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Parking at Luton
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London Luton Airport (LTN) is the fifth-largest airport in the UK. It serves routes all over Europe, including domestic flights, but a large number of airlines operating from LTN travel to destinations in Asia, Africa and North America, too.
Luton Airport is 32 miles (51.5 kilometres) north west of Central London.
There are trains from all over Central London to Luton Parkway Station; from there, a shuttle bus takes you straight to the airport. Plenty of buses also run to Luton from Central London and further afield.
Due to its proximity to the M1, M40, M25 and A1, it is generally straightforward to drive to LTN from anywhere the country. There are lots of convenient airport parking options to choose from, but you should be aware that the airport charges drop-off fees.
Luton Airport first opened in 1938. It was used as an RAF base during World War II and returned to public use shortly thereafter. In 1990, it was renamed to London Luton Airport to highlight its proximity to the capital and broaden its horizons to more international travellers.
The airport has one terminal. It replaced the original building in 1998 at a cost of £40 million and the Queen opened the new one to the public in 1999. Due to frequent improvements over the years, the number of people using LTN continues to grow and the airport served 14.6 million passengers in 2016.
LTN offers a wide range of facilities to keep you amused while waiting for your flight. You will find restaurants and bars with international food and drink and high-street shops for all your holiday needs within the terminal.
If you need a bite to eat or want to grab a few last-minute bits and pieces before you set off, the airport has everything and boasts spacious seating areas and lounges to boot, so you can sit back and relax before you board your flight.
For special assistance, you can contact a member of staff using any of the dedicated phones dotted around the terminal.
Luton Airport offers a variety of parking options to accommodate over 14 million passengers per year. It offers indoor, outdoor, disabled and priority options for short-, mid- and long-stay parking, allowing you to leave your car for anything between an hour and a few weeks. The modern multi-storey car park has 1,700 parking spaces, so you’ll never be short of a safe place to leave your vehicle.
It is possible to book your space on the day of arrival in most of the on-site car parks. However, we advise booking in advance to be sure you’ll find a spot and to get a cheaper deal. All LTN car parks have designated disabled parking areas that are bookable in advance, too. Whether you’re flying with your partner or friends, with kids or on your own, you can use Looking4Parking.com to book your parking at LTN and get up to 60% off on the final price.
If you want to avoid travelling from your car to the terminal, you can choose the priority-parking option. As part of the Luton Airport Meet and Greet service, a valet waits for you at the terminal and parks your car safely for you. You must pre-book this service.
All of the car parks are within the grounds of Luton Airport and none is more than a few minutes’ walk from the terminal. LTN uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology for quick, easy entry to and exit from each car park. All you need to do is drive up to the barrier and a computer then matches your number plate to your booking and lets you in.
If you dread the prospect of a long drive to get to the airport in time for an early morning flight, you’re not alone. After all, travelling in the middle of the night can be tiring, stressful and dangerous.
For safe, stress-free travel, you have the option of staying in a hotel close to the airport the night before your flight. We advise booking your hotel and parking space at the same time to give you a full night’s sleep, while also ensuring your vehicle is in good hands while you’re away.
When it comes to Luton Airport parking and hotel options, there’s no shortage of choice. The two on-site hotels – the Holiday Inn and the Ibis – are just 10 minutes’ walk away from the airport building, but if you don’t fancy walking, you can hop on the free shuttle bus.
The on-site hotels offer free WiFi, a bar and a restaurant providing complimentary breakfasts and evening meals. They also come equipped with triple-glazing, which protects you from the noise of the planes and ensures you get a good night’s sleep. The Holiday Inn, which is located by the roundabout on New Airport Way, also includes a mini gym for guests.
There are also a handful of hotels within a mile of the airport itself. Some offer room service and the use of an on-site gym at no extra cost. All of these hotels offer ample parking for the time you are staying there, but airport parking is only available at the car parks on the LTN grounds.
The Executive Lounge at Luton Airport is a great place to unwind before take-off. The LTN website promises “seriously comfortable armchairs”, so you can escape the dreaded plastic arms and firm backs of standard airport seating.
The WiFi in the Executive Lounge is very fast and, better still, free. There are quiet work areas where you can catch up on your emails and, to ensure you can remain connected while you're in the airport, there are also charging points for your mobile devices.
The lounge even features ‘SnoozePods’ that are specially-designed for giving passengers a quiet, comfortable place to have a nap before flying, which is great if you struggle to sleep on planes. There is also a spa with a full menu of treatments that will put you in a place of ultimate relaxation before you travel.
The Executive Lounge is open every day from 4am and you can stay there for up to three hours at a time.
Luton Airport is probably not the first place you think of when you're planning to buy shoes, but you can find a branch of renowned women’s designer shoe shop, Kurt Geiger, inside the departure lounge, so there's no excuse for being without a great pair of shoes while you're away.
