medium-sized suitcases - weighing up to 20kg (44lb) 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.

Heathrow Airports Transfers & Logistics

National Express fares - the key points

Remember: with National Express you book a seat on a specific bus schedule.

National Express fare types

National Express have three fare types:

Restricted Fare: online only - not amendable

This fare is the cheapest fare of all for a reason - it is neither refundable nor amendable.

Standard Fare: 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 Fare: unlimited amendments and refunds allowed before travel

The most expenstive option means that you can make unlimited amendments anytime prior to departure without incurring an amendment fee. You can also receive a full refund up to 24 hours before travel if you need to.

The Airport flexible add on - (Change & Go) The flexibility to switch schedule if your flight is early/late

(£5 each way)

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 3 people or more)

If you're travelling on the National Express services in a group of four or more, you can travel between London's airports for just £20 per person.

Luggage supplements

The National Express coaches come with a free luggage allowance of either 2 medium or 1 large cases for the hold of the bus.

Medium cases should be no more than 70cm x 45cm x 30cm.

Large cases no more than 75cm x 50cm x 32cm.

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.

For supplement prices please click through on the link below.

3 extra cases is usually around twice the price to just one extra case if you book in advance, but will cost up to three times as much if you leave it to the day.

You will usually save at least a couple of pounds (or more if multiple extra bags) by booking in advance, in addition to guaranteeing yourself a space (extra luggage space can't be guaranteed on the day).

London Inter Airport Coach Services

Private car or charter bus with driver may well be cheaper for groups than bus

A vehicle with driver just for your party has a lot going for it, especially if you are a small group or larger.

The driver will meet and greet you as you exit the customs/luggage hall of the passenger terminal (or at an airport hotel) and lead you to the waiting vehicle for an immediate departure.

The driver also monitors your incoming flight and will adjust his/her arrival time to the actual time your flight arrives.


We can supply vehicles from sedans to 70 seat coaches and if you want to do some sightseeing on the way, no problem too, with or without guiding.

Private Airport Car Transfers

Frequently asked questions

How do I get from Heathrow to Gatwick?

The simplest route is by road as there are no direct trains between the two airports. The coaches are easy and cheap but you can also book a private mini-bus transfer for larger groups or a taxi transfer.


How far is London Heathrow (LHR) to London Gatwick (LGW)

It is 45 miles between airports, however the actual journey time varies considerably due to congestion, peak hours travel and accidents. Delays of 15 minutes and more should be routinely expected on a journey that takes just over an hour on a good day.


How much luggage do National Express allow?

Two medium-sized suitcases per passenger weighing up to 20kg (44lb) each, plus one small piece of hand luggage. Above this and excess luggage charges come into play. If you have a lot of luggage, a private transfer on mini-bus or taxi may be a good solution to consider.

Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.