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Arriving At Luton Airport, What To Expect
Previously Londonís forgotten airport, Luton is now increasing its passenger numbers by a staggering 15 per cent a year, with around 10 million people travelling through every 12 months. That trend is only set to continue as plans develop for the construction of a new terminal and runway in time for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Most of Lutonís growth has been spurred by the main budget carriers like easyJet, Ryanair and Thomson.fly. These low-cost carriers are a cheap way to arrive in Lunton, just a short hop from London city centre. Destinations served include unlikely cities such as Burgas in Bulgaria and Gdansk in Poland, along with traditional holiday hotspots like Barcelona and Malta.
Luton is certainly much smaller than the two main London gateways, Heathrow and Gatwick international airports, as well as the other main budget airline hub Stansted International Airport, but it still boasts a good range of facilities and services. Disabled passengers are well catered for with ramps and lifts as well as adapted toilets and telephones.
An executive lounge is ready for use by all paying travellers at hourly rates, while the Departures area in the Main Terminal includes a good selection of shops that you would find on any major British high street such as electronics vendor Dixons and womenís clothes shop Monsoon.
For a drink or something to eat before take-off, Burger King, Costa and Pret a Manger all have premises in the terminal building. For shoppers in a hurry, there is also a Marks and Spencer supermarket, allowing passengers to stock up on any groceries before heading off. Accommodation is not available in the airport, but a number of hotels are within easy reach.
Car hire desks are situated in the Arrivals area at the airport, with a handful of internationally recognised firms to choose from. To secure the make and model vehicle of your choice, pre-book a hire car online before you arrive at the airport. This will also allow you to take advantage of the best rates, which are often not available on-the-spot.
Getting into London or elsewhere in the south of England is straightforward from Luton Airport thanks to very good road connections. By rental car, getting into the centre of London from Luton Airport requires making the short trip to the M1 motorway, where travellers should follow signs south to London and the M25, the main London circular motorway.
Itís a 32-mile drive right into the heart of the city from Luton, which can take anything from 30 minutes to an hour depending on traffic and road works. Drivers should be warned that the area around the airport has been prone to congestions due to extensive road works in recent years. To get to Oxford from Luton requires a 50-mile drive and Birmingham is 90 miles north.
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