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Heathrow or Stansted? cheaper/easier from London?

Heathrow or Stansted? cheaper/easier from London?

Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 10:23 PM
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Heathrow or Stansted? cheaper/easier from London?

I will be in London, staying either near Victoria, Earl's Court, or in a dorm near Angel station I guess (still learning the areas of London! and our lodging plans will soon be smoothed out!). We have the option to fly out of Stansted OR Heathrow back to Stuttgart, Germany. The flight from Stansted is at 8AM and a bit cheaper, and the flight from Heathrow is at 8:40 AM. I read somewhere that Stansted is a good hour outside of the city, so I'm becoming concerned about the time and money it will take to travel to the airport in the early morning. Would be cheaper/easier to stay closer to either airport, or is one airport more easily accessible? We will not have a car, and are looking for the least expensive options, however obviously we will spend more if we cannot get there in time with a slow train! I've read up on all the options for getting to/from the airports, but I just have no experience with the Tube etc so...Any thoughts or advice? Thanks
katers0688 is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 10:43 PM
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You’re asking about the relative convenience of two airports to where you’re staying, when haven’t got the faintest idea where you’re staying.

Till you know that, any advice anyone offers you (except a five page dissertation on London’s transport system) will be a complete waste of our time
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Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 11:11 PM
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If it were me, regardless of which neighborhood I was staying in, I'd arrange for a car service to pick me up and take me to Heathrow. I don't like fooling around too much when I have an early flight to catch.

p.s. where can a get a copy of that dissertation?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 11:58 PM
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From the areas you mention, Heathrow by tube is the obvious option, on grounds of both cost and time. You would probably need to get the first tube of the morning or thereabouts, but it's not difficult from either of those locations.
www.tfl.gov.uk

A car service might take a bit longer, but you would have the convenience and peace of mind - and they have the experience to know when to pick you up to get you there on time. But if your reference to a dorm means you're on a student budget, then the tube it is.

For the Stansted flight, timing might just allow the first tube to Tottenham Hale to pick up the Stansted Express. But the timing is a bit tight, and a glance at the map would show you that Stansted is a good bit further out of London, so it would cost much more than the tube.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 02:24 AM
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The tube is the cheapest option and it runs to Heathrow but not to Stansted. Stansted is fairly expensive to reach by train, the bus is probably cheaper but I wouldn't risk getting stuck in traffic.

The tube to Heathrow still takes time, roughly an hour from central London. Check on www.tfl.gov.uk for travel times and the tube map. The Picadilly line runs to Heathrow so if your accommodation is an easy walk from a station on that line you will have no changes to make and with luggage that will make it easier.

If you do decide on Stansted, check if you can get a discount Stansted Express train ticket via your airline website. I seem to recall we did that with Ryanair (I think) and saved a few pounds.

Kay
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 02:56 AM
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stay near Victoria, get flight from Heathrow.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 03:05 AM
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Earls Court is the nearest to Heathrow and has excellent connections to virtually anywhere you are likely to want to go in London.

Victoria is an easy (few feet across a platform) change from Heathrow and is in walking distance of several major sights. You can also get direct coaches from Stansted though they'll cost at least twice as much as the Tube from Heathrow

Angel is a bit out of the way in comparison.