There’s a huge range of convenience stores, cafés, fast food restaurants and coffee shops in Luton Airport. You can find oriental snacks and Japanese meals, Italian-style dishes and sandwiches, as well as burgers and milkshakes. There are plenty of food options before and after security, so you don't need to worry about when to eat – only what.
There are two bars at LTN: Bar des Voyagers before you pass through security and Bar 10 in the departures lounge. Both offer a wide range of beers on tap and in bottles, as well as wines, soft drinks and teas and coffees. They also provide menus with plenty of hearty, hot and cold pub grub, so you can fill your boots before you step onto the plane.
With all the packing and rushing about that goes into planning a family holiday and getting to the airport, you may not have had time to eat a proper meal. If you don’t fancy pub food, you could head to Frankie & Benny's before security and choose from their range of pizzas, chargrilled burgers, pastas, salads and more. The restaurant also offers a fun activity pack to keep the kids amused after the meal.
Have you forgotten to pack your phone charger? Or do you need to buy some extras clothes or plane-friendly toiletries before you climb aboard? From tech gadgets to luxury beauty items, you’ll find a good range of shops at Luton Airport, where high-street stores like Dixons, Accessorize, JD Sports and Boots all have branches.
Located in the heart of Bedfordshire, Luton Airport is within reach of historic English towns, sprawling countryside and a number of tourist attractions. If you've got time to spare when flying into or out of LTN, here are some things you can get up to in the local area:
Get close to nature at Whipsnade Zoo in Dunstable. With 600 acres of stunning parkland, it’s the largest zoo in the UK. It’s also home to more than 3,000 animals. These include African lions, Eurasian brown bears, elephant herds, giraffes and giant pandas.
While the zoo keeps most animals in large, separate enclosures, the red-necked wallabies, Patagonian Maras and peafowl are allowed to roam freely. The zoo is 8.4 miles (13.5 kilometres) from Luton Airport and it takes about 16 minutes to get there by car.
Sat nav instructions: Chiltern Hills AONB, Whipsnade, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 2LF
The Making of Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros. Studio London offers a magical experience for kids and adults alike. This permanent exhibition offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the films that cemented author JK Rowling’s place in Hollywood history.
The tour is in the Warner Bros studio building, but is kept in an enclosed space, separate from the filming areas. You still get to see authentic costumes, props and sets up close and the tour lasts for three hours, entertaining 6,000 visitors every day. The studios are 16.5 miles (26.6 kilometres) away from Luton Airport.
Sat nav instructions: Leavesden, Hertfordshire WD25 7LR
St Albans is a Church of England cathedral that dates back to Norman times. It ceased to be a Roman Catholic abbey during the Reformation in the 16th century. Its ornate architecture and décor, and centuries of fascinating history make it well worth a visit.
St Albans Cathedral also boasts the longest nave in England. Take the free, guided tour for a glimpse into the history of this magnificent, peaceful place.
Sat nav instructions: St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 1BY
Wrest Park is a country estate covering 37 hectares (0.37 square kilometres) of land. It comprises a Grade II-listed mansion and Grade I-listed formal gardens. The mansion was built between 1834 and 1839 to replace an older building. Its then-owner, Thomas de Grey, designed the house after finding inspiration in French architecture.
Nowadays, the mansion is known for its eclectic mix of classic European styles. The garden boasts a sprawling landscape that offers an explosion of colours throughout the year.
Sat nav instructions: Silsoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4HR
Stockwood Discovery Centre is a museum with free entrance run by local charity, Luton Culture. It offers you the chance to discover the social, rural, geological and archaeological history of the area. It’s also home to Europe’s largest collection of horse-drawn carriages and features the work of acclaimed artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay, on permanent display.
The Discovery Centre is just 2.7 miles (4.3 kilometres) away from Luton Airport.
Sat nav instructions: London Rd, Luton LU1 4LX
Wardown Park Museum was first opened in 1930. It sits in a lovely old Victorian, mock-Tudor building and is located only 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres) away from Luton Airport. It houses several mementoes from Luton’s history in the hat and lace-making trades. Some of these pieces date back as far as the 17th century.
The museum also displays items from Saxon times and the Iron Age. The interactive displays and historic photographs are a true delight for visitors of all ages.
Sat nav instructions: Old Bedford Rd, Luton LU2 7HA
This seven-acre farm and wildfowl park is home to a host of familiar and exotic animals – from pigs, cows and goats to monkeys, lemurs and flamingos, Woodside Farm offers a great day out for the whole family. It is also a popular destination for kids’ birthday parties and school groups.
