Journey to Airport
Good things to know when preparing for your flight: Journey to Airport
Journey to the Airport
Whether travelling to the airport for business or for pleasure, a smooth and stress-free journey will make the best possible prelude to a flight. There are many options available for travelling to the airport, and naturally making the best choice will depend on individual circumstances. Most airports, especially major international ones, have excellent public transport links, so opting for a train, bus or coach is a viable option. However, not everyone wants to use public transport, so most airports also have facilities to make it easy for passengers to use their own transport when travelling to catch their flight.
Travelling by Rail
Many people find that public transport offers the best solution for a journey to the airport. Rail, bus and coach services will deliver passengers directly to the terminal, making it easy for them to check in for their flights. Major airports, such as Heathrow and Gatwick, have specific rail links running from city centres e.g. Gatwick and Heathrow Express, which can accommodate luggage easily, and operate on a 24-hour timetable. Other specific rail services, such as Railair, operate from regional stations, but these services may not run all night, so it's important to check the details carefully if flying early in the morning. Discounts can often be found by booking in advance.
Travelling by Bus or Coach
Again, most airports have specific services to make a journey to the airport straightforward, as passengers are taken to the door of the terminal to allow easy check-in for flights, and there is no need to find parking for a car. However, space for luggage is sometimes limited, and for passengers travelling some distance, it may be necessary to change buses, or combine rail and bus services, which could be very inconvenient when carrying luggage. Fares on buses and coaches tend to be cheaper than train fares, which could be an important consideration.
Hiring a private Taxi
Many companies offer a taxi hire service, often with a fixed rate fare system for transportation to the airport. This offers much more flexibility, because it's possible to book a taxi at any time of the day or night, making it very helpful for flights at unsociable hours. A taxi will also transport passengers door-to-door, the driver is often willing to help with suitcases, and they are able to park in the drop-off zones very close to terminal buildings, making flight check-in easy. Larger groups of seven or eight people can also be catered for, and some companies provide vehicles which are wheelchair accessible.
Using private Transport
For many passengers, having the flexibility and convenience of using their own car is their preferred option. Airports offer long-stay parking facilities, allowing travellers to leave their car parked before flying – some car parks are close to the airport centre, whilst others are further away but provide transfers to the terminals. Naturally, it will be necessary to allow plenty of time for travelling to the airport and car parking before checking in for a flight, but passengers will have complete control over the timing of their journey, and transporting luggage is also easy. Of course, some travellers may be able to ask a friend or relative to drop them off, so they don't need to worry about car parking.
Using a Hotel
Many city centre hotels operate their own transfers to the airport, which can be booked at any time. However, hotels local to the airport can often offer long-term parking, making this an attractive option. Car parking prices are often lower than airport car parks, and transport to the airport can also be arranged, either free or at a minimal cost. Choosing a local hotel is especially helpful for an early morning flight, and can also be useful in the case of a late-night return flight, as passengers can rest for the night before travelling further.
Deciding on the best option for the journey to the airport is largely a matter of personal choice, but it's clear that there are plenty of options to make the experience of flying as simple as possible.