London LTN Airport Reviews | Luton Airport

LTN Luton Airport

United Kingdom FlagLondon
(LTN) Luton Airport, London logo
3 out of 5
IATA Code: LTN
ICAO Code: EGGW
Latitude: 51.879670
Longitude: -0.375442
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"Serves its purpose well but has nothing amazing!"

Review

London Luton Airport is a good airport and has everything required for a good journey. I may have been a little harsh rating it only 3 out of 5 and if on a scale of 10, would give it 7, so effectively 3.5 out of 5. I haven’t given it 4 out of 5 because other airports I have reviewed are clear examples of 4 out of 5 (as 5 implies the perfect airport) but this airport isn’t quite there.

The terminal layout is a little strange but is spacious and modern and has been further modernised in the departure lounge in recent years. The check-in concourse is badly located and not where you enter the terminal like you’d expect to. You instead walk into a large, sparse and badly lit hall with no windows with information desks and then enter the check-in/bag-drop desks from there so didn’t give a great first impression. It can depend on the airline, but usually check-in/bag-drop takes 15 or 20 minutes but can be more, especially with Wizz Air flights as they have huge peak times that are very busy and then no activity for 5 or 6 hours.

You do have to go upstairs to reach security and I personally like airports all on one level (Stansted is the perfect example) but isn’t a problem for me. Security seems to more like that of a regional UK airport, rather than the larger and stricter searches like at the other London airports although it’s the smallest of the big four. The general allowances such as 100ml of liquid maximum per item is obviously the same as all other airports. The queuing times are actually quite slow for the size of the airport and this airport has very busy and very quiet periods with the early morning being the worst where about 40% of all daily departures go and queues can well exceed 20 or 25 minutes at these times with little effort by staff to minimise queue times. Security staff are ok and do their job well but have little personality and didn’t seem as friendly as they do at most airport, where security staff are usually the friendliest I find.

Through the entire airport is a good range of shops, food outlets, restaurants plus many other facilities, especially in the departure lounge. The service provided in these facilities is great with great staff and customer service in most. Although most facilities are located after security, there is still an adequate range elsewhere so if you're just visiting the airport or picking or dropping somebody off, there’s still a reasonable range. Toilets, Currency exchange and many other facilities are present also throughout the terminal building. This airport has a “silent terminal” where no flight announcements are made so live flight information screens are of vital importance, but cannot be seen from everywhere, so keeping a close eye on them is necessary to get to the gate quickly and not be amongst last on-board.

Passport control is very much like security in terms of queuing times and staff performance. It's very unlikely to be queuing for any more than 15 or 20 minutes and is usually about 10 minutes but like with a lot of airport, disruption and long queues that do occur do tend to be here but this doesn’t occur often. Queuing for a little longer than expected isn't so much of a problem here as there isn't the stress of rushing around like when stuck in long queues when departing and worrying about getting to the gate.

Baggage reclaim is also very quick if you have hold baggage and never requires a wait of any more than a few minutes after passing passport control and is very occasionally already there waiting for you when you get there, but that’s probably when passport control takes longer than usual. The reclaim belts are the usual type where bags go through the rubber flaps in the wall and keep going in and out until reclaimed, which can mean a long wait for it to get back round if you miss it, but really isn’t too much of a problem unless it’s raining in which I’ve in the past received cold and damp bags at this airport.

Transport to and from the airport is ok but probably the worst of the main London airports. The fastest way to London is on the regular running rail service to London St. Pancras which takes about 40 minutes usually but can be less than half an hour from Luton Airport Parkway Station, a 10 minute bus ride from the terminal building which runs every 10 minutes. Coaches also run regularly into Central London and don't exceed much more than 1 hour in duration. Taxis can also be found at a high frequency and can be organised in the terminal building, as can be a wide range of car hire companies and many other onward transport options. The airport is located close the Junction 10 of the M1, which allows road access into Central London in around 1 hour however this area of the M1 is often congested, especially at rush hour and more so towards J6 where the M25 links to the M1. Usually Westminster can be easily reached in less than 1 hour but the east end such as Canary Wharf takes about 1 hour 20 minutes, so not that ideal if you are travelling to east or south of London for that matter.

Overall, London Luton is a good airport which is very likely to give you a stress free journey and a good start or end to your journey. You should happily use Luton if it offers the best flight times and prices and if it’s purely convenient to, but would not be my first choice for the best airport experience. The biggest problem really is its location and transport options, where it’s the only London airport without a railway station on-site and transportation is quite venerable to disruption and lacks quick and easy access to east and south London in particular.

Conclusion
Facilities: Good
Check-In Area: Good
Security Level: High
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