- WHERE TO STAY
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
Shuttle: Luton Airport bus outside Luton Parkway Station
London Luton Airport (LLA) from 2023 has become even better connected.
In 2023 the new Luton Airport Express opened, an all-electric fleet of trains, connecting Luton Airport Parkway Station and St Pancras International, London.
This service is a dedicated train service that allows passengers to travel from central London to the LLA terminal in around 30 minutes.
The Luton Airport Express leaves every 30 minutes from early morning til late from Monday to Saturday, with regular services on Sundays.
Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit) also opened in 2023. This service will now will take you easily and comfortably from the nearest train station (Luton Parkway Station) about a mile from the passenger terminal at Luton.
This service replaces the old bus service. Travelling on the DART takes less than four minutes, the shuttle is fully automated and electrically powered, and runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Luton Airport train service, is still the fastest option to travel between Luton Airport and Central London, the alternative Luton - London bus is cheaper though. The bus also operates a full 24/7 timetable.
Transfers to/from London
Airport to airport
Luton Airport hotels
Long term car parking
Airport to airport
An alternative to the Luton Airport Express is the exisiting Thameslink trains service. Thameslink also operate a fast, frequent service direct between central London and Luton Airport Parkway train station, a journey of around 25 minutes from St Pancras International Station. The trains go beyond St Pancras to several other stations in the centre of London.
Tickets can be cheaper than than Luton Express, so it is worth checking both.
Currently at Luton Parkway Station there are two train operators (the UK has competition on its railways) into London. Thameslink Trains is the main train operator with up to 6 trains an hour that run through the city centre of London. These stop at several stations after the first London station, St Pancras, terminal of the Paris Eurostar trains.
Less frequent trains terminate at St Pancras station and do not go onto stations beyond St Pancras.
The first major stop of the trains is St Pancras that shares its Underground station with adjacent King's Cross Station. This is a major transport hub and an obvious place to interchange for most travellers.
King's Cross St Pancras is also a major district for cheap hotels in London.
You may find it advantageous to interchange at Farringdon.
Here Thameslink Trains and underground trains share the same platforms, making an easy interchange. London Bridge is also another major interchange with the Jubilee Line to the West End. Many trains continue onto Gatwick Airport and then to Brighton, other trains serve Sutton via Wimbledon and Carshalton.
If you have a train ticket to Luton Airport DART is included in the price. If you only have a ticket to Luton Parkway you will have to pay a small supplement.
You can buy a DART only ticket via lutondart.com, the website will issue you a digital ticket.
You will need to scan the barcode of your digital ticket at the ticket barriers of Luton DART Parkway station or Central Terminal station, in order to ride the DART.
If you buy a rail ticket to or from Luton Airport via a train operator (Thameslink or Luton Airport Express) you can use your printed ticket via the ticket barriers in Luton DART Parkway station and Terminal stations to ride the DART.
Luton Parkway is just at the bottom of the hill up to Luton Airport so the journey only takes 5 minutes.
|London - Luton Airport Comparison of Fares 2024
Standard Adult Fare
* Limited availability, Super Off-Peak Day Return
Although the Luton Airport train stops at other stations in London, the station that most visitors will use to interchange is St Pancras Station.
St Pancras Station is a major London transport hub that has no less than six Underground lines to interconnect with. The Kings Cross St Pancras area is also a major hotel district, with a lot of cheap budget accommodation.
The complexity of UK rail fares are legendary. For short journeys like Luton to London things tend to be much simpler. There is no need to purchase tickets in advance, there are no seat reservations, though at the moment Visit Britain are offering very good return ticket deal in advance online (see section below).
The three types of tickets are outlined below. At weekends there is a good chance that an off-peak or super off-peak fare will be available, during the week in all probability only the anytime fares.
It is rare that an advance purchase ticket is made available on this run, though see the Visit Britain section below
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.
At train stations there are manned ticket offices and also ticket machines and at Luton Airport there is a ticket kiosk in the passenger terminal. All major credit cards are taken as well as cash.
For fares and timetables use the 'Trainline' website where you can also order tickets for delivery to your home address. Type in your dates and number of travellers and the system will present the various fares available to you.
If you buy return train tickets into London from the railways then you qualify for the railways long running 2 for 1 sightseeing promotion.
Essentially you just print 2 for 1 vouchers out from the promotion website and present them with your train tickets at the ticket desk of the attraction being visited in London. One adult pays full admission another irrespective of age gets in free.