Assuming the flight prices are similar then it's no contest for Heathrow especially with the slightly later departure time.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 05:35 AM
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Between the two, go for Heathrow. There are trains from Paddington station, but the tube is more convenient even if it takes a bit longer than the train.
Have you considered staying in Greenwich (nicer area IMO, only 10mins away from London Bridge and off-peak trains to Charing X, Waterloo & Cannon Street), in which case you might then find Stansted to be convenient. http://www.greateranglia.co.uk/ run a frequent service from Stratford London to Stansted Airport (via Tottenham Hale) taking about 50min. Greenwich to Stratford is by DLR.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 06:12 AM
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Take a look at Virgin Bus. Last year, I wanted to use Easy Jet to get from London to Barcelona. The fare was much cheaper from Luton rather than Gatwick. In checking the various ways to get to Luton, I somehow stumbled on Virgin Bus which apparently has a deal with Green line and runs every 20 minutes from both Victoria and Marble Arch to Luton. By booking in advance, I paid something like 2 or 3 quid as I remember for the bus fare but had to specify which bus I wanted, book it in advance, print the ticket at home (none of which was a problem of course) while the walk up fare was something like 16 quid. As I remember, they also go to Stanstead but don't know the schedule. It's at least worth a look.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 06:29 AM
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Stay in Bloomsbury or Kings Cross/St Pancras area, take the tube to Heathrow.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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Do be careful about knowing your transport options for an early flight from Stansted or Luton. I very nearly stayed in town one night before an early flight not realizing there was no way to get to the airport by train at that hour. So I opted for a hotel walking distance from the terminal. Make no assumptions as I almost did. Heathrow has much better transport options.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 10:48 AM
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From your post it sounds like lodging is not totally your decision - right? Is a school arranging things? If so -wait til you get that info and we can give you the best option(s) w/o confusing things talking about Paddington/Bloomsbury/Greenwich/etc/etc/etc.

But in general Heathrow is the easiest -- especially for early an early morning flight.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 12:27 PM
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MmePerdu is right. I looked up the light rail & train timetables...Stansted is not an option at the hours you want to fly.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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MmePerdu is right. I looked up the light rail & train timetables...Stansted is not an option at the hours you want to fly.

Coaches run through the night to Stansted and the first train of the day is 3:40am from Liverpool Street - so it's easy to reach Stansted for an 8:00am flight
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 03:37 PM
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Oh my goodness, I gave bad info. Look up Easy bus, the same people who bring you easy jet......they list a 2 quid fare from central London to Stanstead...it runs from Baker Street Underground and the travel time is listed at 1 hour and 15 minutes. The buses seem to run 24 hours a day so making an early morning flight should not be a problem...

Check them out on Easybus.com
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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If the flight is only a "bit cheaper" then I'd definitely opt for Heathrow airport. Just be sure to allow plenty of time to get there on the tube because there always seems to be track works, signal failures and other delays. If there are a few of you, I would personally opt for a car service. Might cost you a few more dollars but I feel they're more reliable and you don't have to lug your bags up and down flights of stairs. I agree with the others, Earls Court or anywhere on the Piccadilly line is usually easiest place to stay if you're going to Heathrow.
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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 04:20 AM
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If you are looking at the cheaper options for accomodation in London then central and west London are going to be the most expensive, especially areas like Bloomsbury. If you find somewhere to stay in Angel for the right price, I would do that. And then from there you can get a tube from Angel to Liverpool street where the Stansted Express arrives/departs. (Angel > Bank Northern line, Bank > Liverpool street central line). Actually however, it is almost as quick to get a bus from Angel to Liverpool street - bus no. 205 from stop S takes less than half an hour. From Liverpool st to Stansted it's 45minutes on the train.

The timetable shows that there are services running very early - no problem for an 8am flight at all:

https://www.stanstedexpress.com/content.asp?SID={397FEFB8-6E83-4EA8-91FF-9F25E4DFD9B&pageid=73

I think it is a tradeoff between the cost of getting to the airport and the cost of your accommodation. To get to Heathrow is cheaper because it's the tube, but accomodation with proximity to Heathrow (London central/west) will be more expensive than accommodation in London's north/east.
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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Not sure why you're picking on Bloomsbury as "most expensive", given all the B&Bs on Gower St. Now if you'd said Mayfair, lol, or even Chelsea or Kensington, I might have agreed with you.

Of course, if the OP were traveling at the right time of year s/he should be looking at the LSE halls of residence, some of which are very "central", but s/he seems to have abandoned us so no point in asking.
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Old Mar 6th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Definitely take the Tube to Heathrow. It's a long ride but it is cheaper and much easier than trying to get to Stansted.
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Old Mar 7th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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Wow...thank you? Am i supposed to stop and reply after each post? I've been reading and rereading this and mulling it over, barely sleeping at night trying to plan everything. I'm only 23, this is my first trip without my parents, so I'm sorry if I am unsure about what I'm doing, but I'm trying my hardest. I appreciate all the advice.
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