Sat nav instructions: Woodside Rd, Aley Green, Luton LU1 4DG
Another venture by local charity, Luton Culture, the Hat Factory is a sought-after venue for plays, comedy nights, musical acts, gallery exhibits, workshops and classes. It aims to support artistic development in both the young and young-at-heart. The in-house café serves homemade food prepared from locally-sourced produce.
The venue offers great value for money and continues to breathe new life into the arts and economy within Luton.
Sat nav instructions: 65 - 67 Bute Street, Luton LU1 2EY
Enjoy a refreshing walk in the beautiful countryside at Dunstable Downs, just 9.9 miles (15.9 kilometres) from Luton Airport. You will find this National Trust area high in the Chiltern Hills in southern Bedfordshire. Sitting way up at 797ft (243m) above sea level, the Downs is the tallest point in the whole county. Come here to uncover Iron Age hillforts, burial mounds and to see diverse wildlife up close.
Sat nav instructions: Chiltern Hills AONB, Dunstable Road, Whipsnade LU6 2GY
Luton Airport has one terminal, which makes finding your departure gate much easier than in other airports. With more than 20 airlines operating out of Luton, you can reach destinations all over Europe and North Africa and there are even low-cost flights available from Luton to the USA. The airport is most popular for short-haul flights with operators like easyjet and Ryanair.
You can find your way to Luton Airport via sat nav using the postcode LU2 9QT. It’s close to the M1 and M25, which makes it easy to access wherever you are in the UK.
If you are travelling to the airport via the M1 from London, exit the motorway at Junction 10 and follow the signs for your car park. We advise making a note of your chosen car park to avoid confusion.
If you're coming from the east and the A1 motorway, get onto the dual carriageway on the A505, go through Hitchin and follow the road signs. If you’re travelling from the north, get onto the M1 (South) and follow it straight down to Luton, following signs for the airport as you approach.
There’s no direct train line to Luton Airport. However, there are plenty of trains to and from the purpose-built Luton Parkway Station in nearby Dunstable. A train journey from St Pancras in Central London takes just over half an hour and, from there, a shuttle bus takes you to the airport in 10 minutes, traffic permitting.
A bus journey from Victoria Station in London to Luton Airport takes approximately 90 minutes. Buses run every 20-40 minutes and there are plenty of cheap fares from which to choose.
You may incur heavy charges for dropping off your passengers in the wrong areas. This is especially true of the approach lanes and roundabout on New Airport Way, so be sure to identify your drop-off point before you set off to the airport.
Book your flight, parking and your hotel in advance and you can make significant savings thanks to a host of ‘early-bird’ special offers at Luton Airport. Always make a note of your car park zone to save time and reduce the chances of having to hunt for your vehicle upon your return.
The departure gates at LTN shut 40 minutes before take-off, so you need to make sure you get there in good time. The area surrounding LTN is frequently subjected to roadworks at various times of the day, so setting off early allows for the possibility of getting stuck by unexpected delays. The same principle applies if you’re travelling by bus or train.
Luton Airport is particularly busy in the morning due to its proximity to London, so aim to get there at least two and a half hours before your flight if you are travelling during rush hour.
Booking your parking space and hotel in one package may save you money. It can even sometimes work out cheaper than just buying a parking space alone. You can use Looking4Parking.com to save up to 60% on the cost of leaving your car at the airport.
Different airlines have separate rules for what you can carry onboard your plane. For example, Wizz Air and Monarch don’t allow Christmas crackers onboard, but some other airlines do, so it’s always advised to check the fine print before you pack your bags.
Yes, Luton Airport does all it can to ensure people with disabilities are able to enjoy every part of the terminal. Where stairs or long walks are required, the staff are always ready and willing to help. To get the help you need, you may use the Special Assistance phones for a direct line to a member of staff. These are located throughout the main terminal.
Yes. There are two modern hotels on-site with ample parking of their own. Booking both early and at the same time could save you a decent amount of money. For up to 60%off the normal price, please check the available options at Looking4Parking.com before you travel.
There is a range of high-street and designer names at LTN. Whether you need to buy a few last-minute accessories or you’re looking for bargains on presents for friends, you’ll find everything you need inside the terminal.
The train from St Pancras to Luton Parkway train station takes just 35 minutes. The cheapest way to get to LTN is by coach or bus and you can catch these from Victoria Station.
No, not at the moment. Luton falls outside of TfL Zone 6, but there are plans to introduce the use of the Oyster Card to Luton by 2020.
The LTN Executive Lounge provides charging points and ‘SnoozePods’ to allow passengers to have a quick nap. If you need to work, the lounge offers a quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of the busy terminal.
If you’ve lost anything at Luton Airport, it may be safe and sound with the Lost Property team. You can contact them on +44 (0)1582 809174 or visit the website for further information.