London--which airport?

Sep 22nd, 1997, 10:32 AM
anna meenan
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London--which airport?

Are there good reasons to choose one London airport over another when arriving in London? Our airline gives us a choice. How are they in terms of accessability, ground transportation, congestion, convenience, safety, etc.
Sep 22nd, 1997, 12:02 PM
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Heathrow is a bit closer to London and has tube (London's subway system) service. However, it's much bigger than Gatwick and more daunting. Gatwick is very easy to flow through and out. Gatwick has an express surface train, the Gatwick Express. It costs about 8L and takes 30-35 min into Victoria Station. For my time, this is the better connection to London. The tube trains are often slow and much less comfortable than the Gatwick Express. There is no baggage area on the tube either. When you get to London center, you will be stuck dragging luggage around the subway station looking for a lift. On the Gatwick Express you roll right out onto the plaza floor at Victoria. Heathrow is like arriving at O'Hare in Chicago or DFW in Dallas. I'd choose Gatwick. Either way you go, London is a treat, have fun!
Sep 22nd, 1997, 12:15 PM
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Dear Anna: I'd rank them equal for safety and/or congestion. I choose Heathrow when I can because I stay with my sister on the west side of London--so it's closer. But Gatwick is served by a train that runs direct from the airport to Victoria Station and you can scarcely get more central than that. It's relatively smaller than Heathrow but has every convenience I ever wanted in an airport. Though I've never been into Stansted (which serves mainly intra-European travelers) I've been told it is equally nice and is served by a direct rail connection to Waterloo Station. The trip from Victoria to Gatwick cost 8 pounds the last time I took it. Cab fare from Heathrow to my sister's was 20 pounds--but I didn't have to carry my bags up or down ANY stairs. Hope this helps and that you have a lovely visit. Joan
Sep 22nd, 1997, 12:15 PM
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And now for the other opinion. I prefer Heathrow. They have the A1 and A2 buses right outside of the terminal. You get a great view on the ride into London if you ride on the upper level. Each bus makes stops in London and as they take different routes you can usually be dropped off very near your hotel or the place you are going. If you want I can look at my map and tell you which bus to take if I know the street you will be going to. They also depart for the airport from the same places that they drop you off, from the other side of the street. Aslo, departure times are posted on the side of the bus shelters. In any event, have a great time. My wife and I have been to London many, many times.
Sep 22nd, 1997, 02:20 PM
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Just returned from England--flew SF to Heathrow and found the bus and/or tube very inconvenient unless you are flying British Airways. From United it's a real walk to the station and unless you have minimal luggage it's a struggle to fit it aboard. Left London from Gatwick via Victoria station and the Gatwick Express. All checking in, including luggage, is done at Victoria and one is then free to ride for 30 min in a nice train to the airport. Coming home we traveled from Italy (Pisa) to Gatwick and checked our bags in Pisa all the way to SFO!! Our son had serious doubts, but there they were when we arrived home. You may have heard of the possessiveness of British Airways at Heathrow--for all other airlines, choose Gatwick!!
Sep 23rd, 1997, 08:41 AM
Anna Meenan
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Me again. What about London City Airport? We will be using free tickets on Air France that we earned from Sprint, and they fly into either Heathrow or London City airport. We're not going til next year and I'm sure I'll have a billion more questions before then but I'm a compulsive planner so I'm starting early.
Sep 30th, 1997, 07:21 AM
Mike Long
Posts: n/a
I have never had a choice. Usually airlines serve one or the other but not both. I have always flown into Gatwick and never had a problem. I'm afraid I'm the bargain shopper. Whoever has the best deal gets my business.
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