The UK has 64 passenger airports that handle over 2.4 million flights each year, making us one of the most ‘air friendly’ countries in the world today.
Of course, much of this has to do with the fact that the UK is an island and train or car travel doesn’t get you as far as it does in the United States or continental Europe – unless you are using the Channel Tunnel.
With so many airports, it makes air-travel in the UK a fast, cheap and convenient way to get around, particularly if you are on business and time is short. See our airport locator for details of all UK airports.
The arrival of specialist low-cost airlines has revolutionised air-travel like never before, and it is now cheaper to travel from London to Edinburgh by air, than by train or car.
There are 2 main ways of booking flights in the UK, either through one of the many travel agents’ shops, who also advertise their prices in the newspapers, or you can do it yourself on the internet.
A good agent will save you time, but it is important to remember that the prices advertised in the newspapers are never the same as the prices that are quoted when you phone up. These days most people in the UK prefer the internet to make their flight arrangements, either by going direct to the airlines’ own websites, or by using a price comparison website to find them the cheapest on-line deal. However, to do this you will need a valid credit card, whereas if you use an agent you can go into their offices and pay cash.
If you are looking for cheap flights you can start by visiting our Find a...section
But before you are seduced by the low-cost, remember to also consider the additional expense of getting to and from UK airports, which can often cost more than the flight itself, particularly in major cities. For example, it costs £25 return, per adult, for the train between Stansted Airport and Liverpool Street train station, in central London, and this does not include travel on any other London transport, such as the Underground.
The cheapest way of getting to airports is usually by coach. The train, whilst certainly faster and more convenient, runs airport-express services that can be quite expensive, and taxis are only for those of you without financial considerations; they usually cost at least £50.
If you are looking for transfers to and from the airport have a look in our Find a...section
The best thing to do is to plan your journey to and from the airport before you leave, by visiting the British Airports Authority website. It’s worth doing, because planning this section of your journey beforehand will always save you time and money.
The security situation at UK’s airports means that it takes a while to get past border control. Schedule in time for long queues and be prepared to be patient, at peak times it can take a long time to get from one end of the queue to the other. And don’t forget that particularly London airports are BIG and it can take up to 20 minutes to get from the departure lounges to your gate where your plane is.
Anything sharp, or any liquids of more than 100 ml, are no longer allowed as hand luggage and will be taken away from you by security. Also be aware that unlike many EU countries, you are still required to show a passport at the border, even if you are an EU citizen.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 August 2008 )|