Luton Airport calls itself ‘London Luton Airport’ but it’s actually 34 miles from central London. The airport serves mostly budget and charter airlines such as Easy Jet, Wizz and Monarch.
I previously wrote about this poor excuse for an airport back in November 2014 – who knew that it could get so much worse?
Luton Airport is currently undergoing a £110 million transformation. They even have a website that celebrates the changes they are planning http://transforminglla.com/ And who knows, it may be much better in the future – it certainly can’t be any worse than it is now.
Dropping off at, or picking up from, the Airport is Terrible
The building work, lack of clear signage and restricted space in the drop-off area mean that there are cars queuing from the roundabout at the entrance to the airport. You could be waiting 30 minutes to get to the drop-off point, which then charges you £3 for 10 minutes. There are two entrances next to each other, the one on the left is £3 drop-off, the one on the right is £7 short stay – often drivers realise too late and then the whole queue stops as they try to reverse out and back to the drop-off line.
Top Tip: The best option is to use the free mid-stay car park and let your passengers walk 15 minutes to the airport.
Airport Security takes longer and the fast-track is now £5
Airport Security has been re-located downstairs. The lines are longer. The Fast Track, that used to be quite good is now quite slow and the price has gone up to £5 per person. There are also now only a couple of machines available from which purchase fast-track tickets.
Top Tip: Pre-book fast-track for £3 online here.
The Terminal is even more overcrowded than before.
With one of the large food and drink outlets closed and more flights departing, the terminal is overcrowded. There are long lines for the only table service restaurant, Frankie & Benny’s. There are two main toilets in the main terminal area, plus a few smaller versions dotted around near the gates. Most are pretty busy and grotty.
For around £18 you can buy entry to the Business Lounge – but you’ll need to do this online. I found that www.executivelounges.com will let you book the same day – so if your flight is delayed, you could go online at the airport and book yourself a lounge pass.
Expect to wait over an hour to clear immigration/passport control on arrival
Passport control at Luton has always been a mess. They have some e-passport gates now, but even with these you could easily wait over an hour to clear immigration. The whole place is understaffed and the flight schedules mean that three flights often arrive all at once. Here are some pictures taken this week:
It’s a complete disgrace.
Top Tip: Avoid flying into Luton. Just choose to fly in to another airport.
Some more tips for if you do have to fly out of Luton
There is a marks and spencer store landside but not airside. So if you want a decent sandwich, buy there before proceeding through security. You can also pick up some shopping there after you land and exit customs and immigration.
A sandwich in the airside Boots is only £1. Usually chicken mayonnaise or egg mayonnaise – but can’t be beaten for value.